21Connect, the solar car from the University of Twente and Saxion University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, and Quantum, the University of Michigan solar team car, were powered by the sun and protected by Avery Dennison for the 1,800 mile/3,000 km, week-long World Solar Challenge race through the Australian Outback. Congratulations go out to both teams! Quantum placed third and 21Connect came in fifth in a race that faced many challenges from natural elements, including brush fires, clouds and rain.
“The opportunity to support the engineering, innovation and dedication of student-led solar car challenge teams at two universities on two continents was irresistible,” said Helen Mets-Morris, vice president and managing director, Avery Dennison Graphics and Reflective Solutions. “Avery Dennison is very focused on bringing new, innovative ideas and research to our products on a global scale. The enthusiasm of the students at the University of Michigan and University of Twente makes for great partnerships as they pursue the world title.”
The finishes on both teams’ solar cars were lighter than those painted on competitors’ cars. Paint involves many layers and hours of preparation, and is the traditional method used to decorate the bottom half of the car. Bringing Avery Dennison’s pressure-sensitive wrap technology to the World Solar Challenge is a new improvement that will give both teams an advantage.
The University of Michigan’s Quantum solar car was wrapped with Avery® MPI 1005 Supercast Easy Apply RS™, a digitally printable pressure-sensitive vinyl that is repositionable and slideable, making application easy, in addition it features air egress technology, allowing air bubbles to escape. TKO Graphix, a graphics services provider that has worked with the University of Michigan Solar Car team for several years, wrapped Quantum in the Avery Supercast material.
“Quantum has been streamlined and is 200 pounds lighter than our previous car,” said Santosh Kumar, strategy director for University of Michigan solar car. “The wrap is part of our whole system of improving the car. We estimate that we shaved fifteen pounds off with the wrap. The vinyl conforms very well to the compound curves of Quantum’s body – and looks just like paint.”
Solar Team Twente’s partner, NykampNyboer, suggested wrapping 21Connect instead of using paint. The car was wrapped by installers of Vinytouch, a Dutch specialist. “We are focused on partnering with innovative companies, like Avery Dennison, to find new solutions to improve our car,” said Jens Hegeman, external relations manager and driver for Solar Team Twente. “Together we can optimize the performance of the car through sustainable technology. The benefits of wrapping the car with Avery vinyl are significant for its speed.”
21Connect was wrapped with Avery Dennison’s newest product, Avery® Supreme Wrapping Film, an opaque film that can be used to change the color of a car instead of paint. The product line is available in 33 colors with a variety of finishes and textures. It is also super-conformable. A perfect match for 21Connect with its compound curves.
“Avery Dennison products are a canvas and we partner with our distributors, converters, sign shops and teams like the University of Michigan and Solar Team Twente to transform them,” added Mets-Morris. “It’s exciting to partner with these college students that are pushing technology to the edge with the passion to win the race.”
Both teams were thrilled with their performance and results in a tough race. The University of Michigan finished on Day 5 in third place, making the team the only one from the U.S. to finish in the top three two consectuive times in the World Solar Challenge. Team Twente finished in fifth position -- the team's best ever placement in the race. Both teams took Victory Laps through Adelaide, finishing at Victoria Square where they were awaited by friends, family and the rest of the crowd gathered to see the excitement of the celebrations!
For more information on Avery Graphics products, pricing or roll sizes, printers can visit www.averygraphics.com to locate a distributor (on the Partner Page) or contact Avery Dennison at 800-282-8379 for additional product information.