Aluminum Composite Material
Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) is a rigid metal sheet fabricated from two sheets of pre-finished aluminum and bonded to a polyethylene core. Durable and lightweight, Aluminum Composite Material sheets are generally used for channel letter backings and outdoor signage. SpeedPro large format printing can digitally direct print to, or mount directly onto ACM. ACM does not bow or oil can (a slight buckling seen in some metal sheet materials that looks like waves). It is a flat, rigid material, lighter than aluminum, with excellent durability that can be routed, cut, or roll-formed. ACM will lay flatter than traditional aluminum sheets which is why it will not oil can and doesn’t suffer from the rippling effects of other metallic substrates. ACM is more cost-effective than a simple aluminum sheet fabricated in the same gauge.
Aluminum Composite Panels (ACP) is the term for an ACM formed into a panel substrate. Generally, it’s used as economic and effective outdoor signage such as store-front signs, parking lot signage and plaques. ACPs are rigid with an inner resin layer covered by aluminum.
Colors printed on Aluminum Composite Material come out very vibrantly with great quality and depth of field. And for the pocketbook, the choice over aluminum is clear as the polyethylene bond makes it cheaper and lighter than aluminum alone.
DiBond is a specific product type composed of Aluminum Composite Material using two pre-painted sheets of 0.012″ aluminum over the solid polyethylene core. DiBond is about ten times stronger than aluminum alone. Dibond panels are about half as heavy as standard aluminum sheets while being thicker. Dibond material is great for outdoor usage due to its weather resistance and the fact that it stays flat without bowing or bending over time, which makes it ideal for mounting. However routing, returning, and roll-forming are viable modifications. A great perk, from a safety standpoint, is that in case of fire, DiBond is self-extinguishing. SpeedPro recommends the use of DiBond when printing menu boards, posters and retail cabinet signs. We are ready, willing and able to print in full color on any size and shape you desire. Commonly available weights are 3mm and 6mm, but other thicknesses can be acquired upon request. Generally available in 4×8, 4×10 and 5×10 foot sheets, pre-cut sizes can be stocked as needed. Base material prior to printing are white, black, yellow, red, green, blue, brushed silver and brushed gold although other specialty colors may be requested. DiBond finishes either matte or gloss and we can direct print or overlay vinyl.
Another brand of Aluminum Composite Materials is Alumalite, also known as Alumacorr. Both of these brands are affordable and extremely durable. Alumalite is generally used for custom printed aluminum signs and is as heavy as .040-inch sheet aluminum but 50 times stronger. The corrugated polypropylene core prevents Alumalite sheets from absorbing water, corroding, swelling, or experiencing rot damage and delamination no matter how long it remains out in wet conditions. The aluminum faces of an Alumalite sheet is polyester painted and baked to provide a high-gloss appearance resistant to peeling, chipping, cracking and flaking. Commonly available weights are 5mm and 100mm but other thicknesses can be acquired upon request. Generally available in 4×8, 4×10 and 5×10 foot sheets, pre-cut sizes can be stocked as needed. Base material prior to printing are white, black, yellow, red, green and blue colors but just like DiBond other specialty colors may be requested. Alumalite finishes gloss but can be direct printed or vinyl overlaid. Alumalite is an ideal material for solvent cured and UV digital inks, paints and screen print inks. Alumalite is less popular than DiBond, but for specific custom outdoor signage projects, it may be the superior choice. Alumalite comes with corrugated edges but these can be hidden with edge-capping or trim cap.
When choosing the material for your sign, consider whether the sign will be stationary or need to be moved frequently. Lightweight durable signs are obviously a better choice for signs that will need to be transported, Alumalite is lighter than DiBold in this metric. For a larger sign, the solid DiBold core has the stability advantage and the heavier weight means it will not be blown loose in high wind scenarios.
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We are just 3 blocks from McCormick Place, moments away from Merchandise Mart and downtown– we can support your printing and signage needs in and around Chicagoland. Our state-of-the-art printing and high-speed cutting technology is standing by to make your vision a reality.
SpeedPro Chicago Loop is a proud Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, featured in multiple national trade magazines for our work, the only two time recipient for national ‘Project of the Year’ and named a ‘Top-3 Sign Shop in Chicago’ for 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023; see what a difference it is to work with us! Originating the term, Surface Impact®, let us give your next printing job the IMPACT it deserves!
SpeedPro Chicago Loop
Located just three-blocks from McCormick Place on Michigan Avenue, serving the entirety of downtown Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, we are convenient, accessible and able to support all of your large format graphic printing.
The Best Large-Format Printing in Chicago
SpeedPro Chicago Loop was the largest SpeedPro franchisee in the region (Illinois, Iowa, Michigan & Indiana) for 2022 and in the Top 10% of all SpeedPro’s nationwide.
We are humbled and proud of of the recognition we have received, not merely as a high performing studio, but by the accolades of our clients and the awards we’ve received, to include; the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) ‘2022 Franchisee of the Year’ (Nominee), ‘3 Best Sign Shops in Chicago’ 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023, ‘Exceptional Customer Service’ 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, the only two-time winner of ‘Project of the Year’ 2018 and 2021, ‘Exceptional Growth’ 2018, ‘Rookie of the Year’ in 2016, over 300 perfect 10/10 online reviews and countless other franchise awards– SpeedPro Chicago Loop is committed to delivering great results and a delightful experience for our customers.
What Are the Advantages of Partnering With SpeedPro Chicago Loop?
Why should you choose SpeedPro Chicago Loop over other studios in the area? We offer a range of unique benefits, including:
- Fast turnaround on projects against tight deadlines
- Professionalism in every interaction
- Reliability you can count on
- Precision of graphics, which we use digital measurements to create
SpeedPro Chicago Loop creates one-of-a-kind graphics that will last for your company. See how we can connect you with the potential customers you want while also creating graphics you feel proud to display. Our graphics will make you look better. When companies partner with us, they see results.
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Let us get your message noticed. You have something you want to tell potential customers. Visual communications such as the ones designed by SpeedPro Chicago Loop can deliver that information and build bridges that could develop into longstanding relationships.
We want to help you accomplish your goals and grow your business. Chicago-area companies can contact us today to discuss a consultation or request a quote.