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 of SF Peninsula’s 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 of SF Peninsula 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.
Using proper technology and machinery, sign manufacturers such as SpeedPro of SF Peninsula can take your recorded specification designs and create your desired product. Aluminum Composite Materials can be crafted in dimensional forms and illuminated from any angle, we will always include the mounting elements necessary to place the sign on your building including electric cables and bulbs. SpeedPro of SF Peninsula is staffed by well trained and experienced technicians that will assist you through each stage of signage design from initial consultation to final install. We proudly work with businesses in all industries to provide attractive durable custom sign solutions as each of our studios are a full solution destination. SpeedPro of SF Peninsula uses the latest technology, latex ink and quick dry printing in our efforts to lower the environmental impact of large format printing. Stop by one of our locations today for a consultation and quote.
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