March '22

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4 6 G R A P H I C S P R O M A R C H 2 0 2 2 G R A PH I C S - PR O.C O M S I G N A G E & P R I N T I N G ALUMINUM SHEET Aluminum sheet is great for sublimation and UV printing. Ordering a precoated sheet tends to make the process easier, but it's also possible to coat the sheets yourself. Self-coat- ing aluminum is not an easy process, so if selling printed aluminum sheet for a prot is your plan, you'll want to perfect that process. CARD STOCK Card stock is among the easiest substrates to print on and is only limited by how durable you need your graphics to be and how long you want them to last. COMPOSITE ALUMINUM Composite aluminum is a strong, light- weight material that is great for creating durable signage. With the proper treating, composite aluminum can be printed to di- rectly. Manufacturers can supply composite aluminum panels to you to meet your exact specications. "Aluminum composite panels (ACM) are strong yet lightweight and provide an extremely at surface for direct printing ap- plications. e dierent colors, nishes and cores make ACM a highly versatile product for almost any project," says Garrett omp- son, Laminators Incorporated. CORRUGATED PAPER-BASED DISPLAY BOARD e packaging production market has pro- pelled corrugated paper-based board into one of the most commonly used substrates for digital printing. Most modern printing processes have eliminated the old concerns of ink bleed and seepage. Corrugated card- board is accepting of nearly all styles of digital printing inks. Rigid Substrates for Printing B Y G R A P H I C S P R O S T A F F This pylon sign uses an Alumalite composite aluminum face. (Image courtesy Laminators Inc.) W ith the rapid growth of UV printing and wide-format atbed printing, it sometimes feels like any solid object can be considered a canvas for digital printing. anks to the development of UV-cure inks, direct-to-lm print- ing, heat transfers and the use of adhesive-backed lms, there are few limi- tations these days to what can be considered a rigid substrate. Here are some of the more traditional substrates available through most printing and signage supply channels. ACRYLIC Acrylic, or plexiglass, is a lightweight and strong rigid material that is incredibly versatile in the signage and laser engraving markets. While acrylic can be used as a substrate for printing, other plastic sheeting tends to work better in terms of acceptance of inks. Usu- ally, you'll want to print to an adhesive-backed lm and then apply the lm to the acrylic.

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