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Need smooth outdoor substrate
Posted by: kfinnn (---.dhcp.atsc.ca.charter.com)
Date: October 10, 2007 01:37PM

I need a smooth outdoor substrate that we can cut easily, is light weight, and won't pop off a vinyl print through temperature changes. We normally use corrugated plastic but often the clients want a smooth surface. We have used aluminum and dibond, but I hate to cut it because it's so messy, it tears up my blades, and larger pieces can be heavy. Is there anything similar to Sintra that is outdoor durable? Or a corrugated plastic with a smooth face? Is acrylic or lexan good for outdoor use?

Re: Need smooth outdoor substrate
Posted by: lamexpert (---.chi.megapath.net)
Date: October 15, 2007 11:15AM

Generally you'll want to use a substrate with similar expansion rate characteristics to your media. If you are printing on vinyl (PVC) you'll want to mount on PVC (Sintra). If you are having issues with with the media "popping off" then the culprit is the adhesive, not the substrate. I have used acrylic outdoors with excellent results, but you have to use products with similar expansion/contraction ratios due to temperature changes. Vinyl and acrylic would not be a good combo. Polycarbonate (Lexan) may be a better combo, but the adhesive has to be correct. Most often when you buy vinyl media you have a choice between permanent or removable, but you really don't know what the adhesive base is. It could be solvent acrylic, solvent rubber, or aqueous acrylic. Until you can answer that question, it's difficult to decide without testing the products yourself. A cheap fast method of testing is to mount a small sample and place it in a dishwasher for a complete cycle. If it can survive this test, it will most likely do just fine outdoors. And since the test samples can be small you can obviously test several combos at the same time.



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