A substrate in sign manufacturing refers to the physical surface the ink and/or sheeting is applied to. Nearly all materials used in sign making have an inkset or laminate to use specifically for longevity. We always match materials with the proper inkset and/or laminate for optimal quality and longevity. Materials are matched to the substrate as well, and include a range of quality from 1 to 12 years.
Aluminum (Flat Sheet)
Flat sheet aluminum is the most common substrate for long-to-permanent use signs and is our #1 substrate. Raw aluminum panels go through a a treatment process to ensure they are prepared for our various grades of reflective sheeting or vinyl before printing. All of our aluminum blanks are manufactured at our local production facilities. Our standard blanks are manufactured with radius corners, 3/8" holes for mounting and comply with the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC). Our stock blanks are .081" (2mm) gauge, 3105 alloy which complies with ASTM standard 5052-H38. Other gauges and alloys are available - please contact us for pricing and availability. Non-reflective and reflective sheeted blanks are available for purchase. Please contact us for additional information.
Specifications for Flat Sheet Aluminum Signage:
Our aluminum is 50% thicker than many of our competitors. We use a heavy gauge sign grade aluminum alloy that is long lasting and rust free, even in harsh weather extremes and not easily vandalized or bent. The ASTM 5052-H38 sign grade aluminum alloy standard is .081" (2mm). Our aluminum is cleaned and degreased, the corners are rounded, and the edges are cropped to prevent injury.
- Sign sheet aluminum grade 5052-H38
- .081" (2mm) thickness
- Ultimate strength 39,000 PSI (minimum)
- Yield strength 32,000 PSI (minimum)
- Tension Leveled (this leveling technique gives aluminum sheet a superior flatness)
- Signs will be silk-screened using 3M compatible inks
- These specifications are an industry standard and adopted by most government agencies and municipalities.
P.S.I is defined as "pounds per square inch".
Tension leveling is a superior process of leveling sheet.
The standard for non-tension leveled is 5/16 deviation from flat.
All stated specifications are from "Aluminum Standards and Data" and The Aluminum Association.
NOTE: Some sign manufacturers will attempt to supply sub-standard, utility grade aluminum and pass it off as sign grade aluminum. The softer the properties of utility grade aluminum make it useful in ventilation duct manufacturing and in the electrical industry for tie wires. The softer internal properties make it difficult to visually detect without actually testing the physical properties of the aluminum. This can be accomplished though a Whitney Hand Sheet Metal Punch or tested through an independent metal engineering firm. After time, signs manufactured with utility grade aluminum will begin to bend and deteriorate.
Our highway extruded aluminum sign panels are designed for the large ground mount and overhead information, destination and guide signs. The panels are 30cm (12") wide and 732cm (24') wide (single length) but can be combined for any length required. 3M reflective sheeting is rolled onto the individual extruded panels and the lettering and/or symbols are computer cut and applied to the substrate by hand. These panels are then fastened together in the field to form the complete sign.
Extruded Aluminum Street Name Blades
Extruded aluminum blades are the substrate of choice for municipal street name signs. The "dogbone" extrusion design is long lasting and works in conjunction with our street name brackets. Our street name signs are double-faced and reflectorized with 3M™ High Intensity Prismatic or Diamond Grade™ sheeting on extruded or flat sheet aluminum blades. Standard colors are white characters on green background, white on blue, or black on white. Standard blade width are 15cm (6") or 23cm (9") and available in a variety of lengths, depending on the street name. Decorative street name signs to compliment any municipal beautification program are also available.
(HDO / Crezone)
HDO (High Density Overlay) panels are made of high quality, exterior-grade plywood. HDO contains a higher resin content for moisture resistance and provides an excellent base for the application of reflective film. Perfect for construction site signs, project signs, subdivision sign, real-estate signs, billboards, double post signs and many more. Available in 1/2" and 3/4" thickness, wood is recommended for sign sizes 120cm x 120cm (4'x4') and above. If you have questions regarding HDO or Crezone wood substrates, please contact us for additional information._________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Referred to in the industry as "Corex" or "Coro", coroplast material is predominately used for temporary and promotional signage. Ideal for lawn signs (election, job site, sales, promotion directional, etc.) & real estate signs, site signs for new building projects_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Our magnetic material comes with a strong white vinyl face perfect for all your magnetic signs needs. It can be screen printed or painted, but is not intended for inkjet printing. Standard is 30 mm material, which is a thickness suitable for vehicle magnets and more. The higher the mill, the thicker the magnet is, and therefore stronger signage. Ideal for lawn signs (election, job site, sales, promotion directional, etc.), real estate signs and site signs for new building projects
Polystyrene / Styrene
High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) offers a consistent, easily printed matte surface for either one or two sided printing applications. This polystyrene product, available in HIPS sheet or rollstock form, is especially suitable for digital printing of displays, POP graphics, signs, translights, WHMIS / TDG tags and cards. It can also be contour cut to any desired shape.