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Buyer's Guide for Rigid Substrates

Choose Your Rigid Sign

A rigid support is a key solution in optimizing your message. It makes a wonderful display for your designs, logos, graphics for a high-quality printed sign. The rigid sign needs to be hung on a wall or mounted on a support. We provide a selection of materials to best accommodate your needs including Plexiglass, Coroplast, Dibond, Sintra, Styrene, Foamboard, and Crezon for Hoarding.

Our rigid signs make an exceptional display that will last you a very long time. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, our products are made from heavy-duty material designed to withstand various conditions. You can use our signs for your promotional advertisements, gallery exhibitions, real estate signage, and much more. We offer full-colour printing on a large format substrate with your choice of finish.

Portable Option

Our smaller prints are usually no larger than 2 to 3 meters, any sizes larger may not be convenient to handle or transport. As for larger prints we recommend choosing a stretched fabric frame for an easier installation and lighter option.

Which Material to Choose?

Prismaprint offers a range of rigid materials such as metal, wood, and plastic.

  • Coroplast available in thickness of 3 mm, 3.5 mm, 5 mm, 8 mm
  • Styrene available in thickness of 3 mm
  • Plexiglass is available in thicknesses of 3 mm and 10 mm
  • Dibond available in thickness 3 mm and 5 mm

Fire Code

It is important to take the location into account when selecting your material. Regulations require fire retardant materials for indoor establishments. The Sintra substrate is not only fire-resistant but is also self-extinguishable and has no fire drip, which prevents the flame from spreading. Other materials like Styrene and Foamboard also have a low flame spread rate.

Opacity 

Most of our rigid substrates have a higher opacity percentage. If you are looking for a translucent sign, Plexiglass may be the right product for you. A trade name for acrylic, this product resembles a lot like glass but is in fact very different. Acrylic is a transparent petroleum-based thermoplastic manufactured in sheets, that is often confused for glass due to its glass-like substance. This product weighs a lot lighter, has excellent clarity, impact, and UV resistance. You have the option to choose how opaque or translucent your sign should be. Our printers make it possible by adding selective white ink which plays on the transparency of the material. Another material like the Coroplast has a different level of opacity than our Sintra, Foamboard, Styrene, and Dibond. This product contains corrugated plastic in between both exterior layers, allowing very minimal light to pass through.

Rigidity

The rigidity of the product is based on the nature of the material. The thickness of each material varies based on the structure. The Coroplast is a corrugated plastic material at the center of two layers of plastic on the exterior. This provides a great solid-to-weight ratio with a nice finished surface. Commonly used for yard signs, constructions signs, and real estates signs. This product remains in optimal condition through various weather conditions such as rain, strong winds, cold and extreme heat. This product compared to our other rigid signs options is slightly flexible due to the vertical plastic flutes and it is much stronger than the Foamboard.

The solidity of the material can be based on the application and support. Our 3 mm thickness Dibond is our aluminum composite sheet, comprised of two aluminum covers with a polyethylene layer at the core. A very strong material that can be fixed almost anywhere indoors and is known for being the strongest and durable printed signage. Commonly used for indoor use such as shop design, trade fairs, and exhibitions, Dibond can last up to 5 to 10 years of good use without having any of the resistant properties fade.

Dimension

The size of the sheet varies per material. Some products have a maximum size of 4' x 8', while others can be manufactured in 5' x 10'. This format can be used during printing and is often cut and tailored prior to packaging, transportation, handling, and installation. As a standard size, we deliver our rigid materials in a 5' x 4' to optimize your shipping costs. For larger sizes, please contact us.

Weather Resistance and Other Conditions

Prior to purchasing your product, it is necessary to identify the location of your sign, whether that is indoors or outdoors. The durability of your material depends on how resistant it is to moisture, impact, tension, and chemicals. Sintra PVC and Dibond contain excellent UV resistance and are often recommended for long-term exterior applications. Coroplast has limited UV resistance and is best used for short-term promotional applications. Plexiglass can be used for outdoor long-term application without any significant degrading, as well as Styrene which is also waterproof, and UV safe. The plastic and aluminum-based products have great moisture resistance in comparison to the foam core. Foamboard is mainly intended for indoor use as the material is very light and has a low moisture resistance.

The durability of your sign also depends on the ink used for digital printing. Our ink has excellent UV resistance and has a life span of 1-year exterior use. This is provided as an indication and does not constitute a guarantee. After 2 years, you may notice a change in colour due to the aging factor in the pigmentation of the ink. These changes are very gradual and have a primary impact on sensitive colours.

To prolong the life span of your ink, an anti-UV laminate can be applied to your finish product, which protects the print from UV radiation and expands the durability up to 4 or 5 years.

Weight

The weight of the material is not always a guarantee of resistance. The corrugated plastic and aluminum composite sheet have a great solid to weight ratio. It may work to your advantage to choose a lightweight material for an easier installation.

Appearance and Texture

The surface of the signs can be done in a matte, satin, or gloss finish. Lamination after printing provides your material with a different appearance than the original material and optimizes the life span of your product.

Colour

Prismaprint's digital printing uses the CYMK colour standard and requires a white background for great colour rendering. UV inks are semi-transparent and allow the background colour to seep through. To prevent this issue from occurring, we print the first layer in white as a base to mask the original colour of the material, thus obtaining a perfect hue rendering. This base layer can be applied on the entire surface or partially depending on the design. The colours printed over the white will appear adequately compared to places without the white base layer.

We also provide metallic finish like our brushed aluminum, gold, or copper on our products as well, even the Dibond. The lustered surface will be more apparent in areas where the white base layer has not yet been applied.

Finishing

We have a selection of finishing options available.

Cutting

Many rigid substrates can be cut to shape, but there are constraints with few materials and thickness. The cutting is done on a digital XY cutting machine, adapted to the material.

Folding

Rigid material can be bent to form a 3D object. While material bends, Prismaprint's UV ink is able to withstand the pressure without creasing. The boxes will be pre-folded during assembly. Thermoplastic materials such as PVC, PE, PMMA cannot be folded to make small displays for brochures and counter displays. Structural materials like our Dibond can be bent with a press brake after printing.

Lamination

The following lamination options are available

  • Anti-UV: Extends print's life-span up to 4-5 years
  • Non-Slip: Ideal for floor stickers
  • Anti-Stain: Protects signs from marks and scratches
  • Matt, Luster, or Gloss

The gloss level of your sign is determined by the quality of ink used in areas where printing occurs on the base of the material. Laminating will make it possible to standardize the gloss level over the entire surface of the panel.

Other Finishes

Rigid thermoplastic materials can be thermoformed.

Installation

The installation of a rigid sign is often very simple and remains an advantage amongst our other products. The sign is fixed according to the support, either by anchors or screws, and spaced according to the rigidity and weather conditions. For large format and high-rise signages, we recommend that acquire professional installation as the task may require safety measures that need to be carried out, along with the proper skills, tools, and machines to set up without fault. Prismaprint provides installation services throughout Canada, contact us for additional information.

Environment

Prismaprint operates under the Prismaflex Group, which is ISO 14001 certified and ecologically responsible. We strive in reducing the environmental impact of our business and products. For ecologically conscious products, consider our PVC-free options. We also advise that you gear towards mono-materials are much easier to recycle, as opposed to the Dibond (more than one material used in production). Be mindful of the dimension and size of the material and avoid oversizing. Although most plastic is recyclable, the best way to be ecologically responsible is to reduce our carbon footprint.

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PRISMAFLEX CANADA INC
1645 Queensway E.
Mississauga Ontario,
L4X 3A3, Canada