Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.

 


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

A Concern...Need your input.

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by skyhigh, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

    4,861
    9
    38
    Jun 16, 2005
    PA
    I don't know how often you guys run into this.....

    I have 2 good (frequent) customers that apply all their own vehicle lettering, and vinyl for other miscellaneous projects. OK no problem....its not rocket science. The one PITA is, there are the occasional "screw-ups", and ifs its nothing "major", then I just redo for nothing.

    Now, the most recent concern.....
    The one customer decided he wanted to redo all their current property signs. Their current signs are made from "duraply" (total of 5 signs 3' x 7' in size). All the signs have large, reverse weeded panels, which I have my doubts they will be able to apply without any problems. But this isn't my major conern!!!

    My major concern is their choice of materials. Their substrate of choice is fiberglass sheets (white FRP.....guessing that stands for fiberglass reinforced panel)... fiberglass is their business.

    My one and only experience with lettering on fiberglass goes back almost 20 years. Other than a vinyl manufacturers defective product, this is the only application that I've had a failure on. The vinyl peeled after a year. My guess (at the time), was an expansion/contraction issue that didn't match with the vinyl used. Needless to say, I never used a fiberglass sheet again.

    Anyone have some recent experience with application onto fiberglass?
    Should I tell the customer, this isn't recommended?


    :thankyou:
     
    Tags:
  2. ova

    ova Member

    437
    1
    18
    Dec 22, 2008
    Wheeling, WV
    All U-Haul trucks are FRP on the boxes. They last a long time.

    Seems if there are any issuses, it will be during the installs. I would think if you supply the correct vinyl and give them some kind of directions for applying, you should be covered.

    Dave
     
  3. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    5,246
    147
    63
    Sep 27, 2010
    Mid TN

    The only experience that I have with FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic in the sublimation world) is with sublimation. Can't help with the vinyl end of it, although I would be surprised that there isn't some vinyl out there that would work with fiberglass.
     
  4. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

    4,861
    9
    38
    Jun 16, 2005
    PA
    The correct vinyl??? Please elaborate.....anyone?
    Is there a special vinyl solely recommended for fiberglass applications?????

    Given the nature of my post, I am concerned that they are not wasting their time and money, albeit I'm done giving customers directions as to how to circumvent part of my business.

    I know...what a harda$$

    For larger projects, I use to print a layout with measurements, and also put registration marks (cut vinyl) for lining up multiple colors. hahaha, here's a picture of the layout, and I hope you have a tape measure.
     
  5. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

    4,861
    9
    38
    Jun 16, 2005
    PA
    good point Dave!!
    I guess "thickness" would play a major factor (expansion/contraction issue), and also....the U-Haul panels, I'm guessing, are painted from the manufacturer???? I've never lettered one of the box trucks straight from the dealership. Again, assuming its the same product.

    My one and only fiberglass panel used 20 years ago, was an 1/8" (maybe thinner....don't remember). So I'm sticking with the expansion problem. Definitely my fault.

    thanks for the input Dave.
     
  6. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

    8,209
    266
    83
    Mar 7, 2007
    Washington State
    Never had any problems with FRP. Always used premium cast 3M/Gerber or Arlon
     
  7. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

    4,861
    9
    38
    Jun 16, 2005
    PA
    I used cast Oracal & cast Arlon for the cut vinyl, and 3m 180c for the prints (nothing is layered).

    I'm an Oracal fan, but not their blue's.....thus the Arlon.
     
  8. ova

    ova Member

    437
    1
    18
    Dec 22, 2008
    Wheeling, WV
    I think FRP actually stands for Fiberglass reinforced plywood. It's a marine grade plywood with a skim coat of fiberglass one or both sides.



    Did you not have enough or too much coffee this morning?

    Dave
     
  9. Coloradosigns

    Coloradosigns Major Contributor

    7,894
    34
    48
    Sep 10, 2010
    Denver.
    FYI, the Uhaul trucks aren't 100% fiberglass. They integrate some wood. It uses a polymer that typically has some sort of epoxy in it. On a different note. 99% of RV's we've done ARE fiberglass.. no issues. just be sure to use Cast Vinyl. Same with boats. Most of the hulls are fiberglass. You shouldn't have an issue doing this job.

    Now if it is indeed the actual textured fiberglass then you would have an issue here. The only thing i've seen successfully stick to that stuff is the arlon 8000 series, and if that's the case you'll have to print.
     
  10. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

    4,861
    9
    38
    Jun 16, 2005
    PA
    The only thing I know for sure....its NOT the textured stuff.

    As for boats and such, now we are talking "gel coat" (and not trying to indicate I know anything about gel coat)....I'm sure these panels don't have that type of surface...plus the boats would be thicker....and formed for strength vs a flat panel....ect. However the rv panels are thin

    Thanks for the input Coloroad.....by the way, speaking about boats.....I'm still waiting on that invite.




    ova..... I haven't had my usual second pot by now. Thats the problem.
     
  11. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

    30,259
    1,298
    113
    Jun 7, 2006
    PA
    As Color mentioned, most fiberglass surfaces should work fine, today. I too, had some failures from years ago, but the fiberglass seemed different as far as texture. I just thought the technology got better with both the fiberglass and the vinyl as time moved forward. Perhaps not knowing that much about fiberglass and the various types could be the real culprit. I remember being told something about fiberglass..... not exactly out-gassing, but something similar to this process which prevents many things from working together. Something about certain gels being used, if I'm not mistaken.
     
  12. JoySigns

    JoySigns Member

    426
    1
    18
    Jan 21, 2004
    Lincoln ne
    When a customer if mine wants to apply there own graphics, they are responsible for any screw ups and I will not give them any kind of warranty. Period. I tell them "if I'm applying and I mess up I replace it, if you mess it up you will have to pay for the reordered piece." There are so many factors out of your control when they are self applying to their own substrate. Why should you have research and guarantee their substrate?
     
  13. Coloradosigns

    Coloradosigns Major Contributor

    7,894
    34
    48
    Sep 10, 2010
    Denver.
    I've literally done wraps on vehicles that are ground right down the fiberglass/aluminum with no issues. as for the invite... I didn't even make it out to Bermuda this summer.. we've been busy...
     
  14. signage

    signage Major Contributor

    9,192
    18
    38
    Oct 5, 2005
    Penn
    The problem you may have had could have been from the release agent sprayed to the forms so that the fiberglass doesn't stick. From what I have been told that release agent is hard to get off without sanding.
     
  15. Suz

    Suz Very Active Member

    1,020
    3
    38
    Apr 9, 2010
    The Great Northwest
    Hi Sky,
    I'm sure you've figured out a solution by now, but for what it is worth, here's my experience with something similar:

    About a year ago, I had a regular customer ask if I could apply vinyl graphics (cad cut and digitally printed) to 32 fairly large sign panels, using their substrate. I have to say, I'm really glad they did not ask me to show them how to apply it, as this was a job I had to experiment with since it was a material I'd never added signage to before. Substrate/panels were about 3'x8' each, they were Corrugated Carbon Fiber panel scraps from their aircraft parts manufacturing business. Pretty big panels, but they were at least light weight.

    So, I thought I'd give it a try. I started by experimenting with one panel. I noticed it was pretty dirty, seemed to have some oily finish on it from the manufacturing process. So, I started by cleaning it off with alcohol. That was a stinky mess and I could not get the vinyl graphics to stick to the surface. Failure! But I wasn't ready to give up yet.

    So, I found this little sample kit of Rapid-Tac products in the shop and decided to give that a whirl. Worked like a champ! After prepping the surface, my vinyls stuck to it with no issues, but only after using the Rapidtac products. This is the process I used:

    1 - Cleaned surface with Rapidprep
    2 - Then used Rapidtac to remove residue from cleaning
    3 - Dry applied the graphics. Hinged from center
    4 - Polished with Rapid Clear when done, which made the carbon fiber panels look far better than they looked before!

    Over a year later, there are no issues with any of the 32 panels that I did.

    This is carbon fiber (corrugated), not fiberglass. However, it sure feels a lot like fiberglass. Hope that helps!
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  16. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

    4,861
    9
    38
    Jun 16, 2005
    PA
    Thanks for the Rapid Prep suggestion Suz. I will have to give it a try in the future. A friend of mine started using it, and has been boasting how well it works. Like you, I have always been an "alcohol" 91% prep guy. (wonder why the rapid prep works so well?)

    As for this job, I expressed my concerns to the customer. He said they would accept any responsibility.

    Thanks again.
     
  17. Suz

    Suz Very Active Member

    1,020
    3
    38
    Apr 9, 2010
    The Great Northwest
    Sky,

    I guess the Rapid prep guy is the only one who knows the secret. I just haven't found anything that works quite as well and I have to say I like all (5) of the products he has that I have tried. He must be a chemist too! :)
     
  18. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

    4,861
    9
    38
    Jun 16, 2005
    PA
    Yeah, ole Rodger used to be a merchant member here. I liked the guy myself, but he overwhelmed the board with his advertising, which made him kinda unpopular with a few.

    He didn't bother me, and to be honest, I'd rather read his ads than some of the babyish feuds that go on here.
     
  19. Suz

    Suz Very Active Member

    1,020
    3
    38
    Apr 9, 2010
    The Great Northwest
    Sky,
    I've read some past posts about him, and some of the posts made by him too. I have to say the proof is in the pudding!!!! His products just work, so why get your pants in a bunch. LOL. Not to offend anyone, don't remember who said what, just that there were quite a few who didn't like him for whatever reason. But most of us know his product, so his marketing was successful.
    Have a great day!
    Sue
     
  20. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

    15,549
    15
    0
    Sep 24, 2004
    hmmm 10% Coconut Imidazoline Salt
     
Loading...

Share This Page

 


Loading...