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Color life of aluminum sheets?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by CropMarks, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. CropMarks

    CropMarks Member

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    Hello all,
    I was wondering if anyone would have an idea of how long the color might last on "pre-colored" aluminum? Basically we want to order a material that is RED that we can apply cut vinyl lettering to for our outdoor signs. We originally used PVC (Sintra 3mm) and put that over our building existing sign. Well... the sun has turned it PINK in about 9 months. Any idea of how long a RED aluminum might last? Here is what we are thinking about buying...

    http://www.wensco.com/Products/BrowseResults.aspx?CatID=324&Parent=12|111|324

    I talked to Wensco and the lady I spoke to was pretty sure it will last a lot longer than pvc.

    Thanks for any and all help!!!
    Mike.
     
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  2. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    yes (it will last longer), but red is a color that fades quicker than most...
     
  3. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Yes, it will last a lot longer.
    If you wash and car wax it two or three times a year it'll last even longer
     
  4. CropMarks

    CropMarks Member

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    thank you for the replies.... that helps!
     
  5. AUTO-FX

    AUTO-FX Very Active Member

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    if you really want it to last longer, clear it with automotive urethane first. maybe ask a local bodyshop to do it for you. if not, you could use frog juice. makes a HUGE difference.
     
  6. AUTO-FX

    AUTO-FX Very Active Member

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    ps. if you go to a bodyshop for clear coating, advise them that the paint is very thin. minimal scuffing with a grey scotchbrite pad (NO DA) is all that is needed to prep for adhesion. you may even want to do that part yourself.
     
  7. petrosgraphics

    petrosgraphics Member

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    alum. will last longer... it is red, sun loves to eat red..
    if you can, figure out how long it would take you to switch the panels, if it is d/f.
    present that to the customer as an annual maintenance fee. the sign will last even longer..
    we do this for quite a few customers, it generates a little income and keeps you in touch
    with the customer.....
     
  8. CropMarks

    CropMarks Member

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    Wensco did mention using frog juice. I think we will definitley coat it will some type of uv clear-coat spray. I think frog juice runs about $10 per 12oz can. I know you can get it in a non-spray can too. If I had to coat 3 boards that were 48" x 96"... how much would I have to use? 1-2 cans per board?

    Also... that might be an interesting idea about the sign annual maintenance fee. We also are a full print shop so it would be a great way to get back in the door.

    Thanks folks!
     
  9. AUTO-FX

    AUTO-FX Very Active Member

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    i would use a mini HVLP spray gun and a quart might do it, but good to have extra on hand. that's too much area for aerosal spray cans.They say you can also roll it on with foam rollers but i never tried that. Anyone???
     
  10. signcrafters london

    signcrafters london Very Active Member

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    I've got some red aluminum that has been on the front of my shop for 7 years and has shown no hint of fading. One side gets full morning sun, the other full afternoon sun. I figure it will last longer than any vinyl lettering would.
     
  11. Mike Paul

    Mike Paul Major Contributor

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    PVC was a bad idea . Luckily it didn't crack/fall and cut someone...
    Got a pic or some specs of what your working with?
     
  12. Vicg

    Vicg Member

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    Painted Aluminum should last atleast 10 years or longer its the same material and coatings they use for enclosed trailers , we have a red one here thats about 15 years old and still looks pretty good .
    Vic
     
  13. CropMarks

    CropMarks Member

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    Grand Rapids, MI
    Indeed...PVC was a bad idea. The amount that it expands and contracts is quite a bit. Plus in Michigan the stuff gets really brittle in the winter. Our main large road sign is about 25' in the air and has 2 large 48" x 96" panels on each side. We will probably use red aluminum for each side with simple cut vinyl letters and shapes on it. I'm thinking that the Frog Juice is a pretty good investment. We could start out with a quart and if we need more Wensco is only 15 minutes away.

    Thanks a bunch everyone for all the help... it really means a lot to us! :thankyou:
     
  14. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    The sign in front of my shop is red aluminum and one side faces the sun. It's 8 years old now and the red aluminum looks good. No chalking, no noticeable fading. The vinyl on it, however, is starting to show it's age.
     
  15. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    It will last a lonnnng time. You don't need Frog Juice, it's a wasted step and will turn yellow. Like Bill said, just give it a good waxing if you're that worried about it.
    I have red aloonimum signs out there which are practically ancient, no fading no chalking.
    Pat's right, the vinyl won't last as long as the substrate itself.
    I never use PVC on signs, just once when requested by a client.
    The dark stuff can shrink/warp, and it can shatter in the cold.
    And like you've learned, it can fade.
    Love....Jill
     
  16. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    ya,, as jill says,,
     
  17. Wes Phifer

    Wes Phifer Member

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    The panel will outlast the frog juice. Just put vinyl on it. It will be a long lasting sign that your customer will be happy with.
     
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