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Laminating Digital Printed Signs

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by Paul R., Jan 16, 2020.

  1. Paul R.

    Paul R. New Member

    Jan 4, 2013
    We recently got a shiny new HP Scitex FB550. We do a lot of real estate signs and our first batch on the new printer has the letters flaking off. The ink is UV cured and printed on MaxMetal (JBond). Should this be happening? Is there really THAT much of a difference between regular painted MaxMetal and digital ready MaxMetal?

    What do you use for laminating? We have a roll laminator we use for our vinyl, but worried about the sign edges messing up the roller. Any suggestions?
  2. LarryB

    LarryB Member

    Dec 3, 2006
    Webster, Texas
    Anytime we HP Flatbed print on aluminum composite we run at Max DPI. Slow as molasses but works.

    We also switched to Triangle inks which is a much cheaper ink at better color resolution. It also offers better scratch resistance than the HP inks
  3. rsdigitald

    rsdigitald New Member

    Oct 1, 2012
    dubuque, iowa
    there is a coating you need to put on the board before printing that bonds the ink to stay on.
  4. flyplainsdrifta

    flyplainsdrifta Active Member

    Oct 13, 2017
    DP max metal i believe is pre treated for uv imaging. ive never had great luck with our 700/750 with DP on any aluminum, even the direct print stuff. also i dont want to take out 12000 worth of heads on the off chance you have an edge lift. i have heard horror stories from a few techs. we did it for one job and then went back to vinyl applied. it will almost always last longer than direct print uv.

    i would reccomend adhesion promoters if you want to keep running on the aluminum. some people have had better luck than i have apparently. i just never loved how they came out and how easily they scratched.

    Edit: Also Welcome from a fellow ct printer!
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
    • Like Like x 1
  5. zspace

    zspace Merchant Member

    Jul 9, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Try wiping it down with alcohol before printing. Don’t know if it will work for HP inks, but it’s an easy test. You should test other ACM brands.

    Pressure sensitive laminates can seal the ink if there is a lot of of unprinted area, especially on the edge. If the ink runs to the edge then laminate will tend to pull the entire print area off the sign.
  6. Glavin_ID

    Glavin_ID Member

    Aug 1, 2018
    Cleveland, OH
    We have had good luck printing on Dibond, Glantz brand Bebond, and just regular old .040 and .063 aluminum with our 700. I agree with flyplain, it is always a risk running it through with a bad corner or a warped piece getting head strikes and head damage, just need to be careful. We typically suggest to our customer that if long lasting is what they are looking for then vinyl is a better option but if they want to keep it cheap, temporary, or it's going indoors, it has worked well for us. We use Nazdar 705 inks.
  7. The Big Squeegee

    The Big Squeegee Major Contributor

    Oct 10, 2005
    Lawton, OK, USA
    A Big Squeegee would work very well for laminating instead of the roll laminator.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. TLHII

    TLHII New Member

    Apr 5, 2018
    We have had an FB500 and FB700 for years and have had no trouble having ink adhere to aluminum and different brands of ACM, although it does scratch easy. That being said, I don't recommend it for long term outdoor signs. A good cast vinyl/cast lam mounted will last years longer outdoors than a direct UV print.
  9. Robert Gruner

    Robert Gruner Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    houston tx
    Larry B is all over the solution. Triangle Inks for HP 500/550 and 700/750. Triangle is reputable. Been in the industry for years. Does not do any more damage to printheads than OEM ink. Check it out!

  10. Ldireprophil

    Ldireprophil Member

    Mar 29, 2018
    I use Kommerling’s KOMAALU® iron clad sheets. Never any issue with flaking. Never laminate it either.

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  11. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

    Jun 15, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    We use Alumanate brand, it has been the most durable for the HP inks but the HP ink would occasionally chip or scratch. We have switched to Vanguard and all the test panels we have done are light-years ahead of HP in quality, color, and durability.

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