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Lexan

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by printkodiak, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. printkodiak

    printkodiak New Member

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    Jun 9, 2009
    I have a rather simple question about lexan.
    I am placing an order site-unseen so I'd like to get it right.

    Does 3 mil lexan sound sturdy enough to hold up at 30 inches x 14 feet? It is mailed in a roll which is why I am curious.

    I resurfaced this sign before and it seamed thicker -maybe it was plexi.
    It was later attacked on two separate occasions with seal bombs -a 1/4 stick of dynamite used to scare seals away from fishing nets and for perforating signs -hence the need for bullet-proofitude.

    Thanks
     
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  2. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

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    ok so let me confuse you a bit. even when i sold sign supplies i never heard anyone ask for 3,6etc milimeter komatex everyone says 3mil 6 mil just easy. but then people get confused when they stop and think for a moment ok "3mil PVC sheets" are definitely thicker than "3mil vinyl"...

    so for practical purposes 3mm (millimeter) is slightly less than 1/8" (0.125") 3mm=0.118110.

    now to "mil" like rolled vinyl...a mil is a unit of length equal to one thousandth of an inch (0.0254 millimeter).

    so now that we know the definitions. lexan does come rolled and in sheets and there is both 3mil (laminate)and 3mm (sign faces). if we knew the weight, the price, something...we could probably answer your question.
     
  3. dfeicke

    dfeicke Member

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    Mar 15, 2006
    That's just too corn-fusing. 3 mil or 5 mil should be 3 or 5 mil, whether you're talking about paper or sheet metal. Whatever.....

    That's a rather unique problem you've got there; never heard that one before.

    I'd say though, working with basically 1/8th inch material, you're going to be OK. That lexan is some tough stuff! We once took a scrap of lexan and set it on the end of a piece of 8" pipe, and whacked it with a hammer. Even with both hands, we couldn't break it.

    The fact that it's shipped in a roll shouldn't have any effect on its abilities. It is a little more of a pain to work with this way, rather than sheets; simply because, like most anything else, when it's rolled up, it tends to want to stay that way. But usually if you roll it in the opposite direction for a bit, it'll straighten out pretty well.
     
  4. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

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    uhm the big red flag for me here though ... is that it is being MAILED on a roll. a 30" X 14' roll of 3mm lexan is a SUBSTANTIAL roll and it is NOT going by mail. I will guarantee you that lol. the roll will be bigger than you can put your arms around you don't simply roll up 3mm lexan on a cardboard core put it in a box and wait for the mailman to deliver it...this will be a SUBSTANTIAL package if it is anything other than 3mil lexan...the difference between the two products is absolutely night and day i have seen the miscommunication of these two terms lead to many similar problems it is definitely worth a phone call and clarification.

    and 3mil or 5mil is 3mil or 5mil but there is a difference a mil and millimeter as illustrated above. i understand it is common use to just say 3 mil when we mean three millimeter but it can and does occasionally lead to confusion and now you know why.
     
  5. G-Artist

    G-Artist Active Member

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    Lexan is a good choice where damage is expected...but you need the proper grade.

    My first choice, due to costs and availability, is high impact Acrysteel.

    If I were ordering Lexan, then I would get Super Impact Lexan or Lexan SG depending on what was available. Also, the thicker the better as long as it fits in the cabinet.
     
  6. Mainframe

    Mainframe Very Active Member

    Do yourself a favor & use 3/16"! The thinner polycarbs can bow in at that length.
    You don't want to know how I found this out-:banghead:
     
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Whatever.... it should be 3/16th" thick. Have your supplier break the numbers down for you in our language and then you can't go wrong. 1/8th" is too thin for 168" x 30" sign face.

    Dan's right about the size. I don't think it can be rolled much tighter than about an 18" diameter.... maybe 20" or so. It comes on our delivery trucks like that.


    By the way, you do understand that Lexan will become as brittle [if not worse] as regular acrylic in about two to three years when exposed to the elements ?? It also yellows if you don't use the correct side out. There is a definite front and back to Lexan.
     
  8. dfeicke

    dfeicke Member

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    Mar 15, 2006
    I agree that 3/16 would be a better choice. I was assuming that, from his post, he had already ordered the material.....and it will be a decent-sized bundle.

    I still don't think he'll have any trouble with it, given the smaller size, height-wise. For insurance, I'd run some stainless sheet metal screws thru the retainers and the face to hold it.....maybe every couple feet across the top and bottom.

    Carefully, drill thru the retainer in 1/8", and just touch the face, marking it. Then take the face out, and drill it at 1/4", put the face in, and screw it in place. The oversize holes will secure it, but will allow for some expansion.
     
  9. KOOTO

    KOOTO New Member

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    Feb 10, 2010
    I dont know if anyone of you has had this problem but Lexan has a tendency to reject vinyl with time (2-3 years).
    The material shrinks on it and is very easy to remove.
    Lexan also has the very bad habit of yellowing and getting rough on surface.

    I can imagine your custome asking to replace the lettering, and at the same place when you lost or dropped accidentally the job.

    Just an opinion
    CG
     
  10. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    never had a prob with vinyl sticking to polycarb...
     
  11. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    Only saw this when someone uses calendared vinyl in place of the real stuf.
     
  12. G-Artist

    G-Artist Active Member

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    Jan 25, 2010
    As Gino said there is a most definite front and back side to Lexan. Luckily, it is usually color coded. Be sure to ask your dealer WHICH SIDE IS WHICH and do not remove the front side protective film until the install or when you do the decoration, assuming front side is decorated.

    The front side has the UV protective coating applied. So, remember, while flipping faces (back to front) is common in the industry that is not a material you want to flip faces with should the need arise or the opportunity present itself.
     
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