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Looking for a substrate at .050" thickness that can be backlit

Discussion in 'Product and Supplier Referrals' started by Zeke Ford, Oct 8, 2020.

  1. Zeke Ford

    Zeke Ford Manager of Wide Format Production

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    I have a customer that has three drink coolers that he wants to replace the graphic at the top with his business logo. The maximum thickness that it can be is .060 and that was tight. So, I am looking for a substrate that has backlit capability (Acrylic, clear polycarbonate, etc.) at .050" thickness. I've checked Wensco, Home Depot, and Lowes. Many people only have .080 while others have the thickness but only carry sheets that are like 10" x 14". The cooler signs are about 10 x 36 so I am looking for a sheet that is at least that size maybe even bigger so that I can get all three out of one. Grimco has a .060 polycarbonate but I am unable to get a sample from them and I don't think that the .060 will fit once I apply the graphic. Does anyone have any suggestions or know of anyone who carries the .050 size? It would be ideal to find a supplier that will offer a sample of the product even if it is for a price, just so that I can be sure that it will work before buying the full sheet.

    Thanks,
     
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  2. GaSouthpaw

    GaSouthpaw Active Member

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    We use a material from Fuji called Excellite for these. It's comparable to Kodak's Translight. It's thin and perfect for those coolers. Otherwise, you could try super-thin acrylic.
     
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  3. WYLDGFI

    WYLDGFI Merchant Member

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    PETG is clear but thin.
     
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  4. Zeke Ford

    Zeke Ford Manager of Wide Format Production

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    Is the Excellite Rigid enough to stand on its own when slide into the slot of the cooler or do I need something behind it?
     
  5. Zeke Ford

    Zeke Ford Manager of Wide Format Production

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    Is it too thin to stand on its own? It would need to be fairly rigid.
     
  6. WYLDGFI

    WYLDGFI Merchant Member

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    You can get in various thicknesses....so if you're laminating a print to it, it would likely stand alone if it had to. Think of styrene handling and it would be similar as to how that works.
     
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  7. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

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    We literally just ran into this yesterday, funny timing. Our samples were printed on what looks like .030 styrene but the front panels are translucent for backlighting, where as styrene is pretty damn opaque.

    I went digging through our acrylic/lexan offcuts and like you, couldn't find anything thin enough.

    The solution we came up with was to print on some .015 matte velvet lexan. We're going to print a couple of layers of white on then the cmyk graphics.
     
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  8. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    These coolers, generally don't have a very bright light, but the lams are close, so you'll need to consider whatever you use, not to get ot spots.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. GaSouthpaw

    GaSouthpaw Active Member

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    It seems to do just fine on it's own.
     
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  10. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    I would use PETG for this, i can only get it 0.030" thick but it should still be rigid enough at the size you need.
     
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  11. Zeke Ford

    Zeke Ford Manager of Wide Format Production

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    This project has been in the works since the beginning of the year. When COVID hit the customer wasn't open so it got pushed back. Now that they are opening up again we have to get this figured out. That may not be a bad idea though. I will have to look into that. I want to try to see if I can get my hands on that PETG material first though to see how that works. Thanks!
     
  12. Zeke Ford

    Zeke Ford Manager of Wide Format Production

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    Do you usually purchase your directly from them or do you have a different supplier? Also, do you know if they give samples?
     
  13. Zeke Ford

    Zeke Ford Manager of Wide Format Production

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    I think I might be leaning toward the PETG but I just need to see if anyone will provide a sample.
     
  14. Zeke Ford

    Zeke Ford Manager of Wide Format Production

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    I think the PETG might be a good option for this project. Do you all provide any samples? Also do you have a catalog book with all of your products that you offer? We use Wensco and Fellers for most of our signage and materials but would like to explore different options.
     
  15. GaSouthpaw

    GaSouthpaw Active Member

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    I'm not sure, offhand, who we get it from (our purchasing agent is out today). I would imagine a sample would be available. The rolls we get are either 54" or 60" x 100'
     
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  16. Zendavor Signs

    Zendavor Signs Member

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    We have used this .030" polycarb before:
    https://www.eplastics.com/LEXAN-POLYCARBONATE-CLR-0-030AM24X48
     
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  17. Zeke Ford

    Zeke Ford Manager of Wide Format Production

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    I came across this the other day! I was just concerned about it only being .030" Thickness. Was it still pretty sturdy when you used it? Also, how was it with the backlighting, did it make the image foggy at all?
     
  18. Zendavor Signs

    Zendavor Signs Member

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    We didn't use it for backlit prints, but it was just a clear material, no fogginess. It is pretty rigid. The pieces we did were larger than your 10x36, so you should be fine.
     
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