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Reflective aluminum signs

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Mark H, Dec 3, 2018.

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  1. Mark H

    Mark H Member

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    Good evening,

    I need some aluminum reflective signs. If I print reflective blanks on my UV flatbed, bye-bye reflective. Is there a reflective coating I can apply to a sign I print on a painted aluminum blank? Is there a recommended wholesale supplier of reflective signs? I need 4'x4'

    Thanks
     
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  2. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    What are you trying to do?

    There are many ways to make reflective signs. Most common is with transparent traffic vinyl, then there is latex printing, and you can also UV print with different densities.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
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  3. Mark H

    Mark H Member

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    I need to make 2 4’x4’ aluminum signs
    . I have a UV flatbed printer
     
  4. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

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    What grade/amount of reflective are you trying to achieve?
    How much ink are you applying to the signs?
    we routinely print onto reflective and it comes out with reflective properties

    +2 transparent plotter film is going to give you the best reflective amount.
     
  5. Mark H

    Mark H Member

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    This is a 4x4 sign mounted on poles. The top of the sign will be 12’. All text white background. it is on a dark road and is an instruction sign for trucks so it needs to be very readable at night. Will some colors reflect better than others? It needs to last a long time so I would prefer direct print
     
  6. jwilde

    jwilde Member

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    Direct would be the best option for cost, but you may want to consider printing on clear vinyl and then mounting it to your reflective vinyl or sign blank. We do this for many applications.
     
  7. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    Anytime I need reflective signs I use a company called OZARK SAFETY or most traffic supply houses can help. Ordering online would be great but shipping will kill you on 2 4x4 signs UNLESS you wanna cover these sign yourself and then letter them yourself I personally dont want any part of that

    Order the signs completed and then mark them up, you are welcome.
     
  8. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    For what you are trying to do, it sounds like traffic safety / direction, you need to make sure if it has to comply with MUTCD standards. If it doesn't, applying a transparent traffic vinyl will be the best option so all colors (besides Black) reflect, if you don't want to do that direct printing on your UV will work but you should consider reversing the image so the text reflects white and the color blocks out the background.

    The attached pic is UV printed.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    You said....... last a long time. No print on any vinyl......reflective or not will last very long. You need to get a blank with reflective on it and then die-cut vinyl for your copy.
     
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  10. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

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    +1 for plotter since you want to "last a long time"
    regardless of the printer, plotter will last longer.

    back to where you are placing these.
    as 2CT stated, you have to match the grade of reflective to the regulations of the location.
    * Engineer Grade
    * High Intensity
    * Diamond Grade

    the grade of reflective will also play a MAJOR factor in the amount of reflective properties.
    here is a good explaination.
    https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company...397+8710677+8710896+8711017+3294857497&rt=r3#
     
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  11. Brandon708

    Brandon708 Very Active Member

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    Mark,

    If you need someone to print it for you I may be able to help. I print on EG Reflective and laminate it. I can send you the vinyl printed and you can apply it to your 4x4 aluminum blank. That would save on shipping costs instead of me shipping 4x4 panels to you. Although I can do it either way.
     
  12. Mark H

    Mark H Member

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    Thank you for everyone's help. Can you recommend a supplier of .080 painted aluminum sign blanks? Grimco only carries selected sizes.

    Thanks
     
  13. Brandon708

    Brandon708 Very Active Member

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    Im pretty sure HallSigns can do them white. They are not on their website though. You can get away with doing bare aluminum then paneling it with reflective vinyl. They have good prices but they always take very long like a couple weeks to ship.

    BTW Grimco does have 4x4 .080 blanks in bare aluminum
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  14. bannertime

    bannertime Very Active Member

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    Long term reflective sign? Look no further than 3M 1170.
     
  15. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    If you have to have 4x4s shipped it may make it too expensive. I would source the 4x4s local sheet with reflective and do cut vinyl lettering
     
  16. Robert Gruner

    Robert Gruner Member

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    Gino said: <<You said....... last a long time. No print on any vinyl......reflective or not will last very long. You need to get a blank with reflective on it and then die-cut vinyl for your copy.>>

    Au contraireGino: 3M will warrant Street Signs printed on their White Prismatic Film (ie: Diamond Grade) and laminated with their clear EC film for 7-10 years outdoors. Printing solutions inclde HP Latex (365) Printer using SAI/3M Traffic RIP and some UV solutions (Durst and perhaps others). Avery will warrant Street Signs printed on their White Prismatic film and laminated with Avery clear laminate. Printing solution includes Avery TrafficJet printer using Avery mild solvent inks.
    Bob Gruner
     
  17. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Ya better go back and check your facts, again, Robert. The Avery inks are only giving 2 years, but will not stand behind the product for a myriad of reasons and small writing. The 3M vinyl is a 10 year product (on it's own), but regardless of what ink you put on it, with your proper laminate will most likely, not go much past 4 years, maybe five, based upon which way your sign(s) are facing.

    Now, using your 10 year 3M with a good grade of whatever copy vinyl, will last 10 years, as I said to begin with.
     
  18. MikeHay

    MikeHay New Member

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    Gino,

    As someone who makes hundreds of traffic signs a day, Avery traffic jet inks and their laminate will last 10+ years on HIP and 12+ years on the Omnicube Sheeting. They warranty it for this long. Avery is very good to work with!
     
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  19. DTP2

    DTP2 New Member

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    Indeed as Mike mentioned, at this moment Avery Dennison is giving the longest outdoor durability even going up to 15 years fully standing behind the products and without small writing.
     
  20. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Well, I'm glad you two think so. The frickin sign won't even last that long, so they know they can give silly numbers out at random.

    I'll stick to what I know and just forget about some of these reports.
     
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