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second surface print acrylic installation

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by bigben, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. bigben

    bigben Very Active Member

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    I have a customer that require a 4ftX4ft acrylic that is 1/2in thick with a second surface print (clear print with white vinyl on the back) to be installed on a wall without standoff. He want something invisible. Can I just use VHB tape? Do we will see the tape through the vinyl/print?

    What are my options? Thanks.
     
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  2. signman315

    signman315 Signmaker

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    is it backlit? if so you will probably see the VHB. Also and more important...a 4' x 4' piece of acrylic is very heavy and should never be secured with just tape/adhesive, it will eventually fall and hurt someone. I'm not sure of a good way to hide fasteners on a piece like that, maybe somebody else here knows a good/safe way or perhaps SignComp or somebody has an extrusion or system for this application. I personally would explain to the client that it's a safety hazard (not to mention bad advertising if it falls down) to only use VHB/adhesive and that you have to use another method if they are going to purchase this job from your shop. I would then explain how there are some really elegant and classy stand offs and/or screw covers that could actually add to the overall look of the installation, not to mention a safer and longer term solution. 1/2" x 4' x 4' acrylic is not to be taken lightly (pun intended? lol).
     
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  3. bigben

    bigben Very Active Member

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    No it's not backlit. Just installed on painted drywall. I agreed with everything you've mentioned about the security. But before telling them not to do it, I wanted to check my options.

    I was also thinking to reduce the thickness to 1/4. I saw some prints like this on walls and they don't have any apparent fixation system plus they had a projection from the wall. But I did not saw how it hold up.
     
  4. signman315

    signman315 Signmaker

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    Reducing the thickness by half will of course cut the weight in half...so that's definitely a good idea. But even at that I still wouldn't feel completely comfortable with it for the long term. I don't necessarily worry about the VHB failing but more the paint/sheetrock peeling up and causing the failure. What about screwing a backer board to the wall, say 1/8" thick acrylic. So you would screw a blank piece of 1/8" acrylic to the wall very securely with many screws. Counter sink all of the screws. Then use large amount of VHB, or other very aggressive adhesive, to mount a second piece of 1/8" acrylic to the face of that. The second piece would have you print/design applied to the second surface. This way the adhesive only needs to secure the weight of one 1/8" x 4' x 4' piece AND the adhesive is now secured to a controlled surface that will stick better (which is the first piece of acrylic that's screwed down). You don't have to worry about the sheetrock/paint failing and all fasteners are hidden. Just be sure that the adhesive between the two pieces is aggressive and meant for acrylic. And also be sure it doesn't need to come down anytime soon, there's no way to remove something like this very easily. I would still defer to somebody else's idea or a SignComp extrusion if possible. If you sell them on the right extrusion then they can mount that to the wall and then in the future it's much easier/faster/cheaper to change out the graphics.
     
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  5. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

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    Don't do it. A half inch 4' x 4' piece of acrylic is extremely heavy, coupled with a second surface print is just asking for disaster. If they insist, walk away. You don't want that kind of liability. A piece of acrylic that big could kill somebody.

    I can't think of any fasteners off the top of my head that can be hidden on a second surface print. You could always try to "hide" a stud in the print somewhere so it isn't as noticeable. Edge mount standoffs could also work. I wouldn't even consider any kind of adhesive directly on ink, even with excellent adhesion, you don't want to rely on the ink to hold up a piece of acrylic that heavy. It's insanity.
     
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  6. Adirondack

    Adirondack New Member

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    I agree that there is no way you'd want to hang a 1/2" thick 4'x4' acrylic on the wall with just VHB tape. Way too heavy. You can usually get the weight of the piece by talking with your supplier, in case you want to use the weight to plan what types of hangers will hold the appropriate weight. But VHB alone for that size acrylic will not work. I like Signman315's recommendation of securing a backboard of some sort directly to the wall with suitable screws/anchors, and then mounting a much thinner piece of acrylic to that. And I would double up VHB with silicone.

    We recently did a two-layer piece of a acrylic for a customer where the top layer was 1/8" acrylic with a 2nd surface print on the back, backed with white vinyl. We then had a 3/16" piece of acrylic behind that, and we were able to silicone the two pieces together -- the silicone did not show through the back of the 2nd surface. This sign was only 10" tall by 30" wide (actually 14 of them), and we were using the standoffs to mount them, so no mounting concerns for ours. But letting you know that the silicone BEHIND the white vinyl which was behind the 2nd surface print, attaching the two acrylic panels together, was not visible from the front of the signs that we just did.
     
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  7. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

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    This would still make me a little nervous, but it's definitely a better idea than straight half inch acrylic!

    I was also thinking about edge clips that are often used for glass installations. Those might work and are less obvious than standoffs.
     
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  8. signman315

    signman315 Signmaker

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    Yes my suggestion still makes me a little nervous as well, definitely better than the original thought but still not what I would call ideal by any means. Edge grip stand offs would be a great solution, and in my opinion I like the added "class" that standoffs provide, there are so many finishes and options that add a custom feel. And I still think some kind of extrusion isn't a bad way to go, I understand the client doesn't want a frame/fasteners but that might be unrealistic for a piece of acrylic that size. And the extrusion allows for further use in the future...even if it's uninstalled and re-installed in a different location. As the professionals it's our job to politely guide our clients towards the better/right products and solutions, we have the experience and knowledge of options that they might not. And so it's our duty to educate them and point them towards a solution that's not only safe and effective advertising but also enhances our surroundings/community in some positive way.
     
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  9. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

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    Church!
     
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  10. TaraW

    TaraW New Member

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    I don't know how well it would work on 1/2" acrylic, as I have not read any of the specs on these yet. We did an install job once where these were used on Sintra, and I have been looking for them since.
    When I saw your post I figured outwater may have something you could use and finally found these.

    Not sure if they would be an option, but they would be hidden!

    http://outwater.com/lg_display.cfm/page/C-24/catalog/2016_Master_Catalog

    Or these? http://outwater.com/lg_display.cfm/page/C-25/catalog/2016_Master_Catalog
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  11. bigben

    bigben Very Active Member

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    Thanks but the weight capacity of those are way to low to take my almost 38lbs 1/2 thick acrylic.
     
  12. mpn

    mpn Active Member

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    French cleats? Nevermind just read the no standoff part...
     
  13. TaraW

    TaraW New Member

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    That's what I was afraid of, as I mentioned I hadn't looked into any of that yet.

    I see the second ones are a little better but you'd have to put like 4 of them on there...Oh well Sorry those didn't help
     
  14. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    Customers ask for such stupid things. A sign that size needs support. I wouldn't install it without studs.
     
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  15. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    Your options will improve immensely if you consider sandwiching acrylic instead of a single piece of 1/2 inch.

    Once you determine how to use any cleats, slots, fasteners, security hardware, etc., an aesthetic problem might come to light. If this application is for decor, aesthetically, 1/2 inch will likely appear “tacky.” Really, as if it were just tacked to the wall. Your customer however may have a very valid reason for their preference, however. (Hospital / school hallway. etc.) Even if it were just a sign, a bevelled or round edge would help the finish, as this request and solution is obliged often.

    Also, consider substituting your vinyl with a polyester film because it's homogenous with the other components, unlike vinyl.

    So, is the graphic for decor or a sign?
     
  16. AKwrapguy

    AKwrapguy Active Member

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    I've used 1/2" acrylic before on smaller jobs. No way a piece that large can be secured with VHB. There are too many failure points. While it's not ideal for you client, we had custom back frames made with small set screws. So we can mount the frame properly, than slide the acrylic in, and use the set crews to secure it to the frame. This is also ideal as you can remove it if need be to update graphics.
     
  17. bigben

    bigben Very Active Member

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    It's for decor only in a office.
     
  18. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    If the panel is square, I would cut a frame to go around the piece out of 1/2" aluminum angle, you can then screw that to the wall and it will support the sheer load of the piece, then use lexel to attach the acrylic into the frame.

    This way the frame would be nearly invisible from the front. I would avoid any double sided tape on the back, it always pulls off over time taking the vinyl with it, which causes the vinyl to pull away from the acrylic and look like hell.
     
  19. PrintPostal

    PrintPostal New Member

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    Countersink some 1/4 holes and fill or paint them inside with same color as print in that area white black etc. Then use metal studs (bolts with heads cut off) and or acrylic dowels you can glue in the holes. Make pattern for wall and use studs and vhb tape. Its not coming off.
     
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