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Is 1/2" acrylic an appropriate to use for a sign panel?

nolanola

New Member
Hello Signs 101,
We are trying out different materials for signs panels to find the most reliable & weather resistant.
Is 1/2" acrylic appropriate to use as a sign panel? What types of hardware are the best to hang it with?
Does it bow or crack with sun exposure? Any confirmation or suggestions for other materials is appreciated.

Thank you.
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
Is this for an electrical backlit cabinet ??

Otherwise, many conditions come into play, using that particular substrate for a sign panel.
 

2B

Active Member
There are more points needed before an answer can be provided.
size
sides of visibility.
illuminated
Etc

Polycarb / Lexan is a good option for exterior sign panels
they are more durable and do not "yellow" over time as acrylic can
 

nolanola

New Member
Is this for an electrical backlit cabinet ??

Otherwise, many conditions come into play, using that particular substrate for a sign panel.

We are looking to use it as a stand alone panel that could be hung from a bracket.
Not in any type of cabinet sign.
 

nolanola

New Member
We are looking to use it as a stand alone panel that could be hung from a bracket.
Not in any type of cabinet sign. It would not be illuminated. We are thinking 1/2" to give the sign more substance.
Usually either dimensional lettering or a full color print would be applied to each side of the panel.
 

DerbyCitySignGuy

New Member
We are looking to use it as a stand alone panel that could be hung from a bracket.
Not in any type of cabinet sign. It would not be illuminated. We are thinking 1/2" to give the sign more substance.
Usually either dimensional lettering or a full color print would be applied to each side of the panel.

How big are these signs going to be? I can't imagine an application for small signage that would require acrylic that thick. You get plenty of rigidity from .25" for most small and medium applications. For small signs, .125" is fine.
 

JTBoh

I sell signage and signage accessories.
I'm gonna give ya some advice.

Just use ACM.
It does everything you need it to at a lower cost. If you want "substance" just frame it out with painted wood and you'll get 1.5" depth.
 
Acrylic isn't practical for most exterior applications, aside from backlit applications where the panel has plenty of room for expansion/contraction. If you have to securely mechanically fasten the acrylic to another surface, you're introducing a higher probability for breakage than normal and if you want to blindly fasten it with adhesives, 1/2" material is going to be very heavy. It's also just not cost-effective. For high-end interior signage it's a great material to consider, but it's outdoor use is limited. 1/2" PVC would be a decent alternative for some outdoor applications.
 

nolanola

New Member
Please see the attached photo for reference of size. The sign measures 30" x 30".
We are not looking to save money on materials but rather save time i.e. painting, prep, treating.
The finished look of laser cut acrylic has a modern look that many of our customers are interested in.
We simply want to make sure it is safe to attach and hang from a bracket despite its weight. If so any hardware recommendations are appreciated.
We do not like using PVC because it bows overtime with sun exposure.
 

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Gino

Premium Subscriber
Please see the attached photo for reference of size. The sign measures 30" x 30".
We are not looking to save money on materials but rather save time i.e. painting, prep, treating.
The finished look of laser cut acrylic has a modern look that many of our customers are interested in.
We simply want to make sure it is safe to attach and hang from a bracket despite its weight. If so any hardware recommendations are appreciated.
We do not like using PVC because it bows overtime with sun exposure.

Is this YOUR wording to the forum...... or some broker's request to you ??

That's a loaded request, in my opinion.
 

DerbyCitySignGuy

New Member
Please see the attached photo for reference of size. The sign measures 30" x 30".
We are not looking to save money on materials but rather save time i.e. painting, prep, treating.
The finished look of laser cut acrylic has a modern look that many of our customers are interested in.
We simply want to make sure it is safe to attach and hang from a bracket despite its weight. If so any hardware recommendations are appreciated.
We do not like using PVC because it bows overtime with sun exposure.

I wouldn't use acrylic. If you're going to have a sign hanging over an area with foot traffic, it's too risky. A piece of acrylic in a monument is one thing. UV and temperature exposure creating micro cracks aren't a big deal if the acrylic becomes brittle in a frame, but when it's bearing it's own weight, it's another story. A 30" x 30" piece of .5" acrylic is heavy and could seriously hurt someone when (not if) it fails. I'm not sure what kind of temperature ranges you experience where you are, but UV exposure and constant expansion and contraction of the acrylic is going to weaken it too much.

I'd stick with a material that is better for outdoor usage and can be reliably mounted. I know you're trying to save time, but there are reasons people use stuff like ACM and HDU for outdoor signage instead of acrylic.
 

TimToad

Active Member
I'd lean to a piece of .125 aluminum for a sign that size.

When you say laser cut? Are you intending to cut the logo into the surface and infill it with paint?
 

DerbyCitySignGuy

New Member
I'd lean to a piece of .125 aluminum for a sign that size.

When you say laser cut? Are you intending to cut the logo into the surface and infill it with paint?

I believe they were talking about cutting dimensional letters on a laser (and maybe the back) and mounting them to the piece of acrylic with weld or tape.
 

JTBoh

I sell signage and signage accessories.
I'd say Colorcore would work for you, in that case. Lasts 20 years, weatherproof, black, white, no issues with painting. Has "substance". Should be able to sell that.

If you want it shiny that's another thing.
I would build a solid metal frame, first. Gives you attachment points and holds the pieces together.
I'd have a layer of black PVC, sandwiched between 2 layers of glass, with 2nd surface white vinyl application. This would last a good long time as well.

Make sure you're attaching to the frame, since PVC doesn't hold screws for sh*t and that's a heavy MF sign. But it would be awesome.
 

visual800

Active Member
I would use 1/4" ACM with 1/2" pvc routed letters OR cut acrylic letters. I dont like acrylic outside but think it would be fine for this lettering. I would paint ACM with latex and silicone the lettering to it. You wont have any issues, also do not allow this sign to swing.
 
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