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

Zeke Ford

Manager of Wide Format Production
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,
 
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,
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.
 

Zeke Ford

Manager of Wide Format Production
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.
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?
 

White Haus

Formally known as RJPW..........
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.
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
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.
 

Zeke Ford

Manager of Wide Format Production
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.
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!
 

Zeke Ford

Manager of Wide Format Production
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.
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.
 
Do you usually purchase your directly from them or do you have a different supplier? Also, do you know if they give samples?
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'
 
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,
We have used this .030" polycarb before:
https://www.eplastics.com/LEXAN-POLYCARBONATE-CLR-0-030AM24X48
 
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?
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.
 

Zeke Ford

Manager of Wide Format Production
I just wanted to give everyone an update on this project. I ended up using the PETG. It is .020 thickness and it worked great. Thank you for the suggestions. If anyone needs it for anything they have it on amazon for a great price!
 
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