Will 1"thick Excel Expanded PVC Warp With Exterior Use?

nikdoobs

New Member
I'm thinking of using routed 1" thick pvc as a standoff mount for 30"h .063 Aluminum letters. Was planning on using double sided foam tape and silicone to mount.

Will the 1" foam warp over time? Installation is in South Louisiana.

TIA

The website says it will not warp, but I wanted to check and see if anyone has actual experience using it outside. I don't ever see PVC used outside.
 
Yes. It will warp. Route some channels in the back and stiffen it with some aluminum tubing (I braze mine together with a propane torch and "alumaweld" low temperature aluminum brazing rod). If you mount it directly on an exterior wall, make sure you have some play in the screw holes (I use a soft rubber grommet).

Also keep in mind the surface will get dirty, and it is hard/impossible to clean. For best results coat with acrylic polyurethane.

PVC sheets are versatile and useful, but the material has its own production quirks. I use it successfully, unpainted, for flat signs covered entirely with a digital print. It also makes nice, relatively inexpensive routed signs (easier to finish than HDU).
 

nikdoobs

New Member
Yes. It will warp. Route some channels in the back and stiffen it with some aluminum tubing (I braze mine together with a propane torch and "alumaweld" low temperature aluminum brazing rod). If you mount it directly on an exterior wall, make sure you have some play in the screw holes (I use a soft rubber grommet).

Also keep in mind the surface will get dirty, and it is hard/impossible to clean. For best results coat with acrylic polyurethane.

PVC sheets are versatile and useful, but the material has its own production quirks. I use it successfully, unpainted, for flat signs covered entirely with a digital print. It also makes nice, relatively inexpensive routed signs (easier to finish than HDU).
thanks for your response. Is there a different material I can get that's 1"thick that wont warp?
 
thanks for your response. Is there a different material I can get that's 1"thick that wont warp?
High Density Urethane (HDU) or an aluminum "pan" with 1" returns on a 1" frame.

If the sign is small enough, it may not matter much. I had 3' x 4' .75" PVC panel warp, but only a bit and it was an inexpensive sign to begin with. That was when I started reinforcing with an aluminum backer or simple frame.
 

nikdoobs

New Member
What's the finished size of the entire sign ??
six 30"h Letters individually mounted. Overall sign size is 6'h x 15'w. It's a monument sign with flat aluminum face and no inside access. Can't really use studs on this, unless we maybe use toggle bolts. I'm open to other suggestions.
 

TimToad

Active Member
thanks for your response. Is there a different material I can get that's 1"thick that wont warp?

When you say a backer, do mean a background panel for all the letters to be mounted to and fit within?

If so, why not just use a formed aluminum panface as suggested by others? You get a nice rigid panel that can be painted, powdercoated, wrapped in a vinyl print, easy to mount and it allows you to use threaded studs on your letters and nut them securely from the back. The cost, weight, professional look and finishing considerations are all positives.
 

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Gino

Premium Subscriber
Okay, so this sign is 6' tall and 15' wide and already in place with aluminum sheeting for the face ?? You can't get to the back so you cannot double nut them. The PVC backer is really like a return, just to give the aluminum letter some depth ??
 

TimToad

Active Member
I think Gino brings up a good question on the process being used.

To me, if these are just .063 flat cut letters that big, with some 1" pad standoffs as it seems is being described, I'd be concerned about the aluminum eventually warping as much as the standoffs might. I'd be using at least .090 for letters that size and be very concerned about the shear on the adhesion method being proposed if it's just some pads.
 

Billct2

Active Member
yep, officially confused. I took it to mean he was bonding .063 faces to 1" PVC with tape & silicone.
 

nikdoobs

New Member
Sorry for the confusion guys. Thanks for your responses. I figured out how to remove these panels so we will be able to mount the letters with regular standoff mounts.
 
When you say a backer, do mean a background panel for all the letters to be mounted to and fit within?

If so, why not just use a formed aluminum panface as suggested by others? You get a nice rigid panel that can be painted, powdercoated, wrapped in a vinyl print, easy to mount and it allows you to use threaded studs on your letters and nut them securely from the back. The cost, weight, professional look and finishing considerations are all positives.
Thread pirate. Tim, those signs are nice. I'm curious, how did you do the Kiwanis sign with the bubble top? Is that just a separate piece attached?
 

TimToad

Active Member
Thread pirate. Tim, those signs are nice. I'm curious, how did you do the Kiwanis sign with the bubble top? Is that just a separate piece attached?

Thanks. Instead of dramatically raising the cost of what was a partially donated project by having the panface itself include the rounded top, we just took a chunk of PVC the same thickness as the depth as the return on panface, painted it to match and adhered it with a LEXEL, VHB and a few screws to the back of the ACM panel and panface.
 

Andy D

Active Member
When you say a backer, do mean a background panel for all the letters to be mounted to and fit within?

If so, why not just use a formed aluminum panface as suggested by others? You get a nice rigid panel that can be painted, powdercoated, wrapped in a vinyl print, easy to mount and it allows you to use threaded studs on your letters and nut them securely from the back. The cost, weight, professional look and finishing considerations are all positives.

Are those your signs Tim?
 

Andy D

Active Member
Not from me... I was going to complement you on them. Who would care if you post random pics to illustrate your point? I do it all the time.
 
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