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What Are the 7 Best Sign Materials for Outdoor Use?

Here are the top 7 materials used to manufacture outdoor signs:

1. Dibond
Originally invented in 1965, Dibond has stood the test of time outside as one of the most durable materials available in the entire sign industry. Rigid, aluminum plated Dibond sign panels are:

  • Unusually versatile
  • Strong
  • Waterproof
  • UV stable, and
  • Unaffected by hot & cold temperature extremes.

2. Alumalite
The engineered, honeycomb structure of Alumalite provides 240% greater panel strength for areas prone to high winds. The impressive, weather-resistant characteristics of Alumalite signs are the same as Dibond.

For rectangular or square shapes, Alumalite remains one of the best materials to use for exterior signs. Other types of materials are preferred when custom sign shapes are required.

3. Armour-Wood
Armour-plated sheets of aluminum are bonded at the factory to both sides of an exterior-grade plywood. This unusual combination of wood & metal creates one of the sturdiest and best materials for custom shaped exterior signs.

The raw edges of Armour-Wood are triple-sealed against moisture to maximize the sign’s longevity.

4. Aluminum
The simple, enduring qualities of aluminum makes this metal the world’s most popular, commercial sign material. Here are 5 of the top properties of aluminum signs:

  • Rustproof
  • Low in weight
  • Stiffness & rigidity
  • Ease of installation, and
  • Long-term outdoor durability.

Aluminum still holds the top position for size. A 6’ tall x 20’ wide panel is the largest seamless sheet of rigid sign material available in the industry (which we happen to stock).

5. High Density Urethane - HDU
High Density Urethane is a remarkable, man-made sign material that carves like fine quality wood.

HDU is the industry’s best alternative to using real wood for dimensional, commercial signs and here’s why:

  • Lasts up to 9 times longer than wood
  • Completely waterproof
  • High strength
  • Will not rot, and
  • High density urethane has exceptional tolerance to hot & cold climates.

Since urethane resin doesn’t decompose, custom HDU signs can last several decades outside.

6. Lexan Plastic
Lexan plastic sign faces aren’t quite bulletproof, but this high impact plastic is the industry’s strongest material for lighted sign cabinets.

When General Electric invented Lexan back in 1953, the clear plastic was immediately recognized as an alternative to using glass and Plexiglas brand Acrylic.

Thick Lexan is so tough, it’s the top brand used by banks and armored vehicles for bullet proof glass.

7. Western Red Cedar Wood
Authentic, Western Red Cedar is today’s best wood for custom-carved signs.

The natural tannins within the grain provide organic, long-term protection against insects, rotting and decay.

Even though the blue HDU sign material carves like wood, the blue resin does not look like wood. The only way to achieve the look of real stained wood is to use a solid wood material like Western Red Cedar.

The 8th Wonder of the World is Ultra-Premium Grade Cast Vinyl.
Most of the vinyl on the market today does not last outdoors. In fact, vinyl graphics often fail within 2-3 years.

There is one brand of vinyl though that stands heads and shoulders above the rest - Avery Cast Vinyl. When Avery Cast Vinyl is printed with the world’s most fade-resistant digital ink and protected with 3M’s Ultra-Premium, Clear, UV Protective Laminate, the combination yields superior, long-term performance.

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The beautiful colors on your new Aluminum Signs

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