When looking at an outdoor visuals it’s worthwhile having a checklist of items to consider to limit potential problems and prolong the life expectancy of your sign.
Complete protection from the elements is impossible, but reviewing your application against the following parameters will help limit problems in-situ.
Inks – arguably the most important factor in considering suitability for long term exterior use. Water-based inks are not 100% waterproof and should be avoided for projects with long term requirements. Solvent and latex inks are more durable for long-term projects, whilst UV and dye-sub inks suited for short-term exterior use. Ensure the ink is flexible enough to suit the requirement as banners and wraps have to endure a great dealing of flexing during the life of the product.
Temperature – the majority of products operate within maximum and minimum temperature values. Ensure this is a primary consideration when selecting materials for the signage location.
Moisture –Aqueous inks are not fully waterproof, even when fully laminated. Moisture can permeate through any surface blemish and damage the image. For external applications use solvent or latex based inks.
UV/Sunlight – sunlight or UV radiation is a common cause of signage failure requiring a UV coat protection from either a laminate or liquid top coat – again it’s preferable to use more durable solvent or latex inks
Wind – probably the initial test of signs, banners and awnings is their resistance to wind damage. Ensure the correct gauge is selected for the job and their suitability to print with flexible inks.
Visual Media – outdoor applications must meet the durability requirements for the job under consideration. As mentioned above, ensure the correct gauge is selected to meet the final requirements of the job allied to the manufacturer recommendations for the product. Styrene is not UV stable so suited for short-term use. PVC and plastics will last for the medium term, whilst regular acrylics can fracture easily especially in cold conditions. Polycarbonates and strengthened acrylics are more durable, whilst powder coated aluminium’s – primaDURA, reproDURA endure all conditions and offer a 10 year external guarantee.
Laminates – Laminates such as ecoDURA offer long-term outdoor solutions and again a 10 year guarantee.
Coatings – offer UV resistance and also provide anti-graffiti and anti-vandal properties.
If you require further information regarding our NovaDura™ range, you can download each of our 4 product brochures via the page links: