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The Hard Stuff

(August 2012) posted on Wed Aug 01, 2012

Nearly 50 sources of rigid media for direct printing.

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Palight EPS (Economical Print Substrate) is a value-oriented foam PVC that is slightly lighter-weight than Palight Premium. In 4 x 8-ft sheets only and in 0.118- and 0.236-in. thicknesses. For digital and screenprint.
Palight Outdoor is a foamed PVC sheet for exterior signage and display; rot-resistant and resistant to splitting, it’s available in standard thicknesses from 0.5- to 1.25 in. and in 4 x 8-ft panels.

In addition, Palram also offers: Palsun Polycarbonate Sheet (UV protection available one or two sides); Palsun CS coil stock (typically used for sign-face and thermoforming applications due to flatness needs, but technically inkjet compatible, Palram reports); Palclear Clear PVC sheet (a transparent substrate with adhesion benefits); and Palglas Acrylic sheet.

Panel Processing
Its Eco-Finish Rigid Print Media is marketed by 3A Composites as FiberMate (see 3A’s listing). It’s a 100% recycled wood fiber panel with a specially formulated white UV print coating on both sides for digital print work.

Features several acrylic media, including Optix DA, an acrylic sheet specifically designed for UV inks and digital flatbed printers. No adhesion promoters are needed prior to ink application. Available in 48 x 96-in. sheets and in thicknesses from 0.118- to 0.220-in.


Regal Graphics
Offers Printable Polyethylene and Printable Polypropylene sheets. Polyethylene is stress-crack- and weather-resistant; Polypropylene is impact- and weather-resistant. Both can be printed with UV inks as well as screen printing; both are available in widths up to 48 in.

The company’s Medite is an industrial medium-density fiberboard (MDF) featuring pre-consumer recycled wood fiber, a smooth hard surface, and good machining. “Test it and make sure it will work in [your] operation,” advises SierraPine. Available in 4- and 5-ft widths and in lengths up to 18 ft. FSC-certified panels on request.

Sihl Digital Imaging
The company’s DuraSol Heavy is a 17-mil semi-rigid PVC display film with a low-glare satin finish and a scratch-resistant coating. Compatible with solvent and UV printers, the media is intended to be used unlaminated for pop-up displays and tradeshow graphics.