Selecting the most appropriate material is the short answer, according to Gillian Fraser, brand manager for Brett Martin. The manufacturer of specialist plastic products for the sign and display sector has developed a calibrated foam PVC construction board that appears to fit the bill.
A multipurpose calibrated foam PVC construction board made by Brett Martin combines an exceptionally lightweight core with a hard, smooth durable surface.
Manufactured in thickneses of 10 to 30mm, Foamalux Calibre is ideal for making large letters, signs and displays. It offers dimensional stability, will not rot, mould or corrode and has a high insulation value and fire performance.
Calibre is made alongside the rest of Brett Martin’s Foamalux foam PVC range at its main manufacturing site in Mallusk, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Like the free foam PVC products, it is manufactured using a foaming technique whereby a chemical agent is added to the base PVC compound. Heat from the extrusion process creates a chemical reaction, resulting in a product with a fine, uniform closed cell structure.
Being manufactured using this technique means that it is more lightweight than alternative materials such as wood-based products or composites.
Unlike other Foamalux products, the sheet is calibrated using modern technologies which give the dual benefits of minimum thickness variation across the sheet plus harder, more durable surfaces, top and bottom. The manufacturing process results in tangible product benefits which make Calibre the perfect choice for a range of signage, display and construction applications, especially where wood based products are traditionally used.
Its smooth, hard surface makes it ideal for a variety of finishes including lamination, printing and spray painting and it has a range of processing capabilities including routing, sawing drilling and riveting.
Calibre’s consistent, calibrated thickness makes it the ideal sheet for displays which can be fabricated with precision while the smooth white Foamalux surface is perfect for printing. A calibrated thickness is advantageous where the product needs to sit inside a frame or needs to be mounted completely flush. Suitable for both internal and external applications, Calibre is also available in a weatherable UV grade.
Can I cut and drill it?
Calibre can be fabricated and processed using standard wood cutting and drilling machinery and engraved using routering equipment to create surface designs. As with all PVC products, laser cutting is not recommended due to the excessive heat build-up which results in hazardous gases.
Can I print and laminate it?
Yes, it can be printed in the same way as standard Foamalux products as the surface, though harder, is made from free foam. Calibre’s surface quality and calibrated thickness make the product ideal for lamination. Vinyl films, veneers and other laminates can be applied for decorative or branding purposes.
Can it be bonded?
Foamalux Calibre can be bonded to itself and a variety of other materials such as uPVC, GRP, woods and metals. Different types can be used including 1 and 2 parts polyurethane or cyanoacrylates based adhesives.