Correx, Foamex or Dibond - which do I choose for a Sign?

We are often asked what material do I use for a sign?  So we've put together a mini-guide to help you choose.

Creating signage, whether permanent or for the short term, offers the problem of which substrate to choose from.  The three main substrates are Correx, Foamex and Dibond but you may also be considering timber signage too.  All three are trade names and each offer advantages over the other.  We've come up with a short guide to help you choose which is the best substrate for your signs end use.

Correx

Also known as corrugated polypropylene.  Most commonly used for estate agent  For Sale signs, temporary directional signs and other short term signage projects.

Advantages of Correx Signs

Correx is the cheapest substrate and comes in 4mm or 6mm thicknesses.  4mm being the most commonly used.  

It is extremely lightweight and can therefore, be fixed easily to posts, walls or frames.  

It is strong and rigid and completely waterproof.

Disadvantages of Correx Signs

Correx has a fluted construction which provides it's strength and lightweight characteristics.  The fluted texture will be present in the signs appearance, and will not have the smooth appearance like Dibond and Foamex.  Because of the flute, high winds can bend the Correx, hence it's suitability to short term signage projects.  If being used in exposed, windy conditions, it is advised that the sign is supported from behind, such as a wall.

Helpful Hints

Correx can be fixed using screw fixings with a large washer.  The washer prevents screw heads from ripping through the substrate.  If they are being positioned inside, high-bond double sided tapes and Velcro can also be used.

Available in 2m x 3m boards - perfect for our flatbed printers.

Use The Correx Sign Bracket...

You can also use the Correx Sign Bracket which allows you to slide your Correx sign into a specifically manufactured bracket.  The sign can be easily fixed to the bracket and then fixed flat to walls, as a projecting sign or to existing poles.  Banner Printing Android sell the Correx Sign Bracket and you can select to  buy them or get an instant quote on our Correx shop pages.

   

As always, if you are unsure about any part of your signage project, please give the team a call to discuss your project in more detail on 01625 435130 or email  hello@printandroid.co.uk

Foamex

Also known as PVC Foam Board (although there is no foam present) Foamex is a completely rigid plastic board that is available in 3mm, 5mm, 10mm or 19mm thicknesses.  

Other brands include Forrex, Foamalite and Opaline.

Advantages of Foamex Signs

Foamex board is a relatively smooth, all weather plastic board that is strong and durable.  Manufacturers recommend that printed Foamex signs will last between 3 and 5 years but it is possible that Foamex will last longer.

It's strong rigidity means it is more durable than Correx, and whilst being a little more expensive, it is still cheaper than using aluminium composite (or Dibond).

It's great for using both indoors and outdoors on exhibition displays and point of sale as well as signage.

Foamex has a smooth, flat surface which enables us to print with excellent results. 

Example of Laser cut Foamex - 19mm thickness

Foamex can be laser cut-to-shape, and we use the 19mm version to create block lettering by spraying and cutting.  See the Westfield Health indoor signage using 19mm Foamex below...

Example of wall mounted Foamex - 5mm thickness

5mm foamex was used in conjunction with aluminium stand-offs to product these great looking wall-mounted pictures.

Disadvantages of Foamex

Foamex doesn't last quite as long as Dibond (Aluminium Composite) in outdoor conditions.  After time, thinner Foamex can begin to warp as temperature changes take their toll.  This particularly causes problems if you are using two or more boards alongside each other to create a bigger graphic area.  Dibond is better suited in this situation.

Helpful Hints

Foamex signs can easily be fixed to walls and existing poles.  They can also be fixed using aluminium stand-offs to create wall art or attractive signage at a relatively small cost.

It is stronger and more rigid than Correx and will be more resillient to exposed conditions for a longer period of time than Correx.

Because the 3mm and 5mm versions are relatively lightweight, it can be fixed with Velcro and high bond adhesive tapes.

10mm and 19mm can create great looking 3D letters or logo's when cut to shape and sprayed.

Available in board sizes up to 10ft x 5ft (3050mm x 1525mm)

Find out more about Foamex...

You an find out more and grab an instant quote on our website.  The Instant Quote calculator allows you to select your measurement unit and size.  For larger enquiries please get in touch with the team for a great price on 01625 435130 or email  hello@printandroid.co.uk

Dibond

Example of a dibond brushed aluminium sign

A great looking sign using brushed aluminium dibond mounted with 4 aluminium stand-offs

Also known as Aluminium Composite board.  Other brands include Alu-Panel and I-Bond.

Dibond is made up of two thin layers of aluminium sheets, sandwiching a black, rigid PVC centre.  Typical thickness of the aluminium is 0.3mm though manufacturers are increasingly under pressure to use less aluminium to reduce costs.  Total thickness is usually 3mm.

Advantages of Dibond

A stable and rigid board which is perfect for long-term signage.  It's composition gives a relatively lightweight and stable board, which can produce high quality printed graphics.

It has a very smooth aluminium surface which is coated usually in white. (Brushed aluminium finish and other colours are available).  

It has great durability in all weathers and manufacturers recommend up to 7 years of use (though this is usually exceeded).

Dibond is most commonly used in long-term signage projects such as shop signs, A-Boards and traffic signs and is advised by most for external, long term signage projects.

Disadvantages

More expensive than Correx and Foamex, and a little heavier.

Dibond reveals a black edge to the sign when used flat and not returned.  This is accepted by most, but would need to be a consideration in any signage project.  Returns create the look of a solid sign and can enhance the look, but obviously this can add further cost.

Helpful Hints

Dibond can be fixed to walls and solid backdrops using suitable fixings, stand-offs and locators.

When fixed to poles it is usually supplied with channel fixed to the back of the sign and a Tam-Torque system to clamp it to the pole.  Give the team a call to discuss on 01625 435130 or email  hello@printandroid.co.uk