Metal is a popular substrate for creating custom industrial signs that are distinctive and incredibly durable. Graphics can be added to a custom metal sign using a number of different techniques. These options include laser cutting, chemical etching, screen printing, engraving, and digital printing. Each of these techniques offers unique benefits and, in some cases, a combination of technologies may be used to achieve a final design. Thanks to metal’s resilience and the versatile techniques, it’s possible to create metal signs with high-resolution graphics.
Laser cutting is often used to shape the overall design and outer contours of a custom metal sign but can also be used for more precise work. There are some unique benefits of laser cut metal signs that make them a popular choice in a number of situations. In this post, we’ll review some of the most significant benefits that laser cut metal signs offer along with some of the most popular applications in which they can be used. There are many custom metal sign configurations available, and you should always take the time to match your application’s requirements with the unique specifications of each option.
1. Excellent Durability
Once laser cut metal signs are created, they are extremely durable and resistant to many common contaminants and environmental factors. Most metal signs can be used in both indoor and outdoor applications, with protection from exposure to UV rays and harsh outdoor weather conditions. Metals also have a strong resistance to chemicals and sources of corrosion or abrasion.
It is not always possible to predict all of the hazards which your sign may encounter, and many businesses choose custom metal signs for maximum compatibility with a range of possible environmental conditions. Some options, such as Metalphoto® aluminum signs, have graphics that are sealed beneath a sapphire-hard anodic layer of aluminum, creating an impenetrable surface for even greater protection. Metalphoto® is identified in the National Association of Graphic and Product Identification Manufacturers (GPI) Industry Standards and Practices Manual as the most durable printed aluminum substrate available, and it can be printed with high-contrast graphics with excellent resolution.
2. Unique Designs
The laser cutting process can be used to create unique shapes that will meet nearly any design requirement. Custom signs are often used in situations where an off-the-shelf option is not a good match in terms of compatibility, fit, or design. A laser-cut metal sign can be fully customized by a designer and matched to existing aesthetic or branding requirements.
In addition to the outer edges of a sign, lasers can also remove additional interior material for completely customized contours. These unique shapes are especially desired for decorative applications, such as business signs. Industrial applications also benefit from the ability to create signs that fit into specific locations based on equipment and facility management needs. Custom metal signs can be attached directly to a surface or post using mechanical hardware or with a high-performance adhesive.
3. Wide Compatibility
Custom laser cut metal signs are durable enough to be used in some of the most challenging applications imaginable. For example, the military and industrial sectors have stringent regulatory requirements that define how nameplates, signs, and labels must be designed and used. In many situations, metal is the only material that can perform to the required specifications. Since these custom metal signs can be designed using laser cutting, it is possible to achieve a final product that is free of any major imperfections. While stainless steel is a widely used option, Metalphoto® offers several advantages over stainless steel in many applications and meets a variety of government, industrial and military specifications, including MIL-STD 130.
Other demanding industries where custom laser cut metal signs may be used include aerospace, agriculture, and transportation. Operations that have an in-house laser cutting machine can purchase custom aluminum sign blanks and create their own unique designs. Working with metal in-house or with a trusted partner is an excellent way to create laser cut signs that are not only compatible with application requirements but also can last for decades.
4. Low Maintenance
Once custom laser cut metal signs are installed, they can last for several years with little need for maintenance or repairs. This can be especially beneficial for signs that are installed in hard-to-reach locations or on the exterior face of buildings. Using a custom laser cut metal sign is a great way to ensure that your signage remains readable for the duration of its intended use. Metal signs have an expected lifetime of 10 to 20 years depending upon the specific material that is used. Metalphoto® aluminum is the most durable option, with an expected lifetime of over 20 years even in harsh outdoor environments.
Laser-cut metal signs have some excellent benefits when compared to other signage options such as plastic. Since laser cutting is an efficient process, it is also possible to design and fabricate custom signs with a reasonable lead time. As a suitable option for many commercial applications, laser-cut metal signs remain a popular choice for businesses across all industries.