2 Benefits of Aluminum Over Steel for Rusted Finish Signage


1. Don't be dense: Steel vs Aluminum for Signage.

Steel is typically 2.5 times denser than aluminum. So, aluminum’s lighter weight makes it easier to fabricate and reduces costs when it comes to the installation and fabrication of creative sign designs.

Since alu­minum is a more mal­leable met­al, it responds bet­ter to bend­ing and cut­ting. Archi­tec­tur­al sign designs with curves and bends are pos­si­ble with this mate­r­i­al and so is inter­nal illu­mi­na­tion. Whether backed up, flush, or push through, cre­at­ing cnc-cut logos and let­ters are much eas­i­er using alu­minum than using steel. With an alu­minum prod­uct, cnc-rout­ing let­ters on the flatbed is a stan­dard and more cost-effi­cient process because alu­minum is an eas­i­er met­al to fabricate.

2. Play the long game: Exterior Signage Durability.

This faux rust fin­ish, using alu­minum, doesn’t con­tin­ue to degrade over the years. The fin­ish is clear coat­ed and essen­tial­ly stops the ​“rust­ing” process in its tracks. Why should you care? You won’t see rusty drips on let­tering or the concrete/stone base. The clear coat, applied last, stops the rust­ing process and proves the sign fin­ish more van­dal resis­tant and eas­i­er to clean than tra­di­tion­al paint­ed finishes.

Bonus: Do you need a graffiti-resistant final finish? While it adds a day to the production schedule along with some cost, it may be ideal for the final environment of your sign needs.

See the Process: Let's Rust Some Aluminum!

A primer and iron flake solu­tion are applied to an alu­minum pan­el, then an acidic solu­tion is sprayed on to begin the ​“rust­ing” chem­i­cal reac­tion. Depend­ing on the desired rust lev­el, the sign could sit for a cou­ple hours or overnight. The longer, the rusti­er. Then the fin­ish is rinsed off and clear coat­ed to ​‘stop’ the con­tin­ued degra­da­tion of the finish.

Just like nat­u­ral­ly occur­ring rust, there is no spe­cif­ic pat­tern to the rust fin­ish, it’s all nat­ur­al since it is the same rust­ing process…just sped up a lit­tle, then stopped.

Want to know more? Here are 5 Reasons to Choose Aluminum Over Steel for a Rusted Finish.

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