Glossary

ACRYLIC – A type of translucent thermo plastic. Very rigid and long lasting, but not highly break resistant.

Acrysteel – A modified type of acrylic made by Aristech Acrylics. At least 4 times more impact resistant than acrylic, but won’t yellow like polycarbonate.

Impact Modified Acrylic (IMA) – Acrylic sheet that has a modifier added to the sheet in the manufacturing process of the sheet. It increases the impact resistance of the sheet by 4 to 8 times but it does loose some of the rigidity of the sheet.

Back Sprayed – To paint on the inside of a piece of plastic.

Corrugated background – A background that raises and lowers on regular intervals. Normally used with changeable copy track, the lowered area allows rain to wash dirt away from the tracks.

Debossed – To lower into. A face may have the letters cut out of the mold to allow the area for the letters to be Debossed into the pan. More expensive than embossing

Direct Bury – A pole that is buried in concrete below grade and extends up to the bottom of a sign. A pole setting on anchor bolts would not be direct buried.

Double Embossed – One layer, such as a plaque is embossed on top of the mold, then a second layer, such as letters, are embossed on top of the first layer.

Double Masking – Some colors can not be painted over other colors, If you spayed yellow letters over a blue background you would get a green background. So the face is masked twice. The first color is sprayed and then masked again before the second color is spayed.

DR – Rohm & Haas brand name for their modified acrylic. More impact resistant than acrylic but will not yellow like polycarbonate. Works well in the south but has issues with cold climates

Draw – Pan Depth. Our standard is 1 1/2″ deep

Embossed – To raise above. Embossed letters are raised above the background.

Extrusion – A process in which material is heated to a molten form and pushed thru a die to make a shape

Female Mold – A Die that plastic is formed down into. Normally used on large runs of faces where the faces are already screen printed before they are formed. Cost prohibitive for only 1 or 2 faces.

Flange – The outer flat area of a pan face that slides into the retainer.

Flat Face – A flat sheet without a pan or embossed letters.

Formed – To take shape. See vacuum formed

Gussets – A Reinforcing plate used in a sign. A plate welded to a pole may have gussets welded to both to insure that the plate can’t break away from the pole

Hanger Bar – A piece of plastic or metal attached to the flange of a sign face in order to keep it from coming out of the retainer. Normally used on the top center. Most extruded aluminum cabinets are designed to allow a hanger bar on the face.

Impact Modified Acrylic – Acrylic sheet that has a modifier added to the sheet in the manufacturing process of the sheet. It increases the impact resistance of the sheet by 4 to 8 times but it does loose some of the rigidity of the sheet.

J-Joint – A joining method of seaming or butting two pans together. A 24′ pan face might be built in two 12′ lengths with a J-Joint. The end of one face would be “cut back” and the opposite end of the other face (J) would slide under the cutback to form the seam.

Lexan – General Electrics brand name for their Polycarbonate plastic

Male Mold – A die that plastic is formed over.

Monument Sign – A low level free standing sign. Normally all evidence of poles are covered or hidden.

Opaque – To not allow any light to transmit thru. The opposite of translucent.

Pan Depth – How deep the mold is. Our standard is 1 1/2″ deep. Faces 3″ or deeper are run in female dies.

Pan Face – To raise the center area of a plastic face.

Photo Cell – A switch that turns on when dark and off in daylight.

Plexiglas – Rohm & Haas brand name for their acrylic plastic

Polycarbonate – The most break resistant and high impact type of plastic, but susceptible to yellowing and dulling with age. Not as rigid as acrylics.

Pylon Sign – A large freestanding sign structure.

Retainer – The part of the sign cabinet that keeps the sign face from falling out . Will be on all 4 sides of the face. Normally 1 1/2 to 2″ tall

Saddle mount – To slide over. A sign cabinet will have a hole in it so that it slides over the pole and then can be welded to the internal steel of the frame (the saddle).

Staytuff – A 1″ thick corrugated material made by Spartech Plastics.

Section Modulus – The shear strength for steel poles and I-Beams can be measured in section modulus. Wind loads for signs can be mathematically calculated to show the section modulus needed.

Service Door – Access door in a sign cabinet for service.

Skin – The outer surface of an angle iron steel sign frame, normally a aluminum sheet that has been broken to fit.

Staytuff – A 1″ thick corrugated material made by Spartech Plastics.

Top Surface Area (TSA) – The top of the mold. What is left after you deduct for the flange and the tapered edge of mold.

Translucent – To allow light to transmit thru

U.L. 48 – Underwriters Laboratories 100 page book of sign standards that U.L. listed signs must meet.

U.L. Listed – Underwriters Laboratory, A private Listing company that inspects Electrical Devices and their construction. Many cities require signs to be listed.

U.V. – Ultraviolet light from the sun. While it has little effect on acrylics it has a detrimental effect on polycarbonate plastics.

U.V. Inhibitors – A material added to our polycarbonate material to reduce the effects of Ultraviolet rays from the sun.

V-3 – A corrugated background on a face with 1″ wide grooves every 3″ leaving a 2″ flat area for attaching track. A V-5 face would have a 1″ groove every 5″ with a 4″ flat area for track.

Vacuum Formed – Plastic is heated until pliable and then placed over a die, vacuum is applied. When cooled the plastic holds the shape of the die.

Wind Load – A term for describing the design strength of a sign. Standard wind load is 30 PSF (pounds pr square foot), which can withstand winds up to 90 MPH

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