How We Make 'em Materials We Use Metal Muse
How We Make 'em
The Signs and Plaques that we create are not castings from a foundry.
Atlas Signs and Plaques have a base of modern 30 pound High Density Urethane (HDU) sign board. This is a product that was developed for the aerospace industry and has been used for signage for over 40 years.
We coat our HDU signs and plaques with a cold applied, real metal coating that is in use world-wide as an architectural and industrial coating. It is a well-proven, tough, and beautiful coating that gives the look of cast metal without the limitations.
Our Signs and Plaques are very durable, but will not stand up to repeated abuse. If you wish to embed a plaque in the ground, hit it with a mower, or look at it in 500 years, you should order a foundry-cast plaque. We are happy to supply these, but expect to pay 4-5 times as much as the affordable plaques we create using our proven methods.
When you receive your order, you will notice that it is lighter weight. Since it is HDU with a thin metal coating, it is light and easy to hang on any wall without fear of testing the building’s structural integrity.
We have our work, outside, at the U.S. Coast Academy and at locations over the world. You will even see our accomplishments at the new United States Capitol Visitor Center in Washington which has metal coated HDU in highly visible locations. The same process and materials that we employ are extensively used at the MGM Grand, Bellago and other Las Vegas properties. In addition to Las Vegas, this patented process in in use around the world.
A Note On Photos and Links: The US Capitol Visitor Center project was completed by Metal Facades, a sister company to Atlas Signs and Plaques. All other photos of beautiful projects are the work of other quality LuminOre applicators.
In fact, you have probably observed metal coated HDU, but were unaware that you weren’t looking at a foundry casting. Bottom line is architects and designers realize this as a well tested, and well accepted process, and use it without hesitation at some of the worlds most prestigious properties.
With a Sign or Plaque from Atlas, you will receive a quality product with the look and many of the characteristics of a foundry cast piece. You will have a truly custom product that is Made In the USA using American materials and labor. You will receive exceptional customer care from the very owners and craftspersons that are creating your selection. We want you to be thrilled with your purchase!
Materials We Use
The substrate (base material) of our signs - Atlas Signs and Plaques uses 30 pound High Density Polyurethane (HDU). HDU has been in use for over 50 years and was originally designed for insulation in aircraft. It is currently used for insulation of homes, model making, boat building and more specifically in the sign making industry.
Our HDU Board is Precision Board Plus®
The following is from their website:
- Closed Cell Structure- Won’t absorb anything
- Will not crack, rot or peel
- Precision Board Plus has been reformulated with eco-friendly, "Green" urethane components
- Meets flammability burn test requirements of ASTM D-1692-74, Far 25.853, Mil-P-26514 & ASTM D635
- Totally inert and contains no VOC's, no carcinogens and is non-toxic
- Assists in meeting LEED requirements for obtaining USGBC and ICC 700-2008 building credits
The HDU Board is becoming a replacement for the more traditional cedar signs that would be carved or blasted with abrasives. However, the sign board will not split or warp, has no water absorption, so it won't rot, meaning no insect attacks, and the artistic advantages are limitless.
Our Metal Coating: We utilize is LuminOre® exclusively.
The following is from their website:
- Leach Rate Test Data: 1020 parts per billion
- Weatherometer Test: astm D2565 Completed 3000 hours without any delaminating, corrosion, blistering or breakdown
- Envirotest Machine: astm D2246 Completed 3000 hours without any delaminating, corrosion, blistering or breakdown
- Pull Off Strength using Portable Adhesion Tester Type II with a 0-2000 psi scale – astm D4541-95: No coating to substrate failures were reported
The real metal coatings have been proven for over 20 years. These are cold-applied (meaning they wont melt things) REAL METAL coatings that allows a layer of metal to be applied over almost any substrate (surface), in virtually any configuration or design. The incredible results look, feel and act just like hot foundry cast metal but without the weight and expense. Suitable substrates include, but not limited to: laminate, melamine, wood, plastic, gypsum, fiberglass, ceramics, concrete, foam, porcelain, glass, metal, and of course, HDU.
The metal coating is not paint, it is a patented cold sprayable metallizing process comprised of up to 75% real metal. There is documented ASTM testing with zero breakdown equivalent to 30 years outside in a harsh environment. The metal is unaffected by UV exposure, rain, sleet and snow. If left without a clear coat it will tarnish like real metal.
The clearcoats - We use an extremely high-quality, marine grade, clear coating on every sign or plaque unless the client specifies otherwise. "Marine Grade" means that the coating is designed to stand up to harsh coastal salt spray environments.
The lacquer is specifically designed to protect metal surfaces in extreme exterior environments. The manufacturer states that it "should give satisfactory exterior protection for at least ten years under normal conditions. Considerably longer life is expected." Our experience has been very favorable with this fine and expensive product.
Enamels - The enamels on our signs are from 1-Shot®
. These are the premiere enamels used in sign making for over 50 years. They are for interior and exterior uses.