HOW WE MAKE OUR SIGNS

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 (a type of plastic). This is a product that was developed for the aerospace industry and has been used for signage for over 40 years.

We then metal coat our HDU signs and plaques with a cold applied, real metal coating that is used thoughout the world. It is a well-proven, tough, and beautiful coating that gives the look of cast metal without limitations.

CNC Routing

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. 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.

HDU on a shelf

We have our work, outside, at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and at locations all 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.

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 is 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!

Signs ready to ship

MATERIALS WE USE

The base of Atlas Signs and Plaques is made of High Density Urethane Board (HDU) that has been formulated with eco-friendly, “Green” urethane components. This formulation has been in use since 2008 and has achieved a certified “Carbon Balance” of 3 to 1 and a “Rapidly Renewable Resource Content” of 23.9%.

The HDU (not to be confused with wood) will not split, warp, absorb water, rot, or promote insects. It is perfectly fine for outdoors. Doesn’t matter if you are in the desert or Antartica. The sign will be great outdoors.

Our HDU Board is Precision Board Plus®.

The following is from their website:

  • Lasts Up to 10 times longer than wood.
  • 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.
  • The Precision Board is made with Green “eco-friendly” urethane components and is the only product on the market with a documented, certified “Carbon Balance” of 3 to 1 and “Rapidly Renewable Resource Content” of 23.9%.
  • Is totally inert and contains no VOC’s, no carcinogens and is non-toxic.
  • Now 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.

finishing a sign

THE METAL COATINGS:

The METAL COATING is NOT paint. The Metal Coatings are impervious to ultraviolet light, non-corrosive, non-conductive of electricity and can withstand a force of 2,364 psi without detaching from the HDU substrate. The metal coating we use is genuine brass, bronze, copper, and stainless steel – bonded permanently to almost any lightweight core material.

The metal coating is NOT paint, it is REAL metal sprayed on to the HDU surface and is comprised of up to 75% real metal. The metal is unaffected by UV exposure, rain, sleet and snow. If left without a clear coat it will tarnish because it is real metal. There is a chemical bond formed with the HDU versus mechanical like paint. Meaning the metal coating will not flake or peel as it is bonded to the HDU.

Sprayed metal has been proven for over 30 years. These are cold-applied (meaning they won’t melt things) REAL METAL coatings that allow a layer of metal to be applied over almost any substrate (surface). The incredible results look, feel and act just like hot foundry cast metal but without the weight and expense.

janey spraying a clear coat

THE CLEARCOATS:

We use an extremely high-quality, marine grade, clear coating on every sign or plaque. “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. Suitable for indoor and outdoor application and will pass LEED certification specs.

ENAMELS & EPOXIES:

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. We also use some pigments and two part epoxy for our “little” bit of color added to some signs.

 

Learn More

How  – We Make Them
FAQ’S – Frequently Asked Questions
Installing – Options for you to choose, With pictures and video
Testimonials – See what others are saying
What Finish – Trying to decide the metal you like. Here you can find more detail.

Materials We Use