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How does printing onto aluminium diabond work ?

As I understand it the printing is not done directly onto the aluminium but onto paper which is then bonded onto the aluminium diabond, but if its just paper how can it be so resilient ?

(Note would be nice if somebody with enough reputation could add diabond as a tag)

  • Am I right to assume that you actually mean what is usually referred to as Aluminum Dibond? While the french actually call the kind of board used to print on dibond, the english equivalent of what is used would be a sandwich panel. Dibond somehow has more pull in selling the prints. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandwich_panel – kamuro Nov 17 '15 at 8:53
  • @kamuro you are right I mean aluminium diabond I;; update the question – Paul Taylor Nov 17 '15 at 12:20
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I work next door to K&S signs and I just had a quick word about this.

They showed me the Aluminium diabond (they informed me that it is also referred to as dibond)

It is a rigid aluminium composite sheet with aluminium cover sheets and a centre made of polyethylene.

The diabond can be white on both sides or white on one side and brushed aluminium on the other side.

The white side, which is a polyester lacquered printable material, is perfect for all types of Digital Prints, from signage to fine art imagery.

The sheet is loaded onto a very large flatbed printer and the image is PRINTED DIRECTLY via UV ink onto the diabond sheet and no additional paper is used.

The sheet is then durable and robust for most types of display, including outdoors, bathrooms, terraces, and areas where the images needs to be durable.

  • All answers were correct but incomplete, as I could only award bounty to one answer I selected this one as it was the most comprehensive answer. – Paul Taylor Nov 24 '15 at 9:56
  • +Paul Taylor - Hi, what element of the answer is still missing for you and make it a complete answer? Perhaps I can ask the business next door for detailed answers for you - their URL is kandssigns.co.uk/about-us – Abdul Quraishi Nov 24 '15 at 10:12
  • Only incomplete in that the method your printer uses is different to the one mine uses and others use, so there is no single way to dibond it can be printed in different ways giving different effects. – Paul Taylor Nov 25 '15 at 8:33
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You have 2 options. Print on a normal adhesive paper (or vynil); or print directly into the diabond. There are inkjet printers that can print on a big flat surface.

http://www.dartronics.com/images/DCS%201320%20Hi%20Res.jpg

  • I you print on paper is it durable or not then – Paul Taylor Nov 15 '15 at 19:36
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I just found the following youtube playlist with some interesting information in motion. Probably nice to have as an addtitional source of information.

https://youtu.be/hZ-ZRMUH3Ao?list=PLaKBaEVlsWnazhmYpgZDzmneGGCqmkXzU

Judging from that, it is not paper that is so resilent, but the heat transfered color that bonds with the surface of the aluminum.

  • You are certainly right in that case, but the ones Ive had done they certainly dont look all glossy and iridicent like that, Ill ask the printer again and report back. – Paul Taylor Nov 17 '15 at 15:18
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It seems there are multiple different ways to use diabond. I spoke again to my printer and this is how he does it.

  1. The image is printed onto a satin/glossy vinyl adhesive paper using a mimaki jv150 printer.
  2. This is stuck to the cut diabond
  3. it is this then laminated, this is is what provides the protection

So the aluminium diabond provides a slim lightweight frame, but doesnt really have an effect on what the images looks like (unlike if printing directly onto the aluminium)

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