Firehouse Blog

A CLEAR Guide to Transparent Materials – Part 1

paulnewpicFirehouse’s clear substrates span the range from affordability to durability. Printing can be layered with white ink for maximum color saturation. Let’s discuss our most popular options for direct printing.

Window Cling
An 8mil, non-adhesive material primarily used for temporary window advertising, temporary product markings, POP displays and protective masking. Easily removable and repositionable. Can be first- or second-surface mounted.

For a complete explanation of first-surface and second-surface printing and mounting, stay tuned for Part 2 of my transparent materials guide.

Pressure Sensitive Vinyl (PSV)
This 4mil, clear, flexible vinyl material has an adhesive layer and adheres well to glass, metal, plastic and most smooth, clean surfaces. It’s ideal for indoor uses. PSV is available with a repositionable or permanent adhesive. It is easy to install and remove.

The following materials are rigid substrates. In addition to printing direct, Firehouse can also mount other printed substrates to these clear materials for a wider variety of options.

PETG
Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol-Modified (PETG) is a plastic resin in the polyester family. Extruded PETG sheets make an incredibly strong printing substrate. Firehouse prints PETG in .020”, .040” and .080” thicknesses. PETG’s strength makes it suitable for indoor and outdoor signage. It’s a perfect fit for outdoor backlit signs.

Acrylic
When you need a thicker clear sheet than PETG, acrylic is the next step up. Firehouse prints to 1/8” acrylic for frames, wall mounts or hanging graphics. While acrylic can be used outdoors, the better choice for clear outdoor graphics is polycarbonate.

Polycarbonate
For the ultimate in strength and durability, polycarbonate sheets can’t be beat. Available in 1/8” thickness, polycarbonate is about 200 times stronger than glass and virtually unbreakable with a very high impact strength. For vehicle signage, bus kiosks and any application that demands durability, polycarbonate is the perfect choice.

Paul Meek
Vice President of Operations

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