Our overlays are manufactured in house using a print process that we refer to as under surface printing. It is also referred to as subsurface printing, reverse printed, second surface printing and protected printing.
Graphic Overlays are constructed and printed in a such a manner so as the print detail, or graphics, are viewed through the substrate / material. This offers a truly formidable degree of protection and will insure the print integrity remains intact.
Graphic Overlays are an excellent way to enhance both the appearance and functionality of your product and they hold many advantages over direct printing onto your products too. For instance, there will be certain limitations which will affect your design capability and the durability of finished parts, printed layers sitting on the surface of your product will be vulnerable to damage, the number of colours will be limited & lack vibrancy and direct printing right up to the edges of your anodised or painted panels is almost impossible and will not look good.
Materials used for manufacturing Graphic Overlays are generally very high grades of Polycarbonate or Polyester, both of which offer full traceability all the way back to their source using unique production batch codes. Where costs are a paramount consideration, many of our clients are happy to specify a PVC as their overlay material. It does have many limitations when compared to other materials that we offer. However, if our clients are happy with its specification and capabilities then there are cost savings to be made.
The materials we use to manufacture our Graphic Overlays must possess a good working temperature range (from -40°C to 140°C). These materials will also have a very good chemical resistance to the likes of :
- Household cleaners
- Alcohol based products
- Brake fluid
- High humidity environments
Here is a list of features that we often incorporate into our client's Graphic Overlays:
- LED Windows often comprising of transparent colours or just clear windows
- Through holes & cut-out holes
- Selective texturing which would allow for a completely transparent area for a window
- Selective adhesive to accommodate areas that need to be free from adhesive such as windows or buttons
- Buttons that are flat or formed to help add functionality to your product through a Graphic Overlay
- Anti-microbial capabilities
We also use a wide range of adhesives from the likes of 3M & Avery Dennison that enable us to provide effective solutions for a vast range of technical applications based on your specific requirements. These could be the ability to withstand extremely low or high temperatures, the ability to adhere to difficult surfaces like Polypropylene and other low surface energy surfaces, being able to withstand harsh outdoor environments, the ability to withstand acids, alkalis & household cleaning products, an adhesive that resists moisture, direct sunlight & high UV factors and much more.
Our print process and ink selection ensure that the ink really keys onto the substrates we use and this means that the inks will not delaminate. The ink systems we use produce excellent spot colour matches, offer exceptional light fastness qualities that can withstand constant outdoor use & exposure to UV light without fading as well as being extremely opaque and offering a good vibrant colour. We can colour match to Pantone, BSI & Munsell ranges as well as specific matches to mouldings if you supply one to us.