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Choosing Between Substrates

Updated: Oct 3, 2018

It is important that you are using the correct materials for your applied application. We cater to the needs of industrial, commercial signage, and safety signage and labeling applications. Here at Bauman Engraving & Signs, we have many materials that lend themselves to many different applications. Even if there’s something you’re not seeing here, there is a chance we can use it.

You can do so much with the materials listed here, it’s all up to your imagination and our graphic design and fabrication skills:



  • Stainless Steel, perfect for harsh environments

  • Brass, for moderate operating conditions

  • Aluminum, cost effective and lightweight

  • Alumamark, thin laser-markable aluminum

  • Aluminum composite, cost effective but more durable than aluminum for larger signs

  • DuraBlack, thin laser-markable aluminum for harsh operating environments


  • Modified acrylic engraving plastic. Some available in textured, matte, gloss, and satin finishes. Many color combinations using a 2-ply or 3-ply construction. Lasts in outdoor environments as well as indoors

  • 2-Ply abs plastic, good choice for indoor operations requiring low cost and fine detail

  • Styrene, flexible and lightweight, very bright print, good for outdoors or indoors

  • Self-adhesive vinyl w/ laminate, flexible and lightweight, for outdoors or indoors

  • Coroplast, cost-efficient, lightweight and water resistant

  • Safe-T-Mark engraving plastic, Phenolic and Lamacoid modern alternative, electrically non-conductive, insulative, fire retardant, non-flammable.

  • Polyester, thicker and tougher than vinyl, but thin enough to be non-obstructive

  • Polycarbonate, durable and great for indoor use (some outdoor depending on UV inhibitors)

  • Fiberglass, non-conductive, fire retardant

Slate, for a classic upscale look using natural materials

Wood, for a traditional look you may use maple, oak, pine, and more

Glass, Mirror, for a more modern look

Magnet, flexible location, easily moved around


  • Pressure-sensitive 3M 467 & 468, thin, permanent, and good in outdoor applications

  • “Gold” sign and banner hem tape, cost efficient, permanent, and used indoors

  • Foam tape, great for uneven surfaces, may be used outdoors

  • 3M VHB tape, most expensive but highest performing adhesive on the market

If you do not want adhesive, we also supply:

  • Grommets, ability to hang product without an adhesive or damage to the product

  • Standoffs, ability to let signage stand out from the surface applied to, variety of colors to choose from

  • Magnetic Materials, ability to hang product without permanent placement

  • “Fangs” or partition pins for hanging signage on fabric partitions


For protection from indoor and outdoor environments

  • Gloss, matte, and textured/rigid vinyl (48” X any max)

  • Polyester

  • Polycarbonate

If you are in search of durable materials that are resistant to chemicals, water, heat, or more - please refer to last week’s blog highlighting our most durable materials.

Please let us know if you would like any other information on what we can do for your signage and labeling needs at

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