3A Composites USA introduced FiberMate™ – a recyclable rigid print media – at the 2012 ISA International Sign Expo March 22-24 in Orlando, Fla.
FiberMate is a wood-fiber panel comprised of 100 percent recyclable fiber that is manufactured into a high-density fiberboard available in the 3.2mm thickness. FiberMate graphic display boards are finished with Eco-Finish™ – a white water-based UV print coating on both sides. FiberMate’s Eco-Finish is designed to provide excellent ink and paint adhesion on both sides of this graphic display board, enabling double-sided printing and other double-sided finishing applications. FiberMate can be recycled in either “wood” or “paper” waste streams depending on local community resources and providing that printing inks and/or mounting or other finishing materials applied to the media also are recyclable.
While new to most in the graphic display industry, SFC Graphics a 107-year-old print, design and display installation solution provider based in Toledo, Ohio – has been involved in the product development and testing of FiberMate during the past four years. SFC Graphics has incorporated this new rigid substrate in point-of-purchase displays, product sample displays and signage to promote home and building materials sold by national home improvement retail stores. (See SFC Graphics’ display printed on FiberMate at left.)
FiberMate meets a niche for graphic display customers looking to incorporate a rigid substrate comprised of 100 percent recycled fiber that also may be recycled, according to Scott Flom, vice president of sales, SFC Graphics, who said this product also offers performance features at a competitive price point.
“FiberMate performs and it doesn’t damage during shipping,” said Flom. “You get good density for the price point. As a wood-based product, it offers higher value than corrugated cardboard. Our customers in the home materials industry are very aware of wood products.”
SFC Graphics has decorated FiberMate with direct digital printing on a number of wide-format flatbed printers as well as with screen-printing equipment.
“This is a lightweight, rigid material that offers a good finish for printing displays,” said Flom, who advises cleaning FiberMate panels with alcohol prior to printing to remove any residual dust from this wood-based board that might adversely affect print heads.
SFC Graphics’ employees cut FiberMate with both table saws and CNC routers with bits, including straight cut and bull nose bits to prevent edge chipping.
“Saw dust will need to be cleaned from displays after cutting,” said Flom. “We often clean and cut the boards first and then print after cutting to avoid a second cleaning. It’s a workflow solution.”
“The ink bonds directly to the surface of the board and bakes on,” according to Flom, who said a CNC router was used to cut 3A Composites’ FiberMate samples following printing.