All About Large Format Print - Part 3: Foamex

Large Format Print Guide: Foamex

So you're now an expert on Correx and short term signage after reading Part 2 of our complete guide to Large Format Printing. Feel like an expert yet? Let's keep going. With all this knowledge you can make some well informed decisions for your business!

Part 3 is all about Foamex.

What is Foamex?

One of the most popular sign making materials, Foamex is a lightweight rigid board with some excellent properties that make it lovely to work with for us digital printers. Foamex is a type of PVC that's known for its durability, making it well suited to both internal and external signage. It has a host of other names that you might have heard it called, including Forex, Foam PVC and Foamalite (don't get it confused with foam core, that's something altogether different!)

Foamex is a rigid, robust material. Despite the mention of 'Foam' which makes us think of the soft, spongy material, it's actually anything but. It's a solid material and holds it's shape very well.

There's a range of thickness available, commonly it's 3mm, 5mm or 10mm. Which thickness is best for you is dependent on what you're using it for and how large a sheet you are using. Standard PVC foam sheet is white, and we then print straight on the top of it either using direct UV inks, or printed and mounted with vinyl.

It can fixed via screws, nails, glue, velcro or tape, so it's a pretty flexible product.

What is Foamex used for?

In short, a lot! Foamex is primarily used for indoor and outdoor signage, banners and exhibition display panels. It's perfectly suited for any printed display due to its fantastic colour reproduction. The print quality is superb, creating visually appealing signage. Common uses include sign boards, shop fascias, free standing signs, wall mounted signs, and hanging signs and promotions. 

It's quite simple to cut, bend and shape so you can create bespoke signage without any trouble. 

Foamex is fully water repellent, so can be used outside for external signage. They're plastic, so you won't have any trouble with rust either. The thickness you choose is dependent on how exposed it is to wind, the higher the wind the thicker you'll want the board. 

For exhibitions and trade shows, it's often used for cladding the walls. In shell schemes, Foamex exhibition panels can be cut so they slot in perfectly between the vertical uprights, creating vivid large format displays that help you stand out from competitors. 

Advantages of Foamex

+ Lightweight, rigid board

+ Stronger than Correx

+ Available in a range of thicknesses

+ Fantastic digital printing colour reproduction

+ Can be used indoor or outdoor

+ Ideal for signage, exhibition graphics and banners

+ Affordable and recyclable

Disadvantages of Foamex

- Not as durable as other signage solutions such as Aluminium Composite Material

A4 Foamex

A4 Foamex Sample

Wall Mounted Printed Foamex

Wall Mounted Printed Foamex

A5 Foamex Signs

A5 Foamex Signs

Foamex Close Up

Foamex Close Up

How is Foamex printed?

Foamex is direct printed using UV inks. Due to it's fine cell structure and high quality smooth finish, it's the preferred choice for digital printers. (BHMA)

Stay tuned for Part 4...

So there you have it, Part 3 of your 5 Part masterclass on large format printing. Tomorrow we'll be looking at ACM and Dibond

Other Instalments of All About Large Format Prints

Posted by Rob on October 26th 2016

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