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3 Top concerns for Custom Acrylic ADA Braille Signs

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Many different substrates can be used to create ADA-compliant signage, such as acrylic, stainless steel, aluminum, bronze, wood, stone, etc.

Why do most designers and architects prefer to use acrylic to create custom ADA braille signs? It is not simply the factor of the price. We share some concerns points in this article.

The benefits of using acrylic ADA braille signs

Acrylic is the full name of PMMA( polymethyl methacrylate). Many famous brands of acrylic manufacturers include Lucite, Perspex, PLEXIGLAS, and ACRYLITE. Because of this, we called “Perspex” to replace it in Europe and called it “Plexi or Plexiglas” in the USA.

Acrylic has several benefits that make them a popular choice for creating custom ADA signs and interior signage. Some of the benefits of using acrylic for ADA signs include the following:

Friendly customizability

Acrylic has excellent chemical and physical properties.

One of the main characteristics is that acrylic is easily shaped and cut by engraving and laser machine at low temperatures. They have multiple dimensions and shape support, are highly resistant, and have almost no burrs.

The other important characteristic is it offers an excellent surface for etching, various vinyl or decoration support, and a perfect Pantone colour match.

Cost-effectiveness

Budget is a vital factor in choosing the material. Compared to other materials like metal or glass, acrylic is relatively inexpensive.

More, acrylic allows more flexibility with the sign design. Additional design elements such as wood laminate, aluminum details, cork, and digital printing are commonly added to the acrylic signs. It helps cut costs while creating a truly unique braille sign.

Durability

Acrylic comes with a fantastic feature which is durability. It is resistant to impact and weathering, making it ideal for use in areas with high traffic and exposure to the elements.

ABS is more economical than acrylic, it’s not rated for exterior, and it doesn’t stand a lot of UV resistance if it’s in an entryway where you’re getting a lot of sun shining through the windows. However, we still want to go with acrylic ADA Braille signs, even though it’s an interior application.

More, because of its toughness, it does not easily break or damage.

Lightweight

Acrylic is much lighter than other materials, such as glass or metal, which makes it easier to transport and install wherever you want.

Easy maintenance

Acrylic is easy to clean and maintain, ensuring that the signs remain legible and attractive for many years.

Which kind of acrylic to create ADA-compliant signage

There are mainly two methods to create acrylic ADA-compliant signage,

  • Applique & Raster ADA signs
  • Compression Thermoformed ADA Signage

It is recommended to use cast acrylic for the Applique & Raster ADA signs, while for compression thermoformed ADA signs, it tends to use extruded acrylic.

Applique and raster ADA signs use the engraving machine to route out material from the sign face, then combine the Raster® Braille System drilling the holes and insert tiny raised plastic braille beads with an automatic insertion tool compatible with the ADA-compliant standard.

Cast acrylic is manufactured by a process whereby MMA (Methyl Methacrylate monomer) liquid is pumped into a mold made from two sheets of glass. The specific of its high transmittance, excellent strength, and high density make it an ideal material for creating signs compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Thermoformed ADA signage involves heating a plastic sheet and forming it over a customized mold to create the desired shape.

Extruded acrylic is made by melting acrylic particles and extruding them at high temperatures through mechanical equipment. The features of lower molecular weight and slightly weaker mechanical are conducive to the bending and higher temperature thermoforming process.

How do you make acrylic custom ADA braille signs

To make custom acrylic ADA-compliant braille signs, you can follow these steps:

Site survey

According to the on-site environment, combined with the customer’s budget, sign functions, etc., to evaluate the site plan for the number of signs and specific width, height, font, colors, materials, etc.

Design the sign

Start by creating a design for your sign, including the text, graphics, and color scheme. Make sure to follow the guidelines set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for the text’s size, contrast, and typeface, as well as the size and placement of the braille.

Prepare the acrylic sheet

Cut the acrylic sheet to the desired size and shape for the sign. You may also need to sand or polish the edges of the sheet to ensure a smooth finish.

Apply graphics, text, and braille dots

For the Applique & Raster ADA signs, apply the graphics and text to the signs using the engraving machine cut lettering or screen printing, and add the braille dots by Raster® Braille System.

For compression thermoformed ADA Signage routed the graphics, text, and round braille on the module using the CNC engraving machine then pressed and heated the extruded acrylic sheet in the middle of the module to form the desired shape and text.

Thermoformed ADA signs

Make sure to use a contrasting color for the text and graphics to meet the ADA requirements for contrast.

Install the sign

Finally, install the sign in the desired location, making sure to follow all of the requirements for sign placement and accessibility set by the ADA.

Making custom braille signs requires a certain level of skill and experience. It is best to work with a professional sign maker to ensure that the signs comply with the ADA and meet all of the necessary standards and specifications.

Take away

Working with a manufacturer or supplier with experience in creating ADA-compliant signage is critical to ensure that the signs meet all of the required standards and specifications.

FT Signage provides you the extensive knowledge of ADA braille signs and cost-effective alternatives to making custom ADA-compliant signs.

Each project, no matter big or small, we highly customed and tailored to meet your specific needs and requirements.

Whether you are looking for acrylic ADA signs or other custom LED signage, FT signage can help you find the solution you need. Contact us today for a free estimate for your new interior and exterior sign project.

2 Responses

  1. It’s great that you elaborated that one of the most important factors is your budget to have realistic design options. My friend informed me yesterday that he and his business partner were looking for custom braille signs that they could have for effective disability aid in their grocery store. He asked if I had ideas on the best customization approach. I’ll tell him it will be much better if he consults a trusted braille signs company as they can provide details about their services. I’m thankful for this helpful signage article.

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