FormaShape, manufacturer of SilkTek Curved Composite Material (CCM), announced today that it has developed translucent formulations for use in all its existing product lines. SilkTek Vision is an important breakthrough for the retail petroleum and signage industry, which typically relies on illumination of low strength vinyl and acrylic materials that have short life expectancy, high maintenance costs and high energy costs to backlight.
SilkTek Curved Composite Materials offers strength, durability and shape that are superior even to traditional aluminum composite materials (ACM). Now with translucent SilkTek Vision, petroleum marketers and sign companies have an option to back light a durable material that eliminates the high maintenance cost, high energy cost and short life expectancy of translucent vinyl and acrylic products.
“The traditional backlighting solution in the Petroleum Canopy industry has been flex face vinyl or acrylic plastics mounted over fluorescent light boxes.” states Bren Steele, Director of Marketing and Sales at FormaShape. “However, this solution is very expensive to install, can cost as much as $5,000 per year for energy and routine maintenance, and it typically has a life expectancy of 7 to 8 years before the entire fascia system needs to be replaced. By comparison to flex face or acrylic plastics SilkTek has been combined with LED lighting to achieve a long lasting backlit image with the lowest possible operating cost.”
The first petroleum client launching a new image using SilkTek Vision is Ultramar, A Division of Texas based Valero Energy. The Ultramar design by Antista Fairclough called for illumination of a 32 foot long multi color graphic decal. First efforts using polycarbonate and acrylic materials proved challenging. Plastic panels have high rates of thermo expansion, thus the 32 foot span required multiple short parts with many visible seams. These brittle plastic materials also proved to be far less durable than fiberglass, prone to fractures and cracks. SilkTek CCM offers a rate of thermo expansion comparable to traditional aluminum composite panels. More importantly, SilkTek CCM can be formed into seamless 16 foot long panels with simple attachments, achieving the original design intent while also providing a low cost installation of a long lasting material.
“The Ultramar image combined with the new translucent waterslides has substantially raised the bar for our quality and capabilities in fiberglass manufacturing” says Steele. “FormaShape has a history of leading the fiberglass industry with innovative manufacturing practices. We are very proud of our new products, and our clients who have raised the bar for their own competitors. We now look forward to expanding our SilkTek sales as more customers realize the benefits of translucence and illumination in their products”
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Marketing & Sales Director