Vulcan's Aluminum Line Marker Signs

Vulcan's Aluminum Line Marker Signs

Vulcan's Aluminum Line Marker Signs are a leading product in our quality-driven product line. A WARNING sign is the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your buried pipeline or fiber optic lines. The aluminum for our signs is manufactured using 5052 alloy that is produced by Vulcan Aluminum, which is located on our thirty-acre campus. This integrated production process ensures quality control from start to finish.

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An In-Depth Look At Our Specialized Manufacturing Process

There are two primary components to a line marker sign- the rigid substrate and the decoration.

The Substrate
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The selection of the rigid substrate is important based on factors of longevity, use, mounting consideration and the overall size.

Aluminum is used extensively for outdoor signs of all types as a proven, durable substrate. There are two primary characteristics which favor aluminum over steel. 1) Aluminum is light-weight. 2) Aluminum does not rust. Aluminum is also favored over plastics due to the eventual breakdown of the plastic caused by the sun and outdoor environmental conditions.

It is important to note that not all aluminum is the same! There are different alloys (chemistry) and tempers (strengths) which differentiate aluminum. The selection criteria for an alloy involves the characteristics needed in its final form. The importance of temper or strength is best illustrated by a simple bend test. One can take two pieces of aluminum which are the same size and thickness, and bend them over their knee. Common aluminum such as 3003-H14 will bend where as 5052-H38 will not. Alloy 5052 is also superior in its anti-corrosion ability. This is important so that the bolt holes do not enlarge due to corrosion, which could in turn make the sign fall down.
Aluminum 5052-H38 is the aluminum that is specified for highway road signs in all 50 states. This standard is the result of years of testing for corrosion, strength and longevity, all with respect to cost. We use 5052-H38 as the rigid substrate for all of our aluminum line marker signs due to its proven performance.

The Decoration

The decoration of the rigid substrate is equally as important as the substrate. If the sign does not "convey a message," its purpose is no longer being fulfilled. The selection of the type of decoration depends on where it will be installed and the length of time the message needs to be conveyed.

Extensive research and development has been conducted and continues in the challenging problem of providing decoration that will last many years in an outdoor application. Our R&D continues to prove that a Thermoset Polyester Ink System applied to aluminum provides the best and longest legibility in an outdoor environment.

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A Thermoset System only cures with heat. Curing occurs when the ink deposited on the substrate reaches a minimum temperature of 275° F. The heat causes the polyester to cross link or flow and bond to itself and what it is touching. Enamel inks on the other hand, cure as the petroleum components flash off as the ink dries. Polyester inks, used by Vulcan, release much less VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) and HAPS (Hazardous Air Pollution) during the curing process as opposed to enamel inks, leading to a much more environmentally friendly product.
Specialized ovens are utilized to cure the Thermoset Polyester Ink on our aluminum signs. Each layer or color of ink is precisely cured prior to the next. The cure time in the oven is extremely important to avoid an over-cure event. A precise and even flow of air has to circulate over all portions of each sign to ensure a uniform cure. A clear coat is applied for a final layer of added protection.
This ink system has been specially formulated for Vulcan with automotive grade pigments.

Sizes, Shapes and Material Thicknesses

Common sizes for rectangle line marker signs are 12 x 9 and 10 x 14. Common sizes for circle signs are 11 3/4". Custom sizes are available. Our 11 3/4" round WARNING signs, as well as our rectangle WARNING signs, can be manufactured from aluminum or High Density Polyethylene (HDPE).

Most line marker signs are rectangles or squares. Our standard practice is to round the corners of signs for safety reasons. Also standard are mounting holes, the location of which are strategically placed so that none of the message is dropped in the hole or blocked by the fastener.

Rectangle

Rectangle

Round

Round

Custom

Custom

Call us to find out about custom shapes for Aluminum Line Marker Signs that will distinguish your lines!
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Aluminum blanks being cut out by our new laser cutter. See above photo for finished product.

Unique-shaped signs provide differentiation in the field. Our in-house laser cutter gives us the ability to accurately produce virtually any shape sign.

The thickness of a sign is dependent on the sign area and in some cases the mounting method. Extensive wind-loading studies by state DOTs provide useful data and guidelines that we recommend.

  • Signs < 2 square feet.050 gauge
  • Signs > 2 square feet, but < 4 square feet.063 gauge
  • Signs > 4 square feet, but < 16 square feet.080 gauge
  • Signs > 16 square feet.090 gauge

We utilize other thicknesses for special applications. Those thicknesses are .020, .040, .100 and .125.

Our marking products comply with the CFR-49-192.707 and CFR 49-195.410 requirements.

For more information on Vulcan's Aluminum Line Marker Signs, refer to the specification sheet for Vulcan's Aluminum Line Marker Signs on our Downloads page.