As the market-leading supplier of sheet material, 3A Composites offers a unique variety of branded products such as DIBOND®, FOREX®, SMART-X®, KAPA®, FOAMALITE® and LUMEX®. The core markets include exhibition, shop and furniture design, signage as well as POS/POP applications. At this year’s FESPA in Munich, 3A Composites GmbH has presented the newcomers to the product portfolio and demonstrated the versatile possibilities in direct digital printing with printing substrates from 3A Composites.
LUMEX® is the new trademark for the highly transparent PET polyester sheets that have been added to the 3A Composites product range after the acquisition of the Irish company FOAMALITE Ltd.
3A Composites thus significantly enlarges its product portfolio with transparent and translucent sheet material. Two product types are available: LUMEX® A (amorphous PET), available in 0.8 – 6 mm thickness, for flat applications and 'simple' thermoforming and LUMEX® G (modified PET with Glycol), in 0.8 – 10 mm thickness, for complex thermoforming and solvent bonding.
Both products show extremely good printability with UV inks. In addition, they have a B1 fire classification as well as an FDA approval. They are extremely impact resistant, show excellent outdoor durability and are easy and fast to transform and print.
Furthermore, 3A Composites has exhibited the newly added FOAMALITE® PVC product range:
Next to FOAMALITE® premium, the perfect material for 3-dimensional or structural applications and
FOAMALITE® x-press with impeccable ink adhesion thanks to its white, smooth and even surface, the sheet supplier has also presented FOAMALITE® color as well as FOAMLITE® plus.
With a selection of nine different vibrant colours, FOAMALITE® color provides designers the best possible
colour options for a wide variety of solutions in the field of visual communications. As the colouring is uniform throughout the rigid foam sheet, it offers optimum colour consistency and guarantees the same colour is seen from different angles.
FOAMALITE® plus is a co-extruded rigid PVC foam sheet, consisting of high quality white outer skins and
a black recycled core. FOAMALITE® plus features a hard, flat, bright white surface making it more robust and offering greater scratch resistance than standard PVC foam sheet. The core consists of recycled PVC, meaning the whole sheet comprises 80% recycled material and makes an active contribution to the 3A Composites GmbH waste minimisation programme.
3A Composites has also presented a talented newcomer to the KAPA® family: KAPA®tech with polyurethane foam core and coated aluminum skins is the first KAPA® product that is suitable for both exterior and interior use, thanks to temperature and moisture resistant core and surfaces. Areas of application are for example visual communication / display, insulation and constructive shop fitting. In addition to its outdoor capabilities, fire classification is one of the key benefits of the product: KAPA®tech is flame retardant and fulfills the requirements of Bs2d0 “fire retardant” according to ISO 13501-1.
An additional innovation that was shown in Düsseldorf is SMARt-X®natura, a bio-degradable PLA-board, as a result of European funding and great commitment. 2008, 3A Composites got involved in a large scale collaborative project financed by the European Commission (SustainComp). The goal: developing new types of sustainable composite materials for a wide range of applications. The core of the research were materials whose polymers were not based on petroleum.
PLA (polylactic acid) is a thermoplastic polyester derived from 100 % renewable sources such as corn. It is compostable as well as recyclable. In order to get an acceptable surface quality for aesthetic and printability reasons two compact outer-layers on top of the PLA foam core were co-extruded. Physical and mechanical tests were evaluated on the sandwich panel which performed well. Also printability tests gave good results in terms of ink adhesion and visual quality.
Regarding the sustainability aspect, PLA made from renewable resources contributes significantly to a reduction in green-house-gas (GHG) emissions and in non-renewable energy usage. PLA generates 60 % less GHG emissions and uses 60 % less non-renewable energy compared with the oil-based polymers.
Another advantage of PLA is the recyclability aspect. PLA can be economically recycled through either a mechanical or chemical recovery processes.