Aluminum materials are the most durable and adaptable signage materials currently in the market. They got you covered whether your target is to install signage in the interior or exterior. There are three different aluminum signage materials; standard, reflective, and brushed. However, many people are often spoilt for choice when settling for a particular aluminum type, more so between brushed and standard signage materials. Both of these have their benefits and best-suited application scenarios. However, the benefits of brushed metal signs for your business are more pronounced in their indoor application. 

This article will briefly define both of them individually to understand better both brushed and standard (brushless) aluminum signages. It will then give various similarities & comparisons based on their characteristics to aid in your choice. Read on! 

Standard Aluminum Signage 

Standard aluminum is the cheapest within the aluminum category of signages when it comes to cost. They are durable and also have the broadest application areas. Compared to its other metal category counterparts like chrome or steel, they are much lighter, making them preferred. Other than its durability, it is also rust-free. 

Brushed Aluminum Signage 

Brushed aluminum is made by brushing aluminum metal on one side to give it its unique warm and pleasant touch, as the name suggests. Although its weather-resistant nature can make it suitable for outdoor signs, brushed aluminum is typically used for indoor signs in places like lobbies within business premises. 

Brushed Vs. Standard (Similarities)

Both of these aluminum signages share lots in common. For starters, they are both made from E-panel, a form of Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) material suitable for flat applications like general display and signage materials. The E-panel comprises two thin pre-painted aluminum sheets (.008″) with a solid plastic core. The core, made of hard plastic, reinforces the metal signages, making them much more robust and durable than bare aluminum. 

Another similarity is their inability to print white ink. Standard signages have a white background, making any white writings remain white. The background for brushed aluminum is semi-white, and white will also not manifest clear enough. 

Both are also identical in various functionalities and can be used indoors and outdoors due to their weather-resistant nature. They can also be attached in various ways, although the most common is by drilled holes affixed with screws and washers. They have both proven to be reliable, affordable, and adaptable signage options for various homes and businesses. 

Brushed vs. Standard (Differences)

Despite all their similarities, there are stark variations between both that make each of the most suitable to specific application areas. The first and foremost difference is in their appearance. Standard aluminum lacks the basic natural aluminum look (what you think of when aluminum is mentioned); they are made with white paint on both sides where the design will be printed. Regions within it not covered by design will remain white and not metallic. On the other hand, Brushed signages are designed with a brushed metallic look and are not printed white. 

Another difference is in double-sided functionality. You can print on both sides with standard aluminum signs, while you can only print on one side for the brushed ones. This is one advantage associated with standard aluminum signs. The backside of the brushed aluminum will appear to be standard metallic and will not be seen. 

Due to its delicate surface, you can easily scratch brushed aluminum mainly because it is used indoors away from potentially harsh conditions like strong winds and debris. On the other hand, standard signs are resistant and are the reason you can use them indoors and outdoors, respectively. However, brushed signs can last just like their standard counterparts with proper care, even when used outdoors. They should be cleaned and cared for regularly. 

Application Areas 

One good thing about aluminum signages, in general, is their ability to be used for diverse purposes. They maintain their colors for long hence don’t need frequent renovations. They also work perfectly well with LED installations and have excellent edge protection. What’s more, you can choose from a wide variety of finishes like matte, white, mill, semi-glossy, brushed, glossy, reflective.

Standard aluminum signs are frequently used in parking lots, construction sites, businesses, and more. 

Brushed aluminum signs are common in indoor spaces like hotel receptions, office lobbies, business premises, restaurant menus, indicating directions within a building, and many more. 

Now that you have an idea of their similarities and differences, you can use them to come up with a decision on your preference. Look at the specific advantages that apply to your personal needs.

By Manali