ABOUT ALTO™

Production

Lost? Our FAQ path will show you the way.

What is sublimation?


Sublimation is a chemical process in which heat and pressure are used to turn a solid into a gas without putting it through a liquid phase. It has become a popular digital printing technology, in which special inks are applied to a variety of substrates with a heat and pressure process.




What substrate do you use?


We exclusively use aluminum because it is lightweight, durable, will not rust and can be recycled over and over without losing its great properties. It is also ideal for the powder coating and sublimation processes.




What grade of aluminum do you use?


We use Grade 5052 aluminum, an aluminum alloy known for its strong, ductile and light-weight profile. It is corrosion-resistant, especially in salt-water and marine atmospheres, and is not affected by heavy rains or high humidity. Grade 5052 aluminum is at peak performance in cold-weather conditions.




Do you sublimate other substrates?


We sublimate exclusively on aluminum. While dye sublimation is most commonly used for fabrics, such as banners, t-shirts, etc. and can be applied to many other materials, we choose to stick with aluminum. As such, we use different equipment than that required for other types of sublimation.





 

What is sublimation?


Sublimation is a chemical process in which heat and pressure are used to turn a solid into a gas without putting it through a liquid phase. It has become a popular digital printing technology, in which special inks are applied to a variety of substrates with a heat and pressure process.




What substrate do you use?


We exclusively use aluminum because it is lightweight, durable, will not rust and can be recycled over and over without losing its great properties. It is also ideal for the powder coating and sublimation processes.




What grade of aluminum do you use?


We use Grade 5052 aluminum, an aluminum alloy known for its strong, ductile and light-weight profile. It is corrosion-resistant, especially in salt-water and marine atmospheres, and is not affected by heavy rains or high humidity. Grade 5052 aluminum is at peak performance in cold-weather conditions.




Do you sublimate other substrates?


We sublimate exclusively on aluminum. While dye sublimation is most commonly used for fabrics, such as banners, t-shirts, etc. and can be applied to many other materials, we choose to stick with aluminum. As such, we use different equipment than that required for other types of sublimation.





DYE SUBLIMATION

 

What is sublimation?


Sublimation is a chemical process in which heat and pressure are used to turn a solid into a gas without putting it through a liquid phase. It has become a popular digital printing technology, in which special inks are applied to a variety of substrates with a heat and pressure process.




What substrate do you use?


We exclusively use aluminum because it is lightweight, durable, will not rust and can be recycled over and over without losing its great properties. It is also ideal for the powder coating and sublimation processes.




What grade of aluminum do you use?


We use Grade 5052 aluminum, an aluminum alloy known for its strong, ductile and light-weight profile. It is corrosion-resistant, especially in salt-water and marine atmospheres, and is not affected by heavy rains or high humidity. Grade 5052 aluminum is at peak performance in cold-weather conditions.




Do you sublimate other substrates?


We sublimate exclusively on aluminum. While dye sublimation is most commonly used for fabrics, such as banners, t-shirts, etc. and can be applied to many other materials, we choose to stick with aluminum. As such, we use different equipment than that required for other types of sublimation.





POWDER COATING

 

What can I put on the panels?


Anything you want! As long as the resolution is 300 dpi, we can print and sublimate it!




What can an ALTO™ panel replace?


ALTO™ products can be used to replace or replicate organic materials, as they can be sublimated to resemble different types of wood, marble, stone, and even multiple types of metal (treated, weathered, manufactured, Corten, etc.).




Can I put ALTO™ in hot climates?


Absolutely! All the graphics are embedded in a UV-resistant powder coat. We have
several projects that have been installed for years in Florida, Asia and South
America.




Can I put ALTO™ panels in cold climate?


One of the most important properties of aluminum is how well it performs in cold weather. In fact, aluminum strengthens when the temperature drops, unlike other materials that become brittle. We have several ALTO™ projects installed in Alaska & The Canadian Rocky Mountains.




What sizes do you offer?


The largest single flat panel we can sublimate is 4’ x 8’ 6” (48” x 102” or 1219.2 mm x 2590.8 mm). For larger format projects like murals, panels can be expertly aligned to achieve desired size.




What is the thickness of the panel?


Standard panels are 1/8” (0.3175 cm) thick. Though this may seem too thin, it is incredibly sturdy. It is extremely hard to bend, while at the same time being lightweight and easy to handle. Other panel thicknesses are available. Prices vary based on market value of aluminum.




Are the edges and corners finished?


Standard corners have eased edges with approximately 1/8" radius for inside corners. Custom corner radius available upon request.




How are edges finished?


All edges are sanded smooth for safety. The graphic image covers the entire surface and wraps around the edges for a professional finish. Note: Image will cover the entire flat surface of a panel and the edges (up to a 7” return, please check with your representative), except in the case of round panels (ex. tables).




What do the backs of the panel look like?


We offer various options: - Unfinished backs (A mix of aluminum and excess powder coating) - Masked back (raw aluminum) - White Powder Coated back - Double-sided: Both sides sublimated of the panel (panel max. 24 x 36”). - Double-sided perforated panels: Both sides sublimated (panel max 4’x 8’ 6”). - Two separate panels attached by acrylic structural adhesive. (panel max 4 x 8’). Important note: As panels must be hung to be powder-coated, we require either a hole or a temporary stud that we remove afterwards. It is important to coordinate with your SH project manager to ensure that the holes or marks left by our temporary studs are covered by your mounting brackets/posts or frames.




What powder coat base colors do you offer?


Our standard powder coat base is white because it results in super vivid colors after the graphic is sublimated. Note: white areas in your graphic will be the same white as the base coat, as we do not print and sublimate white. We also have a chrome, gold and bronze base coat for a metallic finish. With this finish, colors will appear slightly muted. White areas in the graphic will result in a chrome field in the finished product.




Can a panel be curved?


We can curve panels to a maximum radius of 4”. Please check with an expert to see if your curved project is possible.




What if I need a thicker profile for my sign or panel?


We can easily put an ALTO™ panel onto a Sintra (exterior) or MDF (interior) backer if you require a thicker panel.




What finishes are available?


We use a fine matte texture that offers optimal scratch resistance and reduces glare. Other finishes, such as glossy and super matte, may be available depending on project details.




Do panels come in custom shapes?


We offer a variety of custom shapes and cut-outs. Some limitations apply. For example, inside bends and interior edges on cut-outs are difficult or impossible to sublimate.





PANELS

 

What can I put on the panels?


Anything you want! As long as the resolution is 300 dpi, we can print and sublimate it!




What can an ALTO™ panel replace?


ALTO™ products can be used to replace or replicate organic materials, as they can be sublimated to resemble different types of wood, marble, stone, and even multiple types of metal (treated, weathered, manufactured, Corten, etc.).




Can I put ALTO™ in hot climates?


Absolutely! All the graphics are embedded in a UV-resistant powder coat. We have
several projects that have been installed for years in Florida, Asia and South
America.




Can I put ALTO™ panels in cold climate?


One of the most important properties of aluminum is how well it performs in cold weather. In fact, aluminum strengthens when the temperature drops, unlike other materials that become brittle. We have several ALTO™ projects installed in Alaska & The Canadian Rocky Mountains.




What sizes do you offer?


The largest single flat panel we can sublimate is 4’ x 8’ 6” (48” x 102” or 1219.2 mm x 2590.8 mm). For larger format projects like murals, panels can be expertly aligned to achieve desired size.




What is the thickness of the panel?


Standard panels are 1/8” (0.3175 cm) thick. Though this may seem too thin, it is incredibly sturdy. It is extremely hard to bend, while at the same time being lightweight and easy to handle. Other panel thicknesses are available. Prices vary based on market value of aluminum.




Are the edges and corners finished?


Standard corners have eased edges with approximately 1/8" radius for inside corners. Custom corner radius available upon request.




How are edges finished?


All edges are sanded smooth for safety. The graphic image covers the entire surface and wraps around the edges for a professional finish. Note: Image will cover the entire flat surface of a panel and the edges (up to a 7” return, please check with your representative), except in the case of round panels (ex. tables).




What do the backs of the panel look like?


We offer various options: - Unfinished backs (A mix of aluminum and excess powder coating) - Masked back (raw aluminum) - White Powder Coated back - Double-sided: Both sides sublimated of the panel (panel max. 24 x 36”). - Double-sided perforated panels: Both sides sublimated (panel max 4’x 8’ 6”). - Two separate panels attached by acrylic structural adhesive. (panel max 4 x 8’). Important note: As panels must be hung to be powder-coated, we require either a hole or a temporary stud that we remove afterwards. It is important to coordinate with your SH project manager to ensure that the holes or marks left by our temporary studs are covered by your mounting brackets/posts or frames.




What powder coat base colors do you offer?


Our standard powder coat base is white because it results in super vivid colors after the graphic is sublimated. Note: white areas in your graphic will be the same white as the base coat, as we do not print and sublimate white. We also have a chrome, gold and bronze base coat for a metallic finish. With this finish, colors will appear slightly muted. White areas in the graphic will result in a chrome field in the finished product.




Can a panel be curved?


We can curve panels to a maximum radius of 4”. Please check with an expert to see if your curved project is possible.




What if I need a thicker profile for my sign or panel?


We can easily put an ALTO™ panel onto a Sintra (exterior) or MDF (interior) backer if you require a thicker panel.




What finishes are available?


We use a fine matte texture that offers optimal scratch resistance and reduces glare. Other finishes, such as glossy and super matte, may be available depending on project details.




Do panels come in custom shapes?


We offer a variety of custom shapes and cut-outs. Some limitations apply. For example, inside bends and interior edges on cut-outs are difficult or impossible to sublimate.





HARDWARE

 

Do I have to treat my ALTO™ panels against rust and corrosion?


ALTO™ panels do not require any special maintenance beyond regular cleaning that follows our instructions, which are included on the specification sheet. Never sand, wax or varnish ALTO™ products.




How do I clean an ALTO™ panel?


Clean with a rag and soapy water. Do not use abrasive products or materials, highly acidic cleaners or cleaners with unknown chemicals. Dry with a non-abrasive cloth. Tough stains can be cleaned with mild cleaners like Windex and damp cloth, then the panel should be rinsed and dried.




How do I remove graffiti?


To remove graffiti, use DISAPPEAR Organic Graffiti/Adhesive Remover. For tough marks, use Professional’s Choice Shadow Max. Rinse with warm water and wipe dry with a soft cloth.




How long will my ALTO™ panel last?


We offer a 10-year limited warranty.





PREPRESS GUIDELINES

 

Can I order a sample?


Yes, please do! We can send you a couple of complimentary ALTO™ sample kit with 4"x 6" samples or you can buy a Full Sample Box. Click here to learn more.




Can I request a custom sample?


Before entering production, we can produce an 8x10” sample with some elements from your art file (a bit of text, colors, or any significant piece of the file). The lead time on a custom sample is 3-5 business days. Note: Anything beyond this size and format qualifies as a prototype.




Can I request a prototype?


Absolutely! A mini version of your future project can be done. This will help you present your concept to your clients and give you a better sense of the material. Lead time on a prototype is 2-4 weeks.




When will I get my panels?


Our typical lead time is between 3 and 6 weeks once the PDF file is approved, depending on the complexity of your project. A more precise date can be confirmed once project details are provided.




How do you check quality on finished panels?


All panels undergo a thorough inspection to ensure they meet our quality standards. We only reprint panels that exceed our 2% margin of error.





PRODUCTION

 

Do I have to treat my ALTO™ panels against rust and corrosion?


ALTO™ panels do not require any special maintenance beyond regular cleaning that follows our instructions, which are included on the specification sheet. Never sand, wax or varnish ALTO™ products.




How do I clean an ALTO™ panel?


Clean with a rag and soapy water. Do not use abrasive products or materials, highly acidic cleaners or cleaners with unknown chemicals. Dry with a non-abrasive cloth. Tough stains can be cleaned with mild cleaners like Windex and damp cloth, then the panel should be rinsed and dried.




How do I remove graffiti?


To remove graffiti, use DISAPPEAR Organic Graffiti/Adhesive Remover. For tough marks, use Professional’s Choice Shadow Max. Rinse with warm water and wipe dry with a soft cloth.




How long will my ALTO™ panel last?


We offer a 10-year limited warranty.





MAINTENANCE

 

What can I put on the panels?


Anything you want! As long as the resolution is 300 dpi, we can print and sublimate it!




What can an ALTO™ panel replace?


ALTO™ products can be used to replace or replicate organic materials, as they can be sublimated to resemble different types of wood, marble, stone, and even multiple types of metal (treated, weathered, manufactured, Corten, etc.).




Can I put ALTO™ in hot climates?


Absolutely! All the graphics are embedded in a UV-resistant powder coat. We have
several projects that have been installed for years in Florida, Asia and South
America.




Can I put ALTO™ panels in cold climate?


One of the most important properties of aluminum is how well it performs in cold weather. In fact, aluminum strengthens when the temperature drops, unlike other materials that become brittle. We have several ALTO™ projects installed in Alaska & The Canadian Rocky Mountains.




What sizes do you offer?


The largest single flat panel we can sublimate is 4’ x 8’ 6” (48” x 102” or 1219.2 mm x 2590.8 mm). For larger format projects like murals, panels can be expertly aligned to achieve desired size.




What is the thickness of the panel?


Standard panels are 1/8” (0.3175 cm) thick. Though this may seem too thin, it is incredibly sturdy. It is extremely hard to bend, while at the same time being lightweight and easy to handle. Other panel thicknesses are available. Prices vary based on market value of aluminum.




Are the edges and corners finished?


Standard corners have eased edges with approximately 1/8" radius for inside corners. Custom corner radius available upon request.




How are edges finished?


All edges are sanded smooth for safety. The graphic image covers the entire surface and wraps around the edges for a professional finish. Note: Image will cover the entire flat surface of a panel and the edges (up to a 7” return, please check with your representative), except in the case of round panels (ex. tables).




What do the backs of the panel look like?


We offer various options: - Unfinished backs (A mix of aluminum and excess powder coating) - Masked back (raw aluminum) - White Powder Coated back - Double-sided: Both sides sublimated of the panel (panel max. 24 x 36”). - Double-sided perforated panels: Both sides sublimated (panel max 4’x 8’ 6”). - Two separate panels attached by acrylic structural adhesive. (panel max 4 x 8’). Important note: As panels must be hung to be powder-coated, we require either a hole or a temporary stud that we remove afterwards. It is important to coordinate with your SH project manager to ensure that the holes or marks left by our temporary studs are covered by your mounting brackets/posts or frames.




What powder coat base colors do you offer?


Our standard powder coat base is white because it results in super vivid colors after the graphic is sublimated. Note: white areas in your graphic will be the same white as the base coat, as we do not print and sublimate white. We also have a chrome, gold and bronze base coat for a metallic finish. With this finish, colors will appear slightly muted. White areas in the graphic will result in a chrome field in the finished product.




Can a panel be curved?


We can curve panels to a maximum radius of 4”. Please check with an expert to see if your curved project is possible.




What if I need a thicker profile for my sign or panel?


We can easily put an ALTO™ panel onto a Sintra (exterior) or MDF (interior) backer if you require a thicker panel.




What finishes are available?


We use a fine matte texture that offers optimal scratch resistance and reduces glare. Other finishes, such as glossy and super matte, may be available depending on project details.




Do panels come in custom shapes?


We offer a variety of custom shapes and cut-outs. Some limitations apply. For example, inside bends and interior edges on cut-outs are difficult or impossible to sublimate.





SHIPPING

 

What can I put on the panels?


Anything you want! As long as the resolution is 300 dpi, we can print and sublimate it!




What can an ALTO™ panel replace?


ALTO™ products can be used to replace or replicate organic materials, as they can be sublimated to resemble different types of wood, marble, stone, and even multiple types of metal (treated, weathered, manufactured, Corten, etc.).




Can I put ALTO™ in hot climates?


Absolutely! All the graphics are embedded in a UV-resistant powder coat. We have
several projects that have been installed for years in Florida, Asia and South
America.




Can I put ALTO™ panels in cold climate?


One of the most important properties of aluminum is how well it performs in cold weather. In fact, aluminum strengthens when the temperature drops, unlike other materials that become brittle. We have several ALTO™ projects installed in Alaska & The Canadian Rocky Mountains.




What sizes do you offer?


The largest single flat panel we can sublimate is 4’ x 8’ 6” (48” x 102” or 1219.2 mm x 2590.8 mm). For larger format projects like murals, panels can be expertly aligned to achieve desired size.




What is the thickness of the panel?


Standard panels are 1/8” (0.3175 cm) thick. Though this may seem too thin, it is incredibly sturdy. It is extremely hard to bend, while at the same time being lightweight and easy to handle. Other panel thicknesses are available. Prices vary based on market value of aluminum.




Are the edges and corners finished?


Standard corners have eased edges with approximately 1/8" radius for inside corners. Custom corner radius available upon request.




How are edges finished?


All edges are sanded smooth for safety. The graphic image covers the entire surface and wraps around the edges for a professional finish. Note: Image will cover the entire flat surface of a panel and the edges (up to a 7” return, please check with your representative), except in the case of round panels (ex. tables).




What do the backs of the panel look like?


We offer various options: - Unfinished backs (A mix of aluminum and excess powder coating) - Masked back (raw aluminum) - White Powder Coated back - Double-sided: Both sides sublimated of the panel (panel max. 24 x 36”). - Double-sided perforated panels: Both sides sublimated (panel max 4’x 8’ 6”). - Two separate panels attached by acrylic structural adhesive. (panel max 4 x 8’). Important note: As panels must be hung to be powder-coated, we require either a hole or a temporary stud that we remove afterwards. It is important to coordinate with your SH project manager to ensure that the holes or marks left by our temporary studs are covered by your mounting brackets/posts or frames.




What powder coat base colors do you offer?


Our standard powder coat base is white because it results in super vivid colors after the graphic is sublimated. Note: white areas in your graphic will be the same white as the base coat, as we do not print and sublimate white. We also have a chrome, gold and bronze base coat for a metallic finish. With this finish, colors will appear slightly muted. White areas in the graphic will result in a chrome field in the finished product.




Can a panel be curved?


We can curve panels to a maximum radius of 4”. Please check with an expert to see if your curved project is possible.




What if I need a thicker profile for my sign or panel?


We can easily put an ALTO™ panel onto a Sintra (exterior) or MDF (interior) backer if you require a thicker panel.




What finishes are available?


We use a fine matte texture that offers optimal scratch resistance and reduces glare. Other finishes, such as glossy and super matte, may be available depending on project details.




Do panels come in custom shapes?


We offer a variety of custom shapes and cut-outs. Some limitations apply. For example, inside bends and interior edges on cut-outs are difficult or impossible to sublimate.





PRICING & PAYMENT

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