FAQ – What is Photopolymer

What is Photopolymer?

What is Photopolymer

Photopolymer is a photo-sensitive synthetic compound that hardens when exposed to an ultraviolet light source. Photopolymer is available in both liquid and sheet form. It has a number of applications that span a multitude of industries, ranging from flexographic printing to rubber stamps to signage.

It wasn’t until the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1992 that photopolymer rose to prominence in the sign industry. The new ADA regulations had a major impact on tactile signage, requiring all public facilities to meet specific codes and regulations. These changes were implemented for the visually impaired and affected issues such as contrast characters, sign placement, character spacing, and required the placement of Braille raised to 1/32″ off the base material.

At Nova Polymers, we bond a 1/32″ clear, high-resolution photopolymer sheet to a variety of base substrates. Instead of the tedious routing and engraving methods, photopolymer signs are easily produced and cost-efficient. Computer-generated artwork is output to a film negative, which is placed on the surface of the photopolymer sheet in the processing unit, and then exposed to ultraviolet light, hardening the raised area. After exposure, the material is placed in the washout tank where the unexposed photopolymer is washed away, leaving the raised area. With our unique photopolymer, washout takes place in plain tap water and its effluent is 100% biodegradable which can be disposed of in any public waste disposal system. Once the photopolymer is processed, many finishing options are available.

For tactile signage, the unique imaging characteristics of photopolymer make it the choice of fabricators as well as designers. Our specialized product line allows designers unlimited flexibility and provides fabricators with the raw material needed to meet all ADA regulations.

Clearly, photopolymer is the material of choice for all your environmental graphic design needs!

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