Designing with Plastics

This issue of
Designing with Plastics
has been brought to you by:

Plastifab Industries, Inc.

An ePublication of the International Association of Plastics Distribution

August 2009 | Focus: P-O-P Displays

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In This Issue:
Acrylic sheet product streamlines P-O-P fabrication
Acrylic saves time, money while enabling more elegant displays.

Make displays “POP” without losing fizzle
Copolyester can withstand environmental conditions and harsh indoor lighting.

Innovative designers are selected with substrates
Time-tested PVC gets the job done.

Test your knowledge
What do you know about plastic materials used in P-O-P applications?

Online plastic resources
IAPD offers many online search resources at and, including distributor, processor, trade name and fabrication capability searches.

Find an IAPD Plastics Distributor or Processor

Search for Suppliers by Trade Name or Material and Shape

Search for Plastics Fabrication Capabilities

Search Other Plastics Articles Published by IAPD

View Past Issues of Designing with Plastics

About IAPD
The International Association of Plastics Distribution, founded in 1956, is an international trade association comprised of companies engaged in the distribution and manufacture of plastics materials.

Members include plastics distributors, processors, manufacturers, resin manufacturers, manufacturers’ representatives and associated products and services, all of whom are dedicated to the distribution channel.



Acrylic sheet product streamlines P-O-P fabrication

Modern Age Plastics streamlined manufacturing by using ACRYLITE PLUS® acrylic sheet from Evonik CYRO LLC for a large signage order for the Bay, Canada’s largest department store.


Toronto, ON-based Modern Age Plastics, a major fabricator of P-O-P displays, store fixtures and interior signage, has saved an average 10 percent in overall fabrication costs after switching to a new acrylic sheet product. The acrylic sheet combines the high-end optical clarity of acrylic with superior impact strength, and it fabricates faster and more easily than standard acrylic. For Modern Age Plastics, the material has helped streamline manufacturing while enabling production of more elegant displays with improved strength.

“What our customers want are products with a high end, modern look that also offer improved quality and durability,” says Robert Galamaga, partner at Modern Age Plastics. “We have a lot of expertise, and our customers look to us to make recommendations for materials,” he adds. The acrylic sheet has proven so successful for Modern Age Plastics that the company now uses it for numerous diverse applications ranging from brochure holders, interior signs, high-end security holders, to golf cart windshields and industrial guards. Read more

This article was written by Paul Hendley, Evonik CYRO LLC.

Make displays “POP” without losing fizzle


Spectar copolyester is available in a multitude of colors for vibrant displays from Eastman Chemical Company.

Virtually anything imaginable is possible with the strength and versatility of plastics. Selecting the best performing plastic among thousands of options can be challenging for even the most experienced designer. One material that goes as far as the imagination, without compromising cost, functionality or safety, is copolyester.

Creating visual impact that lasts throughout the life of the display can be a challenge, especially under extreme environmental conditions, but even everyday store lighting can impact the aesthetics and overall performance of your display.

Exposure to intense store lighting as well as direct or indirect sunlight is a leading cause of discoloration with some plastics. Prolonged exposure to these powerful rays and heat can affect the structural integrity of the plastic including its impact resistance. Over time, these effects can result in general discoloration, hazing, which is a cloudy appearance, or even crazing, which result in fine hairline surface micro cracks.

That’s where copolyester excels. If UV exposure is unavoidable, copolyester offers several options that can help minimize the effects of UV exposure. UV stabilized copolyester sheet includes a UV light inhibiting additive, which protects the base polymer from the deteriorating effects of UV light. It includes a thin UV resistant layer that is co-extruded onto the base plastic layer. This “shield” layer contains the protective additives that help the copolyester retain impact resistance, appearance and overall properties under extended exposure to UV light rays. Read more.

This article was written by David Salyer, Eastman Specialty Plastics.

Innovative designers are selective with substrates


Thayer Design used 3 mm black Sintra® Material manufactured by Alcan Composites USA Inc. to curve the flags into waves on display in a local school atrium.

Thayer Design used 3 mm black Sintra® Material manufactured by Alcan Composites USA Inc. to curve the flags into waves on display in a local school atrium.

Designers and fabricators work with a variety of materials including plastics, woods, metals and others. As manufacturers introduce more specialized types of substrates, many designers and fabricators are sticking with a familiar material that has stood the test of time – a rigid board of moderately expanded polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for many creative projects.

When Marc Waller, president of Thayer Design of Monroe, VA, was commissioned with creating a display of flags representing 48 nations for a local middle school, he turned to 3 mm black rigid board of moderately expanded PVC was curved into “waves.” The depth of the curved waves was 8 inches, and the flag images were printed onto self-adhesive vinyl and then mounted to the chosen material. Kirtis Kwik Signs of Lynchburg, VA, supplied the flag graphics and installed the display. Waller chose a rigid display over one made of fabric for several reasons.

“The rigid board of moderately expanded PVC provides a lightweight, smooth, hard surface that’s resistant to wear and is easy to clean – all at a very reasonable cost," he said. " It also lends an innovative look that was well integrated into the architecture of the lobby itself.” Read more.

This article was written by Robert Hendricks, Alcan Composites.

Test your knowledge

What do you know about plastic materials used in P-O-P applications? (Answers are at

1. When cold bending acrylic modified PVC alloy sheet, especially in darker colors, a phenomenon known as stress whitening can occur. To remove stress whitening:

a. wipe the affected surface with a 15 percent solution of sulfuric acid
b. heat the material in an oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
c. heat the area with a heat gun or blow dryer
d. bend the sheet back and forth several times along the same bend line

2. What percentage of UV light is filtered by ultra violet filtering acrylic?

a. 66
b. 100
c. 84
d. 98

Online plastic resources

Your IAPD distributor is your choice in finding the right material for your application. Go to to find a distributor in your area. You can search by company name, location or product category.

The IAPD Magazine web site at allows you to search by material, trade name and fabrication process. You can also search for fabrication capabilities.

Plastifab Industries, Inc.

© 2009

International Association of Plastics Distribution
6734 W. 121st Street
Overland Park, KS 66209 USA |
Phone: +913.345.1005 | Fax: +913.345.1006

Designing with Plastics is published by the International Association of Plastics Distribution. While every effort has been made for accuracy, IAPD encourages you to verify information with a plastics distributor to ensure you select the correct plastic products to meet your needs.