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Alternative to HDU Sign Panels


Rising Petroleum costs are putting sign shops across the country in a predicament when it comes to selling sandblasted and carved sign panels. The price tag attached to these panels is forcing sign shop owners to look for an alternative solution in order to stay competitive.
One wholesale monument manufacturer is introducing an alternative to traditional High Density Urethane sign panels that will not only save your clients money, but increase your sign shop�s profitability.

The Cost Factor

The majority of sandblasted and carved signs sold today are manufactured from High Density Urethane (HDU) a rigid, closed cell material that is lightweight, waterproof, versatile and impervious to extreme climate changes. High Density Urethane is able to offer these benefits because the material is petroleum based. While the petroleum based material offers sign shops more benefits than Redwood, it also carries a hefty price tag when the cost of petroleum rises.

For Alisa Boris of FASTSIGNS Rancho Cordova, the high petroleum cost hit home after receiving a price for a HDU sandblasted sign for her casino client. �Everybody is feeling the pinch, even casinos. We needed a solution that was less expensive but would still meet the needs of our discerning client.�

As sign shops continue to frantically search for an alternative material for sign panels, one wholesale monument sign manufacturer is stepping up to the plate by offering sign shops a foam core solution.

The Architectural Alternative

Peachtree City Foamcraft is best known for manufacturing quality, wholesale monument signs, but now they are crossing into the sign panel market with an alternative to high priced HDU and Redwood sign panels.

The manufacturer of monument signs is now using their Foamcore technology to manufacturer sign panels. �Our technology uses a combination of foam and plastic to create a sign panel that offers the same benefits of High Density Urethane, without the cost.� Michael Fetter, Sales Manager for Peachtree City Foamcraft continues �Our foam product uses less petroleum than traditional urethane, reducing the overall cost significantly.�

FASTSIGNS Rancho Cordova, found the solution to their sticky sign panel situation in a Foamcore sign panel. Their client Jackson Rancheria, a casino in Jackson, CA hired FASTSIGNS to create a 72� wide x 32� high sign panel with a highly detailed logo, textured background and raised graphics. Boris describes why she decided to go with a Foamcore panel instead of HDU, ��less expensive, no diminished quality, they were able to paint the fine details and achieve the dimension our client demanded.� Boris continues, �Foamcore signs are easy to transport and install and fine detail can be achieved.�

The Manufacturing Process

Foamcore Sign Panels are precision cut using an expanded polystyrene core; they are then sprayed with an exclusive hybrid plastic polymer coating. The plastic coating makes the panel waterproof, resistant to rot and termites, virtually damage proof and impervious to extreme climate changes.

Unlike traditional HDU sign panels, Foamcore sign panels are lightweight, and offer unlimited shape and radius options, as well as thicknesses 3� and up.

The manufacturing process of Foamcore Sign Panels is completed with a sprayed finish. Sign Panels can be sprayed with a traditional textured stucco finish, sculpted to simulate brick or stone, or customized for a smoother appearance.

The Trade Off

With any alternative, there are differences. The sacrifice for a cost effective Foamcore sign panel is the smooth finish. �Our hybrid hard coating system offers significant benefits but does not allow for the glasses smooth finish that HDU does. All of our finishes have some texture to them.� Fetter continues, �HDU is great for clients that require a smooth finish, and have the capability to pay the cost. We offer an alternative for those who want the look of a sandblasted sign without paying an astronomical price.� Boris describes that background of the Rancho Cordova sign �it a little pebblier, a light stucco texture, it is pretty accurate to say it looks like a sandblasted sign.�

The new Foamcore sign panel technology costs approximately 40% less than traditional HDU sign panels and some sign shops are saving more. FASTSIGNS Rancho Cordova adds, �The cost of a Foamcore panel is � the cost of HDU. We were thrilled, we will use this technology again, and we definitely recommend it.�

For more information on Foamcore sign panels from Peachtree City Foamcraft, visit them online at

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