Silicone edge graphics (SEG), you see them everywhere: tradeshows, retail stores, hotels. The reason for their popularity is immediately obvious. SEGs are very impressive with a nearly photo-realistic appearance in a seemingly frameless display.
So, how is this result achieved?
A thin silicone strip (which is also known as a welt or gasket) is sewn directly to the edge of the fabric. This strip is then inserted into a frame with a recessed groove for a result that mimics a hard-panel graphic.
Using a combination of heat, time, and pressure, dye sublimation inks are converted from a solid into a gas without ever becoming a liquid. The high temperature also opens the fabric’s pores so the gas can enter. When the temperature drops, the pores close and the gas reverts to a solid state, becoming a part of the polymer. The result is an exceptionally detailed, colorful, and long-lasting image with no glare.
There are many benefits to SEGs, but the main one may be cost. There are several ways that SEGs are affordable. For one, SEG frames are reusable, so you can rotate several different images using the same frame. It is a very simple process to change out, install, or remove a SEG fabric graphic. There is no special talent needed, it’s simply inserting the silicone strip into a groove around the edge of the frame. Shipping and storing is also less costly with SEGs. The fabric is lightweight and can be folded so it doesn’t take up much space.
Caring for the fabric is easy, too. It can be spot cleaned with a damp cloth or you can toss it in a washing machine. You can even use your home’s front loader, if the fabric will fit (otherwise you’ll need an industrial sized washer). Wash the fabric using the gentle cycle and cool water.
Another great feature is that fabric isn’t limited to any particular shape. SEGs can be relatively traditional, such as squares, rectangles, and circles, to more sensational geometric or organic, amoeba-like shapes. Also, they can be huge, up to 118 feet without a seam and even larger if you don’t mind a seam. Regardless, the final result is all image, edge to edge, seemingly without a frame. Also, since fabric is lightweight, large sizes are much less cumbersome than traditional medias.
To recap, the benefits of SEGs include:
- Easy Installation – the fabric fits in an aluminum frame and anyone can do it.
- Lightweight – even very large images are easy to handle
- Robust – the fabric is durable and doesn’t dent like other medias, also cleaning is easy and it can even be thrown in the wash
- Impressive images – the dye sublimation process produces robust colors and quality
- Cost-effective – shipping is inexpensive and images can be continually swapped out of existing frames
For more information on how we can make silicone edge graphics work for you, contact The Trade Group at 800-343-2005.