Mounting Cibachromes on Aluminum

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by andre_noble|3, Dec 11, 2001.

  1. I just dry-mounted 8x10 Cibachromes last night at home for 1st time using Seal color mount tissue at 175 F on Alphamat Artcare museum board. Results good, with mild "orange-peel effect though, due to backing board, perhaps not enough to worry over.

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    But I've heard one can get really fancy and dry mount Ciba's on an aluminum substrate for a very smooth finish. Anyone out there doing this or know of details about it,ie what type of Aluminum, where to get, what tissue and temperature? Andre
     
  2. I am interested, as well. I was recently in the Mumm Sparkling
    Winery in Napa a few weeks back. They have a wonderful photo
    exhibit, with many famous large format photographers represented.
    Anyway, there was one artist who works in color that mounted all of
    his prints on thin sheets of aluminum. Very cool presentation. The
    photo was mounted directly onto the metal, it appeared, and there
    was a wooden backing square that projected the metal about 1" away
    from the wall.

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    Definitely a new twist on presentation.
     
  3. One local lab mounts Cibas face-to on plex using some sort of adhesive. I don't know what they use other than that it's cold-mount and of course it avoids the orange-peel etc. They'll just pop off if dry-mounted back-to on plex.
     
  4. There are aluminum honeycomb materials available from aviation
    related places for use in building the galleys and airstair steps of
    aircraft. One manufacturer would be Nordam, I can get a phone number
    when I get back into town or i'm sure they would have a site. I
    believe theres an outlet in Oklahoma. The aluminum honeycomb sheets
    are EXTREMELY expensive. The aircraft manufacturers used to use a
    balsa wood with a very thin sheet of 2024 T3 aluminum bonded to each
    side. Its not used anymore but still available, not AS expensive as
    the aluminum core honeycomb panels. I might have some small pieces
    laying around my warehouse, i'll check.
    As far as aluminum sheet is concerned, I think you can buy a sheet of
    4 foot by 12 foot (full sheet) of 2024 T3 in a thickness of .032 for
    around $200 USD. Trident Co. in Richardson, texas 972 231-5176 can
    ship in the US on a truckline for not too much freight cost. They can
    shear it into 3 or 4 pieces on their shear to make it easier and then
    you can find a local sheetmetal place to put it on their shear to
    size. Andy, there's lots of aircraft sheetmetal places in your part
    of the country (yeller pages). The next thicker sizes would
    be .040, .062, .090....
    To save money, you would request non alclad and NO CERTS required.
    The alclad is a very very thin layer of pure aluminum bonded to the
    core 2024 T3 material, used as a corrosion inhibitor on aircraft
    aluminum, not needed here. And, for non aircraft use, you would not
    need certs.
    miles
    dallas, texas
     
  5. My very large Ilfos are mounted on # 2mm aluminium by a framing service. They are mounted with a silicon base
    supple sealant (the kind that is used in bathrooms) and the finish is perfectly smooth. I mount smaller sizes
    that can be inserted in the roll press on self adhesive aluminium (Alutac) or plastic (Plastotac) of a brand
    named Egafix (http://www.egafix.com/). I tried some other brands before and had the orange skin effect.
    Wether these supports are archival or not is a question I am still asking to myself. I wonder if someone knows
    about it? I guess the polyester base of Ilfochrome is a good barrier to prevent the glue's solvents from
    affecting the print, but I am very unsure of how paper based prints such as Fuji Crystal would withstand being
    mounted on self adhesive plates on medium to long term. Any idea?
     
  6. Andre, we've got some prints in our exhibits mounted like that...cibas
    & bw rc prints that are mounted on aluminum with the corners wrapped
    around to the back...a very clean mounting job. I'm sorry I can't tell
    you exactly how this is done, we get them mounted by the mural labs
    that do the printing....my advice would be to look around for a pro
    lab or a mural house...it could be some of the material is made by the
    same company that manufactures Sintra, which is another great mounting
    substrate, which we actually use in-house. I know alusuisse, makes a
    whole range of products, including aluminum for signage &
    exhibitry...

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    <p>

    We also have the labs do first-surface mounting, which is to mount
    the emulsion of a print directly to sheet of plex...this is a great
    way to handle prints that will be in high-traffic areas, but you
    really need to find a good lab to do this, you can't do it
    yourself....if you go this route, pay the extra cost to get the
    corners rounded on the plex, because it can be really sharp...

    <p>

    But, for just basic ciba mounting, for short-medium term use, a
    material like gatorboard (not gatorfoam, or foamcore), is great....it
    comes in thicknesses up to an inch or so, and solid colors as well,
    including solid black. It has a hard finish to it, so if you use a
    mounting material like Scotch PMA (best for cibas or c-prints, rc
    prints), and use the applicator to burnish it down, it won't cause any
    dimples in the print like a softer board will...Gatorboard is tough to
    cut cleanly...we cut it on a table saw or a panel saw...but you can
    things like bandsaws or rotozips (orbital saws) to do profile cuts
    etc....PMA works great on Sintra too, only Sintra is pretty $$$....we
    made some oversize photo albums for an exhibit that stayed up for
    several years and mounted all the prints to it (sintra "pages") with
    PMA...even thousands of schoolkids running their hands across them,
    didn't cause them to pop up or off....

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    All this stuff that we do is for exhibit components really, so
    long-term is not an issue....but I don't really consider any color
    material long term really....if that's the case, don't permanently
    mount it to anything....
     
  7. The sealant that Paul describes is RTV (room temperature vulcanizing)
    which usually has acetic acid in it for curing. It is corrosive and
    therefore Dow Corning makes a NON-corrosive version for potting
    electrical connections and also for use when up against corrosion
    sensitive materials such as aluminum. I believe the Dow number of
    this one is 3145, i'll have to double check when i get back to town
    latter today.
     
  8. Andre:

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    Berrger describes some aluminum sheets that they have to offer called
    Bromalu and Alucolor at their website. I'm not familiar with it at
    all, have never used it and don't know about its availability. You
    can take a look at it at http://www.bergger.com/introusa.htm.
     
  9. Ken Burns, good to hear from you again. I think David
    Grubin's "Napoleon" special on PBS trounces your "Jefferson", But I
    still like your Frank Lloyd Wright documentary piece :>)

    <p>

    FYI, Bergger aluminum materials you made mention of, I checked, and
    found they are emulsion-coated.
     
  10. PS, at a Bergamont Gallery in Santa monica today and saw some very
    large fiber based B&W prints said to be mounted to aluminum. (Because
    the overmat covered the print edges and substrate, aluminum was not
    visible for confirmation.) I guess orange peel is still an issue for
    B&W fiber prints on normal museum board too? Why else was aluminum
    used for mounting?....
     
  11. Andre, my office is located in the exhibits production branch of a
    museum....don't confuse exhibit materials, even on display in a museum
    (not talking about art museums here....) for being archival
    necessarily....alot of times they are just components to an exhibit,
    like graphic panels or a diorama....uhm, one reaso why aluminum is
    used is for durability...we've used it for mounting very large mural
    sized prints, that would be on display for a long time...however, when
    we've changed out some part of an exhibit, we tend to trash these
    things in the process...because they're often glued to the walls or
    the backs of cases, or put on with a 100 feet of double stick foam
    tape that rips the heck out of everything when you remove them.....if
    they do survive, they wind up in storage areas gathering dust. The
    film though, sits safely in a controlled storage room.....
     

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