Prepping ACM

This is a good video on cutting and prepping ACM Dibond panels by Aaron Nagel.
I like the groovy music he plays while cutting and prepping the panel. 😀
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nPM9lZPx17Y

dencal

Comments

  • dencaldencal -
    edited January 20
    GTO

    Just about every artist makes heavy weather of cutting ACM.
    ‘Here is the smart way to score and snap ACM. Sorry. No groovy music.

    https://youtu.be/XcjjoOXHISs

    Denis

  • @dencal He scored one side with one cut and then used the table edge to support it when he snapped it.  Quick work!
    though I think he would enjoy it more if maybe he had some Prince music playing in the background.   =)
    dencalMichaelD
  • Yes, bending and snapping is much easier!
  • Has anyone tried the 2mm material?  If one wanted a ton of 5x7s say.  It would be in the region of 8 times less stiff.

    Has anyone tried prepping at least 4x4 all at once, either with a roller, or a spray gun?  Gesso is probably too thick to spray, but I did have a neighbour who had a spray set up for spraying driveway top coat, right out of the drum, not thinning.

    You can knife score plywood.Cut with the grain, and that will also penetrate the fibers inside so that they break cleanly.

    I think Aaron is a little over the top on the durability of plywood.  I have plywood stuff that is at least 50 years old at this point.  And generally not treated as nicely as art would be.  You can also seal the plywood relatively easily.  There are sport aircraft that are 50-100 years old at this point.  And they don't seal them too heavily to keep the weight down.
  • @TamDeal – I have tried the 2 mm ACM and thought it was too flimsy for me in the sense that it is easily bent with my typical handling techniques.  Also, storing multiples is problematic because they are so fragile. It may work for you, especially in the 5x7 small size.

    I dislike prepping substrates, and so tend to do it in big batches – 20 or more at a time. I line them up on big tables, little tables, - any and every surface will do. :) I have a big cup of coffee. I am still using up the last batch I did in 2020.

    Because I am paranoid about prepping correctly, I seal first (US-based XIM-UM, although @Abstraction had better information on this from his discussions at MITRA – I hope he chimes in), including the tiny little sides, and then the next day I put on an acrylic ground – not traditional gesso.

    Sealer: I use a roller. Sometimes I use a disposable sponge brush. Rollers are faster, but the outcome is the same for me.

    Ground: I use an old credit card first to spread around, and then immediately after a roller for a smoother surface. Sometimes I’ll go over the surface crisscrossing with a bristle brush, to reproduce canvas weave. I also have created a slight patterned texture in different patterns which I quite like under my thin oil paint layers.

    What I don’t understand about ACM concerns the very thin oxygenated layer which forms on the aluminum immediately, and which metallurgists claim is stable (self-sealing) and will not increase. The art forums by and large state that this layer is not stable and will continue to deteriorate, chipping off your paint layer in the process, but have not cited any evidence which I am aware of.

    If anyone can weigh in, I’d appreciate it. If it is true that the thin aluminum rust will not increase, then the entire premise that it is necessary to use the unbroken plastic coating is wrong, and this opens up wonderful possibilities for us cost-wise.


  • edited January 28
    Desertsky said:

    I dislike prepping substrates, and so tend to do it in big batches – 20 or more at a time. I line them up on big tables, little tables, - any and every surface will do. :) I have a big cup of coffee.

    Because I am paranoid about prepping correctly, I seal first (US-based XIM-UM, although @Abstraction had better information on this from his discussions at MITRA – I hope he chimes in)

    20 at a time? Wow. Since I started learning in 1993, I've only just completed my 20th painting including all the class studies. My current painting began with photoshoot last Feb, started painting in May. I'm obviously a little slow. (Cultural note: Australians employ ironic understatement.)
    I can't comment on ACM, I only absorbed enough when researching to know I didn't want to try that right now. If I was to employ a simple method for sealing and priming in one step that has sound theoretical basis for stability, effectiveness and longevity - but lacks long-term evidence... it would be Zinsser Coverstain after conversation with their technical team. I used their Rust-Oleum 2x Ultra Cover Primer in the past (simple, quick, effective) and they said it should be fine but that their Coverstain was far better suited. I'm sure none of you are about to change what you're doing - but if anyone wants it I can provide what I learnt from them. I would consider it for ACM because if I'm stripping back the surface I understand aluminium quickly reacts to oxygen, so I could spray this almost immediately and paint same day. I contacted the technical team because Rustoleum has zinc, which the Coverstain does not. Their comment: "The level of zinc in the 2x aerosol is less than 1% so there is a very tiny amount of zinc in the film; not nearly enough to cause the saponification reaction you are concerned about. This is a good thing as the 2x coatings use an alkyd resin that is reactive to zinc and galvanized metal. We suggest sticking with the Cover Stain recommendation, this is the best primer for longevity and sealing on bare wood for this purpose."
  • DesertSky

    What I don’t understand about ACM concerns the very thin oxygenated layer which forms on the aluminum immediately, and which metallurgists claim is stable (self-sealing) and will not increase. The art forums by and large state that this layer is not stable and will continue to deteriorate, chipping off your paint layer in the process, but have not cited any evidence which I am aware of.

    If anyone can weigh in, I’d appreciate it. If it is true that the thin aluminum rust will not increase, then the entire premise that it is necessary to use the unbroken plastic coating is wrong, and this opens up wonderful possibilities for us cost-wise.



    Compared to many other metals aluminium has good corrosion resistance. This is because aluminium develops a thin oxide layer on the surface when the metal comes in contact with oxygen. The oxide layer protects the aluminium against corrosion and if it is damaged, it will immediately regenerate, provided there is oxygen present.

    If aluminium is stored in environments without major temperature fluctuations and not exposed to moisture, the oxide layer without further surface treatment will protect the metal against corrosion.



    Denis
    AbstractionDesertsky
  • You aren't painting on bare metal on an ACM panel, but on the polyester coil coating that's on top.
  • dencaldencal -
    edited January 28
    Richard_P

    It varies. I have bought ‘bare’ aluminium composite sheets, but probably had a clear coat of some description. Other products were seemingly bare Aluminium plate with a tooth and a patterned texture under shrink wrap.
    You’re right to say that most of the time it is coil coated.

    Denis

  • @Richard_P – I agree with @dencal; it depends on the aluminum panel. Panels without the polyester coating are cheaper, or at least they were cheaper last time I checked. 

    I have read on other art forums of different people being concerned that they have accidentally pierced the polyester coating by scruffing it up too much in an effort to create a mechanical tooth, and being informed that this means the aluminum will corrode, the corrosion will continue, there is nothing to stop it, and the ACM is now no longer acceptable as a substrate as the oil paint will flake off. No evidence at all cited for this. This now-common belief about ACM and the polyester/plastic coating has now become community wisdom, AKA folklore.

    On a non-DMP forum, I tried posting my inexpert research from metallurgical sources about the robustness of the aluminum oxide layer, to having it rejected immediately as having not been proven by art conservationists! So much for primacy of source material for research. Nobody would even consider it. Alas, my tech geek demon and I are sadder but wiser.

    If the aluminum oxide provides a stable enough surface to seal and prime, then we can use surfaces without the polyester – so cheaper aluminum panels, and also the other side of a failed painting, can be used. 

  • We know that oil paintings on canvas can last for centuries. Maybe the only way to know for sure how well an oil painting on aluminium will last is to wait a century or two. If the aluminium oxide layer is indeed stable then I can't see how there would be problem.
  • tassieguy said:
    We know that oil paintings on canvas can last for centuries.
    By that measure cave walls are the winner.
    dencalDesertsky
  • Ah, missed that. I always only look at the ones with the polyester coating :)
  • Rob

    tassieguy said:
    We know that oil paintings on canvas can last for centuries.

    Yes. But what proportion of these ancient and venerable works : cracked, delaminated, faded, sank, twisted, warped, moulded, stained, slumped, bubbled, rippled, ripped, pocked, creased, shrunk, saponified, and are no longer a part of posterity.

    The incompatible collection of canvas chemical cakes currently in museums are kept alive by an army of conservators in a hugely expensive, air conditioned, white cube.

    —-ooOoo—-

    A short and authoritative paper, from the Ottawa Symposium on Conservation of Contemporary Art National Gallery Canada) July 1980, sets out the case for Polyester fabrics.

    This is over 40 years old now. Aluminium composites, PVC, Mylar and Polypropylene, copper and aluminium plate would likely change the emphasis on polyester fabric. Nonetheless it sets out some of the deficiencies in linen and cotton as a painting support.

    Denis

    AbstractionDesertsky
  • edited January 29
    Thanks, @dencal.

    I read that a few years back. I still use canvas. I will  try aluminium someday. Painting has gotten in the way of me giving much thought to it. 
  • Hmm... The Ottawa Conservators Report has lasted well so far. ;)
  • OK, off-topic alert (with apologies to GTO, the OP) - but does anyone here use polyester canvas? If so, what are your observations?  I have never tried it. 
  • @Desertsky , there's a discussion on polyester canvas here:  https://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/topic/100-polyester-canvas/

    I will buy a couple of meters and give it a try it. It is said to be highly archival. One poster mentioned that it stays taught unlike canvas which contracts and expands with changing conditions. If that is true, and if the surface is nice to paint on once primed with gesso, I may switch to polyester.
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