There are basically two ways to mount the face of an image to acrylic. The most common (and affordable) way is to face-mount it with clear double-sided adhesive. This technique was developed to rival Diasec® but has many disadvantages as discussed below.
Developed in 1969, the more durable Diasec® method was patented which meant that only limited licences were made available and that the materials were manufactured under licence only. After the patent expired, surrogate processes became available. One such alternative to Diasec® is DiaMount®, a process developed in Denmark by Peter Wolff.
The innovative DiaMount® process is now also available from Art of Print in South Africa, the only framing company in Africa (and the Southern Hemisphere) that has been awarded the exclusive license to mount works with the patented DiaMount® process.
Double-sided adhesive face-mounting
Face-mounting is a process whereby the photograph is permanently bonded, face up to the acrylic or Perspex using a double-sided, pressure-sensitive adhesive.
There are various disadvantages associated with this technique:
- Static buildup: Acrylic and double-sided adhesive is a magnet for dust particles resulting in static buildup. This generally happens during the most critical part of the mounting process – any airborne debris or dust will attach to the exposed acrylic and, once the dust traps between the surface of the image and acrylic, the process will have to be redone.
- Silvering: This is when bubbles and thin air pockets form between the sheet of acrylic and film, clearly visible on close inspection.
- Environmental changes: Acrylic or Plexiglass® has a tendency to expand and contract during humidity and temperature changes which makes the double-sided film lose its elasticity over time resulting in bond failure.
- Lifespan: The general lifespan of a face-mounted product is only six years indoors.
- Limited paper choice: With doubled-sided adhesive, the mounting lab cannot offer any of their wide range of printing papers as they are restricted to glossy coated paper.
DiaMount® is the process of mounting the face of an image to acrylic or iron-free glass with special UV inhibited silicone rendering a high gloss appearance and 3D-like effect enriched with vibrant colours and deep blacks. This process offers various benefits:
- Preserves your artwork: Once the adhesive has cured, the print and acrylic become permanently flexible and able to resist changes in temperature and humidity. DiaMount® has a lifespan of over 30 years.
- No static buildup: The DiaMount® process is guaranteed to be free of bubbles and silvering often found when using double-sided adhesive.
- Deeper, solid colours: Because of the total fusion of the silicone between Plexiglass® and image, and the absence of silvering or air, the image renders itself beautiful and with lots of depth.
- More paper options: DiaMount allows for wider range of fine art media, including textured papers that will add a special appearance to the image.
How does DiaMount® work?
DiaMount® to Plexiglass®
It’s a trade secret, but the basics include using 3mm Plexiglass® to which the images are face-mounted. Once the image has rested, it’s then backed by a rigid aluminium composite material (ACM), like Dibond®, encapsulating the print in an airtight sandwich. This process offers you a modern contemporary feel whereby it appears to be floating on a wall. Some prefer to frame for a time classic look.
DiaMount® to Low-Iron Glass
Taking DiaMount® one step further, we offer mounting to 4mm Low-Iron Glass. What’s spectacular about this glass is that it’s free of any colour cast. The image is then face-mounted directly to the glass using the same technique as above. This method is an alternative to the traditional glazing used in framing. The advantages of this method will give your image exceptional depth and sharpness since the glass reflects light resulting in zero refraction of light between print and glass.
Enhance your living space
Art of Print is Outdoorphoto’s fine art and photo printing, framing and mounting department that provides you with new opportunities for your images to become showpieces at home, the office and event exhibitions. Contact us to discuss your ideas, or refer to our sizing and costing options.