Silicone Edge Graphics vs. Tension Fabric GraphicsEion O'Neill
One of the frequent questions we are asked is what the difference is between “Tension Fabric Graphics” and “Silicone Edge Graphics”. You may have seen both terms used interchangeably as they are made of polyester fabric and designed fit tightly on a frame. At airborne visuals, we like to distinguish the two Fabrics based on the fabric finishing (zipper vs. silicone edge) and the frame it is mounted on (tubular vs. extrusion aluminum).
Tension Fabric Graphics:
A pillow-case style fabric that zips around tubular aluminum framing system.
There is nothing easier than switching out a pillowcase and with our Tension Fabric Graphic display options, the process is no different. Equipped with a pillowcase graphic and a snap-lock frame these products feature:
- A pillowcase graphic is made of two panels sewn together: we can custom print on both sides or use a black or white color for the back. For additional cost, we can also add am opaque liner to help control lighting bleed through.
- A Tubular aluminum frame: with integrated push-on buttons, each aluminum segment connects to the other without any tools. Because the lightweight tubular segments can easily be bent, we can create unusually shaped and curved frames where the graphic slips over and zips shut.
Silicone Edge Graphics
Fabric panel with sewn silicone beads that insert into the groove of aluminum extrusion frame.
Silicone Edge Graphics (also referred to as SEG) are full dye-sublimated graphic panels that flush-mount on the front or the back of an extrusion frame. Below are some of the features:
- Think Big Exhibits: SEG displays feature an aluminum extrusion frame that can be used to build large exhibits.
- No Stitch Line: fabric panels features sewn-on silicone edging that can be tucked into the grooves of the frame.
- Change it Up: Front and Back panels are separate allowing you to change panels a la carte.
Tension Fabric Pros:
- Graphics very easy to setup
- Typically no needs for tools
- Great for curved shapes and hanging signs
- Highly resistant to wrinkles
- Very durable
- Frame not visible, only graphics.
Tension Fabric Cons:
- Need to change front and back at once (same panel)
- Tubular frames offer limited accessories (hard panel, shelves, doors).
- Effective LED backlit edge lighting difficult to accomplish
- Stitches visible on edges
Silicone Edge Graphics Pros:
- Graphics are easy to mount
- Great for large exhibit structures
- Large selection of accessories and options: locking doors, shelving, TV monitors…
- Preferred for LED Lightbox and wall mount.
- Change one panel at a time.
- Flat, clean look.
Silicone Edge Graphics Cons:
- Frame assembly require tools, screws
- Some graphics more prone to wrinkles
- Aluminum extrusions have sharp edges and corners
- A bit heavier and takes more time to assemble.