What is an ACM or Dibond Panel ?
ACM or Aluminum Clad Material are composite panels (usually 1/8in thick) made from two pre-painted sheets of .012" aluminum, bonded to a solid polyethylene core. The panels are coated with a polyethylene paint similar to the coating on aluminum siding. The paint is then baked to insure that it is completely cured and evaporation is complete.
The coating is designed for digital and screen printing. It's known for it's durability and is commonly used in outdoor signage applications. ACM is now starting to become popular as a support for painting, instead of masonite.
ACM panels are clean, light weight, strong, and will stand up even to extreme outdoor weather and UV conditions. They are very archival with no tendency to bleed oil through the gesso or canvas and are not as sensitive to temperature and humidity.
There are several brands and manufacturers of ACM available in the market place. Dibond panels are made in the USA and have been around for 15 years and seem to be the "common name" used when referring to ACM panels. However, few seem to use the specific Dibond brand in application. Dibond is available but there are many competively priced alternates out there, from a number of graphics and art suppliers. Ask around and you will find a supplier near you.
Interesting historical note..... Aluminum Clad Material was first developed as AlucoBond in Europe by a Swiss/German firm. A complete history can be found at the following site: