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MacDermid Autotex Steel: The Flexible Alternative to Stainless Steel

MacDermid Autotex Steel is a textured polyester film that offers the look of stainless steel with the benefits of flexibility, durability, and printability. Ideal for keypads, appliance panels, displays & more.

Graphic Overlays
MacDermid AutoTex Steel overlay for a keyboard

MacDermid Autotex Steel: The Flexible Alternative to Stainless Steel

Imagine a material that offers the sleek look of stainless steel but with the ease of use and versatility of a film. That’s exactly what MacDermid Alpha Electronics Autotex Steel delivers. This blog looks at everything you need to know about this unique product, making it a great option for designers, manufacturers, and anyone seeking a stylish and practical alternative to metal.

We source our Autotex Steel from Cadillac Plastics, a trusted supplier known for its high-quality materials and exceptional service.

What is Autotex Steel?

MacDermid Alpha designed Autotex Steel, a textured, hard-coated polyester film, to replicate the appearance of stainless steel when printed with metallic inks. However, unlike real stainless steel, Autotex Steel boasts several advantages:

  • Flexibility:  Shapes easily and integrates into various designs.
  • Lightweight:  A reduced weight makes handling simpler and potentially reduces shipping costs.
  • Durability:  It is scratch and scuff-resistant, making it ideal for high-traffic areas.
  • Chemical Resistance:  Autotex Steel withstands exposure to many common industrial solvents and household chemicals.

MacDermid AutoTex Steel - Flexibility and Durability

Key Features and Benefits:

Multiple Ink Compatibility: Choose from various Autotex Steel versions, each featuring a primer optimized for specific printing methods. These include solvent-based screen printing, UV inkjet printing, and UV screen printing.

Exceptional Printability: The film delivers excellent colour clarity and can be printed with graphic and windowing inks for creative designs. This refers to the film’s ability to produce different types of high-quality prints consistently.

  • Smooth and Consistent Surface: The hard-coated texture provides a uniform base for inks to adhere to, minimising inconsistencies and ensuring clear, crisp prints.
  • Excellent Ink Adhesion: The different primer options (0-series, 3-series, and 7-series) ensure optimal compatibility with various printing methods. This allows inks to bond well with the film, preventing flaking, cracking, or smudging.
  • Sharp Colour Reproduction: The film’s properties allow for vibrant and accurate colour representation, making it ideal for applications where precise colour is crucial.
  • Versatility with Inks: Autotex Steel prints with a wide range of speciality inks, including:
    • Metallic Inks: When used with metallic inks, it delivers a realistic stainless-steel look.
    • Graphic Inks: This allows for high-quality printing of logos, text, and other design elements.
    • Windowing Inks: These inks create clear windows on the film, enabling the integration of touchscreens or displays.

Long Lifespan:  Autotex Steel excels in applications that require repeated pressing or touching because the material boasts a flex life that surpasses 5 million actuations.

Anti-Fingerprint Properties: Unlike real stainless steel, Autotex Steel minimises fingerprint visibility, maintaining a clean and polished look.

Autotex Steel2

Applications of Autotex Steel:

Autotex Steel’s versatility makes it a popular choice across various industries:

  • Membrane Switch Overlays: The textured surface and durability make it ideal for control panels and touchscreens.
  • Appliance Panels: Offers a stylish and fingerprint-resistant alternative to traditional metal panels.
  • Point-of-Sale Displays: The combination of aesthetics and functionality makes it perfect for creating eye-catching displays.
  • Automotive Interior Components: Autotex Steel can be used for trim panels, dashboards, and other interior elements.

Shelf Life and Storage

The recommended shelf life for Autotex Steel is 36 months from the date of manufacture. MacDermid Autotex guarantees you will get at least 8 weeks of shelf life remaining when you receive the product, as long as you store it correctly in unopened packaging.

Technical Data Sheet

Download from the manufacturer’s site: https://www.macdermidalpha.com/film-and-smart-surface-solutions/products/autotex-flexible-films/prod-autotex-steel

In Conclusion:

MacDermid Autotex Steel presents a compelling option for those seeking a high-quality, versatile material. Its ability to mimic the look of stainless steel with added benefits like flexibility and printability makes it a valuable asset for creating innovative and functional products.

At RH Technical Industries, we believe that this material is highly underrated and has massive potential to make our customers’ keypads and industrial labels look truly amazing! We urge you to consider such a quality look on your next project. Don’t just take our word for it; please request a free material sample! 01264 721450

Image credit: MacDermid Alpha Electronics Solutions

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