Sub-Frame Profiles

What does a Sub Frame do?

• Floats the panel away from the wall.
• Provides a way to hang the panel on the wall.
• Gives the panel substance and rigidity.

Which profile is right?

SUB 15: Floats the panel 15mm from the wall. With bonding tape pre-applied, it is ideal for smaller panels and lighter substrates, such as ChromaLuxe. Apply Heavy Duty Bonding Tape to the version without tape for most panel sizes and substrate thicknesses.

SUB 25: Floats the panel 25mm from the wall. Used with Heavy Duty Bonding Tape it is particularly suitable for larger aluminium panels and thicker substrates.

Note: Photos face mounted on acrylic should be backed with Opaque White Backing Film - never bond a Sub Frame directly to photo paper.

How does it work?

1. Order in lengths – to cut on your own saw
Order on Chop Service – give us the aluminium sizes and we’ll cut for you. Subtract 54mm from each dimension of the outside size of the Sub Frame you need, or ask us for a Measuring Guide.
2. Apply Heavy Duty Bonding Tape unless using SUB15 with bonding tape pre-applied.
3. Push in corners to make up the frame.
4.Clean all contact surface with solvent wipe.
5. Remove release liner from tape, locate, press down firmly, leave to cure at room temperature.
6. Slot CWH3 hangers into the profile, or use T-Screws for secure fixing.

Sub Frame fixing protocol for best results

CLEAN the back of the panel with a solvent wipe – never skip this step.
PRESS the frame firmly onto the back of the panel, and leave it to cure at room temperature.
HANG the profile using CWH3 Hangers slotted into the vertical sides of the frame, or fix securely using T-Screws. Don’t hang from the frame itself.

Cutting Equipment

If you're producing aluminium frames or sub frames in volume we can also supply you with the right cutting equipment. Speak to our Technical Services at 

How to Assemble & Attach a Sub-Frame

Choose the easy to use corner hardware that is compatible with your sub-frame (see table below).  We recommend our Moulded Push-In Corners for our SUB15 and SUB25 profiles - just ensure that ends are square-cut rather than mitred.  You can now order square cut, mitre cut, square cut pre-taped and mitre cut pre-taped on our Chop Service (as well as ordering in lengths).

1. Slot in the corner hardware, joining 3 sides to make a 'U' shape.

2. Join the final side to make a completed sub-frame.  Moulded Push-In Corners (square cut) and Steel Push-In Corners (mitre cut) are simply pushed in.  If using our Double-Plate Corner Hardware you will need a screwdriver to tighten the screws.

3. Prepare the rear surface of the printed panel with our Solvent Wipes, to aid bond.

4. Adhere Heavy Duty (HD) Bonding Tape onto each side of the sub-frame to be attached to the printed panel.  If using our pre-taped SUB15 profile you can simply peel away the release paper and adhere to the panel.

What's the difference between our Heavy Duty (HD) Bonding Tape and the Pre-Applied Adhesive Tape on our SUB15 profile?

Our own HD tape is very thick, 0.7mm. We supply this because this makes it well suited to hand application.  It has excellent adhesive qualities and is easily utilised on surfaces that aren't completely flat and smooth.

The adhesive tape that is pre-applied to our SUB15 Mill Finish profile is much thinner, 0.16mm.  This makes it 'saw-friendly' - it doesn't gum up the saw blades.  This tape is applied with pressure.  It is also wider so there is a greater adhesive surface area on the same sized sub-frame.  This does mean, however, that this tape should only be used on perfectly flat, smooth surfaces.

We have carried out internal tests on the pre-applied tape and found that:

A 260 x 190mm sub-frame (170cm² tape contact area) - failed at 32kg after curing for 1 hour

A 600 x 410mm sub-frame (350cm² tape contact area) - failed at 82kg after curing for 24 hours

Note: Load test weights are not guaranteed.

If you need more details please contact us at