Monday, December 27, 2010

Acrylite P95 DP95 Satin Ice Black White acrylic sheets

ACRYLITE® P-95 sheet offers transparent clarity when in direct contact with objects. Ideal for signs and displays, its one-sided matte finish reduces reflected light. This cell cast sheet comes in colorless, translucent, and custom colors.

ACRYLITE® DP-9 sheet is the same product as P-95 with the matte finish on both sides for the same finished look from any viewing angle. Select from a plethora of colors with varying degrees of transmitted and reflected light from colorless to translucent to opaque. Click the link to see a range of Acrylite standard Satin Ice colors.

Black/White ACRYLITE® P-95 sheet appears dark by day and, with a little backlighting, it glows white at night! It’s manufactured from a special pigment formulation that yields 10-19 percent light transmittance when backlit, but appears dark and opaque without backlighting.

ACRYLITE Crystal Ice and ACRYLITE Satin Ice acrylic sheet with frosted, matte finishes provide unique design elements. Partitions, shelving, and cabinet doors made of these textured products add stylish features to interior designs.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Deadmau5 using high-tech Plexiglas

London, UK - December 18, 2010 by deadmau5

Special EliT Plexiglas® acrylic sheet helps my man Deadmau5 manipulate holographic images in London.
As I understand it, the production company sourced the technology from one of my customers who worked with us to get the podium Plexiglas® just right. The effect is like the "Minority Report" graphics on hallucinogens. Cheers to everyone. Can't wait to see the mau5 next time he's in San DIego.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Plexiglass Sheet - Cleaning Plexiglass - Plexiglass Scratch Removal

Plexiglass Sheet Tips - Cleaning Plexiglass & Plexiglass Scratch Removal - video thanks to Rohm and Haas (now Arkema).

So these topics are quite related to edge polishing of Plexiglas as well!

Cleaning Plexiglass - think of plexiglass a a fine piece of wood. You would never treat it certain ways. Never use 409. Never use Windex. Never spill dirt or potting mix on the surface and then wipe off with your bare hand. But, we DO that with Plexiglass! Why is that? We are our own worst enemy when it comes to common sense and cleaning this plastic sheet. Well. most plastic sheet and material that we see around our homes is very chemical resistant and throwaway/recyclable. But Plexiglass is used in applications where we want it to LAST. So cleaning is a very important part of long term service. Plexiglass made in the USA does NOT yellow. However, if you use 409 or WIndex daily and it's exposed to the sun, you WILL get crazing - little cracks as the UV interacts with ammonia. No fix for this condition. Call my plastics company for another piece... :-) What to use? Simple.

Small Amount of Dish Soap and Water. Clean paper towel or soft cotton cloth. Rinse with water. Dry with soft cloth. Repeat.

Brillianize Polish and Cleaner. My favorite for 40 years. They add a little silicon to make it a little slicker on drying. I like it on my guitars as well.

Novus #1 polish and cleaner. Similar to Brillianize without the silicon. Part of a 3 step system.

Pledge - the standard stuff. The latest commercials show the Pledge Guy squirting it on way more than wood. I still like Brillianize best.

Scratch Removal

When your beautiful piece of Lucite acrylic scratches, you can fix it quickly! If you can't feel the scratch with your fingernail, then Novus#2 or #3 should restore the finish. Otherwise, you will need to sand and buff the area that is scratched to return the shine (see next paragraph). It's the same way we polish the edges of thick pieces of acrylic here at Ridout Plastics - it works! This procedure ONLY works on acrylic. It does not work on styrene (like the colored boxes we sell) or on polycarbonate (Lexan, Tuffak, Makrolon). They both look clear, but they cannot be restored.

Scratch Removal Solution: Sand the affected area with 150, 320, then 400 Wet/Dry, then 600 Wet/Dry and 800 if you can locate it. Use a buffing wheel on your drill with the Plastic Buffing Compound or White Diamond as Rouge is too fine. Let the buffing compound do the work to restore the shine. Do not press hard or you will "burn" the compound into the plastic. This works quite well and quickly.

Note about Motorcycle fairings and car headlight restoration.
The motorcycle windshields are typically Lexan Polycarbonate. Scratches don't come out, but cleaning with Brillianize is a MUST. The fairings can be maintained with Novus #2 on a regular basis. The fading and yellowed headlight covers on your car are polycarbonate. There are a few expensive solutions out there, and I recommend a simple solution of sanding with 320 grit and then spraying a clear acrylic lacquer over them. The clarity will not be completly restored but they will look better!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cutting Plexiglass - How to Cut Plexiglas acrylic sheet

Cutting Plexiglass sheet. It's something I do every day. And after many years, I have acquired plenty of tools to do it correctly time after time - at the shop. When I get home and want to do some cutting of plexiglass sheet (known generically as acrylic sheet) I find myself in the same shoes as many of you reading this blog.

I found this cool old video from the 70's that gives some background.

Generally, not much has changed. Think of plexiglass sheet as a thing sheet of plywood or drywall. It has no grain so it needs support. Clamp a guide to the sheet to allow you to holding saw with 2 hands. Let the blade do the work. If you have to push hard, you're pushing too hard or the blade is dull or incorrect.... Common problems you might have when cutting:

1. Chipping - either too few teeth on blade, dull blade, or pushing too fast into saw blade (maybe RPM issue as well).
If using a sabre saw or skil-saw, prevent the material from chattering - this will cause chipping or breaking.

2. Melting - the exact opposite - too many teeth, too fast RPM, not pushing fast enough into blade to cool it.
Also, unmasked acrylic sheet will melt before masked sheet. Add masking such as blue painter tape.

Thanks to Rohm and Hass (now Arkema Group) for this classic. Haven't see old shop tools like that except at Gramp's house.
But the information is timeless and still 90% accurate today. More videos through out the site.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Plexiglass Sheets - latest information on Plexiglas sheet offerings

It's 2010 - the Plexiglas brand just celebrated 75 years of supplying acrylic sheet under the trademark PLEXIGLAS. Wait, you think it's spelled PLEXIGLASS ? Yup. You and millions of other people think alike. So if I spell it plexiglass, it only so when you search for information, it will pop up in Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.

I highly recommend visiting the PLEXIGLAS® Acrylic Sheet Product Pages for downloadable product pages, spec sheets, MSDS, and other up-to-date literature from the Plexiglas web site.

In brief, you will find out about:

Plexiglas® G - Premium, architectural grade, cell cast. Best optical quality, highest resistance to chemicals and long-term design stress, superior weatherability. Plastic companies such as sell Plexiglas G in thicker grades where the higher molecular weight makes a difference in how it cuts, glues, and polishes. Items such as aquariums should NEVER be made from anything but cell cast material. CAST acrylic is available in XXL sizes such as 96x186 by special order!

Plexiglas® MC - Economical, made by melt calendering process. Many of same features as Plexiglas® G with greater detail in thermoforming. This is GENERAL PURPOSE acrylic sheet and is found from 0.060" to 0.236" in thickness. The competition makes general purpose acrylic by "extruding" the sheet. 80% of what you see out there is extruded and it's great for most applications. It has a lower molecular weight and will require cutting and machining at different speeds/feeds than Plexiglas G.

Plexiglas® Frosted - Unique textured surface diffuses light to create dramatic effects. Ideal for retail merchandising or lighting applications. Frosted look engineered throughout the entire acrylic structure. There is a little bit of white color added to the sheet - the edge is whitish. Places such as have this material in 0.125", 0.250", 0.375" and 0.500" thick in 48x96 sheets and will sell smaller pieces, cut to size and CNC machining of shapes.

Plexiglas® Clear-Edge Frosted - Sheet consists of a middle clear acrylic layer sandwiched between thin top and bottom frosted layers. Ideal choice for designers looking to create attractive lighting, shelving, tabletop and POP displays. One sided formulation also available. Arkema actually co-extrudes this and can lay a color of frost onto another color or clear material. Super-cool.

Plexiglas® T - The beauty of Plexiglas® MC with added impact resistance – seven times tougher than standard acrylic sheet. Most shops sell only full sheets with minimum quantities for purchase.

Plexiglas® T2 - Used in displays where additional durability is needed. 17 times tougher than standard acrylic sheet. Most shops sell only full sheets with minimum quantities for purchase.

Plexiglas® T3 - Greatest level of impact resistance. 22 times tougher than standard acrylic sheet. Most shops sell only full sheets with minimum quantities for purchase.

Plexiglas® Q - Excellent choice for retail, cosmetic countertop and point of purchase displays. Enhanced craze resistance and durability. Most shops sell only full sheets with minimum quantities for purchase.

Plexiglas® SQ - Primarily for sign market, made by melt calendering process. Exceptional surface finish and clarity with enhanced craze resistance.

Plexiglas® Non-Glare Plus - Newest addition to the Plexiglas® family of picture frame products. Added benefits include enhanced mar resistance, improved static resistance and writability.

Plexiglas® SG - Continuous process sheet, exceptional clarity, eight times the impact of standard acrylic sheet – plus outstanding thermoforming definition.

Plexiglas® SG Plus - For sign applications, same attributes of Plexiglas® SG sheet with enhanced craze and solvent resistance.

Plexiglas® SB - Bullet-resistant for use in banks, secure facilities and vandal-prone locations. This is UL rated and is 1.250" thick.

Plexiglas® ELiT II - Designed for use in POP displays, illuminated signage and lightboxes. This material has little particles inside - when you light from the EDGE with a bank of LED's, it will evenly light up your transparency - allowing for a very thin frame system.

TUFFAK® Polycarbonate Sheet Product Pages

Tuffak® A - General purpose polycarbonate, ideal for window glazing. Available in clear and solar tints. Same as Lexan 9034 and Makrolon GP.

Tuffak® CM-2 - With abrasion-resistant, high-impact coating, suitable for transit glazing or school windows.

Tuffak® T - Food-grade polycarbonate, meets FDA food additive regulation 21 CFR 177.1580, available in clear only.

Tuffak® V - For critical flammability, available in clear and colors. UL-94 rated.

Tuffak® W - For aircraft applications where optical clarity is critical.

Tuffak® XL - Superior weatherability with a built-in UV-barrier. Limited 10-year warranty against yellowing and loss of light transmission.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Makrolon "MAK 15" polycarbonate glazing sheet

MAKROLON® 15 abrasion resistant polycarbonate sheet offers superior long-term weatherability, optical clarity, and vandalism protection. Get this: MAK 15 is backed by a limited 15 year warranty, this product incorporates MAKSHIELD innovative technology to achieve enhanced performance. Its improved glazing durability and unsurpassed impact resistance, along with enhanced insulating properties and significant weight reduction, makes MAKROLON® 15 clearly the right choice for your glazing applications. MAKROLON® 15 polycarbonate sheet also offers a significant reduction in maintenance cost over its life cycle versus that of other glazing materials. Applications include schools, public buildings, and transportation centers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Light Transmission of Clear Plexiglass Sheets

I learned something VERY interesting the other day. How CLEAR is Plexiglass sheet?

We always say - "It's water clear" and I have heard of people saying it transmits 100% of the visible light. But the specs say 92% light transmission. Why? Where is the other 8%? You can look down an 8 foot sheet of Plexiglass and read a business card. Perfectly clear.

Well it turns out that our eyes cannot detect the 8% anyway. But where did it go?
Turns out, 4% is REFLECTED off the front surface, and another 4% is reflected off the inside surface of the back. OK - I get it.

But wait - there's more. What about the UV or Ultra Violet resistance of Plexiglas?
Plexiglas is naturally UV RESISTANT. Most manufacturers offer a 10 year limited warranty: Here's what the makers of Plexiglas offer:

Pursuant to the terms and limitations set forth herein, Altuglas International warrants that for a period of ten (10) years from the Date of Purchase as set forth below (“Warranty Period”), flat, colorless, smooth PLEXIGLAS® G Acrylic Sheet manufactured by Altuglas International will not undergo a loss of light transmission in excess of three percent (3%).

Like I said - you cannot detect 8%, much less 3%.

As far as UV transmission, regular Plexiglas and other brands of acrylic sheet start letting UV through at 420nm - the danger zone is in the higher wavelengths of 400nm to 300nm. The UV blocking grades stop ALL of this UV light at 420 and higher (a lower nm number) at a price....