Acrylic Q & A

23 Aug



Q. How do you remove solvent cement from acrylic sheet?
A. Once applied, you will not be able to remove solvent cement from the acrylic. Solvent cement eats into acrylic, any excess would evaporate, leaving a slight outline where the solvent was located. You might try buffing to smooth the surface.

Q. Can you flame polish an AR coated sheet?
A. No. Flame polishing an AR coated acrylic sheet will cause it to blush or whiten.

Q. Is Plaskolite’s AR coated sheet weatherable?
A. Plaskolite’s line of OPTIX AR products includes an AR/weatherable acrylic sheet.

Q. Is Optix acrylic non-conductive?
A. No. Optix acrylic is a conductive material. A spray coating is available if non-conductivity is needed.

Q. Will acrylic burn if a flame is against it?
A. Acrylic will ignite and burn if placed in an open flame. Polystyrene will smoke.

Q. What type of edge is best when gluing acrylic sheets together?
A. Joined edges.

Q. What film coverage is best when routing acrylic sheet?
A. Papermask, 2mil film & 3 mil laser films are preferred.

Q. How does acrylic compare to other plastics in strength?
A. Polycarbonate is strongest, followed by PETG/PET, impact acrylic sheet, then general-purpose acrylic sheet.

Q. What is the correct glue to use when gluing 2 edges of acrylic sheet together?

Q. How do I remove papermask from acrylic sheet when it is adhered too firmly?
A. Use water to wet the papermasking and then peel back, or add a mixture of a small amount of rubbing alcohol to water and spray onto the papermask. After solution is applied, gently pull back from acrylic sheet.

Q. What type of saw blade is used to cut acrylic sheet?
A. A. 10″ carbide tipped circular saw with 80 teeth.

Q. Can you glue edges of acrylic sheet if they have been flame polished?
A. No. The parts will craze (small cracks) due to the heat used to flame the edges.

Q. Ho do you clean acrylic sheet?
A. Use a mild soap & water mixture with a gentle cleaning cloth. Do not use ammonia based cleaning solutions on the acrylic as it will eat into the sheet and cause it to craze.

Q. How can you cut or scribe one piece of acrylic sheet properly?
A. Use a Fletcher Terry Knife or a plastic cutting tool when cutting the sheet. This method can be used for sheet thicknesses of .250″ and thinner. Scibbing the sheet should be done at least 7 to 12 times for .250″ material and 5 to 7 times for .187″ and under. It is best to support the bottom of the sheet on both sides of the score line. After the part is scribed and broken, the edges should be finished.

Q. How can you drill a hole in acrylic sheet with out cracking the material around the hole?
A. The drill speed is too fast or there is too much pressure on the drill when exiting the hole at the underside of the acrylic sheet. Back up work with another piece of acrylic or plywood so the drill can continue through into solid material. If using a commercially available twist drill, ground to a proper angle of 60-90 degrees.

Q. How do you get scratches out of acrylic sheet?
A. For light scratches, use a buffing compound such as car wax, using the buffer provided lightly buff the sheet until scratches disappear.

Q. What are the benefits of acrylic over glass?
A. Acrylic is stronger, more impact resistant, lighter in weight, won’t shatter, easier to fabricate, and can be easily formed.

Q. How much stronger is acrylic compare to glass?
A. .125″ thickness of acrylic is 2 to 3 times more impact resistant than double strength window glass, 4 to 5 times more impact resistant than wire glass or other glasses. .250″ thickness of acrylic is 9 to 10 times fore impact resistant than wire glass or other glasses.


Q. How do you mount Fabback acrylic mirror?
A. Mount to a smooth, rigid flat backing such as 5/8″ or ¾” plywood. The surface should be coated with a high quality paint or sealant to cover pockets and seal out moisture. Next, cover surface with mastic or adhesive.

Another option is to drill oversized holes & hold it to the wall using screw fasteners. Do not over tighten. This may cause warping & distortion.

Q. What adhesive is recommended?
A. Palmer Mirro-Mastic, Super Set Mirro-Mastic, 3M 4323, and Gunther Premier or Pro-Mastic. If a spray adhesive is needed, 3M Supper 77 may be used. Please follow your adhesive supplier’s directions for gluing.

Q. Is Fabback acrylic mirror thermoformable?
A. It is not recommended. The acrylic will stretch and the backing will fail. Shallow depths may work. Plastic sheet should be formed then plated.

Q. Can Fabback acrylic mirror be heat bent?
A. Yes, however, the mirror may blush at the bend especially when exposed to prolonged heat. Try samples for testing. Please refer to the Fabback User’s Manual for instructions.

Q. What is the reflectivity of Fabback acrylic mirror?
A. Approximately 85 – 90%.

Q. Can mirror be used for outdoor applications?
A. Outdoor use is not recommended due to expansion, contraction and moisture. If used outside, seal perimeter with silicon sealant and protect paint backing.

Q. How can scratches in the paint backing be prevent from showing thru the front?
A. Minor scratches can be repaired on the backside by applying a small amount of argent (silver metallic) paint over the scratch.

Q. How can scratches on the front side be repaired?
A. Minor scratches can be subdued by polishing with wax. Larger scratches can be treated with a lamb’s wool pad and buffing with a light abrasive rubbing compound.

Q. Can hardcoated sheet be glued?
A. No, the hardcoat will resist adhesive chemicals.

Q. Can hardcoated sheet be screen-printed?
A. Standard inks will not adhere to the coating. Contact your ink supplier for possible ink alternatives.

Q. What fire ratings does Fabback acrylic mirror meet?
A. The acrylic for Fabback acrylic mirror sheet meets a C2 fire rating by ICBO. Polycarbonate meets C1.

Q. What masking is used for laser cutting arylic and mirror?
A. 3mil polyfilm or papermask.

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Posted by on August 23, 2007 in Acrylic, DIY, Fabrication


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