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Acrylic Sheet Fabrication Guide

Fabrication Tips .. Techniques ... Optix Acrylic Sheet ... Duraple Impact-Modified Acrylic Sheet ... Roll Stock Sign Grade Acrylic Sheet ... Outdoor Signage PLASIOLITE INC. CONTENTS PAGE INTRODUCTION 2 PHYSICAL PROPERTIES 2 OPTIX FEATURES 3 DURAPLEX FEATURES 3 OPTIX PHYSICAL PROPERTIES TABLE 4 DURAPLEX PHYSICAL PROPERTIES TABLE 5 FABRICATING ACRYLIC SHEET CARE CUTTING MACHINING CUTTING MACHINING TIPS ANNEALING FINISHING OPERATIONS CEMENTING FASTENING DECORATING PAINTING FORMING METHODS 6 6 6 7 8 8 8 9 10 11 OUTDOOR SIGNAGE ROLL STOCK SPOOL DIMENSIONS TRANSPORTING ROLL STOCK DETERMINING SHEET THICKNESS DETERMININING SHEET SIZE SIGN ASSEMBLY 13 13 13 14 14 14 TROUBLE SHOOTING GUIDES 16 CHEMICAL RESISTANCE 18 SUGGESTED VENDORS 19 PLASKOLITE MATERIAL EXCELLENCE ISO 9002 Registered PLASKOLITE INC. P.O. Box 1497 Columbus OH 43216 614294-3281 800848-9124 Fax 877538-0754 Email 1 PLASKOLITE FABRICATION GUIDE INTRODUCTION PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet is an excellent choice for a variety of industries including signage store fixture P.O.P. display skylight buildingwindow hobby craft lighting and the automotive aftermarket. PLASKOLITE is a leading manufacturer of acrylic sheet acrylic resin polystyrene sheet and acrylic mirror sheet products. Since 1950 it has built an excellent reputation for providing superior quality products and responsive customer service. PLASKOLITEs commitment to quality extends over every aspect of its business. From our 350000 sq. ft. manufacturing and distribution headquarters in Columbus Ohio 240000 sq. ft. facility in Zanesville Ohio and an 80000 sq. ft. facility in Compton California PLASKOLITE delivers flawless quality sheet and resin to customers worldwide. To better serve customers sheet can be ordered in customized Run-to-Size dimensions special patterns and thicknesses. Inside sales representatives use automated order and shipping tracking systems to provide customers with up-to-the-minute order i

nformation. From manufacturing through customized product offerings packing shipping and order tracking PLASKOLITE is committed to delivering the highest quality products and service. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES PLASKOLITE acrylic is a continuously processed sheet made through a fully integrated manufacturing process that converts acrylic monomer into acrylic polymer then into acrylic sheet. It is crystal clear glossy durable weather resistant and lightweight. Advantages of PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet include high molecular weight for ease of fabrication low heat loss for economy and an attractive clear edge color. PLASKOLITE produces OPTIX standard grade acrylic and DURAPLEX which has an impact modifier blended with the acrylic resin. Acrylic sheet is available with a smooth nonglare or patterned surface in clear translucent and transparent colors. Supplied thicknesses range from .040 to 1.0 and widths up to 105. The Run-to-Size program allows sheet to be supplied at specific size requirements. This flexibility saves you time eliminates scrap improves productivity and reduces wear and tear on your equipment. Plaskolites acrylic sheet meets the following ISO 9000 Quality Registration received in 1994 International Code Council Evaluation Service ICC-ES listings as CC2 Plastics incorporates former ICBO SBCCI BOCA and NES certifications ANSI Z97.1 Safety Glazing Requirements ANSI Z26.1 AS-6 Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Underwrites Laboratories UL listings as UL 94HB and UL746 Compliant Miami-Dade County Product Notice of Acceptance-Plastics 10-year limited warranty on all clear acrylic sheets ASTM D-4802 B-1 Plastics 2 OPTIX FEATURES OPTIX acrylic sheet can be used continuously in a temperature range of 170-190F. OPTIX acrylic sheet begins to soften between 210-220F and starts to melt between 300-315F. OPTIX acrylic sheet can withstand temperatures down to -20F without noticeable changes in properties. ET ACR YL 40 20 300 Figure 1 IC SHE 60 340 OPTIX TEMPERATURE RESISTANCE LAS

S OPTIX acrylic sheet is one of the most durable thermoplastic materials for resisting scratches. It is also offered with an abrasion resistant coating on one or two sides to protect from excessive scratching. 80 ARD G SCRATCH RESISTANCE STAND PERCENTAGE OF LIGHT TRANSMISSION 100 380 420 WAVE LENGTH OF LIGHT NANOMETERS DURAPLEX FEATURES LOW HEAT LOSS In addition to the features of OPTIX acrylic sheet DURAPLEX acrylic sheet can offer the following Compared to a glass panel OPTIX acrylic sheet reduces heat transfer and solar heat gain through the sheet. The R value is .86 which describes the degree of insulation provided by acrylic. IMPACT STRENGTH 50 medium impact modified acrylic sheet is 1015 times stronger than double strength glass and 2030 times stronger than polished wire glass or other glasses. 100 high impact modified acrylic sheet is 2030 times stronger than double strength glass and 40-50 times stronger than polished wire glass or other glasses. Custom blends are available to meet specific impact requirements. IMPACT RESISTANCE OPTIX acrylic sheet is between 2-10 times stronger than double strength glass. Half the weight of glass and shatter resistant acrylic sheet is easy to transport. EDGE COLOR OPTIX acrylic sheet offers crystal clear edge color and excellent optical properties. DURABILITY DURAPLEX acrylic sheet is great for damageprone uses and rough handling. LIGHT TRANSMISSION OPTIX acrylic sheet has a light transmission of 92 and a haze of 2 or less. WEATHERABILITY DURAPLEX acrylic sheet is an economical alternative to polycarbonate. It offers significantly more weatherability than standard PETG or polycarbonate. WEATHER RESISTANCE OPTIX acrylic sheet is recommended for both indoor and outdoor use. It is able to withstand prolonged exposure to the sun and the elements. FORMING BENEFITS DURAPLEX offers a wide operating window of forming temperatures 270-375F. DURAPLEX is easy to form with short heating cycles. Excellent part definition no required pre

drying low orientation and low shrinkage are all benefits of forming PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet. ULTRA VIOLET FILTERING OPTIX acrylic sheet filters out between 80-90 of the UV light within the damaging wavelength area of 250-400 nanometers See Fig. 1. 3 38304.1_32 43004 415 PM Page 4 Black plate ACRYLIC SHEET PROPERTIES Optix Acrylic Sheet Properties Units ASTM Test ASTM Method Physical Properties Test Method Specific Gravity Units 1.19 D-542 1.49 Optical Refractive Index Light Transmittance Total Haze 92 92 22 db 27 Sound Transmission E 90-70 E 90 E 413 Water Absorption D-570 By weight D-570 db E 413 By Weight Shrinkage D-702 D-702 Shrinkage Shrinkage Mechanical Mechanical Tensile Strength - Max. D-638 D-256-56 10 cycles Rockwell 50 cycles Hardness 200 cycles D-1044 D-785 F 300-315 F 190 203 205 D-648 D-648 D-696 D-696 D-635 inminute 14600 Smoke density rating ft-lbin Notch Ft lbsinch of notch ft-lbin Notch 0.4 Self-ignition temperature D-1929 Smoke Density Rating D-2843 C-177 BTU 2Fin HRFtF insminute Smoke Developed Index .4 Chemical Flame spread index Smoke developed index 20 .28 Resistance to Stress Critical Crazing Stress to of notch 0 20 11.2 24.0 24.9 2 Chemical Haze Haze Haze Haze Haze Haze Haze 15 M-95 30 50 to Ft Haze lbin2 Isopropyl Alcohol Lacquer Thinner Resistance to stress Toluenecrazing stress Critical Solvesso 100 Isopropyl alcohol Lacquer thinner Toluene Solvesso 100 D-785 Rockwell Hardness and data are These suggestions based on information weM-93 believe thickness .250 tosample be reliable. They are offered in good faith but without guarantee as conditions and methods of use are beyond our control. We recommend that the prospective user determine the suitThese and data arebefore based on informaability ofsuggestions our materials and suggestions adopting them on a commercial scale. to be reliable. They are offered in tion we believe good faith but without guarantee as conditions and methods of use are beyond our control. We recomme

nd that the prospective user determine the ISOof 9001 Quality Systembefore suitability our materials and suggestions adopting them on a commercial scale. Plaskolite Inc. 204 Printed in U.S.A. D-1929 Flame Spread Index 0.28 x10-5 Thermal conductivity Self-Ignition Temperature Flammability E-84-86 ARTC modification of MIL-P-6997 ARTC modification of MIL-P-6997 207 insinFx inin-F 10-5 BTU-ft hr-ft2-F psi 10100 F F F C-177 D-635 .060 Sheet E-84 .236 Sheet D-2843-77 D-1044 D-1822 210-220 300-315 burning rate 12 x 2 12 x 14 bar Abrasion Resistance at 73 10 cycles 50 cyclesresistance Abrasion cycles 0200 cycles F F 490000 D-1822 Ft lbsinch ft-lbin2 Change in Haze Softening Temperature Melting temperature 17000 431000 psi Tensile Impact Izod milled notchStrength 0 cycles Tensile impact strength 210-220 psipsi D-790 D-256 F 11030 5.8 490000 5.1 psi Flexural Modulus of Elasticity Izod Impact Strength Molded Notch Izod molded notch 12 2 12 Strength x 14 barIzod xImpact at 73 Notch Milled Softening temperature psi psi D-638 Tensile strength Tensile Elongation - Max. maximum Tensile Modulus of Elasticity Tensile elongation maximum Flexural Strength - Max. D-790 Modulus of elasticity Flexural strength maximum 170-190 Coefficient of thermal Coefficient expansion of Thermal Expansion -40F -30 to 30C -20F 0F Thermal Conductivity 20F 40F 60F Flammability 80F Burning Rate 100F 5 5 Values F 66 psi 0.40 .40 Units Values 170-190 Melting Temperature Deflection temperature load unannealed Deflection Temperature 3.6Fminute 264 psi 2643.6Fminute psi 66 psi 27 Units F Continuous Service Temperature 1.49 D-1003 D-1003 Test Method Maximum recommended Maximum continuous service Recommended temperature 1.19 D-542 ASTM Test ASTM Method Thermal Values D-792 D-792 Thermal Values 2.7 3.0 2.9 3.1 0.075 3.2 3.4 3.6 1.019 3.9 4.3 3.4 .9 833 1.019 115 .318 .236 F .236 833 .375 .236 110 115 psi psi psi psi 900 500 1300 1600 psi psi psi psi 900 500 1300 1600 550 .36 PLASKOLITE INC. P.O. Box 1497 Colum

bus Ohio 43216 614294-3281 FAX 877538-0754 Email 4 4 1-800-848-9124 MPACT MODIFIEDACRYLIC ACRYLI PACT MODIFIED Impact Modified Acrylic Flat Sheet ACRYLIC SHEET PROPERTIES Impact Modified Impact Modified Acrylic FlatAcrylic SheetSheet Physical Properties PROPERTY ASTM TestModified Units Impact Acrylic Sheet ASTM Method UNITS 30 I30 I SG 50 50 I I SG05 70I I 70 100 100 I I SG10 Optical Optical 92 90 D-1003 90 92 Light transmission 92 92 Light TransmittancePercent haze D-1003 92 92 90 90 2 3 I D-1003 3 I 2 30 I 250 I PROPERTY ASTM UNITS 70 100 Percent Haze D-1003 2 2 2 3 3 Mechanical Optical Mechanical 0.4 1.11 D-256 0.9 0.6 Impact strength izod impact 73F Ft lbsinch 0.7 Light Transmittance D-1003 92 3760000.6 92 340000 92 304000 90 90 Izod Impact Strength D-256 0.7 0.9 1.1 4300000.4 250000 D-638 Tensile modulus psi Percent Haze D-1003 2 9000 2 8000 2 3 3 Tensile Modulus ofstrength Elasticity D-638 490000 376000 340000 304000 250000 10500 5600 D-638 7100 Tensile yield psiPSI 14600 8300 Flexural strength yield psiPSI Tensile Strength Yield D-790 D-638 11030 136909000 12000 8000 10610 7100 5600 Mechanical 96 46 D-785 59 78 Rockwell hardness Method A 68 Flexural PSI 17000 13690 12000 10610 8300 Izod Impact StrengthStrength Yield D-790 D-256 0.4 0.6 0.7 0.9 1.1 Rockwell Hardness Method A D-785 95 78 68 59 46 Thermal Tensile Modulus of Elasticity D-638 PSI 490000 376000 340000 304000 250000 205 180 D-648 188 200 Deflection temperature F 194 Tensile Strength Yield264psi D-638 PSI 11030 9000 8000 7100 5600 Thermal Annealed 5203 Flexural Strength Yield D-790 PSI 17000 13690 5 -5 Deflection Temperature 264psi D-648 F 194 190 185 3 x 10 58300 x 10-5 D-696 4.510610 x 10-5 3.5 x 10-198 Coefficient of linear inin F 4 x12000 10 Rockwell Hardness Method0-100F A D-696 D-785 x 10-5 4 x68 10-5 4.5 59 x 10-5 5 x46 10-5 Coefficient ofthermal Thermal Expansion 3.0 95 x 10-5 3.5 78 Avg. expansio

n Self Ignition Temperature D-1929 F 833 850 850 850 850 Thermal Self 8331.019 850 0.85 850 850 D-1929 850 ignition temperature F Burning Rate D-635 in.min. 1.25 1.53 1.97 Deflection Temperature 264psiD-635-88 D-648 inminF 190 185 0.5 203 1.97 0.85 198 1.53 Burn rate 1.25194 Smoke Density Rating D-2843 3.4 5.20 8.50 11.5 -5 -5 -5 -5 .177 Sheet Coefficient of Thermal Expansion D-696 3.0 x 10 3.5 x 10 4 x 10 4.5 x 10 516.5 x 10-5 0.36 16.5 D-2843 5.20 11.5 Smoke density rating 8.50 Self Ignition Temperature D-1929 F 833 850 850 850 850 .177 Sheet Burning Rate D-635 in.min. 1.019 0.85 1.25 1.53 1.97 Processing Smoke Processing Density Rating D-2843 3.4 5.20 8.50 11.5 16.5 Density Specific Gravity D-792 D-792 1.19 1.18 1.18 1.17 1.17 1.16 1.15 1.19 1.15 1.16 Specific gravity Moisture Water Absorption D-570 D-570 wtwt. 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 Water absorption gaingain 0.3 0.4 0.30.3 2-6 2 -6 3-6 D-955 3-6 3 -6 3-6 Molding shrinkage milsinch Dimensional Molding Shrinkage D-955 3 -6 3 -6 3-63 -6 Processing Density Specific Gravity D-792 1.19 1.18 1.17 1.16 1.15 Moisture Water Absorption D-570 wt. gain 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 DURAPLEX Dimensional Polycarbonate Molding ShrinkageComparison D-955 2 -6 3 -6 3 -6 3 -6 3 -6 Duraplex Feature Weatherability Polycarbonate Excellent weatherability Yellows and less glossy when exposed property reduction after exposure These values are not intended for specification. with no impact or optical to sunlight lessens impact strength DuraplexPolycarbonate No predrying required Often requires predrying Comparison These values are not intended for specification. Better melt strength Forming Forming temperature Wide range 275F-350F Feature Short cycle times Weatherability Low melt strength Distinct high forming temperature Duraplex Long cycle times more energy cost Polycarbonate DuraplexPolycarbonate Comparison Less clear hazy shows distortionYellows when exposed to sunlight Excellent weatherability with no impact red

uction lessens impact strength after exposure Cost Expensive Feature Considerably less than poly- Duraplex Polycarbonate carbonate Forming Better meltweatherability strength Low meltwhen strength Weatherability Excellent Yellows exposed to sunlight with no impact reduction lessens impact after exposure Forming Temperature Wide range 275F375F Distinct formingstrength temperature Optical clarity Very clear FormingClarity Optical Forming Temperature Cost Betterclear melt strength Very Wideless range 40 than275F375F polycarbonate Low clear melt strength Less hazy shows distortion Distinct forming temperature Expensive Optical Clarity Very clear Less clear hazy shows distortion These based information we believe Expensive to be reliable. They are offered in good Cost suggestions and data are 40 less on than polycarbonate faith but without guarantee as conditions and methods of use are beyond our control. We recommend that the prospective user determine the suitability of our materials and suggestions before adopting them on a P.O. Box 1497 Columbus Ohio 43216 commercial scale. 614294-3281 FAX 877538-0754 5 Email P.O. Box 1497 Columbus Ohio 43216 Plaskolite Inc. 204 614294-3281 FAX 877538-0754 Run-to-Size Available Run-to-Size Available PLASKOLITE INC. PLASKOLITE INC. cutting tool or Fletcher Terry Knife. Score to penetrate 13 through the sheet. Align the score with the edge of the table and apply gentle pressure to break the sheet along the score line See Fig. 2. CARE SAFETY CONCERNS Acrylic sheet is a combustible thermoplastic it will ignite and burn if placed in open flame or in contact with any other source of ignition. When storing or working with acrylic sheet please be aware of the thermoplastic properties and consider fire precautions. STORAGE PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet is best stored horizontally on the supplied flat bulk skids in a well ventilated consistent temperature area. Avoid storing acrylic sheet where extrem

e temperature variations occur and areas above 100F. Extreme temperature fluctuations can reform flat sheet as it can expand or contract. A-frames or special racks can be used to store sheet vertically. Construct the racks allowing the acrylic to lean approximately 10. Figure 2 CUTTING PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet can be cut with a variety of equipment. The selection of blades is critical with regards to the quality of the edge finish. Table and Panel saws are the best options for high volume straight cuts. Material can be stacked to cut several sheets at one time. When cutting the saw blade should protrude through the sheet approximately 14 See Fig. 3. Saw blades specifically designed for cutting acrylic sheet are commercially available. HANDLING PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet is covered with a polyethylene film or paper masking for protection during storage and fabrication. Avoid sliding sheets across work surface debris. Chips and dirt can penetrate the masking scratching the sheet. MASKING REMOVAL When removing the film andor paper masking from the acrylic it is best to start at a corner and peel away from the sheet. If removal is difficult combine 50 rubbing alcohol with water in a squirt bottle begin spraying at the edges as you pull away from the sheet. CLEANING Figure 3 Guard removed to show proper blade height. Clean PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet with a mild soap solution or a commercially available plastic cleaner such as PLASKOLITE PLASTIC CLEANER and a lint free cloth. To remove grease oil or tar deposits use hexane or kerosene followed by a soap solution. Avoid cleaners containing ammonia or alcohol. CIRCULAR SAW BLADE SPECIFICATIONS See Fig. 4 Rake angle 0 -10 Clearance angle 10-15 Blade teeth 80 per 10 blade Blade Diameter RPM 6 6400 8 5000 10 4000 12 3000 14 2800 16 2400 Tooth design See Fig. 5 Band scroll and sabre saws are best for cutting intricate shapes and curves. Again blade NEUTRALIZING STATIC ELECTRICITY PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet can be neutralized wi

th an anti-static cleaner such as PLASKOLITE PLASTIC CLEANER or ionizing air guns and bars. CUTTINGMACHINING SCRIBING BREAKING For PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet up to 14 thick score repeatedly along a straight edge with a plastic 6 Circle routers can cut round parts by securing the acrylic sheet to a turntable then rotating the sheet around the stationary router. Computer Numerically Controlled CNC routers are used for high volume intricate precise acrylic parts. The part is designed on a CADCAM system and geometry is programmed directly into the CNC machine. Many of the variables feed rate RPM bit diameter depth of cut are adjustable for optimum cutting performance. CNC laser cutters are used to cut virtually any shape part from PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet. This form of cutting produces a clean polished edge without saw chips. It is well suited for cutting small intricate parts that are difficult to hold down with other cutting processes. Paper masked or sheet with 3 mil laser cuttable film perform best for this operation. Rake Figure 4 Clearance angle Carbide teeth Figure 5 selection and proper feed rate is important to minimize melting or chipping. These saws are excellent for creating templates for vacuum or hand routing and trimming off excess scrap material. Routers are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment available to trim PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet. Bit selection is important and tools specifically designed to rout acrylic are commercially available. Use a downward spiral router bit to prevent masking from fraying. Routers produce a high quality machined edge ready for finishing provided the following formulas are followed MACHINING Many methods are used to produce a desirable edge finish. Shapers and table routers can machine square beveled bull nose ogee and other decorative edges See Fig. 7. Chip Load Feed RateRPM X cutting edges Feed Rate RPM X cutting edges X chip load Speed RPM Feed Rate cutting edges X chip load Figure 7 Table routing a beveled

edge. Hand routers are best used for low volume work. With a bearing-mounted flush trim bit the router can trim around a clamped template. Pin table and vacuum routers hand routers mounted under a table are more convenient to rout around intricately shaped templates See Fig. 6. Jointers are used to square and prepare edges for cementing or hand finishing. Multiple sheets can be stacked to increase efficiency See Fig. 8. Figure 8 Figure 6 Acrylic sheet vacuumed to a template with a foam rubber gasket between. Edge finishing machines with diamond cutting wheels produce an edge with a polished look excellent for cementing. 7 Mills can be used to create precisely machined parts. designed with proper geometry for cutting acrylic sheet. Use proper and constant feed rates and RPMs. To prolong toolblade life apply the fastest feed rate that gives a satisfactory edge. Eliminate vibration of the acrylic sheet through clamping or other hold-down methods. Align all fences and tables parallel to the cutting device. Machine PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet with a conventional cut rather than a climb cut. Machine off as little acrylic as possible. Two passes may be necessary for thicker acrylic one to rough out the part then a final skin cut. For jointers and shapers trim a maximum of 132 per pass. When necessary direct compressed air or an atomized spray of a water soluble coolant toward the toolblade. If all of the above suggestions are followed heat buildup will be held to a minimum melting and chipping should not occur and the edges of the PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet will be ready for finishing or further fabrication. DRILLING Drilling holes is performed best on a drill press with commercially available plastic cutting drill bits. Guidelines for drilling include Drill bit Speed Diameter RPM 18 3500 316 2500 14 1800 38 1200 12 900 58 700 The bit should enter the PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet at a slow feed rate then a steady rate producing two continuous spiral chips finally exiting through t

he acrylic slowly eliminating chipping. To reduce heat build up and removal of material peck feeding may be necessary when drilling thick acrylic sheet. Place a scrap piece of acrylic or plywood beneath the sheet to be drilled. This will eliminate chipping as the bit passes through. Standard twist drill bits can be used provided modifications to the bit are performed. These modifications will allow the bit to scrape rather than cut through the acrylic sheet See Fig. 9. ANNEALING After all cutting and machining internal stresses occur. To reduce the possibility of crazing small hairline fissures during cementing bending and forming annealing is recommended. Heat PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet for 5 to 6 hours at 130 to 150F in a forced air oven. Cool the sheet slowly to at least 110F. 60-90 FINISHING Grind small flats along cutting edge SCRAPING Scrapers are sharp tool steel devises used to eliminate machining marks and ease sharp edges See Fig. 10. Standard Twist Drill Bit Modified Drill Bit Figure 9 CUTTINGMACHINING TIPS For optimum cutting and machining quality certain guidelines should be followed. Always use sharp toolsblades reserved for cutting acrylic sheet. Whenever possible use toolsblades specifically Figure 10 8 SANDING BUFFING All methods of sanding will result in the removal of machining marks and produce a matte finish. The choice of hand palm random orbit disc belt or drum sanding depends on the quantity size and shape of the acrylic sheet. Like sanding wood work from coarse to fine paper. Use light pressure and keep the part or sander moving to avoid heat build up See Fig. 11. After sanding the edge is ready for buffing or flame polishing. A well machined edge is required to polish without additional sanding. Preferably use stationary machines with polishing wheels dedicated to buffing acrylic. Wheels 8-14 diameter 2-3 wide of bleached muslin with bias strips run cooler than ones fully stitched. With light pressure keep the PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet moving

across the wheel to prevent excess heat build up See Fig. 13. Figure 13 Finish quality depends on the polishing compounds used. A medium cutting compound will result in a good finish in one operation. A high luster finish can be achieved by first applying a fast cutting compound to remove machining and sanding marks followed by a fine compound on a finishing wheel. Figure 11 FLAME POLISHING A hydrogen-oxygen torch with a 4 or 5 tip gently melts the sanded or machined edges of PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet providing a smooth glossy look. Low line pressures create a torch flame that is 2-3 long bluish nearly invisible and narrow enough to prevent overshooting onto the face of the acrylic sheet See Fig. 12. CEMENTINGFASTENING Cementing PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet must begin with well machined parts. A square flush fit without using excessive force is required to produce a strong attractive joint and to minimize the chance of blushing. Cementing should be performed at room temperature in a well ventilated area. A low humidity environment will prevent cloudy joints. Parts to be bonded should not be flame or buff polished. TYPES OF CEMENTS Solvent cements - Water thin solvents that soften the acrylic diffuses and evaporates allowing the parts to harden together. Mixed solvent cements - Solvent cement thickened with an acrylic polymer to slow cure times and fill small voids. Polymerizable cements - Methyl methacrylate monomer and a catalyst mixed to produce a cement for strong long lasting museum quality joints. Figure 12 Remove the masking from the acrylic sheet and guide the torch along the edge at a rate of approximately 3-4 per second. As with other cutting and machining processes avoid excessive heat build up. Bubbles stress and crazing will occur if the flame is moved too slowly. Do not cement a flame polished edge. 9 CAPILLARY CEMENTING MECHANICAL FASTENING This technique allows solvent cement to flow into the joint and melt the parts together. Apply cement with a syringe

solvent applicator or eyedropper. Use small weights fixtures and fences to hold the parts in place See Fig. 14. Initial bonding occurs within 5-10 seconds. A three hour cure time is sufficient to allow further fabrication and 24-48 hours for maximum bond strength. Attaching PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet to itself or to other substrates can be accomplished with screws nuts and bolts rivets or other mechanical fasteners. However when the acrylic is exposed to fluctuating temperatures allowances for expansion and contraction must be provided. Drilling oversized holes or slots using washers and spacers and not overtightening the fasteners will allow the acrylic sheet to move See SHEET SIZE on page14. ULTRASONIC WELDING Sonic welding the use of electrical energy that is converted to mechanical vibration to melt acrylic sheet can be used to press parts together. DECORATING PREPARATION PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet can be easily decorated using paints produced specifically for acrylic or vinyl. Follow paint manufactures guidelines for thinners viscosity methods and volumes for optimum results. Proper machining forming and fabricating techniques should be followed to reduce the chance of crazing. After handling and fabricating clean the acrylic sheet. Remove dust masking residue and static charges prior to painting or vinyl application. Painting acrylic sheet reduces its impact resistance. Design considerations should be taken into account to minimize potential breakage. Figure 14 DIPSOAK CEMENTING Place small wire brads in a level shallow tray pour in solvent to cover the brads. Rest the edge of acrylic on the brads for 1-5 minutes depending on thickness allowing the material to soften. Remove the acrylic drain excess solvent then quickly and precisely place the edge onto the other part. Hold the parts in place with fixtures or light weights being careful not to apply pressure. After initial bonding occurs 30 seconds steady slight pressure can be applied to remove any air bubbles.

Allow the joint to cure for 5-20 minutes before moving and 8-24 hours before conducting further machining or finishing. MASKING Areas not to be painted can be covered with a liquid maskant or taped off. If the acrylic sheet is supplied with a paper masking trim the paper to expose the area to be painted. For excellent results using a liquid maskant apply a thickness of 10-12 mils wet 3-5 mils dry allow the maskant to thoroughly dry and do not expose to UV light See Fig. 15. ADHERING TO OTHER MATERIALS Care must be taken when attaching PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet to other substrates. Different coefficients of thermal expansion exist between the two pieces to be fastened placing large stresses on the bond. To overcome the inherent stress along the joint keep the dimension of the adhesive area as small as possible and use elastic cements that remain flexible such as caulks polysulfides and rubber based adhesives. Pressure sensitive doublefaced tape depending on the end use may also be suitable for joining acrylic to other materials. 10 Figure 15 Trimming and removing spray maskant prior to spray painting SPRAY PAINTING can be accomplished. Certain restrictions such as heating temperature and time depth of draw and thickness of vinyl affect the quality of the end product. Refer to Vinyl film manufactures guidelines for more detailed information. Use an atomizing spray gun system that will uniformly distribute paint free of water and oil. The use of backlighting will aid in determining the uniformity of paint application See Fig. 16. Figure 17 FORMING Figure 16 COLD FORMING SCREEN PRINTING A bend in PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet can be accomplished without applying heat. A minimum radius of 200 times the thickness of the acrylic is required to avoid stress cracking. For volume production screen printing is fast and economical. Paint is applied with a squeegee in a uniform motion. Paint passes through a screen and transfers to the acrylic sheet. Using a screen in good condition

with a fine mesh size in conjunction with paint of proper viscosity will produce painted parts with good detail. LINE BENDING Line bending is a method of forming a sharp bend in the acrylic sheet. The radius of the bend can be controlled by adjusting the width of the heated area. Routing a V-groove into the acrylic prior to bending will produce a very sharp bend. Heating elements such as nicrome wire infrared rods or wide strips can be used. Heat the area to be bent to a pliable state then place the sheet in a fixture to cool See Fig. 18 19. PAINT REMOVAL When paint removal is necessary immediately remove the paint from the acrylic using the paint manufacturers recommended remover. Paint removers contain organic solvents harmful to acrylic sheet. Time in contact with the acrylic sheet especially on high stress areas of thermoformed parts should be minimized to reduce the chances of crazing. VINYL FILMS Lettering and intricate designs made with vinyl films can be adhered to PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet. Vinyl films can be used as a masking during painting operations. Depending on the size of the graphic apply the film using either the dry or wet method. Choose the proper vinyl film for the application desired See Fig. 17. Thermoforming acrylic with vinyl already applied Figure 18 11 THERMOFORMING PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet is heated to its forming temperature placed over a mold creating an air- tight seal. Vacuum is drawn through the mold pulling the sheet to it. Once the part takes the shape of the mold it is slowly cooled then released. Typical for signage Figure 20 shows a method for low volume production. The acrylic sheet is heated while on the mold vacuum applied. Angle iron presses out any webbing or wrinkles on the flange and prevents any vacuum loss during cooling. Since the sheet is not clamped in this method allow for shrinkage in the machine direction. Figure 19 Adjust heating time element temperature and distance from the heating element dependant on acrylic

thickness to eliminate scorching and bubbling or stress and crazing. Bend the acrylic sheet away from the heat source. Accelerate the cycle time by placing heating elements above and below the acrylic sheet. Visible bowing of the acrylic sheet may occur on bends that are longer than 24. To reduce the amount of warpage minimize the width of the heated area heat the entire bend evenly perpendicular to the sheets manufacturing direction and clamp the sheet in place while being heated and cooled. Figure 20 OVEN HEATING SHEET OPTIX THERMOFORMING CONDITIONS An entire sheet of PLASKOLITE acrylic can be heated to forming temperature in an oven. Acrylic sheet can be hung in a vertical oven or clamped around all four edges and placed in a horizontal oven. Manufacturing orientation of the sheet shrinkage and heating uniformity are important factors when determining heating and forming methods. Sheet temperature is critical. If not heated enough the sheet will not acquire good part definition too hot and the acrylic will pick up mark-off from minor imperfections in the mold. Mold temperature is important for good part definition and to provide gradual cooling to minimize stress and crazing. .100 to .375 thickness PROPERTY OPTIX OPTIX SG Optimal forming temp. Forming temp. range Heating time two sided infrared Cooling time Optimal mold temp. Free shrinkage at forming temp. Machine direction Transfer Direction 320F 270-350F 1-10 min5-4 min. 180F 1-3 0 DURAPLEX IMPACT MODIFIED ACRYLIC THERMOFORMING CONDITIONS DRAPE FORMING .100 to .375 thickness PROPERTY After reaching forming temperature the acrylic sheet is draped over a mold covered with flocked rubber or flannel. DURAPLEX SG-05 SG-10 Optimal forming temp. 315F Forming temp. range 270-350F Heating time 1-10 min. two sided infrared Cooling time .5-4 min. Optimal mold temp. 175F Free shrinkage at forming temp. Machine direction 1-3 Transfer Direction 0 FREE BLOWN FORMING By clamping heated acrylic sheet beneath a forming temp

late and applying compressed air through an orifice the sheet can be blown up similar to blowing a bubble. This method can be reversed by drawing the sheet into a chamber using vacuum pressure. 12 310F 270-350F 1-10 min5-4 min. 170F 1-3 0 USING PLASKOLITE ACRYLIC FOR OUTDOOR SIGNAGE INTRODUCTION Topics related specifically to sign fabrication are presented in this section. Use this portion of the guide in conjunction with the PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet fabrication guide to minimize production problems. Along with flat sheet PLASKOLITE offers OPTIX SG acrylic sheet DURAPLEX SG05 and SG10 impact modified sheet in roll form. A wide range of sizes and thicknesses are available. PLASKOLITE Sign Grade sheet offers many benefits. Features include excellent forming characteristics with detailed vacuum definition high optical clarity and superb weatherability. Roll stock sheet features custom widths and lengths to reduce scrap and no required drying prior to forming. PLASKOLITE combines a tradition of quality and service with modern production facilities to be the supplier of choice for your sign grade acrylic needs. Height Width Depth Figure 22 Sheet Dimensions Approx. Weight lbs Width Depth X Width X Height .118 .150 .177 .236 500 400 350 250 ROLL STOCK STORAGE HANDLING It is best to store the reel on a portable A-frame stand. Slide a shaft through the reel ends then lift the shaft using a forklift or hoist onto the stand. The sheet can be easily unwound for cutting desired lengths and moved about the facility See Fig. 21. 30 63D X 40W X 70H 1170 1198 1235 1160 39 63D X 51W X 70H 1540 1514 1575 1480 51 63D X 66W X 70H 1935 1900 1985 1860 63 63D X 76W X 70H 2330 2290 2400 2235 75 63D X 90W X 70H 2475 2775 2825 2710 100 63D X 117W X 70H 3575 3625 3780 3600 TRANSPORTATION DISTRIBUTION Roll stock acrylic can be cut rerolled and shipped. Care should be taken to cut without chipping. Wind the sheet no tighter than 50 diameter. Protect the entire sheet especially the edges to mi

nimize the possibility of cracks propagating from impacts to the edges during shipping. Transport the sheet standing on edge. FORMING ANNEALING PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet cut from reels can be thermoformed without annealing. If reeled acrylic is to be used for large non thermoformed flat sections annealing is recommended See page 8. Coiling of the acrylic causes bows warps and internal stresses. Without annealing crazing during secondary sign making operations may occur. Figure 21 SPOOL DIMENSIONS For sizes and weights see Figure 22 and the accompanying chart. 13 ACRYLIC SELECTION mum sign temperature F - room temperature F X 0.00004. Calculate contraction by taking Measurement between channels inches X room temperature F - minimum temperature F X 0.00004. A simple calculation is to allow 116 per linear foot for expansion and contraction. Note Maximum sign temperature must remain below acrylic deflection temperature See physical property tables pages 4 5. SHEET THICKNESS Determining proper sheet thickness is based on the long dimension of the sign and the specified maximum wind load in pounds per square feet PSF See Fig. 23. The sign is required to meet a specified wind load determined by building codes of your area. Approximate wind loads in relation to wind velocity can be seen in Table 1. IMPACT RESISTANCE 170 160 PLASKOLITES sign grade acrylic sheet can be obtained with a choice of impact resistance. From OPTIX SG a general purpose acrylic to DURAPLEX SG10 that incorporates the most modifier PLASKOLITE acrylic sheet can meet the requirements to minimize potential breakage See physical property tables pages 4 5. LONG DIMENSION inches 150 140 130 120 110 100 90 .236 80 SIGN ASSEMBLY 70 60 .177 ATTACHING ACRYLIC TO SIGN CABINETS 50 .118 40 Typical sign cabinets use aluminum extrusions to engage the edge of the acrylic sign face See Fig. 24. 30 20 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 UNIFORM LOAD - PSF Figure 23 UNIFORM LOAD APPROXIMATE WIND VELOCITY 20 PSF 30 PSF 40 PSF

50 PSF 75 MPH 90 MPH 100 MPH 130 MPH Table 1 SHEET SIZE Figure 24 Contraction and expansion allowances must be taken into consideration when fabricating signs for outdoor applications. PLASKOLITEs sign grade acrylic must be allowed to move freely within a signs channels to prevent bowing or dislodging. The coefficient of linear expansion is 0.00004-F or .000072-C Calculate expansion by taking Measurement between channels inches X maxi- A hanger bar along the top edge of the acrylic should be used to correct any sagging or bowing of the sign face. This technique is commonly used in warmer climates and with large signs where it is necessary to prevent the weight of the sign from resting on the lower portion of the sign frame reducing the possibility of sign deformation due to high temperature See Fig. 25. 14 Figure 25 Figure 27 If mechanical fasteners must be used allow room for expansion and contraction. A method of attachment to prevent acrylic sign faces from binding on the sign cabinet include a spacer slightly taller than the thickness of the acrylic sheet and the sign cabinet combined inserted through the oversized hole and slot See Fig. 26. VENTILATION To prevent sign face distortion caused by heat build up above the acrylic deflection temperature cabinet ventilation should be incorporated. Consider additional vents when the sign face is decorated with dark paints or vinyl See Fig. 28. Figure 28 CEMENTING TRIM CAP Tack trim cap to acrylic with a water thin solvent such as Weld-On 3. Allow to dry then apply a continuous bead of thickened polymerized cement such as Weld-On 16 See Fig. 29. Figure 26 Tie bars are typically used on large signs to prevent the acrylic pan from blowing in out or dislodging. They attach the sign face to the cabinet See Fig. 27. Soft bumpers can also be used to minimize sign faces from flexing inward. Contact between the sign face and the bumper can cause friction thereby damaging graphics. Both methods work best on signs decorated on t

he first surface. Figure 29 15 TROUBLE SHOOTING GUIDES SAWING DEFECT CAUSES Chipping on edge of sheet Feed rate is too fast Teeth on blade are bent Vibration of stacked sheets Melting of acrylic Dull blade Feed rate is too slow Incorrect blade angle Stopping of sheet while sawing CEMENTING DEFECT CAUSES Crazing in machined edge Stress due to machining of cemented joint Edge polishing Chemical attack by cement Cloudy joints Excessive moisture Poor joint strength Bubbles Dry spots Extra solvent squeezing from joint Solvent action reduced because of low ambient temperature MASKANTS DEFECT CAUSES Weak and brittle maskant Air bubbles in film Film not thoroughly dry Maskant film too thin Excessive adhesion Maskant film too thin Coating exposed to UV SPRAY PAINTING SOLUTION Slow the feed rate Check condition of blade so teeth are correctly positioned Clamp sheets together tightly Sharpen blade Increase feed rate Blade angle should be parallel to direction of travel Material needs to move evenly through saw SOLUTION Make sure the tool is sharp check speed of tool anneal parts before cementing to reduce pressure Do not polish prior to cementing Change type of cement Use slower evaporating solvent Reduce environment humidity Improve surface contact between parts Use slower evaporative solvent Reduce clamping pressure Warm solvent increase room temperature SOLUTION Dilute slightly Wait recommended drying time Increase film thickness to 3-5 mils 10-12 mils wet Increase film thickness to 3-5 mils 10-12 mils wet Do not store sprayed acrylic outdoors DEFECT CAUSES Poor adhesion Incorrect paint Dirt or residue on sheet Blotches of paint Static electricity SOLUTION Use paints recommended for use with acrylic sheet Clean surface before painting Neutralize charges with ionizing gun Wipe with damp cloth 16 SCREEN PRINTING DEFECT CAUSES Poor detail Screen mesh too coarse Paint too thin Worn screen Paint drying on screen Hot dry weather

Large lapse of time between screening Crazing Stress from fabrication Flame polishing THERMOFORMING SOLUTION Use a finer mesh Reduce thinner additive Replace screen Add retardant to slow paint drying Flood screen between passes Review fabrication methods Flame polish as last step DEFECT CAUSES Bubbles Overheating Moisture Uneven heating Bumps in formed parts Entrapped air between sheet and form mold temperature too cold Sheet too hot leaving mark-off from the mold Crazing in formed parts Plasticizer in gasket on finished part SOLUTION Lower temperature shorten the heating cycle increase the distance between heater and sheet. Pre-dry material before forming keep masking on sheet until formed. Attach baffles circulate heated air Change venting system increase mold temperature or preheat mold Lower temperature shorten the heating cycle Change material in gasket Flexible vinyl gasket is not recommended Chemical put on formed part to clean or polish Use mild soap and water isopropyl alcohol or recommended cleaner Stress Concentration Round or bevel the mold corners to a 45 angel 17 CHEMICAL RESISTANCE of PLASKOLITE ACRYLIC SHEET NO ATTACK ATTACK Alum Ammonium Alum Potassium Aluminum Fluoride Aluminum Sulfate Ammonia Gas Ammonium Carbonate Ammonium Chloride Ammonium Hydroxide Ammonium Phosphate Ammonium Sulfate Antimony Trichloride Barium Chloride Barium Hydroxide Barium Sulfide Battery Acid 10 Benzoic Acid Boric Acid Calcium Hypochloride Carbonic Acid Citric Acid Copper Chloride Copper Sulfate Detergent Solution Diesel Oil Diethylene Glycol Ethylene Glycol Fatty Acids Ferrous Chloride Ferrous Sulfate Magnesium Sulfate Mercuric Chloride Formaldehyde Glycerine Hydrochloric Acid Hydrogen Sulfide Kerosene Lubricating Oil Nickel Chloride Nickel Sulfate Soap Solution Sodium Carbonate Sodium Chloride Sodium Hydroxide Sulfuric Acid 10 Turpentine Water Distilled Acetaldehyde Acetic Acid Acetic Anhydride Acetone Alcohol Amyl Alcohol Butyl Alcohol E

thyl Alcohol Methyl Alcohol Propyl Ammonia Amyl Acetate Aniline Battery Acid Conc. Benzaldehyde Benzene Butyl Acetate Butyric Acid Carbon Tetrachloride Chloroacetic Acid Chlorosulfonic Acid Chromic Acid Dimethyl Ether Dimethyl Formamide Ethyl Acetate Ethyl Alcohol Ethyl Chloride Ethylene Dichloride Ethyl Ether Formic Acid Gasoline Hydrofluoric Acid Hydrogen Peroxide Isopropyl Alcohol Latic Acid Methyl Ethyl Ketone Nitric Acid Conc. Sulfuric Acid Conc. Toluene Xylene 18 SUGGESTED VENDORS Weld-On 3 Quick set good bond strength SAW BLADES most aggressive. Avoid use in high stess areas. FS Tool Corp. 800-387-9723 P.O. Box 510 210 S. 8th St. Lewiston NY 14092-0510 Weld-On 16 Fast drying high strength. Weld-On 40 Reactive gluing system. Good for bonding PLASKOLITE acrylic to other materials. Lord Corp. Chemical Products 800-458-0434 P.O. Box 10038 2000 West Grandview Blvd. Erie PA 16514-0038 40619 Medium set time for acrylic to acrylic. 7542 7545 Acrylic to other substrates. 7550 AC Acrylic to trimcap bonding. General Saw Corp. 800-772-3691 20 Wood Ave. Secaucus NJ 07094 Forrest Mfg. Co. Inc. 800-733-7111 457 River Road Clifton NJ 07014 INKS PAINTS Spraylat Corp. 914-699-3030 716 South Columbus Ave. Mount Vernon NY 10550 Lacryl Series 800 Series Screen printing 400 Series Spray painting 200-T 201-T 205-T Thinners 206-T Cleaner ROUTER BITS Onsrud Cutter 800-234-1560 800 Liberty Drive Libertyville IL 60048 Amana Tool Corp. 516-752-1300 120 Carolyn Blvd. Farmingdale NY 11735 BUFFING SUPPLIES Akzo Nobel Coatings Inc. 770-662-8464 3669 Old Peachtree Road Norcross GA 30071 Grip-Flex Series FR-1 Screen printing FR-2 Spray painting T-2003 T2004 T-2005 Thinners T-4000 Cleaner JacksonLea 800-438-6880 P.O. Box 699 Hwy 70 East Conover NC 28613 Nazdar 913-422-1888 8501 Hedge Lane Terrace Shawnee KS 66227-3290 Saber Diamond Tools Inc. 614-876-0770 4324 Reynolds Drive Hilliard OH 43026 3200 Series DRILL BITS THERMOFORMING EQUIPMENT Onsrud Cutter 800-234-1560 800 Liberty Drive Liber

tyville IL 60048 Plastic-Vac 800-438-4139 214 Dalton Ave. Charlotte NC 28225 These suggested vendors and their products are based on information we believe to be reliable. They are offered in good faith but without guarantee as conditions and methods of use of the products are beyond our control. We recommend that the prospective user determine the suitability of our material with the products of the vendors before adopting them on a commercial scale. CEMENTS IPS Corp. 800-421-2677 455 West Victoria Street Compton CA 19 DISCLAIMER This manual is a general guide for working with PLASKOLITE OPTIX acrylic and DURAPLEX impact modified acrylic sheet. Because actual results vary with differences in operating conditions thickness color and composition of the acrylic sheet nothing contained herein can be construde as a warranty that PLASKOLITEs acrylics will perform in accordance with these general guidelines. Important Notice Our recommendations if any for the use of this product are based on tests believed to be reliable. The greatest care is exercised in the selection of raw materials and in the manufacturing operations. However since the use of this product is beyond the control of the manufacturer no guarantee or warranty expressed or implied is made as to such use or effects incidental to such use handling or possession of the results to be obtained whether in accordance with the directions or claimed so to be. The manufacturer expressly disclaims responsibility therefore. Furthermore nothing contained herein shall be construed as a recommendation to use any product in conflict with existing laws andor patents covering any material or use. Anyone experiencing problems fabricating OPTIX acrylic sheet or DURAPLEX impact modified acrylic sheet should refer those questions to the PLASKOLITE Inside Sales Department at 1-800-848-9124. This manual does not constitute an offer to sell by the Company. The Company sells ONLY under its current Terms and Conditions of Sale which

appear on its Acknowledgements and invoices. A current copy of the Companys Terms and Conditions of Sale will be supplied upon request. The details provided are believed to be accurate at the time of publication however no description is a warranty that the product is suitable for any particular application. THE COMPANY MAKES NO WARRANTIES AND UNDERTAKES AND ACCEPTS NO LIABILITIES EXCEPT ONLY AS SET FORTH IN ITS CURRENT TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SALE. 20 Worldwide Support Plaskolite maintains manufacturing and distribution facilities in Columbus OH Zanesville OH Compton CA Riverside CA Olive Branch MS Monterrey MX Grand Saline TX and Doesburg Holland for fast product delivery and local support of its distributor network. Columbus Ohio USA Manufacturing and Distribution Headquarters Zanesville Ohio USA Manufacturing and Distribution Compton California USA Manufacturing Riverside California USA Distribution Olive Branch Mississippi USA Manufacturing and Distribution Monterrey Mexico Manufacturing and Distribution Grand Saline Texas USA Manufacturing and Distribution Doesburg Holland Distribution Plaskolites Quality Management System is certified as being in conformance with the ISO90002000 standard. Please contact Plaskolite for technical and distribution information. PLASKOLITE INC. PLASKOLITE MATERIAL EXCELLENCE PLASKOLITE INC. 2006 Plaskolite Inc. All rights reserved. 0509