What are the proper procedures and equipment for routing ACRYLITE® Resist sheet?

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What are the proper procedures and equipment for routing ACRYLITE® Resist sheet?

ACRYLITE® Resist impact modified colorless sheet(formerly known as ACRYLITE PLUS® acrylic sheet) can be fabricated using the same machinery that is used on ACRYLITE® extruded (FF) acrylic sheet. Fabrication techniques are nearly the same. Minor modifications may be necessary due to the sheet's unique properties. Its greater impact resistance and special formulation require special care in certain machining operations. In general, equipment should be stable, vibration free and show a minimal amount of tool wobble (run-out). For best results, follow the recommendations below and refer to the information prepared for ACRYLITE® extruded (FF) sheet for additional information.

Hand Held and Table Routers

ACRYLITE® Resist impact modified colorless sheet can be routed with the same equipment used for routing standard acrylic sheet. Because it is not as stiff as unmodified acrylic, particular care must be taken to eliminate the vibration of the work piece during the routing operation. If vibration is present, it can result in a chipped edge. To support thin material, 0.060" and 0.080" (1.5 mm and 2.0 mm) thick during routing, sandwich the material between stiffer plastic sheets. When compared to feed rates for routing standard acrylic sheet, ACRYLITE® Resist impact modified colorless sheet's feed rates are noticeably faster. It is less prone to chipping than standard acrylic sheet, particularly when entering and exiting a cut. Both materials are notch sensitive. Any notches in an edge can propagate into a crack under load conditions. During plunge cutting, the cutter has a tendency to grab as it penetrates through the sheet. Take special care to hold the sheet firmly. Exit the material slowly to avoid chipping or cracking during plunge routing. A safer option to plunge routing is to drill an adequately oversized hole and begin routing at this location. Carbide tipped, 1/2" diameter, two-flute, straight bits are recommended.

CNC Routing

As with all routing, it is important to ensure that the material is firmly held and supported to prevent vibration. This is even more critical with CNC routing because tool speeds and feed rates are usually much higher than with hand held or hand fed routers. When using bits 1/4" in diameter or larger, rotational speeds of 18,000 RPM and feed rates of 200 in/min will produce good results on most equipment . On large, stable, well maintained machines with very solid fixturing, feed rates of up to 600 in/min are possible. In general, much higher feed rates are possible with ACRYLITE® Resist™ impact modified colorless sheet than with standard acrylic sheets. For smaller diameter bits (1/8" and 1/16"), rotational speeds of 20,000 RPM coupled with feed rates in the 150 - 200 in/min range are recommended, provided that the router bits are cooled. Coolants such as compressed air or mist cooling systems can be used. In addition, consideration must be given to the depth of cut. For best results the cut depth should be no more than 1.5 times the bit diameter. For deeper cuts, multiple passes should be made. Using coolant and minimizing cut depth helps reduce melting caused by heat build-up and/or inadequate chip removal. Two-flute, spiral-up, and O-flute design bits made from solid carbide are recommended for most applications.

 

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