Working with ACRYLITE®
Working with ACRYLITE®
Other methods of cutting ACRYLITE® Resist sheet
ACRYLITE® Resist impact modified acrylic sheet can be fabricated using the same machinery that is used on ACRYLITE® Premium (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® Premium (FF) sheet for additional information.
Bandsaws are used for rough-cuts and for cutting out shapes. For quick rough cutting, use blades with 10-14 teeth per inch in the raker style. If a smooth edge is desirable, the use of a raker style blade with less teeth per inch may be necessary and a coolant may be needed to prevent gumming at the cut. Satisfactory coolants include shop air or a water mist directed at the cut. For an acceptable sheet edge, feed rates should range 5-15 feet per minute.
Hand held jigsaws cut shapes well. To obtain the cleanest cut, clamp the sheet tightly to inhibit chatter and vibration. Jigsaw blades with 8-13 teeth per inch with a wavy set leave a fairly smooth edge. Feeding the saw at a rate of 6-10 feet per minute is the best range for an acceptable edge. Blades with less than 8 teeth per inch result in jagged, white stressed edges because they grab and pull the sheet edge, even if adequate clamping is provided. It is important to ensure the blade is sharp. Do not use a blade that has already been used for cutting metal or other materials.
Scribing & Breaking
Although the impact resistance of ACRYLITE® Resist impact modified sheet is much greater than standard acrylic, it is still notch sensitive allowing the sheet to be scored and snapped in the same manner as unmodified acrylic sheet. Mark out where the scribe needs to go. With the aid of a straight edge, pull the scribing tool across one side of the sheet surface several times until approximately one third of the sheet’s thickness is removed. Lay the scribed line at the edge of a table, scribed side facing up. Firmly hold the side resting on the table while applying quick, steady pressure to the free end. The sheet will snap along the scribed line. Straight scribe cuts can be done on sheet thicknesses of 0.098” (2.5mm) and less.
A viable option for blanking out shapes of 0.060” and 0.080” (1.5mm & 2.0mm) thick ACRYLITE® Resist impact modified sheet is the use of die cutting. Die cutting knives with a double-beveled edge on one or both sides are recommended when cutting ACRYLITE® resist impact modified sheet. Double-beveled knives provide a straight cut edge on the sheet. If a cutting knife having a double-beveled edge on only one side is used, position the knife so that the finished edge of the part faces the flat side of the cutting knife. The flat edge of the knife puts less stress on the material resulting in a cleaner cut. The knives cut through only about the first fifty percent (50%) of the sheet thickness, leaving the remainder with a whitened appearance. It is recommended that sample cuts be made to determine if the edge is acceptable. Presses that operate in the 10-20 ton range are adequate to successfully die cut ACRYLITE® Resist impact modified sheet. A backing material of polyethylene is rigid enough for sheet cutting and sufficiently soft so the knives do not dull as quickly. The use of sharp knives is important as dull or nicked knives will result in poor edge cuts and a higher probability of unacceptable parts.
Fabrication manual: Other Methods of Cutting