What are the best methods and equipment to use when cutting lengths of ACRYLITE® acrylic rods and tubes?
Generally, straight cuts are best made using a conventional table or panel saw. A saw blade specifically designed for acrylic, such as a triple-chip grind, carbide toothed saw blade works best. For a 10-inch saw blade, 80 teeth are recommended. For larger blades, an equivalent tooth spacing can be utilized with good results. On a triple-chip grind saw blade, every other tooth has a beveled cutting edge, which aids in chip removal and reduces heat buildup.
Vibration should be kept to a minimum. When cutting rod material, use a miter guide or similar device to support the rod as it is cut. For tube, a simple fixture where the tube is supported by contact points 90° apart, works well, with the tube material rotated carefully into the saw blade. The blade should extend no more than 1/8" beyond the inner surface of the tube to help minimize the chance of chipping and exposure of the operator to the saw blade.
Moderate feed rates, in the 15-25 ft/min range, will ensure a proper cut. A chipped edge indicates that the feed rate is too fast, while a melted edge indicates that the feed rate is too slow. It is recommended that the feed rate be decreased at the end of the saw cut, especially on thinner sheets. This will prevent chipping and blowout of the exit edge.
|Chipping||Excessive vibration||Ensure pieces are properly supported on the working surface.|
|Excessive blade run-out||Check blade collar, replace if run-out is greater than 0.002".|
|Improper blade height||Set blade height at ½" to 1" above work pieces.|
|Improper blade type||For all-purpose table saw cutting, use a triple-chip, carbide tipped blade, 2.5 teeth per inch of circumference (i.e. 80 teeth for a 10-inch diameter blade).|
|Feed rate too fast||Decrease feed rate|
|Melting||Dull blade||Replace or sharpen blade|
|Feed rate too slow||Increase feed rate|
|Improper blade style||For all-purpose table saw cutting, use a triple-chip, carbide tipped blade, 2.5 teeth per inch of circumference (i.e. 80 teeth for a 10-inch diameter blade).|