Acrylic has a wide range of uses compared to other plastics. Acrylic is transparent, shockproof, and has better durability compared to glass. However, to manufacture everyday products from this popular plastic, fabrication is essential. Acrylic fabrication can involve welding, lamination, compounding, acrylic extrusion, and vacuum foaming, among others techniques.
Here's more information about fabrication and acrylics. The Fabrication Process The first step in acrylic fabrication is to make a mold with the desired shape and form. Acrylic has thermoplastic properties that allow it to melt and become flexible when heated. Once heated, the molten acrylic is poured into the prepared mold. It takes the shape of the mold after cooling and solidifying. The most common acrylic fabrication processes are:
Thermoforming. The plastic is heated to a point it becomes pliable. The acrylic is then shaped into a mold and trimmed to acquire the desired product shape.
Drape forming. Acrylic is heated to a point it can be bent or pressed to desired forms and shapes. This process requires no vacuum.
Cold forming. Acrylic sheets are bent without heating. The plastic is bent at room temperature.
Once the acrylic has acquired the desired shape, fabricators engrave different patterns to the finished products depending on the client's demands. Acrylic Properties That Make It Ideal for Fabrication Here are a few acrylic properties that make it an ideal option for fabrication:
Thermoplastic. Acrylic maintains its chemical structure, whether in liquid or solid form. The plastic is therefore ideal for thermoforming and other heat-related processes.
Durability. Compared to other materials like glass, acrylic is stronger and highly resistant to weathering and shattering.
Easy maintenance. Acrylic is an easy material to maintain. Products made from this plastic are easy to clean and don't degrade easily over time.
Transparency. Acrylic tends to remain transparent much longer than most plastics. Acrylic's high fade-resistance is why it's preferred for fabrication to most products.
Products made from acrylic look more polished for a longer time compared to products from other plastics. Advantages of Using Acrylic in Fabrication Other than being flexible to use, acrylic has a few other advantages you need to know. Eco-Friendly Acrylic does not contain the same harmful substances found in most other plastics. The plastic lacks Bisphenol A (BPA), which is found in other plastics and known to be detrimental to health. Versatile You can use acrylic fabrications in multiple ways. Think of a design or product, and using acrylic, you can make it a reality. Here are a few examples of creative ideas made out of acrylic fabrication:
Public aquarium viewpoints
Display windows in shops
Floors and table-tops
Rear projection screens
Acrylic's optical clarity, transparency, and strength make it ideal for home and industrial applications. Adaptable If you're working with acrylic, you have the right plastic to try out your creative ideas at a minimal cost. Acrylic is relatively cheap both to acquire and process. Designers wishing to create models for showcasing prefer using acrylic. The plastic allows designers to create models that mimic the original masterpieces. If the desired outcome is not reached, acrylic can be melted and reshaped until the right design is acquired. Disadvantages of Acrylic Acrylic's merits are also its demerits. Its sensitivity to heat makes it unfit for roles that are associated with heat. Acrylic is not easily recyclable, and it's also non-biodegradable. Fumes produced during thermoforming can be dangerous. Acrylic has multiple advantages that overshadow the demerits that come with plastic. Understanding why acrylic is preferred for industrial and domestic uses and its fabrication offers you guidance for acrylic products. If you need finished acrylic products tailored as per your specific needs, contact us.