Acrylic is clear plastic that resembles glass, but has certain aspects that make it superior to glass. The various machining techniques and machines here at Anco precision machining make working with this material a snap. There are two types of acrylic plastics. The difference lies in the way it is formed. The two types are extruded and cell cast. Extruded acrylic is formed using a cheaper process, is softer, scratches easily and can contain numerous impurities. Cell cast acrylic is considered to be a high quality plastic.
The U.S. domestic cell cast acrylics are the best choices for work that requires top of the line standards. Imported cell cast acrylic (form Europe and other areas) is manufactured to lesser standards and is cheaper. Numerous categories of acrylic materials exist, they are: Acrylic fiber, paint, resins, glass and polymers. Acrylic fibers are made in various sizes and shapes and are used in the manufacturing and clothing industries for use in sweaters, hats, knitting yarn, carpets, and tarps. It can also be found in carbon fiber. Most acrylic fiber is manufactured in the East, some in Europe and none in the U.S. as of recently.
Acrylic paints are loved for their fast drying and ease of application. They can be diluted with water but become highly water resistant after curing. Acrylic paints can be mixed and changed to have multiple finishes and sheens that can’t be replicated with any other paints. Acrylic resins are related and have similar properties to some thermoplastics. It is used mainly in lacquers, finishes and adhesive materials. The acrylic resin, Polymethyl, is used for making hard plastics that hold light transmitting characteristics. Polymethyl is a transparent polycarbonate and is successfully used as shatter proof alternative to glass. It was discovered 1928 and was first marketed by the members of the Rohm & Haas Company. It is more popularly called Plexiglass. It is usually preferred over other polymers because of its well rounded properties.
It can be handled and processed easily with very low costs. However it has a reputation for being brittle when put under pressure and scratches way easier than glass. Automobile head lamps, mirror frames and trimming are exclusively made form polymethyl plastics or plexiglass. It has also been used for motorcycle wind shields, helmet visors and sunglass lenses because it resists breakage unlike its heavier and more brittle glass counterparts. As electronics takes us further in to the realm of hand held devices and computers we will see a large surge in the amount of acrylic paints and plastics used so Anco precision machining will continue to make services available to the public.
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