Acrylic, also known as PMMA or plexiglass, is an important plastic polymer material developed earlier, with good transparency and chemical stability. It has the characteristics of easy dyeing, easy processing, and a beautiful appearance, so it is widely used in the construction industry. Acrylic products can generally be divided into cast sheet, extruded sheet and molding compound. Acrylic products that people often see are acrylic products that are assembled from raw materials such as acrylic pellets, plates, or resins through various processing methods, and combined with various spare parts of different materials and functions.
- The transparency of acrylic is very high, the light transmittance is generally above 92%, and the dyed acrylic has a good color rendering effect.
- Good processing performance. It can be processed by thermoforming or mechanical processing.
- It is not as fragile as glass, even if it is broken, it will not form sharp fragments like glass.
- The wear resistance of acrylic plates is close to that of aluminum material, and the stability is also very good, which can withstand the corrosion of various chemicals.
- The acrylic board has good printability and spraying properties, and the acrylic can be endowed with various decorative effects by using appropriate printing and spraying processes.
Acrylic is not a particularly hard material and generally does not require the use of powerful cutting machines for machining operations. Taking CNC routers as an example, you can use a small desktop CNC router to machine acrylic products with a high surface finish. If you want to improve the quality of your processing, you can use a router with a higher power output to improve the quality of the cut, such as Lunyee 500W 80*80cm Desktop CNC Router Spindle Engraving.
Acrylic processing usually involves the following aspects:
Because the wear characteristics of acrylic are close to those of aluminum, many people will use tools designed for aluminum to process acrylic. In fact, if you use knives designed for plastics, you'll find better results. Acrylic has a low melting point, so you'd better use sharp knives to avoid heating the material due to wear. When it comes to tool materials, cemented carbide is the material of choice. Steel can also cut acrylic at high speeds, but using a steel knife to cut acrylic usually results in a rough material surface. Some manufacturers use diamond-coated knives, but this is usually better for high-volume types of work, and diamonds are expensive.
Sharp knives are essential if you want a smooth surface finish. In addition, diamond and carbide tools can process acrylic products with good surface finish. You can also use the HSS cutting tool, but it requires a secondary finish to get a smooth surface.
During continuous operation, the temperature of acrylic will gradually increase, which may cause it to melt. To avoid this problem, machining should be done at low speeds with periodic cooling.
Acrylic finishing methods
When using acrylic to make handicrafts, it is often necessary to finish the acrylic. There are three main finishing techniques: polishing, texture finishing, and flame polishing. Polishing is the most widely used method of finishing acrylic parts. Textured finishing is commonly used in the CNC finishing of acrylic parts. Flame polishing is mostly used to produce clear, glossy acrylic product surfaces. But using flame polishing also has some disadvantages. It may cause cracks in the workpiece.
After many times of practice, we found that CNC processing acrylic has great advantages. Before machining, you should consider tools, surface finish issues, and precautions. Due to the characteristics of acrylic, processing work should be carried out at low speed. I believe that after reading this article, you already have enough understanding of acrylic processing, and then you can start your acrylic processing.