PLASTIC GENERAL INFO

Acrylic sheet

  • Also known as Perspex, Plexiglas,etc.
  • This product is crystal clear and about half the weight of glass and seven times stronger. It is relatively easy to drill and cut, and is a safe alternative to glass.
  • Applications such as glazing, boat windscreens, display, cubby house windows, light boxes, etc.
  • It is UV stable and durable for outdoor use. The life span of the material depends on the selection of the brand of acrylic.
  • Menzels plastics recommends the Japanese manufactured Mitsubishi Rayon"Shinkolite-A" acrylic for all applications demanding very high quality and durability, such as external glazing, Art Gallery use, boat windscreens. We also sell and recommend a quality commercial grade of acrylic for value for money uses this is a brand that often use in our factory for fabrication jobs.
  • Please note we do not sell or recommend inferior, cheap, made to a price acrylic. This type of material often has a shortened life span, may have styrene fillers and high thickness's variation.

 

Polycarbonate Sheet

  • Also referred to as "Lexan"
  • This is a clear extremely tough sheet. It is about half the weight of glass and approximately 250 times stronger. It is for practical purposes almost unbreakable.
  • No problem drilling, cutting or jig sawing. It can be supplied with the UV coating to ensure long outdoor life spans.
  • Its uses vary from machine and lathe guards, safety glasses, site tubes, roofing, glazing, inspection windows, police riot shields, bullet resistant glazing, banks and armoured cars. It is also finding more use as an anti-vandal protection glazing and advertising signs. Light boxes. Etc
  • Menzel plastics sell a range of high-quality Polycarbonate sheet, in various sizes, thicknesses and tints. We supply brands such as GE lexan,gexl10, gemr10, laserlight macrolon, Sheffield, Rhino, we also supply twinwall and multi wall Poly carbonate such as,Polly Gal, Macrolon,dampalon,thermoclear.

Traded tips do's and don't's, care and cleaning of acrylic sheet (Perspex).

  • Acrylic is approximately half the weight of glass and about seven to 10 times stronger but the trade-off is that it is more easily scratched and hence greater care is needed.
  • It is about the same surface hardness as aluminum and quality acrylic is among the most stable of all plastics.
  • To clean acrylic we recommend warm soapy water and to keep it at its best use Vuplex plastic cleaner and polish.
  • Chemical Resistance Of Acrylic it is insolvent to inorganic chemicals and normal chained hydrocarbons, but contact with organic solvent causes dissolvement, swelling,hazing and cracking.
  • Due to its greater thermal expansion, allowance must be made when drilling or fitting into a recess. It is about twice that of cedar, seven times that of iron, about five times that of glass.
  • Drilling Ordinary drill bits can be used but we recommend drill bits at slower speeds and having a backing sheet of scrap timber behind the acrylic to avoid cracking. On important jobs practice on a piece of scrap or offcut acrylic.
  • Cutting acrylic can be cut, scraped, engraved and machined as well as routed. Care must be taken to support the acrylic and prevent undue flexing and vibration. Saws can be the triple chip fine tooth circular,fine tooth jigsaw or band saw etc, if cut to fast, Chipping will occur, and too slow sticking and melting.
  • Fasteners we do not recommend the use of pop rivets on acrylic as this will often crack and burst the acrylic due to side expansion of the Rivet within the hole. Drill the hole a little oversize to allow full thermal expansion and fastening using screws and nuts, preferably with flat washers. If vibration proof fastening is required we advise the use of nylock nuts.
  • Polishing we can create a high-quality polished edge using our Diamond machine polishing equipment. If desired to do by hand it is a labour intensive method of scraping or standing with wet and dry paper through various grades from medium to very fine and final polishing with a fine abrasive polish. Flame polishing can also achieve the same result but we do not recommend this unless the operator has experience and some plastic and hand skills.
  • Cementing solid cementing creates a strong bond. We sell and recommend the use of Weldon16 in a tube or Weldon 3 in a tin.
  • Acrylic can be heated and bent and moulded and can be supplied in either flat sheets, clear tubing, extruded shapes and we have toughened acrylic hinges and off cut pieces. The sheets also are available in tints and colors, prismatic diffuser ,and Opal for use in skylights, light boxes and advertising signs.
  • Storage we recommend the sheets,especially the paper masked, be stored out of the direct sunlight and stored in a cool environment. It has a finite life span and sheets that are a few years old can be very difficult to remove the paper masking.

Trade tips do's and don'ts and care and cleaning of Polycarbonate sheets (Lexan)

  • Polycarbonate is half the weight of glass and about 250 times stronger, but the trade-off is that it is much more easily scratched and hence a greater care is needed.
  • To clean Polycarbonate we recommend warm soapy water and to keep it at its best use Vuplex plastic polish and cleaner.
  • Due to its greater thermal expansion allowance must be made when drilling or fitting into a recess it is about twice that of cedar, seven times that of iron, about five times that of glass.
  • Drilling ordinary drill bits can be used.
  • Cutting easily cut with most find medium saws, jigsaws, band saws, circular saws. Exercise great care when using circular saws.
  • Fasteners screws, bolts, rivets can be used, but allow oversized hole for thermal expansion Use nylock nuts if vibration proof fastening is required.
  • Bonding and sealing Polycarbonate is weakened and attacked by many common solvents and hence great care is needed both in cleaning and selection of suitable glues and adhesives. The only silicon we recommend is neutral cure ( roof and gutter) do not use any silicon with an acetic cure (vinegar smell).
  • Storage we recommend the sheets, especially the paper masked, be stored out of the direct sunlight and stored in a cool environment. It has a finite life span and sheets that are a few years old can be very difficult to remove the paper masking.
  • Bending Poly carbonate can be cold bent using sheet metal benders. It can also be bent and shaped using heat but with care and experience.
  • Poly carbonate is a tough elastic clear material which has an inherent memory and can withstand impact. It is thus very suitable for use as machine and lathe guards and in anti-vandal applications. Examples safety face shields, glasses, bank bullet resistant shields, police riot shields, roofing, sight glass tubing, illuminated signs etc.
  • Ultraviolet resistance UV standard Polycarbonate, although very strong, is weakened and will yellow with exposure to UV light. This grade of Poly carbonate is meant for indoor use only and we refer to it as general-purpose poly-carb GP. If the sheets are to be used outside we recommend the use of sheets treated with a UV coating UV1 one side only UV2 both sides.
  • Menzel quality it is our firm company policy to supply only quality brand sheets and to advise the customer of the best value for money to suit the application. We will not sell inferior material or engage in passing off inferior grades for more expensive ones.
  • Thermal expansion due to its approximately 5 times greater rate of expansion compared to glass we recommend allowances be made both in the framing or screwing down. The rate is about 2.1 mm at 3 m per 10°C.