How Do Companies Produce Cast and Extruded Acrylic Sheets?

When you want to create a wide range of objects from acrylic, you will inevitably need the services of Plexiglas and Perspex cutting companies in Sydney and elsewhere. The process of acrylic fabrication enables workers to achieve a diverse range of effects. These workers will not need to use any specialised tools other than the ones that they currently use to produce these objects. Instead, they will simply need to vary certain aspects such as the shape, the levels of thickness and the complexity of the design.

Acrylic fabricators often work with two kinds of acrylic sheets. These comprise cast acrylic sheets and extruded acrylic sheets. To produce cast acrylic sheets, workers pump liquid Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) monomer into a mould made from two sheets of glass. Thereafter, they submerge the mould in warm water. This enables the process of polymerisation to take place. This process yields a sheet of rigid PMMA or acrylic.

In contrast, the process for manufacturing extruded acrylic sheets is more complex. Workers feed acrylic pellets from a containment silo to a feed hopper. The feed hopper usually lies above an extruder line. They feed the pellets into the extrusion barrel. A single or twin-screw auger system drives these pellets through the barrel. As the pellets move through the heated areas of the extruder barrel, the heat levels continue to increase. Eventually, the heat melts all the pellets into one molten mass.

 

The machine pushes this mass into a cone-shaped die, which widens out into the die lips. The pressure exerted by the screw drive makes the molten mass reach the die lips and push outwards to produce a molten sheet. It is worth mentioning that the height or gap of the die lips will be slightly larger than the thickness required for the finished sheet of extruded acrylic.

 

Lastly, the workers will pass the molten acrylic sheet through sets of cooling rollers. This process will typically produce extruded acrylic sheets having a standard gloss or smooth finish. But, if needed, the cooling rollers could end up embossing a pattern or finish other than the standard one onto the acrylic sheet as well. Unlike cast acrylic sheets, extruded acrylic sheets typically come in clear, opal and black colours. So, if you require coloured acrylic sheets, the plastic fabricators you employ in Sydney and elsewhere will invariably use cast acrylic sheets.

 

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