Choosing a Manufacturing Career

3 Tips To Help You Clean Up Your Acrylic Seams

Acrylic is a versatile and affordable material that is relatively easy to work with. These characteristics have helped acrylic become a popular choice for fabricators across the country. If your shop regularly works with acrylic to complete orders for customers, you know that creating a smooth seam can be challenging when you need to glue two pieces of acrylic together. Since the material is clear, any imperfections will be visible in your finished product.

Here are three tips that you can use to help ensure that your acrylic seams are as clean as possible in the future.

1. Keep your work area clean.

Anything that can find its way into your seams as you seal two pieces of acrylic together will do so. To prevent acrylic shavings or other contaminants from compromising the look and integrity of your seams, you need to keep your work area clean at all times.

Before you break out the adhesive to permanently bond your acrylic components, bring in a shop vacuum to remove all dust and debris from your work table. Taking the extra time to tidy up before creating seams will prevent a lot of wasted time caused by contaminants in the future.

2. Let each seam dry completely.

You might be tempted to try and glue more than one acrylic seam at once in order to save time during the fabrication process. When you have two seams curing at the same time, there is always the potential for one of the seams to slip.

It takes around 48 hours for glued acrylic to completely cure, so sealing one seam at a time can be tedious. Being patient with the curing process will pay off when your finished seams are straight, clear, and strong.

3. Keep your resin thin to avoid bubbles.

When using a resin adhesive to join your acrylic fabrications together, it's important that you keep the glue layer as thin as possible. Laying resin on too thick could result in the formation of air bubbles in your seam.

These air bubbles not only look unsightly, but they can weaken the integrity of your seams as well. By restricting your resin to no more than one-eighth of an inch thick, you can prevent the overheating that causes bubbles during the curing cycle.

Creating clean acrylic seams can help you improve the aesthetic and quality of your acrylic fabrication processes. Help your seams remain clean by vacuuming your work area before gluing, curing one seam at a time, and using a thin layer of resin to avoid bubbling.