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Acrylic Sheet is Not Created Equally


Acrylic sheet is often referred to by brand names like Rohm and Haas, Cyro, Lucite, Plexiglas, Acrylite, and Plaskolite, to name just a few. While it's true that while each brand name does refers to a type of Acrylic sheet, each Acrylic sheet is not exactly the same. I am not talking about brand differences... I am talking about basic Acrylic differences. Sound confusing? It's not when you know that there are essentially two types of Acrylic sheet... Cast Acrylic and Extruded Acrylic. Each type of Acrylic sheet is manufactured using a unique plastic base and a unique manufacturing process. Because of these unique differences, each type of Acrylic requires the use of a specialized saw blade to cut them equally as well by compensating for their differences. Understanding these basic differences can help you select the saw blade best suited for your Acrylic sheet, even if it is Acrylite, Plaskolite or Plexiglas.

    Cast Acrylic

    CAST Acrylic is manufactured from a liquid acrylic that is poured into molds and cured. The combination of this polymer and the slow curing process produces an acrylic that has few imperfections and is extremely hard. CAST Acrylic is therefore often referred to as "Hard Plastic".

    CAST Acrylic's smooth surface, though generally less optically clear than extruded material, allows for very forgiving saw blade cuts that are less likely to chip or melt than EXTRUDED Acrylic.

    CAST Acrylic can be easily sawn using a high quality circular saw blade, engineered with extremely hard carbide tips. To prevent chipping of the material, the carbide tips are ground to a TCG (triple chip) or modified TCG tooth geometry. General Saw Corporation manufactures several saw blade series designed to cut CAST Acrylic beautifully.


    Blade Series For Cutting Cast Acrylic Sheet
    • PLG - General Purpose
    • PLH - Heavy Duty
    • TL - Thin Line
    • TR - Thin Rim


    Extruded Acrylic

    EXTRUDED Acrylic is manufactured from pellets of resins which are heated into to a molten mass. This mass is then extruded, (forced through a die), as a molten sheet. The composition of this plastic is much softer and pliable than CAST Acrylic, and is often referred to as "Soft Plastic" or "Low Melt Acrylic". Herein lies the universal difficulty in machining EXTRUDED Acrylic, cutting it without melting it.

    General Saws unique LOW MELT geometry generates minimum cutting friction, thereby eliminating the cause of overheating. General Saw manufactures several saw blades in the LOW MELT series. Below are the most commonly requested:


    Blade Series For Cutting Extruded Acrylic Sheet
    • TRL - Thin Rim, Low Melt
    • TLL - Thin Line, Low Melt
    • PLL - Heavy Duty, Low Melt



Saw blades for Automatic Horizontal Panel Machines

    HENDRICK AUTOMATIC

    General Saw Corp. manufactures a super efficient, clean cutting, thin kerf, PLJ-5AF Panelmaster saw blade series, for use on Hendrick horizontal panel machines. These saw blades are equally effective when cutting CAST or EXTRUDED acrylic sheet. (See pg. 6 of the General Saw Plastics Catalog, Very Thin Hi-Efficiency Blades for Hendrick Panel Machines, for more info.)

    EUROPEAN MANUFACTURED:

    European manufactured automatic horizontal panel machines perform optimally with General Saws Plastic Panel saw blade series design. (See pg. 7 of the General Saw Plastics Catalog for saw blades for HOLZMA, GIBEN, SCHELLING & SCM machines.)



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