Annealing of acrylics is an important step in the
acrylic fabrication process. When the machining,
bending or bonding of acrylic has been completed
localised stresses are induced into the material as
a result of heating up a small area. These stresses
can manifest themselves as a crack or fracture at a
later date when the material is subjected to heat,
chemicals or heavy usage.
For example, on a sunbed
screen we must bend the plastic on a line bender
which introduces localised stresses along the bend
line due to heating a small area of the acrylic.
Without annealing simply cleaning the screen with a
household cleaner, which is a common mistake made by
tanning salons, will cause the area around the bend
line to 'craze' (visible micro cracks) - if this
same screen was annealed this would not occur
because the annealing process removes this stress.
Annealing also improves the dimensional stability of
a part, helps to reduce shrinkage and expansion and
will prevent stress cracks from occurring on a tapped
hole as annealing removes the stress introduced when
the hole is drilled and tapped.
Atlas Plastics have 2 ovens capable of annealing
items up to 1200 x 2200 x 600mm and at temperatures
up to and exceeding 500oF
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