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PLEXIGLAS® and TUFFAK® SHEETS: LASER CUTTING
- Since polycarbonate and acrylic sheet absorbs electromagnetic energy at 10.6 micrometers, the wavelength of light emitted by a Carbon Dioxide (CO2) laser can be used to cut Plexiglas® and Tuffak® sheet.
- During cutting it is necessary to use a coaxial assist gas and/or proper ventilation to remove vapors produced during cutting. Proper ventilation is critical to contain these vapors and to eliminate the torch effect of vapors being ignited as the plastic is cut.
- The cutting rate of the laser is dependent on the wattage of the laser. The higher the wattage, the faster the potential speed. Below is a chart of approximate acrylic/polycarbonate cutting rates.
- Laser cut edges may be cemented with solvent cements typically used to cement acrylic/polycarbonate sheet. However, the laser-cut edge is not exactly square cuts these joints weaker than skim-routed or saw-cut and cemented joint. The squareness of the edge can be adjusted by the laser focal length. The longer the focal length, the squarer the edge. Cutting rate is adversely affected with longer focal lengths.
- On acrylic, a laser-cut edge can approach flame polish clarity by reducing the cutting rate. However, the more flame polished, the more stress at the edge. Cementing flame polished laser cuts with solvent cements may lead to stress crazing. On polycarbonate, laser cutting produces an edge that may have an amber or brown appearance.
The statements, technical information and recommendations obtained herein are believed to be accurate as of the date hereof. Since the conditions and methods of use of the product and of the information referred to herein are beyond our control, Arkema expressly disclaims any and all liability. NO WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WARRANTY OR MERCHANTABILITY, OR ANY OTHER WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IS MADE CONCERNING THE GOODS DESCRIBED OR THE INFORMATION PROVIDED HEREIN. The information provided herein relates only to the specific product designated and may not be applicable when such product is used in combination with other materials or in any process. The user should thoroughly test any application before commercialization. Nothing contained herein should be construed as an inducement to infringe any patent, and the user is advised to take appropriate steps to be sure that any proposed use of the product will not result in patent infringement.
See MSDS for Health and Safety Considerations.
© 2006 Arkema