Acrylic is often chosen because of its glass-like transparency that can be polished to a high shine – particularly for items that will be on display and for applications where edges are visible. When acrylic has been cut edges can look cloudy or opaque, no matter what it is being utilized, for one thing, that most people will want to ensure is that it has a good aesthetic. That is why it is important to learn how to smooth & polish acrylic edges Cloudy, roughed-up acrylic edges can be sanded down to a shine by manual polishing and fame polishing. Polished acrylic looks crisp, shiny, and smooth.
Sanding down the edges of an acrylic sheet
1. Prepare tools
prepare 400-grit or 800-grit sandpaper, it is best to prepare a pneumatic sander, Sand with coarse sandpaper first, then sand with fine sandpaper, after the alternate sand polishing, acrylic will become glossy.
2. Stick the protective film
Acrylic is a kind of plastic material; the surface is hard and brittle. When the acrylic is polished, you can remove the protective film on the side to be polished but keep the rest of the side protective film pasted to prevent scratching other surfaces in the process of grinding.
3. Start polishing
After pasting the protective film, start polishing. If there is a sander, use the sander directly. If there is no sander, you should first use No.800 sandpaper to polish off the cutting marks, and then use No. 400 sandpaper to polish. If there is a sander, direct select No.400 sandpaper for polishing.
4. Alternate sanding
The alternate way of Sanding is first with coarse sandpaper, and then with fine sandpaper that is, after sanding with No.400 sandpaper grinding, there is no obvious concave and convex feeling with the hand, but the eyes can still see some lines or grinding marks, this time should use No.800 sandpaper.
According to experience, when using No.800 sandpaper should be paired with water, it will be faster, and sandpaper friction will be reduced because water will take away part of the debris.
5. buffing machine
After sanding with fine sandpaper, you can see that the surface has no traces of grinding, the surface is flat, but the lacks gloss. you need to use the buffing machine to start buffing, put some wax on the buffing wheels, put acrylic sheet slightly touch buffing wheel, slowly move and keep checking the polishing effect until the edge becomes glossy.
6. stick protective film
After being polished, the acrylic material surface becomes smooth and strong gloss, and a layer of protective film on the surface of acrylic is necessary.
Tips for sanding polishing
- Keep the protective film as long as you can
- Always wet-sand the edges
- Do not wet-sand edges with electric sanders
- Use waterproof sandpaper
- Start off course, and work your way finer
Flame polishing the edges of an acrylic sheet
This method is just as the name implies. You are moving a flame across the edge of the plastic.
Prepare propane torch
It can be purchased at most local hardware stores. Before starting, make sure that you have all the necessary safety precautions in place. Anytime you are working with fire, have a working fire extinguisher nearby and ready to use.
hold the flame two inches from the edge and steadily move across it
Practice on scrap pieces until you get the right speed. If you move too fast, the edge will not polish, and if you move too slowly, the acrylic can actually bubble or catch fire.
Go over the acrylic edges again to finish the job
It should only take 2-3 passes at most to get a quality finish, and each pass should take no longer than a few seconds. When the acrylic looks like glass, that’s when you know the job is done. allow the edges to cool before making a second and third pass over the acrylic. If you re-torch the acrylic too quickly, the material could melt or burn.
For thinner sheets of acrylic, the end result will probably be acceptable. However, if you are using a thicker piece of acrylic, grooves left by the circular saw may still be visible. If this is occurring, you have two options:
Use a router or jointer to clean up the edges. Then, repeat the flame polishing method described above.
Tips: Do not polish the edges if you plan on gluing them. Gluing polished edges can cause crazing thus ruining the acrylic.
Other material Sheets
KUSLA is a leading supplier of acrylic sheets, acrylic rods, acrylic tubes, we provide acrylic plastic polishing service as customer requirements, As always, ask a professional if you have any questions before starting. Would you like more information on flame polishing acrylic? Contact us now.