Acrylic Window Care

Extrusions/Tubing/Hinges/Etc.

Acrylic Window Care

Postby twehr » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:26 pm

What is anybody using the clean the smoke, etc from the inside of the acrylic window on your laser?

I have heard of water and white vinegar (1:1) and water and rubbing alcohol (2:1). Main thing is to NOT use anything with ammonia.

The big acrylic window on the 2.x is beautiful, and I want to keep it that way. Your thoughts? :idea:
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Re: Acrylic Window Care

Postby Liberty4Ever » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:43 pm

DO NOT use rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) on acrylic. I've been using a commercial VersaLaser for 5-6 years, and their user manual specifically warns against its use, even though isopropyl alcohol is used to clean other parts. I typically use the borrowed laser on 3rd shift when nobody else is around, so by the time I'm finished, I'm very tired. Recently, even though I knew better and had always used a mild soap and water to clean the acylic lid as the manual states, I flipped a bit in my brain due to sleep deprivation. Someone had splattered some black ink onto the acrylic lid, and I decided I'd clean it off for them. Knowing that soap and water wouldn't work, I sprayed some 91% isopropyl alcohol on it and immediately realized my mistake, just a bit too late. The acrylic lid cracked in several places and is now being replaced. The manufacturer changed the design because of this problem. It was 3/8" thick clear acrylic and the cracking mostly occurred on the surfaces that were stressed because they had been heated and bent, but I have no doubt that flat acrylic would be attacked by isopropyl alcohol at a slower and less dramatic rate.

Another common mistake with acrylic is using paper towels. Most paper towels include some microscopic abrasive bits that will put fine scratches in the acrylic surface. You'll soon have a hazy finish. Use only mild detergent and water and a soft, clean towel for cleaning acrylic. If there is gritty contaminate, I'd flood it with sprayed on detergent and water cleaning solution, and use the clean towel to wipe it in a manner that lifts the floated contaminates away and onto the towel, rather than wiping them across the relatively soft acrylic surface. Even better would be a lid that could be easily removed, taken outside, and sprayed with a hose to remove any grit without any rubbing.

Finally, if you're designing your own laser, you can specify scratch resistant polycarbonate. It's a lot more expensive, but it won't shatter or break like acrylic can, and it has a transparent ceramic coating that is hard and very impervious to scratching. Sometimes, it's sold as "vandal resistant" polycarbonate or bullet proof glass. McMaster-Carr carries it. Search for polycarbonate. For cost, I'm planning on using clear acrylic captured in the slots on an extruded aluminum frame. I'll be the only one using the laser, and I'll try not to pull any all-nighters, so I can be careful with the maintenance. Worst case, if I screw it up, it'll be cheap and easy to replace the acrylic sheet.
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Re: Acrylic Window Care

Postby lasersafe1 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:47 pm

I've used OrangeGlow on mine and it caused no harm. I figured most smoke was from wood sap anyway. Now that I have my 1HP woodshop vacuum from Harbor Freight hooked to my machine, there is no smoke at all. I've also used the orangeglow on mirrors. Haven't tried it on the ZnSe lens or window yet.
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Re: Acrylic Window Care

Postby Sheila Sanchez » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:12 am

I'm using water, non-abrasive cloth and cleaner. A soft cloth moistened with water to gently wipe it away. Turn the cloth often to keep a clean side on an area to clean with. It’s important to avoid rubbing the dirt on the surface because it can cause more scratching.
Avoid any cleaning products with ammonia as it will eat through the surface and leave it looking cloudy.
You can either use a car wax or other buffing compound to remove scratches. Apply the wax and use the supplied buffer to buff until the scratches are removed.

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Last edited by Sheila Sanchez on Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Acrylic Window Care

Postby Liberty4Ever » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:26 am

Sheila Sanchez wrote:You can either use a car wax or other buffing compound to remove scrathches. Apply the wax and use the supplied buffer to buff until the scratches are removed.

I had an airplane with an acrylic bubble canopy. I used Lemon Pledge furniture polish. The wax gets down into the microscopic scratches. The wax has nearly the same refractive index as acrylic, so the haze of microscopic scratches disappears.

I agree that it's best to avoid the scratches rather than trying to deal with them later.
Apparently, I didn't build that! :-)
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Re: Acrylic Window Care

Postby bdring » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:44 am

Nice sig' Sheila.

My knuckles are bamboo :) I tend to be the greenest guy in the fight :oops:

bamboo_knuckles.JPG
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Re: Acrylic Window Care

Postby macona » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:55 am

bdring wrote:Nice sig' Sheila.

My knuckles are bamboo :) I tend to be the greenest guy in the fight :oops:



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Re: Acrylic Window Care

Postby pastevez » Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:50 pm

I buy a brass knuckles just for self defense, but the one thing is I didn't really use it for self defense I really use it if I had fought.. :o :D
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