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plexiglass vs. acrylic


polarbear

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I need to put a bubble trap in my sump that I am making. I noticed that plexiglass is cheaper then acrylic so I was wanting to see what opinions were out there about using simi thick plexiglass instead of acrylic. Please let me know what you thank and if you have used plexiglass what has been the out come so far. Also, if I can use plexiglass, what would I use to glue it with? Thanks biggrin.gif

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Plexiglass is acrylic, it is just a brand name. I usually use acrylite or cyro brands mainly because that is what is commonly available in the sizes I need. I believe Home Depot and Lowes carry plexiglass and usually only 1/8" or thinner. They may be selling an extruded instead of cast product. Cast is clearer and stronger.

1/8" is generally strong enough for a bubble trap. It just depends on the length of the unsupported span.

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Would I use the acrylic adhesive to bond the it together or should I use something else since it is thinner?

Plexiglass is acrylic, it is just a brand name. I usually use acrylite or cyro brands mainly because that is what is commonly available in the sizes I need. I believe Home Depot and Lowes carry plexiglass and usually only 1/8" or thinner. They may be selling an extruded instead of cast product. Cast is clearer and stronger.

1/8" is generally strong enough for a bubble trap. It just depends on the length of the unsupported span.

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Adhesive vs. solvent....

It is commonly refered to as 'acrylic glue' and 'glueing acrylic'. This is a misnomer. While there are epoxies that can be used to glue acrylic the true method is welding, often refered to as solvent welding.

Weld-on is just a brand of solvent. It literally liquifies a small portion of the acrylic being connected and the two pieces bond at the molecular level. There is no adhesive being used and no adhesive left behind like when you use Elmer's to glue paper together. This is much like welding two pieces of metal together.

The difference in the Weld-on products is a matter of acrylic content. Low number weld-on, like 3 and 4, are just solvent. The rely on a good fit of the acrylic being joined because they are melting the pieces together. Higher numbers, like 16, have some acrylic blended into the solvent. This allows them to bridge small gaps in the items being joined. In fact, you can make your own #16 by taking #3 (or 4) and stirring excess acrylic into it. You will end up with a thicker gel.

On a side note:

Silicon does not adhere to acrylic. Using silicon to attach acrylic to glass relies completely on the bond between the glass and the silicon. There are epoxys that are used by manufacturers to attach the two different materials. This is an actual adhesive, glueing, process. Using silicon on acrylic or PVC will eventually fail and leave a bigger mess than you started with.

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