Pour acrylic glass: different techniques

The processing options of acrylic glass are extremely diverse. In particular, when casting acrylic glass, in contrast to other plastics that can be cast, once again clearly far-reaching properties. Afterwards, you will learn everything you need to know about casting acrylic glass.

Thermoplastics (acrylic) versus thermosets (epoxy)

Acrylic glass is polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). The plastic belongs to the group of thermoplastics (plastomers). This allows cast acrylic glass to be dissolved again, while, for example, thermosetting plastics (epoxy resin, polyester resin) can not be shaped as often as desired. But PMMA has even more advantages that make it so attractive for casting:

  • high impact resistance
  • very high UV resistance
  • no shrinkage (when curing) with corresponding products from the specialist trade
  • significantly less sensitive to scratching than other thermoplastics
  • Resistance to oil, gasoline, acids and medium lyes (concentration)

Pouring of water-based acrylic resin

The acrylic resins, which are available from specialist retailers, are mostly water-based products. This means that it is a two-component product (acrylic resin and hardener). Now the most different applications are possible:

  • Casting of three-dimensional figures
  • Coating and sealing
  • free of solvents (therefore very suitable for silicone molds)
  • Laminates (glass fiber reinforced)

Special features of the processing

Depending on the product used, the subsequent casting is translucent, but can also be colored and semi-transparent. Water-based acrylic resins do not shrink when cured, and there are no harmful emissions. Of course, you can also process cast and hardened acrylic mechanically.

This includes the polishing of acrylic glass, as well as the grinding or sawing of acrylic. Also interesting are applications in mold making. For example, if you create a negative mold on styrofoam, this has the disadvantage that it is open-pored for many other resins. With water-based acrylic resin you can seal styrofoam first-class.

Pouring acrylic based solvent-based glass

In addition to these purchase products you can also produce acrylic glass for casting. For example, acrylic can be dissolved in nitro dilution. To do this, place the acrylic glass in the dilution for several weeks (the stronger the material, the longer the dissolution process will take). The vessel must be sealed airtight, as the dilution must not volatilize.

Uses and applications

Above all, experience with the mixing ratio counts. The average mixing ratio should be 2: 1 (2 parts acrylic to 1 part dilution). Incidentally, you can use the thus dissolved and diluted acrylic glass differently:

  • as an adhesive for acrylic
  • to the painting (saw cut edges are so clear again)
  • for casting, coating or sealing

Special features of the processing

Besides casting, coating and sealing is also an interesting step. The keyword is gelcoating. When casting, you can use as casting mold all materials that do not react with the thinner, ie wood, metal, etc.

You have to keep in mind that acrylic dissolved with thinner shrinks slightly during curing. However, you can also cast such acrylic bodies in several steps. The individual layers are not recognizable later, the entire cast body is completely translucent. Thus, the shrinkage can be neutralized without it being visible later.

Tips & Tricks

When casting acrylic with solvents, be sure to follow the appropriate safety instructions (no open fire, generous ventilation, etc.). Otherwise, there is a significant health risk.

Video Board: Acrylic pour/different technique with a nice surprise