How can you polish acrylic glass?

Acrylic glass is a translucent plastic. For a plastic, acrylic glass is unmatched hard. However, acrylic glass is significantly softer than numerous mechanical substances that can act on an acrylic glass surface. This makes the polishing of acrylic glass necessary. The best way to polish an acrylic glass surface is as follows.

Polishing plexiglass or acrylic glass - are there any differences?

Acrylic glass is polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), a thermoplastic. In addition, acrylic glass is also known under the name "Plexiglas". However, Plexiglas is the registered brand name of acrylic glass from Evonik Röhm GmbH. But if you want to polish conventional acrylic glass or especially a surface of "real" Plexiglas, you can use the same products for both applications.

Not every polish can be used for PMMA

A look at the properties of acrylic glass already clarifies on what means and products for polishing acrylic glass are suitable or not at all suitable. Thus, all chlorinated hydrocarbons and organic compounds such as benzene, nitro dilution, ethanol, acetone are not suitable conditioned. Why "conditional", more on that later. The following substances are harmless for acrylic glass:

  • oils
  • acids
  • Lye of medium concentration
  • inorganic compounds
  • Salt solutions and salts

Polishes and funds from the household

The specialized trade holds numerous polishes ready, which are suitable accordingly. For this reason also come numerous bathroom cleaners and polishes for the bathroom. After all, most of the shower and bath tubs today are also made of acrylic. However, the particular product must explicitly indicate the use of polymethylmethacrylate. Among the home remedies, toothpaste is also suitable for eliminating the smallest scratches and milky surfaces on acrylic glass.

Polishing with a polishing machine

The polish can be applied conventionally with a polishing machine. However, it should be kept in mind that the working area is limited to 70 or 80 degrees Celsius depending on the specific acrylic glass product. Agents and substances that do not have the appropriate approval for PMMA should be avoided at all costs. When used correctly, you can even round edges and still produce the noble-looking translucency.

Consider the consequences of a wrong surface treatment

In the worst case, polishing with such agents causes cracking. For an acrylic display case at a trade show or exhibition, that may be embarrassing - a crack on the hood or a window on an aircraft can be life threatening. However, numerous car polishes fall under the polishes that you can use, because the manufacturers must go out of the plastic parts on the vehicle.

For polycarbonate suitable means not mandatory for PMMA

However, this does not mean that a polish that you can use for the polycarbonate rear window of a convertible can also be used for acrylic glass. Of course, the same applies vice versa. For objects that are not exposed to increased safety risk, you can try a polish in a small area.

Tricks for "polishing" of hazy edges

There is a special trick for workpieces that are no longer clear or one hundred percent translucent due to the previous processing - hence the previously made restriction "conditional". This happens, for example, when sawing acrylic glass.

Under "Pour acrylic glass" we explain how you can dissolve acrylic glass yourself and then pour it again. But you can not just pour acrylic glass with it. Coat the cut edge with the dissolved acrylic glass. After the solution evaporates and the PMMA hardens, you have a completely clear, translucent acrylic surface.

Tips & Tricks

Acrylic glass can not only be polished. The applications are extremely diverse. So you can glue or weld acrylic glass and apply many other machining techniques.

Video Board: How to Polish and Shape Plastic Edges