ACRYLITE® GP

Characteristics

ACRYLITE® GP acrylic sheet is a cell-cast acrylic sheet made to exacting standards. It offers excellent optical characteristics, thickness tolerances, light stability, and low internal stress levels for consistent performance.

Colorless ACRYLITE GP sheet carries an exclusive 10-year limited warranty on light transmission, your assurance of a quality product. A printed copy of the warranty is available from CYRO Industries or wherever ACRYLITE® acrylic sheet is sold.

In addition to colorless sheet, a wide range of transparent, translucent and opaque colors are also available. Colorless sheets and over 50 standard colors. Custom colors can be made to order. ACRYLITE GP sheet is a lightweight, rigid thermoplastic material that has many times the breakage resistance of standard window pane glass. It is highly resistant to weather conditions. ACRYLITE GP sheet can be easily sawed, machined, thermoformed, and cemented. It is suitable for most commercial applications and is ultraviolet light absorbing up to approximately 360 nanometers. For greater ultraviolet light transmission, ACRYLITE® OP-1 or ACRYLITE® OP-4 acrylic sheet may be used. For greater ultraviolet light absorption, ACRYLITE® OP-2 acrylic sheet filters out more of the UV radiation than regular ACRYLITE GP sheet grades.

For security applications, ACRYLITE GP 1.25” sheet may be used.

Because of its unique properties, ACRYLITE GP acrylic sheet is ideal for a wide range of applications, such as:
• Merchandising Displays • Security Glazing • Industrial and School Glazing • Aquariums
• Lighting Fixture Diffusers • Shower Enclosures • Skylights • Decorative Paneling
• Hockey Rinks • Signs

Availability

ACRYLITE GP sheet is available in thicknesses from .060” to 2” (1.5 mm to 50 mm) and in more than 40 standard sizes from 36” x 48” to 72” x 120” (1.83 m x 3.05 m). Sheets can be furnished masked with paper or polyethylene film, or half-masked.

ACRYLITE GP sheet is also available with a non-glare, matte surface as ACRYLITE® GP P-95 and ACRYLITE® GP DP-9 acrylic sheet. Both retain the same physical properties of standard ACRYLITE GP sheet with the addition of the matte surface. ACRYLITE GP P-95 sheet offers a one-sided textured non-glare surface, while ACRYLITE GP DP-9 sheet offers the same surface on two sides.

ACRYLITE GP sheet is more impact-resistant than glass. If subjected to impact beyond the limit of its resistance, it does not shatter into small slivers but breaks into comparatively large pieces. ACRYLITE GP sheet meets the requirements of ANSI Z 97.1 for use as a Safety Glazing material in Buildings (for thicknesses 0.080” [2.0 mm] to 0.500” [ 1 2.7mm]).

Weather Resistance

Acrylic offers better weather resistance than other types of transparent plastics. ACRYLITE GP sheet will withstand exposure to blazing sun, extreme cold, sudden temperature changes, salt water spray and other harsh conditions. It will not deteriorate after many years of service because of the inherent stability of acrylic. ACRYLITE GP sheet has been widely accepted for use in skylights, school buildings, industrial plants, aircraft glazing and outdoor signs.

Although ACRYLITE GP sheet will expand and contract due to changes in temperature
and humidity, it will not shrink with age. Some shrinkage occurs when ACRYLITE GP sheet is heated to forming temperature.

ACRYLITE GP sheet is less than half the weight of glass, and 43% the weight of aluminum. One square foot of 1/8” (3.0 mm) thick ACRYLITE GP sheet weighs less than 3/4 pound (1/3 kilogram).

Rigidity

ACRYLITE GP sheet is not as rigid as glass or metals. However, it is more rigid than many other plastics such as acetates, polycarbonates, or vinyls. Under wind load, a sheet will bow and foreshorten as a result of deflection. For glazing installations, the maximum wind load and the size of the window must be considered when the thickness of the panel and the depth and width of the glazing channels are to be determined. If ACRYLITE GP sheet is formed into corrugated or domed shapes, rigidity is increased and deflection minimized.
Large, flat ACRYLITE GP sheet may deform due to continuous loads such as snow, or even from its own weight if not sufficiently supported. Increased rigidity obtained by forming will minimize cold flow.

Although the tensile strength of ACRYLITE GP sheet is 10,000 psi (69 MPa) at room temperature (ASTM D638), stress crazing can be caused by continuous loads below this value. For most applications, continuously imposed design loads should not exceed 1,500 psi (10.4 MPa).

Localized, concentrated stresses must be avoided. For this reason, and because of thermal expansion and contraction, large sheets should never be fastened with bolts, but should always be installed in frames. All thermoplastic materials-including ACRYLITE GP sheet-will gradually lose tensile strength as the temperature approaches the maximum recommended for continuous service. For ACRYLITE GP sheet, the maximum is 180°F (82°C).

Expansion and Contraction

Like most other plastics, ACRYLITE GP sheet will expand 3 times as much as metals, and 8 times as much as glass. The designer should be aware of this rather large coefficient of expansion. A 48” panel will expand and contract approximately .002” for each degree fahrenheit change in temperature. In outdoor use, where summer and winter temperatures differ as much as 100°F, a 48” sheet will expand and contract approximately 3/16”. Glazing channels must be of sufficient depth to allowfor expansion as well as for contraction.

ACRYLITE GP sheet also absorbs water when exposed to high relative humidities, resulting in expansion of the sheet. At relative humidities of 100%, 80%, and 60%, the dimensional changes are 0.6%, 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively.

Heat Resistance

ACRYLITE GP sheet can be used at temperatures from -40°F (-40°C) up to +200°F (93°C), depending on the application. It is recommended that temperatures not exceed 180°F for continuous service, or 200°F for short, intermittent use. Components made of ACRYLITE GP sheet should not be exposed to high heat sources such as high wattage incandescent lamps, unless the finished product is ventilated to permit the dissipation of heat.

Light Transmission

Clear, colorless ACRYLITE GP sheet has a light transmittance of 92%. It is warranted not to lose more than 3% of its light-transmitting ability in a 10-year period.

ACRYLITE OP-1 and ACRYLITE OP-4 sheet (ultraviolet transmitting) transmit more ultraviolet light in the range from 240 to 380 nanometers than regular ACRYLITE GP sheet grades. ACRYLITE OP-2 sheet (ultraviolet filtering) absorbs more radiation in the ultraviolet range below 400 nanometers than regular ACRYLITE GP sheet grades. It is used to protect art objects and documents from the damaging effects of ultraviolet light.

Transparent colored ACRYLITE GP sheet can be used to reduce glare and solar energy transmittance. Sheets are available in a wide range of colors with light transmittance values from approximately 6% to 79%. This broad selection enables the designer to choose a color which provides adequate daylight while, at the same time, controls glare and solar heat buildup. Translucent white and translucent colored ACRYLITE GP sheet diffuses light.
Colorless, textured sheet also diffuses light to some extent.

Chemical Resistance

ACRYLITE GP sheet has excellent resistance to many chemicals including:
• solutions of inorganic alkalies such as ammonia
• dilute acids such as sulfuric acid up to a concentration of 30%
• aliphatic hydrocarbons such as hexane

ACRYLITE GP sheet is not attacked by most foods, and foods are not affected by it.
It is attacked, in varying degrees, by:
• aromatic solvents such as benzene and toluene
• chlorinated hydrocarbons such as methylene chloride and carbon tetrachloride
• ethyl and methyl alcohols
• some organic acids such as acetic acid
• lacquer thinners, esters, ketones and ethers

Formability

ACRYLITE GP sheet will soften gradually as the temperature is increased above 210°F (99°C). At temperatures from 340°F to 380°F (171°C to 193°C), ‘it becomes soft and pliable
and can be formed into almost any shape using inexpensive molds. The optimum forming
temperature within this range depends on thickness and desired depth of draw. ACRYLITE
GP sheet will typically shrink 1.5% when heated without a frame. As the sheet cools, it will
harden and retain the formed shape.

Because ACRYLITE GP sheet is a thermoplastic material, heating a formed part to
temperatures above 210°F (99°C) may cause it to revert to its original flat condition.

Cutting and Machining

ACRYLITE GP sheet can be sawed with circular saws or band saws. It can be drilled,
routed, filed and machined much like wood or brass with a slight modification of tools.
Cooling of the cutting tool is recommended to keep the machined edge of the sheet
as cool and stress free as possible. Heat buildup should be avoided because it could
lead to stress crazing. Tool sharpness and “trueness” are also essential to prevent
gumming, heat buildup and stresses in the part.

Laser technology is rapidly being accepted by the industry for quick and accurate cutting,
welding, drilling, scribing, and engraving of plastics.

CO2 lasers focus a large amount of light energy on a very small area which is extremely
effective for cutting complex shapes in acrylic sheet. The laser beam produces a narrow
kerf in the plastic allowing for close nesting of parts and minimal waste. CO2 lasers vaporize the acrylic as they advance resulting in a clean polished edge but with high stress levels; annealing acrylic sheet after laser cutting is recommended to minimize the chance of crazing during the service life of the part.

Cementing

ACRYLITE GP sheet can be cemented using common solvent cements or polymerizable
cements. The most critical factor is the edge of the part to be cemented. The edge must
have been properly machined so as to have a square flat surface and no stresses. Annealing of the part prior to cementing is recommended. Cement and cement fumes should not contact formed or polished surfaces.

To eliminate stresses caused by machining and/or polishing, annealing is recommended.
ACRYLITE GP sheet may be annealed at 180°F (82°C) with the heating and cooling times
determined by the sheet thickness. An approximate guideline is: annealing time in hours
equals the sheet thickness in millimeters and the cool-down period is a minimum of 2 hours
ending when sheet temperature falls below 140°F. For example, 1/8” (3 mm) ACRYLITE GP
sheet would be heated for 3 hours at 180°F (82°C) and slowly cooled for at least 2 hours.

Flammabilty

ACRYLITE GP sheet is a combustible thermoplastic. Precautions should be taken to protect
the material from flames and high heat sources. ACRYLITE GP sheet usually burns rapidly
to completion if not extinguished. The products of combustion, if sufficient air is present, are
carbon dioxide and water. However, in many fires sufficient air will not be available and toxic
carbon monoxide will be formed, as it is from other combustible materials.We urge good judgement in the use of this versatile material and recommend that building codes be followed carefully to ensure it is used properly.

Other properties related to flammability:
• Burning rate is 1.2 inches per minute (for 3 mm thickness) according to ASTM D 635.
• Smoke density: Measured by ASTM D 2843 is 11.4%.
• Self-ignition temperature is 910°F (488°C) when measured in accordance with ASTM D 1929.

ACRYLITE® is a registered trademark of Cyro Industries.