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Guidelines For ASTARIGLAS® Fabricator

We developed this guideline to make it easier for the fabricator to work with ASTARIGLAS®.


ASTARIGLAS® acrylic sheet is the most versatile material in the workshop because its properties make it very suitable for various purposes, from precision engineering components to domestic and commercial products. Some of the many applications are signs, glazing, safety screens, roofing, lighting fittings, medical and research apparatus, furniture and craft work.

ASTARIGLAS® is manufactured in two forms: cell cast sheet and extruded sheet. Cell cast sheet is available in a wide range of thicknesses and colours. The extruded sheet, ASTARIGLAS® XT, is available in clear, in a range of opal colours and a limited range of transparent colours.

Differences in the performance of cell cast and extruded acrylic sheets arise from the nature of the polymer. There is a longer molecular chain in cell cast sheet than in the extruded product. This guideline draws attention to areas where the service behaviour of cast and extruded sheets may differ otherwise, that the information given applies to both products.

  • Excellent surface quality.
  • It is outstanding among other plastics for resistance to discolouration by sunlight and weathering.
  • Hygienic and easy to keep clean.
  • It has consistent mechanical properties for engineering applications.
  • Low density - approximately half the weight of glass of similar thickness.
  • It has good resistance to many common chemicals.
  • It has greater impact resistance than glass.
  • Clear ASTARIGLAS® is colourless and transmits >92% of the light passing through it.
  • Opal ASTARIGLAS® diffuses light efficiently.
  • Grades of ASTARIGLAS® with unique properties include grades with special light diffusing (LED SHEET, LED BLOCK), grade for security applications (BR – Bullet Resistant) and grade for sanitaryware (SW). In general, these are fabricated in the same way as standard ASTARIGLAS®.


ASTARIGLAS® is a combustible material, and naked flames should not be allowed to come into contact with it because ignition may occur (Except in the case of flame polishing which is carried out under controlled condition).

Unlike cell cast sheets, ASTARIGLAS® XT extruded acrylic sheets form burning droplets; in other respects, the two products behave similarly. When ASTARIGLAS® burns, its burning rate is similar to hardwoods. Still, unlike wood and similar materials, burning ASTARIGLAS® produces a litter of no smoke and does not continue to smoulder after the flames have been extinguished.


ASTARIGLAS® GP acrylic sheets are supplied with either paper or polyethylene masking. ASTARIGLAS® XT acrylic sheets are provided with polyethylene masking. Paper masking may be challenging to remove if stored for extended periods of time.

The masking helps prevent accidental scratching during normal handling and fabrication operations and should be kept in place for most cutting and machining procedures. Although the masking provides a significant degree of protection against surface damage, the fabricator should avoid sliding the sheets over each other or across rough surfaces. Paper masking should be removed from both sides of the sheet before it is thermoformed.

The adhesion of masking paper on the ASTARIGLAS® GP acrylic sheet may increase over time, making it difficult to unmask. Use older stock first. Recently acquired sheets should be placed behind the older sheets in the storage rack.


Before starting, there are ways to store ASTARIGLAS® Cast Acrylic Sheet. There are many problems occurring when the sheets are not store carefully and properly as they might warp.

Storage | Do’s and Don’ts

  • Keep in a well ventilated room or area with consistent temperature: The sheets are best to keep in a cool and dry place.
  • Store the sheets horizontally on a flat surface: It is best to store the sheets on top of wooden pallets.
  • If the sheets are stored vertically, keep in special or customized racks: Allow the sheets to lean approximately 10°.

  • Avoid keeping the sheets in an extreme temperature: The sheets might deform or expanded.

  • Do not slide the sheets across work surface debris as dirt and chips can penetrate the masking, scratching the sheet.


The production processes for ASTARIGLAS® cell cast and extruded sheets are fundamentally different, and both materials will exhibit some shrinkage when heated to thermoforming temperature. For example, when the cell cast sheet is heated, it will shrink during cooling. It will be approximately 2% smaller in length and width, with a noticeable increase in thickness. No further shrinkage will occur on reheating, but this initial shrinkage must be considered when preparing the sheet into the desired dimension before thermoforming.

When the extruded sheet is heated, it will exhibit relatively more shrinkage in the direction of extrusion and very little across the direction of extrusion. It isn't easy to give exact figures for the shrinkage of the extruded sheet because this will depend on the thickness and the heating time. Generally, a 2mm sheet will shrink slightly more than 5mm when freely heated, typically about 5%. When sheets are clamped cold in a frame before heating, the shrinkage is restrained, and the shrinkage of the material during cooling is less likely to happen.

  • Wear mask when sanding or when working in an area and/or produce small particles.
  • Work in a proper environment with well-ventilated room.
  • Always wear safety glasses/ goggles.
  • When gluing, always wear rubber gloves.
  • Wear protective gloves when mobilizing ASTARIGLAS® products with sharp edges especially thick sheets.
  • Wear hearing protection, when working with heavy equipment or in high noise work areas.


The fastest and easiest way to cut ASTARIGLAS® is by using circular saw. Below are the dos and don’ts when cutting ASTARIGLAS® :

  • Keep the blade sharp: Sharp teeth are essential for achieving good results.
  • Always use safety glasses.
  • Don’t use the saw blade to cut other materials: It’s important to dedicate saw blades for cutting acrylic only. Cutting other materials on saw blades intended for acrylic will dull or damage the blade and lead to poor cutting performance when the blade is used again to cut acrylic.
  • Never cut Acrylic freehand always have it securely fastened down of safety.
  • Never cut Acrylics on slow speed setting.

It’s important to have the ASTARIGLAS® well secured while cutting. This can be achieved by using clamps or in this case we are using a handheld saw with a guide. Using this system will give you a straight and even cut and helps holds ASTARIGLAS® down. For the best results use a triple chip blade this will give a fine cut edge ready to polish no need to sand. Using a triple chip blade, you will get a nice even cut. This result will save you time if you need to polish the cut edge.


For all thicknesses of material, the saw guides should be kept as close together as possible in order to reduce the tendency of the blade to twist. This ensures straight cutting and longer working life for the blade. Compressed air should be directed at the point of contact to cool the acrylic and the blade, as well to clear the chips.


ASTARIGLAS® up to 5mm thick may be cut in a straight line by deeply scribing one surface with a sharp metal scriber, clamping the sheet with scribed line uppermost and aligned with the edge of a bench, and breaking the sheet by pressing steadily downwards on the free part. In general, however, sawing is a more reliable and controllable method of cutting ASTARIGLAS®.


Laser cutting is a compute controlled cutting method. Greater creativity and precision for cutting ASTARIGLAS® are advantages of this method. Thicknesses up to 30mm can be cut although there is some reduction in the quality of the edge finish above 12mm. Laser cut edges can be a high standard with a polish equal to that produced by flame polishing depending on the power and feed rate.

a. Manual Feed Routers
  • When cutting ASTARIGLAS® with a freehand router you will find it will want to grip the acrylic causing the router to jump and that will cause all types of problems.
  • When using a hand router, we recommend you should use a jig as this will help keep the router in line and give you good result’s every time.
  • Being that a router spins at high speed it will give you a good finish.
  • For the best results in cutting ASTARIGLAS® make sure the panel is secure and don’t allow any movement while cutting.
  • Standard high-speed wood working routers may be used for machining ASTARIGLAS®.
b. Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) machines

CNC machines are available from several manufacturers for high volume production. Today there are many companies manufacturing CNC routers servicing industries that fabricate wood, metal, and plastic products. As a result, a variety of machine designs are available to fit different job requirements. It is highly recommended to use one flute high rake low clearance router bit to cut ASTARIGLAS®.


Planing ASTARIGLAS® can be easy as long you give a few millimeters tolerance. A planer is a tool that spins at high speed that scrape off acrylic edge and if used correctly will give you good results. You will not need to sand the edge after planing ASTARIGLAS®, just wipe clean and the sheets are ready for gluing, hand or flame polish. Planing is one of the fastest way to give ASTARIGLAS® a great finish.


Drilling ASTARIGLAS® can be difficult however if you take your time and use the right drill bit you will have success. You must have ASTARIGLAS® supported at all times and reduced the heat generated during the process to a minimum, this will stop the acrylic from flexing while drilling and obtained a well-finished results. You can reduce the heat by applying coolant, adjusting drilling speed and feeds. For drilling thin sheet, the standard included angle of the point may require modification to ensure that the whole of the cutting edge is in contact with ASTARIGLAS® before the point breaks through the sheet. If this precaution is neglected, an untrue hole will result. It is important that the drill point should not penetrate the back surface until the drill flights have entered the top surface. This will reduce the chance of the drill snatching at the acrylic as it breaks through and hence generating notches on the back surface.

Line bending and thermoforming

Line bending is a process to bend acrylic in a straight line. It’s a very simple process which is to heat ASTARIGLAS® in a straight line until it can bend easily.


There are three types of heating equipment to choose depending on ASTARIGLAS® thickness:

A. Straight Nichrome Resistance Wire Heater
  • This is the most common equipment to bend ASTARIGLAS® up to 3mm (0.125 inches) thick. It functions similarly to a household electric toaster by passing electricity through a wire.
  • You can bend material thicker than 3mm (0.125 inches) on this unit, but the material must be flipped over halfway during the heating cycle.
  • Heat the material until it bends easily. Experience will teach you how long to heat each part. Don’t overheat or lay acrylic sheet directly on the heating element - doing so will blister and/or mark the sheet.
  • Bend the heated part to the desired shape and quickly place it in a cooling jig. To retain the bend while you do other work, secure the part in the jig with weights or clamps. Cooling time normally equals heating time.
  • When line bending with only one heating element, be sure to bend away from the heated side. For example, if the nichrome wire is on the bottom, bend upwards.
B. Tubular Rod Heaters
  • It has the heating element of an electric stove. Able to heat sheet thicker than 3mm (0.125 inches).
  • Power the heater with a variable transformer.
  • Place a reflector, preferably of split aluminium conduit for its good reflectivity, beneath the rod.
  • For shorter heating cycles, mount heaters above and below the sheet.
C. Radiant Quartz Tube Heaters
  • Quartz tube heaters are among the most efficient sources of radiant energy. They look like a thin fluorescent light bulb. These units provide capability to bend acrylic sheet 6mm (0.25 inches) thick or greater.
  • The heater consists of a coiled resistance wire housed in a quartz-coated glass tube.
Application Tips:
  • Use a reflector with a quartz tube heater for most efficient heating.
  • For short heating cycles, mount heaters above and below the sheet.
  • Power the heater(s) with a variable transformer.
Cooling Jigs

A cooling jig assures that your bend is at the proper angle and to prevent the piece from “springing back” into its original shape. On the left is an all-purpose jig for 90° bends. You can modify it to suit the part. A cooling jig which exposes both sides of the heated sheet to air (right) will accelerate cooling and reduce stresses. The sheet springs back slightly when released, so it must be bent slightly further than is required in the finished article. ASTARIGLAS® may shrink along the line of heating, therefore some bowing may be expected where there are narrow flanges.

Sharp Line Bends

For sharp line bends with no deflection, it’s a good idea to v-groove the sheet, as show above. Use a v-rabbet router bit or a table saw; making two opposed 45° cuts. To have a bigger fold radius, make the cut approximately 1/3 of the sheet thickness, and to have a sharper line bends, cut the v-groove deeper. V-grooving the sheet reduces the material cross-section at the point of bending, reducing stresses and making bending easier. A wire heater beneath the cut will help create a sharp angle bend without deflections or bowing.


Another way of shaping ASTARIGLAS® is by thermoforming. It is a manufacturing process where a plastic sheet is heated to a pliable forming temperature, formed to a specific shape in a mould, and trimmed to create a usable product. The sheet temperature is critical. If not heated enough, the sheet will not acquire good part definition, too hot and the acrylic will pick up mark-off from minor imperfections in the mould. Mould temperature is also important for good part definition, and to provide gradual cooling to minimize stress and crazing When ASTARIGLAS® is first heated to thermoforming temperature its shrinks to 2% smaller after cooling in both length and breadth and approximately 4% thicker. If the sheet is subsequently re-heated, no further change occurs. There should be a few adjustments and allowance when cutting ASTARIGLAS® to size before thermoforming.


Finishing ASTARIGLAS® can be achieved by polishing a treated acrylic surface. There are several steps to buff or polish ASTARIGLAS® surface:

a. Dry and wet sanding (Hand polishing): It is preferable for dealing with minor scratches and other slight surface damage.
  • To remove deep scratches, start by dry abrasive paper, progressively to the finer sanding grade with water. Water helps to not making more scratches or notches to ASTARIGLAS® surface.
  • The abrasive paper should be pinned into position on a 50mm (2in) square cork sanding block with chamfered edges and used with a circular motion and only finger-tip pressure.
  • The larger the area of abrasion the less distortion will be noticed. Using 600 or 1200 grade as a final abrasive the gloss surface can then be restored by polishing.
1. Applying polishing liquids or compounds: After sanding, put a proper amount of polishing liquids or compounds onto the acrylic surface.
  • With the buffing wheels, start by wetting the whole buffing pad surface as you push the acrylic onto the bottom part of the pad. The wheels should move clockwise if you are right-handed, and vice versa. Start turning the wheel slow and progressively fast.
  • Polishing ASTARIGLAS® requires a compromise between the speed of the buff and the pressure applied.



Polishing ASTARIGLAS® edge using buffing wheel has the same process as polishing acrylic surface. The edges must be sanded to a certain level of grade before using the buffing wheels.

  • Polishing method using torch for a rounded and detailed acrylic edge.
  • Flame polishing should be done with an oxygen-hydrogen welding torch.
  • The flame should be bluish, nearly invisible, approximately 75mm (3 inches) long and narrow.
  • Hold the torch at the angle shown and draw the flame along the edge of the sheet. Practice will help you to estimate the speed and distance.
  • If the first pass does not produce a completely polished edge, allow the piece to cool, then try a second pass.


Diamond Polishing ASTARIGLAS® will help to obtain high quality polished edge in large quantity.

Edges of acrylic sheets are moved over sharp with fast-rotating diamonds. Polishing result is so good that can be compared with cast surfaces. The method is relatively inexpensive. It is suitable for large batches.

Straight and sloping edges only.


You can use soap solution to remove any dirt, oil or grease on the sheet.

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