Q: Proper method of cleaning acrylic

Discussion in 'BigBox General Chat' started by Mike Oda, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. Mike Oda

    Mike Oda Member

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    Through personal experience I've come to learn that acrylic is sensitive to alcohols at greater than 30% concentration, which can cause cracking. I've been told that concentrated alcohols can act as a slow solvent and penetrate, reorient the polymer strands, leading to weakening, swelling and cracking of the plastic.

    So in light of this has anyone come up with a good cleaning solution? Considering the amount of oil staining that could arise from screws and linear bearings during the assembly process, it would be nice to be able to scrub this away without damaging the frame.

    Perhaps these would be effective?
    http://www.amazon.com/ScreenKleen-Alcohol-Free-Wet-Wipes-Cloth/dp/B004E3PO28
     
  2. UlrichKliegis

    UlrichKliegis Well-Known Member

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    A question that Sanjay with his obvious chemical background should be able to answer. And then, if vapors like those arising when processing ABS can affect the longevity of acrylic.
    A very mild detergent in lukewarm water is surely ok to get the surface clean. WD40 and consorts are probably less benevolent. UV radiation and seawater are absolutely bad - but that's an influence the BB will most probably not me submitted to too much.
     
  3. Mike Oda

    Mike Oda Member

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    Yes, one of the things I forgot about acrylic is that it is a lot more sensitive to the environment than lacquered wood. UV is bad for just about everything but I think harder on acrylic than plywood (if the plywood is properly treated). Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way to protect acrylic, except by coating it in more plastic. :D

    But one of the reasons I wanted to post this was to warn people off of standard spray on cleansers as I nearly did that myself before I realized what I was doing.
     
  4. elmoret

    elmoret Administrator

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  5. Mike Oda

    Mike Oda Member

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    Nice chart. Thanks for sharing. It is fascinating what will not dissolve acrylic (nitric acid is safe?) and what does. I am guessing because diesel oil seems okay, the lubricants on our bearings and oils on our bolts should not have any long term detrimental effect. Considering the solvating properties of some oils in comparison to alcohols, I'm a bit surprised but pleasantly so.
     
  6. eca

    eca Well-Known Member

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    There are special acrylic cleaning sprays that can be bought. They also keep the dust from collecting, or so they claim...
     

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