Syndicated from source by Andrew & Co Graphics & Wallpaper, Hooper, Utah
With more and more people adding plexiglass barriers to their work environment for an extra layer of protection during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is also the need to learn how to care for plexiglass barriers. While plexiglass is a popular choice because of its durability and clarity, plexiglass is susceptible to scratching and damage.
In this blog, AGC Signs will review plexiglass repair, specifically the repair of scratches and other minor damages.
For more detailed information about DIY plexiglass repair, please check out the sources used for this article which are listed further below.
Although durable, plexiglass can scratch or break if not cared for.
The first step in fixing any scratch on your plexiglass barrier is determining the depth of the scratch. According to Acmeplastics.com, "any scratches deeper than 5 mm are exceptionally heavy scratches – these are generally regarded as irreparable, and can only occasionally be repaired by specialty buffing tools."
Basically, if you run your fingernail across a scratch and it gets snagged, the scratch is probably beyond your repair. If the scratch is less than 5 mm in depth, however, then try this step-by-step process.
1. Using a clean, soft cloth, wipe the plexiglass surface clean with water or a special acrylic cleaner. Even dish soap can be used to remove any dirt. Afterwards, rinse and dry off the plexiglass.
2. For mild scratches, try using an abrasive acrylic polish (like the Novus Polish Products). Using a cloth, polish the scratch using circular motions until the area is smooth, then wipe off the polish with a clean cloth.
3. If the scratch cannot be removed with acrylic polish or for more moderate scratches, use fine sandpaper (beginning with 600 grit or 800 grit sandpaper). Wet the sandpaper and gently sand in circular motions over the scratch. Afterwards, rinse the surface with water, then take finer sandpaper (1000 grit or 1200 grit) and repeat the same process, sanding the scratch in circular motions until the surface is smooth. Finally, rinse with water and wipe with a clean cloth.
4. Lightly coat the repaired surface with a buffing compound and, if you have access to a low-speed buffing wheel, buff the surface to finish. Again, wipe off the surface with a clean cloth when finished.
5. If the scratch still appears, then the scratch is probably too deep for repair. Also, keep in mind that abrasion weakens the plexiglass, so try to use the finest sandpaper possible.
Below is a video from TAP Plastics on repairing surface scratches with a Novus polish.
In the above video, TAP Plastics shows how to repair surface scratches.
If a piece of your plexiglass breaks off and you think it can be glued back on, you can actually find plexiglass adhesives at the hardware store. If you review different DIY videos, you will see that there are quite a few different ways to bond plexiglass. Have a look at the video below from ePlastics.com to see how to glue plexiglass.
Learn how to glue plexiglass in this video from ePlastics.
Now, if you have plexiglass that has cracked, you can also make use of plexiglass adhesives. In "How to Repair a Cracked Plexiglass Windshield" by Joshua Bailey, you can read step-by-step instructions on fixing a crack. Basically, you need to do the following:
1. Clean the cracked surface area.
Use soap and water to clean the area before working and dry it off.
2. Stop the Crack
To keep a crack from spreading, you will want to find the ends of the crack and drill tiny holes where necessary with a 1/16” or 1/8” drill. According to Joshua Bailey’s instructions from the above article on itstillruns.com, "the hole should be small enough to round out the end of the crack's arm, but not large enough to break the windshield".
3. Apply Plexiglass Adhesive
Take the plexiglass adhesive and carefully fill in the crack with the needle of a glue syringe. Use as much adhesive as necessary to fill the crack and wipe away any extra with a clean cloth. Allow the adhesive to set according to the directions on your chosen adhesive.
Using fine sandpaper, sand along the crack to smooth the surface area surrounding the crack.
3. Polish and Finish
If you have access to a rotary polisher, you want to polish over the crack to even out the surface. After buffing it, you can use some cleaner (or even freshwater) and a rag to wipe the surface clean.
Keep in mind that repairing a crack in plexiglass is a temporary fix. This can keep your plexiglass in use while saving you money.
Get quality plexiglass from AGC Signs.
For thorough repairs or to ensure your plexiglass barriers comply with Covid-19 safety guidelines, you will want to contact the professionals at AGC Signs. In the signage industry for over 10 years, AGC offers custom plexiglass barriers for various companies looking to safely re-open. If you have trouble with plexiglass repair or you need a high-quality replacement for your plexiglass barriers, be sure to contact AGC Signs. Check out their gallery of plexiglass barriers and shields.
* This article was originally published here
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