← Back to Articles

Finishing Makrolon ® GP Polycarbonate sheet.

Sanding

TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet can be sanded using both wet and dry techniques. Gumming can result from dry sanding. Wet sanding produces a smooth finish. In both instances, the part will require further finishing to restore its high gloss. TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet can also be buffed using a 2-wheel system. The first wheel uses a buffing compound to remove shallow scratches. The second buffing wheel is used for restoring the gloss.

Jointing-Planing

A standard woodworking jointer-planer is an excellent edge finishing machine for TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet. Blades must be carbide or high-speed steel. Avoid the removal of too much stock on each pass. 1/64? or less stock removal normally yields the cleanest edge. Trying to remove too much material results in a rough edge or cracking of the sheet. If smoother edges are required, wet sanding with fine grit sandpaper is recommended.

Solvent Polishing

To improve the look of saw-cut edges, begin by sanding the edges smooth. Consider solvent polishing with MEK or methylene dichloride for smoother, glossy edges. To prevent humidity blush after drying, it may be necessary to add a small amount of a slow-drying component such as diacetone alcohol or glacial acetic acid. Since TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet has such good chemical resistance properties, keep in mind that solvent polishing cannot be expected to eliminate sand marks from the sheet edge.

Note: Use extreme caution when working with solvents. Adequate ventilation is essential. Control exposure levels according to OSHA guidelines. Obtain Material Safety Data Sheets from the solvent manufacturer.

Hot Stamping

TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet is easily decorated by hot stamping. Normal operating conditions are: head (die) temperatures 375°F; dwell time 2-3 seconds at 60 psi. Contact the foil manufacturer for recommended application guidelines.

Screen Printing

Standard silk screening equipment with screens of varying mesh 8x-16x regulating the ink coverage on TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet provides an excellent sign product.

As with all thermoplastics, TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet must be clean and free from surface residuals before the screening. Many screeners use a pre-rinse of 50% water and 50% isopropyl alcohol to clean the surface of the TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet. Be sure to use soft nonabrasive cloths when cleaning to avoid scratching TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet. Ionized air also provides a good method for removing lint and dust.

After the screening, separate sheets on a drying rack until the ink is completely dry. DO NOT pack sheets for shipment until the inks are dry.

UV cure inks can be used with heavy gauge TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet, but intense or prolonged UV may have a damaging effect on thin

gauges. It is not recommended for TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet under 0.060 gauge as some loss of physical properties occurs.

Painting

Many paint systems are available for TUFFAK® GP® Polycarbonate Sheet. As with screen printing, the surface of the TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet must be clean and free of surface residuals before painting. Many painters use a mixture of 50% water and 50% isopropyl

alcohol to clean the surface of the sheet. Be sure to dry thoroughly before painting. Use a soft nonabrasive cloth or sponge to avoid scratching TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet. Conventional spray, spray masked, roller coat, and brush is common application methods.

Avoid using paints containing toluene, xylene, or solvents that will craze TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet. Be careful when using paper masking for the design. Sharp knives can notch TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet and allow crazing to occur. Be sure not to allow razor knives to penetrate the TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet when cutting through masking paper.

A number of companieSANDING
TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet can be sanded using both wet and dry techniques. Gumming can result from dry sanding. Wet sanding produces a smooth finish. In both instances, the part will require further finishing to restore its high gloss. TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet can also be buffed using a 2-wheel system. The first wheel uses a buffing compound to remove shallow scratches. The second buffing wheel is used for restoring the gloss.

Jointing-Planing

A standard woodworking jointer-planer is an excellent edge finishing machine for TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet. Blades must be carbide or high-speed steel. Avoid the removal of too much stock on each pass. 1/64? or less stock removal normally yields the cleanest edge. Trying to remove too much material results in a rough edge or cracking of the sheet. If smoother edges are required, wet sanding with fine grit sandpaper is recommended.

Solvent Polishing

To improve the look of saw-cut edges, begin by sanding the edges smooth. Consider solvent polishing with MEK or methylene dichloride for smoother, glossy edges. To prevent humidity blush after drying, it may be necessary to add a small amount of a slow-drying component such as diacetone alcohol or glacial acetic acid. Since TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet has such good chemical resistance properties, keep in mind that solvent polishing cannot be expected to eliminate sand marks from the sheet edge.

Note: Use extreme caution when working with solvents. Adequate ventilation is essential. Control exposure levels according to OSHA guidelines. Obtain Material Safety Data Sheets from the solvent manufacturer.

Hot Stamping

TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet is easily decorated by hot stamping. Normal operating conditions are: head (die) temperatures 375°F; dwell time 2-3 seconds at 60 psi. Contact the foil manufacturer for recommended application guidelines.

Screen Printing

Standard silk screening equipment with screens of varying mesh 8x-16x regulating the ink coverage on TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet provides an excellent sign product.

As with all thermoplastics, TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet must be clean and free from surface residuals before the screening. Many screeners use a pre-rinse of 50% water and 50% isopropyl alcohol to clean the surface of the TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet. Be sure to use soft nonabrasive cloths when cleaning to avoid scratching TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet. Ionized air also provides a good method for removing lint and dust.

After the screening, separate sheets on a drying rack until the ink is completely dry. DO NOT pack sheets for shipment until the inks are dry.

UV cure inks can be used with heavy gauge TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet, but intense or prolonged UV may damage thin gauges. It is not recommended for TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet under .060 gauge as some loss of physical properties occurs.

Painting

Many paint systems are available for TUFFAK® GP® Polycarbonate Sheet. As with screen printing, the surface of the TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet must be clean and free of surface residuals before painting. Many painters use a mixture of 50% water and 50% isopropyl alcohol to clean the sheet's surface. Be sure to dry thoroughly before painting. Use a soft nonabrasive cloth or sponge to avoid scratching TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet. Conventional spray, spray masked, roller coat, and brush are common application methods.

Avoid using paints containing toluene, xylene, or solvents that will craze TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet. Be careful when using paper masking for the design. Sharp knives can notch TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet and allow crazing to occur. Be sure not to allow razor knives to penetrate the TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet when cutting through masking paper.

Some companies market paint systems for TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet and provide technical advice on application.

Paint & Ink Removal

Use caution when removing overspray or drips. Be sure that the solvent will not attack and craze polycarbonate. Isopropyl alcohol, VM&P naptha, or similar solvents have been successfully used. Be sure to rinse with clear water after solvent application. Do not use scrapers, blades, knives, etc., as they will scratch TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet. Always test a small area and observe possible attack before subjecting a large sheet to solvent.

s market paint systems for TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet and provide technical advice on application.

Paint & Ink Removal

Use caution when removing overspray or drips. Be sure that the solvent will not attack and craze polycarbonate. Isopropyl alcohol, VM&P naptha, or similar solvents have been successfully used. Be sure to rinse with clear water after solvent application. Do not use scrapers, blades, knives, etc., as they will scratch TUFFAK® GP Polycarbonate Sheet. Always test a small area and observe possible attack before subjecting a large sheet to solvent.

Title: Finishing Makrolon ® GP Polycarbonate sheet.
Description: Sanding, Jointing-Planing, Solvent Polishing, Hot Stamping, Screen Printing, Painting, and Paint and Ink Removal
Published: 6/5/2008
Last Edited: 1/4/2023
12 users found this article useful. Was this article useful to you?
Share

Information disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by United States Plastic Corp. and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of materials, time or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this information.