All About Lucite Displays

Mixing & Pouring

The process starts with two basic ingredients, an acrylic resin powder and monomer, a crystal clear liquid.  The powder (polymer) and monomer are mixed together in specific proportions.   The result is a thick, opaque milky liquid.  The mixture is hand poured into molds and allowed to partially harden. 

Lucite mix


Embedment Process

Objects to be embedded are then hand placed into the still soft acrylic layer.  Another layer is then poured over the embedded object and the acrylic is again allowed to harden.  During this stage, the liquid acrylic is still an opaque milky white.  It is very difficult to center objects on multiple levels when the objects below cannot be clearly seen.  Because theses embedded objects are placed by hand, no two acrylic embedments are ever 100% alike.

Pouring


Curing

After the acrylic has hardened, the molds are placed into a pressurized oven.  There the heat cures and the pressure (exceeding 12 atmosphere) squeezes out any air bubbles and aids in completely hardening the display.  This curing process may take up to seven hours.  After cooling, the acrylic displays are removed from the molds and the sizing process begins.  All acrylic parts are cast oversized to allow for shrinkage, which varies from part to part. 

Lucite Pressure


Sanding & Cutting

Lucite displays are shapped or cut down to size by hand on large industrial lathes.   Then they are sanded first with a coarse grit belt, followed by a medium grit belt.  A final sanding with a fine grit belt makes it easier to polish the sanded acrylic.  Variations occur in this sizing process since it is all done by hand.  No two displays will be the same.

sanding

Lucite cutting


Polishing & Inspection

Polishing is the next step in the process.  This is all done by hand and brings out the luster and high gloss of the acrylic not previously seen during production.  A rough buffing is administered to remove all sanding lines.  A final polishing then brings out the bright crystal-like finish.  The production of the acrylic display is completed and ready for inspection and packing.

Polish


Polish


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