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Thread: Outdoor acrylic boxes

  1. #1

    Outdoor acrylic boxes

    Does anyone have any experience with outdoor acrylic boxes in extreme conditions? I have a potential customer asking me to make an acrylic box approx 5”x5” using 1/4” acrylic to display a baseball size container of ash. The conditions would be -35F to 100F and rain/snow/waterproof. I was thinking of laser cutting all pieces and using Lexel to adhere 5 sides together, then having the customer use Lexel to adhere the box floor plate to the base and then have them seal the box to the floor plate with a bead of Lexel. Do you think this would work? Would building the box with PA glue be better?

  2. #2
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    I don't think acrylic would hold up to uv rays very long

  3. #3
    Acrylic is actually great stuff to use outdoors. But "forever", maybe not, the stuff is prone to crazing after several years. Lexan might be a better choice, but I don't have any first-hand experience with longevity other than motorcycle windshields, and they're not always exposed... What about good old glass?
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  4. #4
    Some good ideas here, I would be a bit worried about stones with glass, it shouldn’t get hit but you never know. I will look into Lexan that is a good idea, I gotta do some research about yellowing and expansion although I know it does scratch super easy. I guess no perfect solutionfor that type of application.

  5. #5
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    I would second Lexan (polycarbonate) over acrylic. The acrylic can get brittle in addition to possible crazing. Now the lexan will whiten/cloud after 5-10 years in direct UV. Look at your car headlight lens. They are all lexan.
    Now you CAN clean, sand and polish the Lexan, but it would be an annual thing after a few years.
    Glass is way more permanent, get tempered if you are worried about cuts from breakage. I would say he's looking at a 5 year replacement if it is outside. Make two. One for now, one for later.....
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  6. #6
    I think -35F to 100F is a pretty unrealistic expectation for a display box, especially made from acrylic and glued together. I wouldn't trust a glue joint or a glue joint on acrylic in that extremes. I have glued a pretty healthy amount of acrylic over the years and I would never tell anyone our stuff could withstand those conditions. I'd probably be looking at tempered glass with a silicone based adhesive.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Shepherd View Post
    I think -35F to 100F is a pretty unrealistic expectation for a display box, especially made from acrylic and glued together. I wouldn't trust a glue joint or a glue joint on acrylic in that extremes. I have glued a pretty healthy amount of acrylic over the years and I would never tell anyone our stuff could withstand those conditions. I'd probably be looking at tempered glass with a silicone based adhesive.
    Yes I think this is wise advise. Thank you

  8. #8
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    We don't have all of the details for the solution you are looking for but based on what we do know I would use a thick glass with UV-cure glue joints.

    Whatever solution you use it would need to be air tight or you are going to end up with condensation issues.
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