Acetal Sheet is one of the best engineering plastics for machining. The main reasons is that it chips as it is being machine rather than creating that long swarf thread that can often wrap round the cutter as with some other engineering plastics. We’d recommend the use of very sharp cutting as tools and to get that super finish, a tool that is shaped similar to a smoothing tool would allow Acetal Sheet to be machined to a very smooth finish and leave fewer machining marks. The result is you get a high quality finish with little further input required. This means that Acetal Sheet can sometimes work out more economical merely by the fact that it can be machined much faster with less operator input. We also reckon it’s better because Acetal leaves almost no post machining burrs, a great advantage when you consider the time consuming act of manually de-burring intricate parts by hand.
Acetal Sheet for CNC Machines
We’d recon Acetal Sheet is an outstanding choice for use on high speed CNC automated machines. It means you can clamp the sheet down, set the machine going and let it machine, drill, bore or tap with little further to do.
Acetal Sheet absorbs less moisture
One other thing to remember about Acetal Sheet is that it absorbs very little moisture, this helps in terms of the reduced likelihood of distortion or expansion during machining and storage but also once the component is in actual use. Acetal is one of the better engineering plastics for it to be machined to very close tolerances that will not then be affected later if used in a damp or wet environment, so it is great in most marine applications.
Acetal Sheet for Food use
Acetal Sheet is also very popular in food preparation or production companies as the natural grade is totally food contact safe as it resists the ability for any bacteria to form or be absorbed in any way and is non toxic. There is also the potential for Blue coloured Acetal sheet for food production machinery.
Low friction Acetal Sheet
If the item required is to be used in a slide way or a moving component, Acetal Sheet is described as being very slippy. What this means is that not only do Acetal components slide very easily, they take very little inertia to get them initially moving. Items made from Acetal tend not to stick or lock up which can cause issues for delicate or fine instruments where smooth operation is essential and a jerky or notchy type performance would be detrimental.
Low friction is another key attribute of Acetal and as it is a relatively hard plastic it has very good wear resistance (but not in highly abrasive situations) there are harder wearing engineering plastics such as nylon sheet for more demanding applications.
Availability of Acetal Sheet
At the moment the majority of Acetal Sheet is produced in black or white/natural. Black often looks better in an industrial application and white is more suited to food or medical components but there are considerations for us to introduce a blue Acetal Sheet which would be particularly helpful for food production companies as any potential debris would be easily spotted during inspection thus reducing any likelihood of a potential contamination hazard.