New material: XT acrylic

Niew materiaal: XT-acrylaat - Snijlab

A new type of acrylic has been added to our range: extruded or also known as XT acrylic. At first glance this looks the same as our other transparent acrylic, but because it is made in a different way it has different properties.

The big advantage is that this material has a very even thickness, so this is ideal for parts that have to fit together exactly.

What is extruded acrylic?

Extruded acrylic is made by melting granulate and pressing it through an extrusion profile under high pressure. This makes the thickness of a plate very consistent, so the thickness tolerance is very low. XT acrylic is very precise and suitable for parts that have little margin for fit.

But extrusion also means that this material is difficult to engrave. Engravings are not clean or clear, and we do not recommend engraving in XT acrylic.

The internal tension of extruded acrylic is also high, making it less easy to machine or finish.

What about the other acrylic?

The other acrylic in our range is cast, abbreviated to GS acrylic. Cast acrylic has a higher thickness tolerance. A higher thickness tolerance means that the thickness of a plate can deviate more.

On the other hand, late GS acrylic engrave well. The result of engravings depends on the color of the material, but is generally matte and has sharp details.

Cast acrylic is also low-stress, making it excellent for machining or post-processing.

Two small laser-cut squares (approximately 2x2cm) of transparent acrylic. The left one is made of cast (GS) acrylic and the right one is made of extruded (XT) acrylic. The letters GS and XT are laser engraved on both. The GS engraving is matte white and high contrast, the XT engraving is less contrasty. This shows the difference in engraving quality between these two differently produced materials.

Curious about what you can do with XT acrylic?

Alphatron Medical uses XT acrylic to divide the drawers of mobile care stations. Medicines are stored in these drawers, the stock and dispensing are managed by the computer associated with the care station.

The fit of these parts is very accurate. Because they are made from extruded acrylic, there is significantly less product waste.

Drawer division made of XT acrylic

Alphatron Medical uses laser-cut parts to create a product that reduces the workload of medical staff, Read here how they do that…

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