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SHOW HISTORY

DOING IT RIGHT SINCE 1950

The Plaskolite success story spans six decades. See how it all began.

1951

Plastic drinking straws gave us our first taste of success.

1952

Plaskolite introduces the "lifetime fly swatter," the must-have accessory for every front porch.

1954

As fluorescent lighting fixtures become popular, Plaskolite begins extruding prismatic patterned lenses.

1960

Remember the hula hoop craze? Plaskolite manufactured hula hoops in the early sixties.

1970

Plaskolite begins producing smooth acrylic sheets for storm doors and windows; it's much safer than plate glass.

1974

Plaskolite builds its first polymer plant, enabling us to produce our own pellets for sheet production.

1994

With the purchase of MIR-ACRYL, Plaskolite begins producing mirrored acrylic sheet; security mirrors; and hard-coated acrylic sheet products.

1996

Plaskolite acquires Continental Acrylics, a specialty polymers business.

1997

The acquisition of RAM PRODUCTS' flat sheet business enables Plaskolite to begin production of 19 acrylic mirror colors.

2000

In August, Plaskolite completes construction on a state-of-the-art 245,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Zanesville, Ohio.

2006

Plaskolite acquired Bunker Plastics, a leading manufacturer of polycarbonate mirror; formed security and transportation mirror; and performance enhancement plastic coatings.

2007

Plaskolite acquires the continuously processed acrylic sheet division of Lucite International, including manufacturing plants in Olive Branch, Miss., and Monterrey, Mexico.

2012

Plaskolite acquires the North American VIVAK® line of PETG sheet from Bayer MaterialScience LLC.

2014

Plaskolite acquires the mirror sheet product line
from SPECCHIDEA s.r.l. of Torino, Italy.

Mirror Routing/Drilling

Many kinds of routers and drills and methods can be used with Plaskolite mirror sheet. Some drill bits may require modifications. For best results, follow instructions in the Plaskolite mirror fabrication guide.

Routing

Many routers are available for use in the fabrication process.  The router should have a minimum of one horse-power and a no load speed of about 20,000 RPM.  Routers are normally used with a single or double fluted bit, but may consist of one to four flutes.  Router bits can be carbide tipped, high-speed steel, solide carbide, or diamond tipped.  They may be one piece piloted, non-piloted, straight cutting, multiple part, forming or specialty bits.

Hand Routing: A hand router is generally used when making a prototype or a replacement part, by using a precut template pattern clamped to the Plaskolite mirror, the hand held router may be smoothly guided around the pattern.  Move clamps whenever necessary.

Circle Routing: A circle router would be used when a 360degree piece of Plaskolite mirror is needed.

Pin Routing: Pin routers are very flexible.  A double-backed tape or vacuum holds the mirror in place.  Using the mounted overarm router to hold the cutter over a guide pin in the table, feed the mirror and pattern into the cutter and rotate 360 degrees to form finish product.

Contour Routing: By using a contour jig on a pin routing machine, multiple parts can be manufactured.  Cut the desired pattern on the base of the jig to follow the base guide pin.  To secure several Plaskolite mirrors at one time, clamps should be mounted on top of the work.  Be sure to raise and lower clamp holders as necessary when the jig is rotated.

Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) Routing: CNC routers are used in the manufacture of high volume production.  This type of router is designed for maximum use of the Plaskolite mirror. Mirrors may be designed for stacking which eliminates much of the waste normally produced.

Direction Of Travel: This router is designed to rotate counterclockwise for external cuts, and clockwise for routing the inside edges of the Plaskolite mirror.  When properly fed in the direction necessary, a smooth cut will result.

When operating a router, several precautions are necessary to avoid mistakes to the Plaskolite mirror or the tool in use.  First routers are designed with a small diameter and must be operated at high speeds. Avoid vibrations, even the slightest vibration can cause crazing and fractures in the Plaskolite mirror during routing.  Second, watch RPM speeds, higher RPM rates allow for faster feeding of the Plaskolite mirror, resulting in a smoother finish.  Recommended RPM speeds are 18,000 to 28,000 RPM.  Third, for maximum production, operate the feed rate just below chipping speed.  Do not overload the motor.  Fourth, maintaining a sharp cutter is very important to avoid chipping and decreased production.  Finally, use a 1/2" or larger diameter cutter whenever possible, this larger diameter provides a better surface with less tendency to chip.

CAUTION: A cool air mist should be in contact with the blades fo all cutting devices before and during penetration of the plastic.

 

Drilling

Plaskolite mirror may be easily drilled with any commercial power-driven drill available.  Included are: Portable drills, drill presses, lathes, or automatic multiple-spindle drilling units.

Before drilling a hole in a Plaskolite mirror, it is recommended to use a bit offered especially for plastics.  If a drill bit for plastics is not available, a metal-working drill bit with a high-speed twist may be used with some modification.

Since metal-working drill bits are designed to push through metal the following modifications must be made to ensure no chipping or other damage to the Plaskolite mirror:

     
  1. The tip angle is usually about 120 degrees, this is too flat to cut through Plaskolite mirror products without damage and must be ground to a sharp angle of 60-90 degrees to allow the bit to enter and exit easily without chipping.
  2.  
  3. The cutting edge must be ground to a rake angle of 0-4 degrees.  This "flat" cutting edge will scrape the Plaskolite mirror without gouging it.
  4.  
  5. The surface behind the cutting edge must be ground away to clearance angles of 12-15 degrees.  This will allow back relief for reduced metal to plastic contact and heat build up.

 

Drill bits with tips larger than 5/8" should be ground to a point to reduce the amount of force required to start a hole.  Drill bits must be true, or melting, burning and chipping may occur.  Correctly modified drill bits will create two continuous spiral strips as the bit passes evenly through the Plaskolite mirror, when operated at the proper speed.

When drilling the actual Plaskolite mirror it would be wise to back up the surface with a durable surface, such as plywood, so the drill bit will continue into a solid material.  This will prevent chipping on the opposite side of the Plaskolite mirror.  A slow feed rate should be used when the bit enters or exits the Plaskolite mirror.

Holes of 1" or more may be cut with a circle cutter.  To accommodate the material properties of Plaskolite mirror, the cutter bit must be modified so the tip scrapes the material without gouging it.  Use a cool air mist system to avoid heat build up, leaving the walls of the hole with a smoother cutting edge.  Use a drill press for uniform pressure and constant vertical positioning.

CAUTION: A cool air mist should be in contact with the blades of all cutting devices before during penetration of the plastic.

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