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acrylic paper weights

the Lucite story

Lucite acrylic was invented by the DuPont Corporation in 1931.  It was crystal clear with a 93% transparency rate, resistant to water and UV rays, and was low density yet stronger than previous plastics.  It quickly became the material of choice for WWII aircraft windows because of its clarity, weight savings, and bullet resistance.  Shortly after WWII other uses for Lucite were found including embedments. It has remained one of the best kept manufacturing secrets, handed down through trusted associates. Because of the tremendous technical knowledge required and the highly labor intensive nature, the total number of actual manufacturers are only a couple in the US. While much of the process is technically demanding, a basic overview is helpful to enhance understanding of the finished product.  A Better Idea has been selling Lucite for over 35 years.
 

Casting

The manufacturing of acrylic embedments began shortly after World War II. It has remained one of the best kept manufacturing secrets, handed down through trusted associates. Because of the tremendous technical knowledge required, the total number of actual manufacturers remains very small. While much of the process is technically demanding, a basic overview is helpful to enhance understanding of the finished product.

Curing


"Lucite" acrylic is a high quality product. The versatility of acrylic allows it to be custom designed into a variety of shapes and sizes, incorporating many different types of embedded elements. However, due to chemical reactions during the process, not everything can be embedded.  This chemical reaction is analogous to paint thinner or nail polish remover, many inks, paints and plastics can be affected in either color or physical appearance. We can only embed customer supplied items with their understanding of the risks involved.
The process starts with two basic ingredients, an acrylic resin powder and monomer, a crystal clear liquid. The powder and monomer are mixed together in specific proportions.
 

Sanding

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

Buffing

After the acrylic has hardened, the molds are placed into an oven. There, heat cures, and pressure squeezes out the air bubbles, to completely harden the embedment. This curing process may take up to seven hours. After cooling, the acrylic embedments 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. Three steps are taken to size the embedments. The parts are ground down to size by hand on large industrial sanders. A coarse grit belt is used first, 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.


 

Inspection

Polishing is the next step in the process. It is also done by hand. This 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 embedment is completed.

The final phase now begins. Each embedment is carefully hand wiped and visually inspected. If flaws are detected, the part is returned for additional finishing or rejected for recycling.

After passing through inspection, each part is individually bagged and boxed. Orders are then shipped out all over the world. Each acrylic embedment is a unique creation, ready to satisfy another customer with the knowledge that their message will be forever displayed in striking acrylic.

 

 

 

Why Choose A Better Idea for Your Lucite/Acrylic Awards and Recognition Items?

 
∑   Assists you at the creation level of your award, if you wish.

 

∑  

Is equipped with a comprehensive computer graphics department staffed by experienced people who can accurately replicate your logos and corporate texts or receive your artwork electronically .

 

∑  

No cost setup of all your pieces, except those which are molded in 3-D.

 

∑  

Supplies at no additional cost prior to sample production a proof by email or by fax to validate the accuracy of the information with you.

 

∑  

Offers you support and expert advice at all times during your project.

 

∑  

Possesses a high production capacity that is suited to small lots and large-scale projects alike.

 

 

The Advantages of Lucite

∑   Great flexibility in terms of design to produce a one-of-a-kind item.

 

∑  

Custom shapes along with resin colors matching your specifications.

∑  

Product versatility enables the embedment of certain items you supply to make the award even more attractive and noticeable.

acrylic award
∑  

Distinctive appearance with a sparkling luster that catches the eye and a perceived value that will make any recipient proud to display it.

 
paperweight    
∑  

Easy to personalize. Through the use of acetates or laser engraving, the piece can bear the recipientís name.

∑  

Floating embedments within the acrylic awaken peopleís curiosity. For this purpose, metal castings , vials, and substrates can be embedded.

acrylic awards  
 employee recognition 
∑  

The acrylic award is a long-lasting item people hold on to for a good many years. It can very well be given as a standalone prize or as a complement to another shorter-lived prize, such as a dinner, trip, or vacation package.

 

a) Choose the shape/s you are interested in.  Pick the shape from this site or fax us a diagram.

b) Settle on an approximate size you would like.  (Lucite is price on volume...it's a liquid)

c) Decide on what you would like embedded.  White card?   Clear insert?   How many sides or colors?

d)  Call us for a RAPID quotation!   If you have art, send us your artwork and we can get you a specific quote!

WEB QUOTE REQUEST FORM

 

There are some misconceptions about acrylic, namely that it yellows, turns brittle and cracks over time. Though this might be true of very cheap forms of plastic, it is not so with true acrylic. For example, the fighter planes of WWII have acrylic bubble-tops. Airplane windows are also acrylic. If taken care of, acrylic remains new looking regardless of age or exposure to sun. Acrylic is a high quality product. The versatility of acrylic allows it to be custom designed into a variety of shapes and sizes, incorporating many different types of embedded elements. However, due to chemical reactions during the process, not everything can be embedded. This chemical reaction is analogous to paint thinner or nail polish remover, many inks, paints and plastics can be affected in either color or physical appearance. We can only embed customer supplied items with their understanding of the risks involved.
 

The process starts with two basic ingredients, an acrylic resin powder and monomer, a crystal clear liquid. The powder and monomer are mixed together in specific proportions. The result is a thick, opaque liquid. The mixture is hand poured into molds and allowed to partially harden. Objects to be embedded are then hand placed into the acrylic layer. Another layer is poured over the embedded object and the acrylic is again allowed to harden. During this stage, the liquid acrylic is 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.
 

After the acrylic has set to a gel state, the molds are placed into an autoclave (pressurized oven). There, heat of approximately 350 degrees F cures, and pressure squeezes out the air bubbles, to completely harden the embedment. This curing process takes several hours. After cooling, the acrylic embedments are removed from the molds and the sizing process begins. All acrylic parts are cast oversized to allow for shrinkage of about 10% during curing, but varies from part to part. Three sanding steps are taken to size the embedments. The parts are ground down to size by hand on large industrial sanders. A coarse grit belt is used first, 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.
 

Polishing is the next step in the process. It is also done by hand which takes place in two steps. This 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 embedment is completed.

The final phase now begins. Each embedment is carefully hand wiped and visually inspected. If flaws are detected, the part is returned for additional finishing or rejected for recycling.

After passing through inspection, each part is individually bagged, boxed and then shipped out all over the world.
 

Each acrylic embedment is a unique creation, ready to satisfy another customer with the knowledge that their keep-sake message will be forever displayed in striking acrylic.

 

Submit Lucite or Acrylic Request & Quote Form

OR CALL NOW:  401-841-5646  or  800-520-1691  & ask for Lucite Quoting

PRODUCT CATEGORY PAGE LINKS:

LUCITE DEAL TOYS & EMBEDMENTS:  SOLID CUSTOM w/ FLOATING DOCUMENT INSIDE  cast acrylic-permanent insert-deal toys  Lucite Main Page

  Lucite Gallery  |  Lucite Awards  |  Standard Shapes  |  Standard Shapes #2  |  Special Shapes  | Special Shapes #2  |  Special Shapes #3

Lucite Order Form    |   Shapes w/ Bases   |  Metal Castings  |  Metal Castings in Lucite   |   Special Awards  |   Special Awards 2   |  Lucite Key Tags 

 Shapes w/ Bases  |  Theme Pieces  | Groundbreaking  | Oil & Gas Pieces |  How to Buy Lucite   |  The Lucite Story |  Custom Pieces  |  3D Cast Parts  | Wall Plaques         

BROWSE BY LUCITE SHAPE:    Lucite Gallery of ALL Shapes 

 Cube    | Rectangle    |  Wedges   |  Square  | Pyramid  |   Round  |   Oval  |  Trapezoid   | Prism  | Taper Square  |   Star  |  Easel  |  Dome  |  Diamond  | Pentagon  | Cylinders   |  Flame Shape

 Photos of Shapes   |  Laser Cutting  |  Quote Form   | Order Form  |  Printing Processes  |  Insert Choices  |  About Lucite  | Packaging/Box | Lucite Gallery of Ideas

 STOCK ACRYLIC SHAPE PAPERWEIGHTS:  SOLID - SURFACE PRINTED      cut acrylic - surface printed - one piece    Acrylic Paperweights Main Page

  Acrylic Paperweights Index |  All Acrylic  Awards  |  Acrylic Photo Paperweights  | Brochure Holders  | Budget Block Paperweights  |  Full Color Paperweight 
  Acrylic Stock Awards  |  Invitations   |  Acrylic Jade Awards  |  Budget Block Paperweights  |  Acrylic Jade Awards  |  ColorImage Photo Weights
World Themed   Star Awards  Ovals  |  Circles  |  Triangles  | Themed  |  Econo Awards   |   Acrylic Displays    |  Acrylic Hollow Pyramid Displays

BROWSE BY ACRYLIC SHAPE:     

 Rectangles    |   Stars    |   Pyramids   |   Triangles   |   Diamond  |    Circles    |   Obelisks    Globes    |   Flame  |  Earth Themed

FLAT PLAQUES -   WALL OR EASEL:         cut acrylic - surface printed - one piece   

  Acrylic Plaques   |  Full Color Plaques   Curved Acrylic Plaque Star Plaques   |  Thin Photo Plaques   |  Acrylic Wall Plaques   |  2 Panel Plaques  
Flat Acrylic Frames & Plaques  |  Curved Acrylic Frame Plaques   |  Full Color Flat Easels  |  Brochure Holders   |  Curved Acrylic Photo Frames   | Pocket Holders

SANDWICHES & ENTRAPMENTS /   2- PC ACRYLIC       2 piece acrylic - sandwiched   SNAP OR SCREW TOGETHER:   Acrylic Entrapments Main Page  

  Acrylic Entrapments   |  Wall Entrapments  |  Credit Card Holders  |  CD Holders |  Business Card Holders  |  Sports Ticket Holders

2 pc Sandwich  |  2 pc Wall Sandwich Plaque  |  Building Replicas  |  Econo Awards  |  P.O.P Displays  |  Full Color Plaques  | Coin Encasements
 Certificate Holders   |   Currency Holders   |   Slide In  |  

MAGNET FRAMES -  2 PIECE     2 piece acrylic - sandwiched    Acrylic Entrapments Main Page  

 Magnetic Frames  | Magnetic Sandwiches  |  Sports Ticket Holders   |  Wall Entrapments   |  CD Holders   | Currency Holders  |  Credit Card Holders  

RUSH SERVICE        Ready to Ship Products     Ready to Ship Stock Items   RUSH SERVICE   

GROUND BREAKING & THEME PIECES:  hard hats,  shovels,  scissors,  keys, oil awards etc   Groundbreaking Main Page

 SHOVELS:     Shovel Awards   |  Large Gold Shovels  |  Large Silver Shovels   |  Mini Shovels   Shovel Letter Openers   |  Shovel Plaques  |  Cast Letter Openers 
Shovel In Stone Award    Shovel in Lucite
  ENERGY: OIL, GAS, WIND, SOLAR     Oil & Gas Lucite Ideas  |  Theme Ideas  |  Oil & Gas Lucite Paperweights  |  Oil Drop Awards   | Trucks  |  Oil Gas Clocks  |   Oil Derrick Themed Gifts  |   Oil Pump Jack Gifts  |   Oil Themed Gifts & Awards  |  Solar Energy   |    Wind Turbine Awards   |  Construction Gifts
 GRAND OPENING:     Scissors / Dedication  |  |  Scissors Plaques  |  Ceremonial Scissors   Scissors in Lucite  |  Gavels  |  Grand Opening Custom Bricks & Stones
Trowels  |  Cinder Block Award  |  Building Replicas  |  Cast Brick Award  |  Cast Truck & Tool Awards  |  Theme Ideas |  Stones & Bricks  Building Replicas
 KEYS & KEYS TO THE CITY GIFTS:     Keys to the City   |   Key Letter Openers   |  Theme Ideas   |   Key in Presentation Box  
 OTHER GROUND BREAKING:          Groundbreaking  Awards & Plaques    |   Hard Hat Key Tag    |    Hard Hats    |  Cast Letter Openers  |
   Hammers    |    Trucks   |    Picks  |    Trowels  
 STONECAST CUSTOM MOLDED PAPERWEIGHTS/ MINIATURES:  "Stonecast" Awards  |  Custom Bricks & Stones   |  Shovel In Stone Award  | Trucks  Cast Brick Award   Construction Gifts   | Stones & Bricks  | Trucks  |    Building Replicas    |  Cast Brick Award  |  Cast Truck & Tool Awards   |  Cinder Block Award 
 

THEME PIECES    patriotic,  earth friendly,  flag,  oil awards,  sport ball shapes

Patriotic  |  Flag Themed Award    |  Environmental  |  Oil & Gas Award Ideas  |  Theme Ideas | 

 1151 Aquidneck Avenue, Suite 498, Middletown, RI 02842  USA 

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