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Thermal expansion

Compensation for the effects of Linear Thermal Expansion

Prior to the installation of A-Cast®, it is necessary to calculate the possible effects of thermal expansion.

Coefficient of Linear Thermal Expansion

The coefficient of linear thermal expansion for A-Cast® cast acrylic, tested according to JIS K-7197 is 7 x 10¯⁵ or 0.077m/m°C and is a constant value.

Installation

Prior to the installation of A-Cast® acrylic, it is necessary to calculate the possible effects of thermal expansion and contraction in the particular installation assembly taking into consideration:

• the ambient temperature during installation

• the possible temperature variation in use (typically an estimate)

Once this is known, compensation for any movement can be built in to the assembly including:

• thermal expansion clearance

• rebate depth

For a sheet 3050 in length that could be subject to

a total temperature variance of 50°C (-20 to +30°C),

the clearance for thermal expansion required would be calculated by:

3.05 x 0.077 x 50 = 11.75mm

Should the A-Cast® sheet be held in a U-channel at both ends this would require a 6mm clearance each side, within the profile, subject to:

• profile dimensions

• consideration of any loads that may be present in the installation that could deflect the panel to such an extent that it falls out of the frame

As a rule of thumb, for all panels where there are no loads on the panel to cause a significant deflection,

it would follow that the coefficient of thermal

expansion x total temperature variance = clearance required per linear metre. In the previous example, 0.077 x 50 = 3.85mm/lm.

When used in a framing system, using glazing bars, it is best to float the panel within a channel, sealing it in position with a rubber profile so that the panel can independently move along the subframe when expansion of the panel differs from the frame itself.

Alternatively, where mechanical fixings are used, oversize holes should be drilled or where panel dimensions are too large, a combination of oversize holes, to maintain the panel in position, and slots to allow greater movement would be recommended.

Possible consequences

Failure to compensate for the effects of thermal expansion in cast acrylic may lead tp stress in the sheet which can then lead to distortion, crazing and ultimately, failure of the panel in its application.

Every endeavour has been made to ensure that the information contained herein is accurate and reliable and is given in good faith as indicative of the product, for the guidance of users. Values quoted for properties of the material are results of tests on representative samples and do not constitute a specification. Users are advised to confirm the suitability of the material for their own particular purpose and using their own tests. No warranty in respect to the fitness of the product for any particular purpose is given and any implied warranty, whether statutory or otherwise, is excluded except to the extent that exclusion is prevented by law.