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Old 11-10-2004, 12:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Acrylic cover for lights

I'm tyring to locate suitable acrylic to slip into my DIY hood that houses some AHSupply lights. Similar to the same acrylic cover used by Coralife Aqualights. Regular acrylic pieces from the hardware stores don't work since they warp. I called several local acrylic shops but none of seem to even know about heat resistent acrylic. They suggested using either glass or extremely thick acrylic.

What kind of acrylic are the aqualights using?
If I end up with glass instead do I need to worry about cracking (high heat + cool water)?
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Old 11-10-2004, 01:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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http://www.mcmaster.com/

(raw plastics is in the bottom section on the right)


perhaps you might want to try a polycarbonate like lexan?
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Old 11-10-2004, 02:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gomer
http://www.mcmaster.com/

(raw plastics is in the bottom section on the right)


perhaps you might want to try a polycarbonate like lexan?
Thanks for this link. So I assume the aqualights are using polycarbonate?

And a random question for Tony - did you ever have your glass canopy (30 gallon) crack with the AHSupply lights sitting directly on them?
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Old 11-10-2004, 02:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm just guessing on a plastic there.

never had a heat issue with the lights.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I heard that people don't even bother putting a piece of glass between their lights and the water. What's wrong if you don't?
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Old 11-10-2004, 05:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Nothing? For one if water splashes on a hot bulb I'm sure it will crack. It has happened to me with other types of bulbs, not CF, but I'm not going to experiment. Only on raised fixtures I haven't had covers, but this one isn't raised.

Main reason though - I need to add it to maximize the efficiency of the fan cooling. With an open bottom there is a lot of air bypass. If it is closed then air is entering and exiting the fixture through the fans only, and passes fully over the bulbs.

So polycarbonate is ok? I contacted a local supplier and he said it was definately better then acrylic, but was still leary.
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Old 11-11-2004, 04:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Here are two links related to acrylic / plexiglas and polycarbonate properties:

http://www.3d-cam.com/materials/acrylic.asp

http://www.3d-cam.com/materials/polycarbonate.asp

Do a search and you will come up with several sites that offer similar tables of thermodynamic properties of various plastics. You might check out Lexan as well.

Plexiglas works well if you support the sheet regularly along its length. Almost any plastic over time will flow or deform with application of heat. The issue is more how you can provide adequate non-visible support.

Andrew Cribb
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Old 11-11-2004, 05:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Did you try contacting Coralife and asking them about what kind of acrylic they use?
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Old 11-11-2004, 05:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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What about using tempered glass. The advantages are that it will not warp in time from heat and is much easier to clean. A local glass shop can cut a piece to fit. Also won't an acrylic tend to yellow or cloud over time?
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Old 11-11-2004, 06:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raul-7
I heard that people don't even bother putting a piece of glass between their lights and the water. What's wrong if you don't?
Another thing, water splash/condensation will trash a nice reflector.
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