DIY glass tops? - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 09:30 PM
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i've used glass louvers as covers.
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by accordztech View Post
Id recommend going to "taps plastic". There is some lexan plastic there that is very durable and doesnt scratch easy. You can also choose your thickness and it is crystal clear. Im going to be getting this for my 60 gallon.
That's Tap Plastics, www.tapplastics.com. Good place. I go there and get pieces out of the scrap bin, at big savings.

BTW, Lexan is not acrylic, it's a brand name for polycarbonate. Tougher than acrylic ("plexiglass"), and more expensive.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 12:40 AM
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That's Tap Plastics, www.tapplastics.com. Good place. I go there and get pieces out of the scrap bin, at big savings.

BTW, Lexan is not acrylic, it's a brand name for polycarbonate. Tougher than acrylic ("plexiglass"), and more expensive.
thats the word! lol polycarbonate, I was wondering what it was called.

It is more expensive. I wouldnt mind trying plexi, but I hear that they bend and warp with heat.
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-17-2013, 05:21 PM
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I liked the DIY slider top idea, but didn't feel comfortable with 1/8" thick glass. We made ours with 1/4" glass, and a single u channel for the slide.

The u channel we used fits great, is clear, and accomodates 3/16" or 1/4" glass. It's available from Mcmaster.com ( 1753K62 Impact-Resistant Polycarbonate Channel, .365" Base X .345" Legs, .050" Thickness, 4' L, Clear)

The u channel was cut to 4pieces @ 11 3/4" long. We got 2 pieces of glass to fit inside the channel @ 22 7/8" x 6", and 2 pieces to sit on top of the u channel @ 23 1/8"

When installed, the u channel sits on the tank frame, and the lower piece of glass sits in the u channels, to slide ffront to back. The top piece sits above the u channel, but is contained by the edges of the tank top frame. since the glass is cut to 6" there is a small overlap. If I were to do it again, I would cut one of the top pieces to 5", so there was less overlap on the side of the tank that has filter tubing along the back and side.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-17-2013, 08:33 PM
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Key characteristics, Acrylic compared to Polycarbonate:

More likely to chip, less impact resistance then Polycarbonate. (still 10-24 times more resistant than float glass)
Less likely to scratch.
Does NOT yellow after time.
Better clarity. Acrylic can be restored to optical clarity by polishing.


Key characteristics, Polycarbonate compared to Acrylic:

Impact/chip resistance is much higher with Polycarbonate. (about 30 times more resistant than glass)
More likely to scratch.
Substantially more expensive. (roughly 2 to 3 times)
Used for more industry applications
Bulletproof when thick enough.
More bendable under normal temperatures (0-20C)
Yellows over time due to ultraviolet rays
Easier to work with (cut, less likely to break)
Poorer clarity, diffuses light, can lighten (could be positive).

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post #21 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-17-2013, 10:05 PM
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Neat info! I'm usually on the composites and metals end of things so don't get to deal with plastic much.

The polycarb in this case isn't used for light transmission, as it's just a channel that the glass slides back and forth in or on. I really wanted UHMWPE for the channel, as it would likely be a lower friction slide, but the dimensions needed were pretty limiting.
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