Help touble shooting microwave processing acrylic...

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Thomas H

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We have been microwave processing our acrylic for many years now, with not many issues. However, recently the acrylic comes out soft and squishy sometimes, while other times it comes out perfect. Sometimes it's soft everywhere and sometimes in some spots. We try to make sure the table is turning everytime we start the timer. We are making sure that all the acrylic is doughy and not sticky before we start packing. We keep trying to isolate all the variables so we can figure why it's not get consistent results in the last couple of months. Could it be that we need to replace our microwave? (The microwave is now a little more than 5 years old.) Or do you have any other ideas to help us trouble shoot our problem? Thanks!
 
JMN

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We have been microwave processing our acrylic for many years now, with not many issues. However, recently the acrylic comes out soft and squishy sometimes, while other times it comes out perfect. Sometimes it's soft everywhere and sometimes in some spots. We try to make sure the table is turning everytime we start the timer. We are making sure that all the acrylic is doughy and not sticky before we start packing. We keep trying to isolate all the variables so we can figure why it's not get consistent results in the last couple of months. Could it be that we need to replace our microwave? (The microwave is now a little more than 5 years old.) Or do you have any other ideas to help us trouble shoot our problem? Thanks!
Microwave would be my first try.

If you have changed absolutely nothing else, all using the same monomer etc. then that is the only thing that could affect the temperature and thereforeforefore also the curing percentage.

The magnetrons do go out, but it's more often the support electronics. They're cheap, if it turns out not to be the microwave, then you have a backup on hand when it is time.
Or an extra one just for warming coffee.
 
Doris A

Doris A

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I would suspect the microwave first also.
Follow all of the instructions for the acrylic to the letter.
Also try weighing the monomer and polymer instead of measuring it.
 
Flippercentral

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Turn the flask over halfway thru the process, especially on thicker cases, and let them sit for awhile, both before you cure and after.
 
TomZ

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oven probably shot
Stand flask vertical to provide larger target profile.
 
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FASTFNGR

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We have been microwave processing our acrylic for many years now, with not many issues. However, recently the acrylic comes out soft and squishy sometimes, while other times it comes out perfect. Sometimes it's soft everywhere and sometimes in some spots. We try to make sure the table is turning everytime we start the timer. We are making sure that all the acrylic is doughy and not sticky before we start packing. We keep trying to isolate all the variables so we can figure why it's not get consistent results in the last couple of months. Could it be that we need to replace our microwave? (The microwave is now a little more than 5 years old.) Or do you have any other ideas to help us trouble shoot our problem? Thanks!
Change the microwave. It happened to me, the microwave would run but no heat .
 
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Jmichael

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I know this sounds obvious, but double check you are using/grabbing the correct monomer. I have grabbed the wrong monomer before and had disastrous results. I have heat cure, pour and microwave monomer all by the same manufacturer and the bottles look very similar. Especially when you are in a hurry!
 
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