Weld two acrylic pieces for a sinlge large panel?

Revan

Black Skirt Tetra
Original poster
MFK Member
Feb 10, 2017
36
8
13
30
Real Name
Evan Rifkind
Hello All!

Does anyone know if two separate acrylic panels can be welded together, end-on-end, to make a single larger piece?

Would it be structurally viable for use in a large tank build? Notwithstanding the need to consider acrylic thickness / dimensions once it is made into a single piece.

Obviously welded seems can be found all over in tanks, but those are generally at right angles or curves, which adds structural integrity. My seem in question would be located in the middle of a long, flat panel.

Open to any feedback on the subject. Thank you!

Revan
 

Dloks

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
Feb 5, 2011
1,666
2,192
164
in a car
I have a good feeling since there’s no support in the middle it’ll blow the hell out like an unsupported bottom
 
  • Like
Reactions: Asianbucketbrigade

Oughtsix

Piranha
MFK Member
Apr 9, 2011
1,135
122
81
Redmond, OR
Real Name
Michael
Occupation
Programmer
In wood working a butt joint is the weakest joint. Other joints, like toung and grove joints increase the bonding surface area and make for a stronger joint. If the acrylic is thick enough I could see a toung and grove or other type of lap joint increasing the strength of the joint. I think the hard part with a more complex joint will be to avoid unsightly bubbles in the join.
 

Lepisosteus

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
May 20, 2014
3,111
1,839
164
Ontario, Canada
Real Name
Matt
If you go to public aquariums almost all their large displays have butt joints. If you leave a 1/8” gap and use weldon 42 to fill the gap by creating a mold the two panels will join together with a lot of strength. Assuming you calculate acrylic thickness for the size of the conjoined piece this is very doable. There’s a build on another forum of a 12’ reef display built the exact same way. In his build he holds the 12’ panel up on one end with the entire sheet bowing a few feet without any damage to the created seam. Pics below are from the thread mentioned. Weldon 42 is chemically similar to the polymer used to cast acrylic sheets. If you can anneal weldon 42 while it cures the joint becomes 3X stronger then that of your typical methylene chloride joints

48D6D6B4-F94E-4CAA-A293-0949FAFA63D8.jpeg

E8FC89F2-FE0A-4992-AB08-CE2AD01994BF.jpeg

E67FC856-FDBD-4173-94D7-DD16496BA0A3.jpeg
 

JK47

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Aug 4, 2008
11,121
3,417
2,555
Washington
Real Name
Justin
Gender
Male
If you go to public aquariums almost all their large displays have butt joints. If you leave a 1/8” gap and use weldon 42 to fill the gap by creating a mold the two panels will join together with a lot of strength. Assuming you calculate acrylic thickness for the size of the conjoined piece this is very doable. There’s a build on another forum of a 12’ reef display built the exact same way. In his build he holds the 12’ panel up on one end with the entire sheet bowing a few feet without any damage to the created seam. Pics below are from the thread mentioned. Weldon 42 is chemically similar to the polymer used to cast acrylic sheets. If you can anneal weldon 42 while it cures the joint becomes 3X stronger then that of your typical methylene chloride joints

View attachment 1363660

View attachment 1363661

View attachment 1363662
Do you mind sharing a link to the thread? This issue is currently where I am stuck at on a project. Thanks for posting this
 

Lepisosteus

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
May 20, 2014
3,111
1,839
164
Ontario, Canada
Real Name
Matt
Heres the link. I believe it’s on reefcentral as well
 
  • Like
Reactions: JK47

Lepisosteus

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
May 20, 2014
3,111
1,839
164
Ontario, Canada
Real Name
Matt
If this is not an option for you, construct a steel right angle frame and add “T” bar to the middle and build it as two separate aquariums that connect in the middle. There is a lot of products that bond metal to thermoplastics. Check out ASI’s products. I will be constructing a 16x4x30” tank doing this method here shortly for a customer.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store