AcryliCo has developed new acrylic and polycarbonate forming techniques which guarantee superior optical qualities in our windshields. In addition, AcryliCo was the first company to hardcoat polymers for which we received the IBEX Innovation award.
In an era where windows are increasingly bonded-in rather than mechanically fastened, AcryliCo was the first within the industry to utilize special acrylic formulations to block harmful UV rays which otherwise might compromise the bonding agent. In the automotive industry this is achieved with an interior paint line called a “frit”. On polymer’s however, the paint line becomes a liability on both the inside due to adhesion issues, or the outside compromising cosmetic appeal. The use of UV blocking acrylic has twin-fold benefits; solving the frit problem and protecting the interior components from fading.
Furthermore, this formulation blocks substantial IR alleviating the work of air conditioning units. The use of pre-installed grommets has been around the industry for some time. However, AcryliCo has pioneered the one-piece grommet and spacer making installation even easier for the OEM.
AcryliCo also developed a system to ease installation of windshields by injecting a polymer “foot” onto the windshield. In this way, the windshield can be secured onto the top surface of the center console without the need of a landing area. This system competes with extruded aluminum attachment systems.
Currently AcryliCo is looking into more sustainable materials. The by-word is “lightening” which entails saving weight wherever possible to lessen the power requirements necessary to achieve stated performance on boats.
AcryliCo utilizes nothing but the best coating elements available on the market today. These performance based products add value to the end product by incorporating abrasion, chemical and impact resistance.
AcryliCo has comprehensive experience in this area with an outstanding record of consistently achieving excellent results. Our coatings have been rigorously tested and approved by major manufacturers, with some of these now confidently introducing windshield wipers on their screens, yet without any detrimental effects on the clarity or visibility of the surface.
In 2008, AcryliCo was very proud to have been presented with the prestigious IBEX Innovation Award for excellence within the industry. Our dedication to achieving perfection within the many complex processes required for the production of top quality hard coatings is perhaps the single most significant milestone within our notable roster of success stories.
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AcryliCo is now offering our UMMA manufacturers hard coatings on all its windshields. Once applied, this coating provides a glass-like surface, offering acrylics a whole new life and exceptional durability.
From the boat builder’s viewpoint, coated parts offer customer value at an economic price. We estimate for most center console windshields, the coating will only add an incremental cost of in between 12 to 15% to the final price. So for example, for a $60.00 windshield, the coated version will add less than $10.00 to its total cost.
However, this is an investment which offers excellent long term dividends for both manufacturer and boat owner alike. In the shop, the coating will provide more damage resistance, such as making paint lines harder to scratch since the coating goes over the paint and over-spray can be easily taken off, even with acetone!
From the boat owner’s perspective, the use of ammonia-based cleaners have damaged windshields for decades. Despite the cleaning instruction stickers clearly stating the use of “soapy water”, sooner or later the Windex comes out and the windshield will deteriorate to the point where it requires replacement — No more.
Acrylico’s coating will provide the boat owner with a windshield holding similar durability characteristics to glass, yet at the price of acrylic and a lot less weight. Water will also bead off the coating, similar to the properties of Rainex application with the added bonus of being scratch resistant. Wash downs can now be carried out with the same products as used on the boat.
AcryliCo has introduced a service to supply coated samples of current production windshields to all our customers for independent testing. Finally, the time has come when smaller boats can enjoy the same high profile advantages of product which has long being the benchmark for high performance offshore racers. “This is good stuff!”, said one of our fast-boat customers. “I had to sand the surface because paint won’t stick to it and used up a box of 320 grit to rough up maybe three feet!”
AcryliCo has made a huge investment in this technology. To achieve perfect application demands a class 10,000 or better clean room with rigorous temperature and humidity controls. There may be an increase in labor over and above the actual cost of the coating, but we firmly hold the opinion it is well worth it!
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GRADY-WHITE ENGINEERING TEST REPORT
Acrylico Windshield and Wiper Evaluation
Technician: D. Strickland
The purpose of this test was to determine if the Acrylico Coated windshield could withstand the use of a wiper without distorting, hazing, or scratching.
The components used for the test were a standard coated 230 Console Windshield, GW#10-1179, and a Marinco Premier Wiper Arm and Blade.
A platform was built to mount the windshield. Above the windshield a 1/4” tube with a series of small holes was placed to irrigate the windshield via a low volume diaphragm pump. This provided a constant spray of water onto the windshield when desired. A wiper motor was mounted below the windshield, at a similar height and angle as for wiper motors on production boats. Therefore, the pressure of the wiper arm against the windshield would have been comparable to current technical configurations.
The standard procedure for the test was to run the wiper with saltwater during normal working hours of approximately 8 hours each day. Frequently during the day the windshield was visually monitored and inspected for any changes.
Overnight the windshield was left to dry in such a manner a salt coating would crystallize over its surface. The windshield was not cleaned in between testing intervals, except when required to perform thorough evaluations; approximately every 20 hours.
The endurance test was performed over a period of 100 hours, estimated at 330,000 wiper cycles.
At one point, the wiper was run dry with absence of water, and with the crystallized salt coating not removed from the windshield; this test lasted 30 minutes.
At the end of the standard test, the windshield was cleaned using a variety of solvents which are generally regarded as inappropriate for use on acrylic: These included Windex, Ammonia, and Acetone.
Up to this point, the tests carried out could be considered representative of field conditions.
In a bid to test the windshield far beyond normal conditions, in the final experiment it was subjected to extreme aggressive misapplication, in rigors which fall well outside of normal wear and tear. So for this phase, two wads of steel wool (#00 & #0000) were placed under the wiper blade: one on the top and the other at the base of the blade. The wiper was then run continuously for a period of one hour.
At the end of all tests, the windshield was completely free from any visible damage; a testament to AcryliCo’s outstanding manufacturing standards and excellent hard coating finish.
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