How Acrylic Bathtubs Are Made
Acrylic bathtubs are increasingly popular due to their cost-effective materials, manufacturing process, and durability. Like other plastic bathtubs, the manufacturing process begins with assembling the proper materials – namely petrochemicals. When heated and mixed with stabilizers, resins, fillers, dyes, and other chemicals, a reaction occurs that converts the substance to a polymer composition and dried into acrylic sheets.
Reinforced bathtubs incorporate glass as a strengthening material. Small lengths of glass are cut above a resin-paste bed on the acrylic sheet, then another layer of filler is added to envelope the glass completely. The reinforced sheet is then processed through a series of rollers to evenly mix and compress the materials.
Once the material thickens and the protective film is removed, the sheet is cut into sections to better match the necessary measurements required by the design of the mold. Giant vacuums with thousands of tiny holes are used to suction the soft acrylic sheet into the shape of the mold. There’s a great “How It’s Made” video on the process, which is included below.
Once the mold is cured, the shaped acrylic material is removed from the mold and set aside. Protective layers of fiberglass resins and finishes are then sprayed on and the entire bathtub is laminated to prevent air bubbles and ensure durability. The shell is then milled to trim off rough edges and insert openings for drains and fixtures. Brackets and plumbing accessories are then added before the finished product is sent to a packaging facility for shipping and transport.
Do you have an acrylic, fiberglass, or plastic-based bathtub that’s looking a little ratty? Don’t want to spring for an expensive, brand-new bathtub? Cracks, chips, and cosmetic inconsistencies in acrylic bathtubs can usually be repaired with the proper tools and expertise. Don’t trust your bathtub repairs to a DIY-solution – call Seattle Bathtub Guy to get the job done right the first time around. Plus, if your tub suffers another ding or dent after we’ve made our repairs, we’ll fix the damage free of charge. Contact us today!