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  1. #1
    Senior Member Deafboy's Avatar
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    Glass, acrylic or polycarbonate for shelves?

    I realise this is off-topic since it has nothing to do with aquaria but I figure the knowledge for building tanks is similar to my application. I would like to build a nice stand for my stereo sound system. The shelves would be of thick clear material supported at the corners. A shelf must be able to hold 30 kg (66 lbs). I wonder which material would be best for the shelves. I have a choice of acrylic, polycarbonate (lexan) or glass. The thickness would be 1/2" if I choose polycarbonate. It can be thicker if it's glass or acrylic. Does anyone have comments for this idea? Are all these materials acceptable? Which material would best?

    Michel
    20 g reef, 72 g reef

  2. #2
    Senior Member steve666's Avatar
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    Glass would be your best option, nearly all high end hifi stands are made of this (rather than acrylic/pc etc) because of its superior acoustic qualities. ie the less a material flexes/vibrates the better the sound quality you receive.
    This matters more for high end stereo equipment.
    We need more Indians!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Deafboy's Avatar
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    Would it better to have tempered glass or regular float glass? I think tempered glass is stronger but can shatter. Is this so?

    Michel
    20 g reef, 72 g reef

  4. #4
    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    Tempered glass is much stronger and will shatter into small pieces rather than large shards.

    I suspect, if you plan to support either plastic from just the corners you will get some sagging over time. Plus, you will have to be more careful with cleaning.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Deafboy's Avatar
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    Here's a guy who sells very expensive shelves for audio components. The shelves are supported only at one place (at the back). He seems to offer 3/4'' glass or lexan. Kinda scary at first sight having all that weight supported at one edge.

    Exotic shelves
    20 g reef, 72 g reef

  6. #6
    Senior Member DARK's Avatar
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    OMG!!!

    Price:
    $33,000

  7. #7
    Senior Member pwall's Avatar
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    Yeah, got several of those shelves at my place. :blah:
    Regards,
    Patrick.
    Ottawa (Orleans), Ontario
    Yahoo IM: pwallnfld

  8. #8
    Senior Member steve666's Avatar
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    you could use laminated glass, that will not shatter or break, i'm not sure on thicknesses etc but the stand i had in england was 10mm glass supported only on the 4 corners with rubber pads as dampers.
    We need more Indians!

  9. #9
    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    Tempered glass will be strongest for any given thickness. But, if it breaks, it will be like snow. Really, really sharp snow.

    Laminated glass with restist shattering all over (this is what they do with car windshields) but, it will break sooner than tempered glass.

    Lexan won't likely shatter or break but, will (I suspect) show age and have some degree of sagging over time.

    And yes. Scary looking. Like seeing a single sided swing arm on a race bike. Looks dangerous. And not even supported from one side, supported from maybe 1/5 of one side.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tictoc's Avatar
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    Tempered glass is designed to shatter,little sharp pieces but it woun't slice ya up... plate glass (window glass) will break in long shards and slice ya up... laminated glass, same type of glass as plate but laminated together, woun't break in long shards but if it breaks small shards will be around, lexan will not break, but will scratch, and if it's pexi-glas will yellow over time, altho lexan is not suspose to. if it were me...i'de use tempered. it'll likely only break if you hit the edge or go crazy with the weight on it.
    Orrr you could use lexan 1/4 inch and put a 1 1/2 to 2 inch piece on edge under it kinda like an european brace
    Tic
    Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple

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