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Two Types of Thermoforming: Free Blowing vs Molding

There are two predominant methods of thermoforming that can be used to create shapes out of plastic substrate: free blowing and molding. All ReplacementDomes.com’s camera domes are  free blown.

Free Blowing: Vacuum Pressure vs. Air Pressure

During the free-blowing process, substrate sheets are heated to a point of malleability. A bubble is then created and regulated by stretching the sheet through the application of either compressed air or a vacuum to one side of the heated sheet.

We most often create the necessary pressure differential through the use of a vacuum chamber, which allows for very effective process control. The main reason we recommend vaccuum pressure instead of air pressure is safety.

The danger lies in the fact that if a sheet is not hot enough when it is stretched—it violently breaks. During the free-blowing method, all the flying projectiles would be contained within the steel vacuum chamber. If a sheet explodes using the air pressure method, however, hot plastic shrapnel is dispersed uncontrollably. Continue reading Two Types of Thermoforming: Free Blowing vs Molding

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From Casinos to Telephone Poles: The Versatility of Camera Domes

Whether it’s to keep the watchful eyes of casino cameras hidden from the public or to protect sensitive equipment from dust and smoke, the quality of camera domes goes directly to the effectiveness of the camera itself. Camera domes can be rugged enough to spend their entire lives in the elements or elegant enough to be coated in 24-karat gold. Either way, they must be formed and tested to meet the most stringent quality performance standards.

Domes for Casino Security Applications

From the moment you park your car, there isn’t an inch of a casino — with the exception of the bathrooms — where you aren’t on camera. Simply look up and you’ll see an endless pattern of tinted, spherical domes dotting the ceiling. What you don’t see are the cameras within.

Discretion is one of the key functions of a camera dome in casinos. Players can identify the location of the camera but not the direction or focus of the moving lens inside. Aside from protecting the sensitive motorized camera from dust and smoke, the darkened finish provides security personnel with anonymity. Look closely enough and you’ll notice that the more successful casinos are tipping their hands – the domes’ tinted finish can be made from evaporated 24-karat gold. Continue reading From Casinos to Telephone Poles: The Versatility of Camera Domes

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Not All Clear Plastics Are The Same!

Many people assume that plastic is plastic, but saying that all plastic is the same is much like saying that all wood is the same or that all metal is the same. Replacement Domes primarily uses two different types of transparent polymers (clear plastics). Each polymer has different properties, different benefits and drawbacks, and are generally used for different applications. There are several other transparent polymers available in the industry.;

The two polymers primarily used by Replacement Domes are represented by complicated chemical names that few can remember or spell, so the end result is an alphabet soup of acronyms:

  • Polymethylmethacrylate acrylic is just called “acrylic” or “PMMA;”
  • Polycarbonate often becomes “PC;”

Continue reading Not All Clear Plastics Are The Same!

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You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers: FAQs About Replacement Domes

FAQ's graphicYou need a replacement dome and you’ve got questions. You’ve come to the right place. Forming substrate plastic into high-quality optical domes that are designed to protect cameras is a precision science that many people may not fully understand. Here are answers to the most common questions customers ask about replacement domes.

Can You Ship Internationally?

Yes. Free shipping exists for some domestic orders, and there is a “contact us” button for any international requests. This will put customers in touch with Customer Service, who will be able to guide you through the process. Continue reading You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers: FAQs About Replacement Domes

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What is the right thickness for my camera dome?

domeThis is a straightforward question, and the answer is not difficult either. We most commonly produce camera domes in thicknesses of 1.5mm, 3.0 mm, and 4.5 mm. They are used as follows:

The thinnest dome measures 1.5 mm (0.060 inches) at the flange. In acrylic this dome can be fairly brittle and therefore is only suitable for interior applications such as casinos, banks, retail and office environments where the dome is not going to be exposed to high winds, flying debris, or extreme vandalism. The primary advantage of this thinner dome is that the optical quality is superior, especially important for getting the absolute best image quality from your camera system. Continue reading What is the right thickness for my camera dome?

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Where can I purchase non-scratching cloths and cleaning materials?

 

Acrylic

Polycarbonate

Cleaning Materials NOVUS Plastic Polish & Cleaners NOVUS Plastic Polish & Cleaners
Cloths Microfiber Cloth Microfiber Cloth

A woman wearing rubber cleaning glovesCleaning Materials: NOVUS Plastic Polish & Cleaners can be purchased directly from their website at www.nouspolish.com. They offer a variety of polishers for all plastics dependent on each plastic cleaning need. Instructions for how to properly clean using this product is listed on their website as well. Continue reading Where can I purchase non-scratching cloths and cleaning materials?