How to cut polycarbonate at home
Tips and tricks
When cutting monolithic or cellular polycarbonate it is necessary to follow some very important recommendations, as a result of which the finished result will exceed all expectations:
- Before you begin to cut construction material at home, it is recommended first of all to prepare a surface on which all works will be carried out, because if the material will lie on a foreign object or garbage, there is a high probability that it will be damaged;
- When using electric tools is always worth remembering about personal safety measures, which should result in the use of protective goggles and have certain skills with the device;
- the use of a jigsaw or angle grinder requires a special support, which is placed under the polycarbonate sheets;
- For convenience, the material make a proper marking and only then cut it.
The work should be performed according to a step-by-step algorithm.
If necessary, you can see exactly how the process of cutting polycarbonate on video.
What to cut polycarbonate
The peculiarity of polycarbonate is the fact that in order to cut it in house conditions, you can use any construction tool.
- A clerical or construction knife;
- an electric jigsaw;
- angle grinder (angle grinder);
- circular saw;
- A hacksaw designed to work on metal.
If we consider industrial equipment, then you can use a milling machine that has numerical control and a special laser of several types.
It is worth considering the fact that there are a number of construction tools, which in no case can cut polycarbonate. Due to the fact that there is a high probability of damaging the sheet, as a result of which the quality will suffer greatly.
Many experts recommend refraining from using:
- Saws designed for work on wood. as you know, such a model has quite large teeth, thanks to which the material is not cut, but torn during the work. The cut will end up with a large number of cracks, nicks and burrs.
- Construction scissors or scissors for metal. this option is perfect for thin monolithic polycarbonate. The cellular polymer material will be deformed on both sides.
Before you cut polycarbonate, it is necessary to choose the right tool.
What to cut monolithic polycarbonate
If necessary, you can carry out the process of cutting monolithic polycarbonate at home. For this purpose perfectly suits a circular saw that has teeth of small size. In order not only to cut polymer material, but also to achieve the best possible result, many experts recommend giving preference to teeth that are equipped with special hard inserts. Thanks to this approach, you can prevent the undesirable process of heating the material. If you plan to cut a sheet with a thickness up to 2 mm, in this case it is recommended to cut 10 polycarbonate sheets at a time. As practice shows, it is much easier and more convenient to cut several sheets at once than one.
It is important to understand that if you cut a single polycarbonate sheet of small thickness, the material during the work may be covered with cracks. In this case, it is best to use a guillotine cutter, but this method has a significant disadvantage. the edges of the cut will be rough. If necessary, you can use a band saw with a width of up to 2 cm.
Advice! For monolithic polycarbonate, which thickness exceeds 6 mm, it is recommended to use an electric tool.
What to cut the cellular polycarbonate
If you plan to cut cellular polycarbonate at home, you should understand that this type of building material has a porous structure, as a result of which the work process can be very specific. If the thickness of the material does not exceed 1 cm, in this case you can do only with a box cutter or construction knife with a retractable blade. When cutting composite polycarbonate along the ribs you need to perform the work in several stages.
The starting cut should be made on the outer surface, and then flip the sheet cellular polycarbonate and perform the same action, but on the other side of the building material. When it became necessary to cut a polycarbonate sheet across the ribs, the algorithm will include 3 steps. Thus, as in the previous version, cut the product on both sides, then carefully cut the inner partition.
When the polymer product thickness exceeds 1 cm, you will need to use a metal or wood saw, and the teeth must be bifurcated. If you have an electric tool, such as an angle grinder or jigsaw, you can give preference to them, but the speed of the selected tool should be at a minimum level.
What is better to cut polycarbonate in order not to damage the material
To understand what is better to cut polycarbonate with their own hands must first be familiar with all the basic tools with which usually perform these works, as well as features and important recommendations that will help avoid possible errors that can cause cracks and other serious defects up to complete damage to the sheets.
What can cut polycarbonate. technology for cutting plastic
In recent years, in many construction operations polycarbonate has replaced a heavy, fragile and relatively expensive silicate glass. This practical and affordable material is used for decorative glazing, construction of urban infrastructure elements, the construction of greenhouses and hothouses, the construction of the roof of pergolas, sheds or terraces. Longevity and reliability of its construction depends on observance of processing technology and correct installation. A frequent reason for the rejection of the material during the work is improper cutting of the sheets, so inexperienced masters part of the question of how and what to cut polycarbonate, so as not to damage the panel. In this article we will tell you what tools can be used for processing, and how to use them properly.
What to cut polycarbonate: 5 proven options for carrying out the work
Do not know how to cut polycarbonate at home? Afraid of damaging the material? I will tell you about the ways I know how to cut, all of them are suitable for inexperienced craftsmen and ensure a high quality of work. The main thing is to follow all the recommendations outlined below.
Even regular construction knives are good for cutting polycarbonate
Cutting polycarbonate with a hacksaw
Metal hacksaw with fine and frequent teeth is sometimes used to cut polycarbonate sheets into straight square and rectangular pieces. The process is similar to cutting with a construction knife, so if you decide to use a hacksaw, then read the appropriate step-by-step instructions above.
How to cut polycarbonate roofing sheets
- Hold the hacksaw at an angle of about 30°;
- Fasten the polycarbonate sheet as well as possible; if you have a workbench and a vise or clamps, use them.
But it is more convenient and, most importantly, more qualitative to cut the material with an electric jigsaw or a construction knife with a retractable blade.
DIY Polycarbonate Cutting Tips
Stages of cutting and installation of polycarbonate
Due to the presence of a large number of advantages, polycarbonate is becoming a more popular material among consumers. However, not everyone knows how to work with it. Therefore, on the features and ways to cut polycarbonate at home let’s talk about next.
Polycarbonate. features and benefits
Polycarbonate appears as a colorless, moderately hard polymer plastic used in the process of making pellets. Due to the presence of excellent properties the material is widely used in various sectors of construction.
Polycarbonate is ideal for the construction of greenhouses, summer baths, outbuildings, sheds, arches, pergolas, etc.д.
The structure of polycarbonate implies its division into two, three or four layers, each of which has its own stiffening ribs. crosspieces.
Polycarbonate has exceptional characteristics, namely, because of its structure, it is quite light, but at the same time strong, plastic, but resistant to frost.
Impact resistance. the main advantage of polycarbonate constructions of both monolithic and honeycomb types. Therefore, it is widely used in the arrangement of the protective canopy and fence, stop the transport type, advertising signs, etc.п.
Among the main advantages of polycarbonate are:
- variety of colors and textures: polycarbonate can be practically of any color, in addition, it is possible to apply a mirror or laminated coating;
- good acoustic characteristics;
- light weight, thanks to which the structures are light and durable;
- ease of operation. Even a novice can build a gazebo from polycarbonate;
- Good flexibility of the sheets allows to make constructions of various forms and complexities;
- resistance to weather, UV radiation and other external influences;
- high thermal insulation characteristics;
- resistance to chemical attack;
- Fire safety and fire resistance make it possible to use polycarbonate in the arrangement of street lamps.
What to cut polycarbonate: ways and their characteristics
The first option involves the use of an angle grinder as the main tool for cutting polycarbonate. Many people have this tool, so if you have experience with it, cut carbonate with their hands will not be difficult.
To form equal cuts, the use of a one hundred and twenty-fifth wheel is recommended, which is able to work with metal surfaces.
In the absence of experience with the angle grinder, it is recommended to practice on pieces of polycarbonate, before proceeding to its direct cut.
Another great tool for cutting polycarbonate is a stationery knife. No experience is necessary to perform this process. The most important condition is the use of a new and very sharp knife. When performing the work should not be in a hurry, and calmly and measuredly perform all the movements, as knives have a fairly sharp blade, and there is a risk of injury. The use of a office knife is associated with the cutting of polycarbonate honeycomb, the thickness of which does not exceed six millimeters. If the thickness of the sheet more than the specified value, the use of a stationery knife is impossible. In this case, the use of a knife is appropriate for leveling joints and adjusting them.
With the help of household and the most common electric jigsaw is carried out cutting polycarbonate. True, in this case, you should take care to install a saw that has fine teeth. If this is not done uneven, even jagged cutting of sheets will occur. Using this tool, as well as the angle grinder, is simple, but in order not to inadvertently spoil the material, it is better to practice on its scraps.
Use of an electric jigsaw is associated with the cutting of monolithic sheets that must be cut into complex decorative shapes with rounded corners.
Tip: When cutting a small thickness of polycarbonate with an electric jigsaw, it is recommended to cut several sheets at once, under which you must first put a cardboard base. If this is not done, there is a risk of the sheet cracking in the process of cutting.
If, nevertheless, it is necessary to cut only one sheet, you should check the jigsaw blades for sharpness, if they are not too sharp, they must be sharpened. Some masters manage to cut one sheet of polycarbonate with scissors, but again, the tool must be very sharp.
Very often beginners wonder about the possibility of cutting polycarbonate with a hacksaw or with a hand saw. The answer is quite simple: if you have no experience working with polycarbonate, it is better not to use these tools, as there is a high probability of their damage and cracking of the blades, which are at the mowing line of the cut.
It is preferable to use electric tools. But be sure to take care of a good fixation of the sheet, so that in consequence of vibration, it does not move out of place and does not deteriorate.
Characteristics of laser cutting polycarbonate
Another way to cut polycarbonate is the use of a laser. But to carry out this process, you need to have certain skills that will allow you to cut. In addition, the purchase of a special tool requires a special investment, and requires only masters who are engaged in cutting polycarbonate constantly.
If it is possible to use the laser method of cutting, you should resort to it, because, compared to other methods of cutting, it has such advantages:
- High speed of work;
- No defects on the surface;
- cut quality. the highest;
- Cutting is carried out with excellent accuracy;
- The fixation of the sheets, when cutting, is not required.
Cutting polycarbonate to size. peculiarities of the conduct
We suggest that you read the instructions for the implementation of the cutting of polycarbonate:
Prepare the surface for cutting. To do this, remove from the surface all unnecessary objects in the form of branches, a section of strips, boards or stones. Their presence on the surface, will lead to the formation of small dents on the sheets of polycarbonate, scratches and various damage that will spoil its appearance.
For the construction of the work area, lay sheets of chipboard or other similar material on the floor. The main thing is that the surface is flat and clean.
Using a marker and a long ruler, make a marking, according to the specified dimensions. If you need to move on the surface of the sheets, put a board on which will walk. This is necessary to prevent the formation of webs on the polycarbonate.
Before you cut the polycarbonate to size, on both sides of the markings set the boards, with a minimum size, 40x100x2200 mm. Then the boards are put on the cloth again, and only then is the movement on their surface.
When performing an even and straight cut, apply an angle grinder, to cut the same rounded details, will be appropriate electric jigsaw. For the purpose of making a slight adjustment, a box cutter will be sufficient.
When working with the material that has a laminated or mirror coating, a very important role performs the correctness of the blade. The laminated or mirror side of the polycarbonate should be on top. To cut this type of polycarbonate, fit all the above methods, but the use of a hacksaw or hand saw, will lead to peeling the top layer, so their use is unacceptable.
If you are working with polymer honeycomb plastic, it is cut in relation to the length, and the performance of marking is optional. Since it is sufficient to orient on the surface of the honeycomb. Therefore, walking on the surface is also not required.
When the work on the cutting of cellular polycarbonate is completed, using compressed air, blow out all the seams, to remove dust and chips that have fallen inside.
Do not forget about your own safety, when cutting polycarbonate with an angle grinder or electric jigsaw, wear a protective mask and goggles that will protect your eyes from small pieces of material or dust. Before cutting, you should carefully check the accuracy of calculations and drawings.
What to cut polycarbonate for greenhouses: recommendations for cutting
During the construction of a greenhouse from polycarbonate a mandatory step is the cutting and cutting of this material. This procedure requires special care and caution. Since the quality of cutting depends on the quality of installation of the structure.
To do the job you will need a wood hacksaw and circular saw. In addition, the use of a box cutter or sharp scissors will not be superfluous.
Recommendations for cutting polycarbonate for greenhouse:
Not allowed to damage the protective film of polycarbonate during the cutting.
Use compressed air to blow out the sawdust that appears in the process of cutting polycarbonate.
Try to perform the cutting in such a way as to reduce the amount of waste left after cutting. Therefore, first make a markup on paper, consider several options, and choose the most appropriate.
In order to reduce the risk of sheet breakage, carry out the work in the longitudinal direction, in relation to the voids.
The most popular type of greenhouses built with polycarbonate are arch structures. When equipping such a greenhouse, you should act in stages. It is better to start the work from the roof. the use of a tape measure will help to measure the length of the arc, then it is transferred to the surface of polycarbonate and cut out. For the construction of the door, you will need two rectangular structures. Then already follows figure cutting out of the remaining parts.
To close the end sections, quality sealing tape is used in the upper zone, and at the bottom. tape. The outer part of the sheets should have a special coating in the form of a film, it is it that will protect the greenhouse from external irritants.
Cutting polycarbonate monolithic and cellular
The first option of cutting both types of polycarbonate involves the use of various types of saws. When carrying out this process it is required to follow these rules:
- When working with automated type tool, provide a tight contact sheet of polycarbonate with the surface on which it is installed, if you do not do this, then under the influence of vibration, the edge of the cut will be uneven;
- Any type of saw should be equipped with an attachment designed for cutting plastic products;
- Watch the sharpening of the tool, it must be sharp;
- Do not remove the protective film from the polycarbonate until the cut is complete.
If a circular saw is used in the process of cutting, it should operate on a low-speed feed. Start cutting polycarbonate only after the saw has reached the required rpm. To cut individual sheets a saw of hacksaw or band type is used.
For cutting monolithic polycarbonate it is recommended to use circular saws with a fine tooth. In order to reduce contact of the tool with polycarbonate, use a saw with tungsten carbide inserts on the teeth surface. They help improve the surface of the end sections and reduce the heat of the polycarbonate during operation.
When performing a small amount of work on the cutting of polycarbonate, it is better to use an electric jigsaw or handheld version of this equipment.
In addition, for cutting polycarbonate monolithic type milling equipment is used. With its help it is possible to obtain high-precision dimensions, when carrying out shaped cutting. Milling equipment is much better cuts polycarbonate than laser cutting equipment. As with the milling machine any required angle of cut can be maintained, in addition, the speed of the work is very high. With modern programmable milling machines it is possible to adjust the depth of the cut and perhaps perform relief images on the surface.
Cutting of cellular polycarbonate assumes the use of well-sharpened tool. As such equipment perfectly suits a knife for cutting polycarbonate, in addition, it is possible to use a box cutter or a shoemaker knife. They help make the edge perfectly flat, thanks to their sharpness.
Longitudinal cutting of cellular polycarbonate is carried out in the ratio of honeycomb. To perform the same cross-cutting first there is a cut of the top layer, and then, the material nadlyamuyut throughout its thickness.
The quality of cutting monolithic polycarbonate is affected by its thickness. When cutting thinner material, the cut is of high quality and even, otherwise it looks rougher.
To get a good cut, take care of the flatness of the surface on which the cut takes place.
What to cut polycarbonate and how to do it correctly
With what and how to cut polycarbonate? This question asks almost every second visitor of our site. Let’s see what tools and skills are needed for this.
Over several years of working with the beautiful material called polycarbonate, I have certainly tried different tools for cutting it. And today I would like to highlight a few of them particularly valuable and often used.
Earlier I wrote about how to cut a sheet of polycarbonate. And at the time of writing the article used exactly those tools specified in it. But time, like technology, does not stand still. I had to try quite a few tools of course. And today, I’m going to talk about more reliable means and methods of cutting polycarbonate.
Characteristics of the material
The demand for this material is largely due to its characteristics.
The most significant pros of polycarbonate are these:
How To Cut Polycarbonate Sheets, Cutting Twinwall Polycarbonate, Home D.I.Y
- Impact-resistant material, that is, the ability to withstand significant mechanical loads. It is virtually impossible to break, and no small splinters are produced that can cut themselves on impact.
- Easy to install.
- Flexibility. Due to this indicator, polycarbonate is often used for glazing various frameworks.
However, polycarbonate is extremely sensitive to UV radiation and strong temperature fluctuations. Under the influence of these factors, the material gradually loses transparency, gaining a yellowish or floury color, and also becomes very fragile.
There are several types of polycarbonate, but the most popular are monolithic and honeycomb.
Working with this or that kind of material, it is extremely important to know how to cut polycarbonate correctly in order not to damage it. Next, let’s describe a few common methods.