What to cut monolithic polycarbonate at home
How to cut monolithic polycarbonate
What you can cut monolithic polycarbonate yourself?
Monolithic polycarbonate can be cut with any cutting tools. Both mechanical and manual. If the quality of the edge and the tolerance of dimensional error does not matter, you can use a circular, band saw, or electric jigsaw. In these cases, you should pay attention to the sharpness of the teeth and the evenness of the feed. Do not make the cut until the mechanism has been fully accelerated.
You should also not stop sawing in the middle of the sheet as disks and saw blades become very hot when working with polycarbonate and the rapid cooling leads to sticking of heated mass to the metal and deterioration of the edges.
If the accuracy of the cut is needed maximum, then you should turn to more accurate tools and mechanisms. For example, a CNC milling machine can be used to make shaped parts out of polycarbonate. On it, polycarbonate is safely cut with a small-diameter finger cutter. This procedure looks something like this:
And if the accuracy of cutting on such a machine you are still not satisfied, then there is another way. Very small and highly complex parts from polycarbonate can be sawed using laser cutting. The edge of the product and the dimensions will then be absolutely perfect.
Follow the rules
A clear cut, without roughness can be obtained if you observe the following principles of work:
- Place the material on a firm and level surface.
- Press a metal ruler tightly against the mowing line of the cut.
- Use a box cutter with a new blade. Break off the blunted tip immediately!
- Start cutting from the far edge, pre-cutting the polycarbonate.
- When cutting a long sheet of material, an assistant should be used to hold the ruler in place.
- Press the blade of the knife to the ruler and apply pressure.
- Small rough spots on the monolithic sheet should be removed with a sandpaper.
Important! When cutting “thick” material, it is necessary to maintain a large angle of inclination of the blade. Do not use a ruler made of wood! If after making the first ruler cut polycarbonate did not separate, run the knife again. Overbending in the hope of breaking the material is not allowed! It will not break, but will bend!
Finishing conversation about the knife can be said that this tool is almost ideal for cutting monolithic polycarbonate.
Cutting polycarbonate in the home conditions
Recently, 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 elements of urban infrastructure, construction of greenhouses and hothouses, the construction of the roof of pergolas, sheds or terraces. Durability and reliability of the construction from it depend on compliance with the technology of processing and correct installation. A frequent reason for the rejection of the material during the work is the improper cutting of sheets, so inexperienced masters partly wonder 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 correctly.
The most effective tool with which you can cut a sheet of polycarbonate plastic. the usual angle grinder. Since this material, especially honeycomb, is quite easy to handle, even the cheapest Chinese models can handle the cut. Experienced craftsmen note that it is better to perform straight cuts of great length with an angle grinder. Cutting polycarbonate with this tool on the curve is possible, but it requires a lot of experience. In order not to spoil the material when cutting, you need to observe the following rules:
- To cut sheets of this material use an angle grinder with a cutting wheel for metal with sharp, frequent teeth.
- When cutting sheets of polycarbonate plastic is better to use an angle grinder at low speed to get an even cut and burr-free edges of the material.
- If you want to cut cellular polycarbonate, the cutting wheel of angle grinder can be placed strictly between the ribs.
Please note! Angle grinder refers to high-speed tools, it is quite difficult to work with it without experience. To properly perform the cut and not to damage the material, you can practice on the rest of the polycarbonate.
Another tool that can be used to cut polycarbonate, is a household electric jigsaw. It is considered a universal tool for cutting materials of different thicknesses and densities. The cutting blade of the jigsaw is fixed only on one side, so it can be used for sawing holes and curved cuts in polycarbonate. To use this tool, you need to follow a few rules:
- To process sheets of polycarbonate plastic use a jigsaw, the cutting blades of which have fine teeth.
- To ensure that the edges of the polycarbonate after sawing was flat, you must use a new, sharp cutting blade.
- To get a smooth, neat cut, you can use a metal cutting blade that does not tear the polycarbonate, but cuts it.
- When processing thick monolithic plastic with an electric jigsaw generates a lot of chips that must be promptly removed so they do not interfere with sawing.
Important! Professional craftsmen use an electric jigsaw to make only curved, curved cuts, as it takes much longer to saw in a straight line than with an angle grinder.
How to cut polycarbonate
A box cutter
At home, polycarbonate can be cut with a regular office knife. With this tool more often work the cellular plastic, which has a cellular structure. Monolithic polycarbonate is not cut with a knife, as it is too hard. To make the cut turned out even, it is better to adhere to the following technology:
- To cut a sheet of polycarbonate plastic requires a high-quality, sharp office knife.
- Polycarbonate is cut with a box cutter in two steps: first a small cut is made to prevent the tool from slipping, and then the material is carefully trimmed.
- A clerical knife is used to cut cellular polycarbonate with a thickness of no more than 4-6 mm.
Keep in mind that using a box cutter is a good way to make fine trim and fit sheets of plastic, as it is long and inconvenient to make long cuts with a box cutter. An ordinary office knife in this case can quickly blunt or break.
During the cutting of polycarbonate plastic panels, it is easy to damage the material or ruin the edges of the sheet, violating the technology. Experienced craftsmen advise not to save on blades and cutting tool blades, as a blunt knife makes the cut uneven and sloppy. Cutting is carried out in the following sequence:
- First of all, the area where the sawing will be performed is cleared. To make the surface flat, lay sheets of plywood or particle board on it.
- Before cutting the polycarbonate, the surface is marked with a marker and a long ruler.
- Under the sheet of plastic on both sides of the planned mowing line underlay wooden bars of thickness not less than 40 mm. On top along the marking also lay a wide plank used for movement.
- Straight cuts are made with an angle grinder at low speed, and curved cuts with a jigsaw.
- Compressed air is used to blow chips off the surface of the material after cutting is complete.
Note! Cellular plastic up to 6 mm thick can be cut by stacking several sheets on top of each other and placing plywood under them. In industrial settings, this material is processed with a laser, which is much faster and easier than using a hand tool.
The first tool that almost everyone has and with which you can work with polycarbonate is an angle grinder. And. use an expensive tool is not necessary: even an inexpensive and a small angle grinder will perform all the work perfectly. To make even cuts, you need to install a wheel 125, designed for metal. The only thing you need to pay attention to is experience, because the tool has a high rotation speed, and if you have not worked with it before. it is advisable to practice on the scraps of this material before cutting polycarbonate. Where to get them? Turn to craftsmen who are engaged in the manufacture of polycarbonate structures.
Perfectly cuts polymer plastic sheets and a stationery knife. And even beginners can cope with it. The main thing is that the knife should be of good quality, and the work was not done in a hurry. the blade of such tools is very sharp, and you can not only make the wrong cut, but also hurt yourself. A clerical knife is suitable for honeycomb sheets with a thickness of 4-6 mm, but it is already quite difficult to work with 8-millimeter sheets. On thicker sheets, cutting polycarbonate is almost impossible, so specialists recommend using a knife only where it is necessary to trim the material, and then only on sheets up to 10 mm.
Household, the most common electric jigsaw is also quite suitable for working with polycarbonate sheets, but it needs to install a file with fine teeth, otherwise the material will be torn rather than cut. This tool, like the angle grinder, is fairly easy to use, but to be fully confident in the quality of work, it is also desirable to practice in advance. An electric jigsaw is very much in demand especially when you have to perform the cutting of monolithic polycarbonate of complex decorative forms or make roundings.
Note: If you have to perform a cutting of thin sheets, the experts recommend folding the sheets by 10-12 pieces, and then put a layer of cardboard under them and then cut all at once.
When it is necessary to perform the cutting of only one sheet. the risk of cracking significantly increases. To avoid damaging the material, it is necessary to work only with a very well sharpened tool. There are craftsmen who work with polycarbonate, using scissors. It is also quite acceptable. The main thing is that the tool used does not damage the structure of blades.
Beginners are usually interested in: whether and how to cut cellular polycarbonate with a hacksaw, or a hand saw?In the case where there is no experience, it is advisable not to use these tools: the blades along the cuts may crack. It is best to work with power tools. But for beginners and experienced professionals alike, it is imperative to fix the polycarbonate sheets well to prevent vibration and stress in the material, which is also fraught with bad consequences.
Cutting with a laser
In addition to the methods listed above, you can also perform cutting with a laser. But to work with a laser machine must have the appropriate skills. In addition, not every master has such a tool, so the laser cutting polycarbonate is available only to those who deal with polycarbonate professionally. But if there is an opportunity to do the work with a laser, you should definitely take advantage of it, because it guarantees:
- high speed of work;
- the absence of defects;
- Excellent quality of cutting;
- Cutting accuracy: when working with a laser size accuracy is observed to 0.05 mm;
- There is no need to fix the sheets at work.
To the cloths of monolithic polycarbonate you can use any cutting material designed to work on metal or wood, even a standard metal cutter.
What can cut a monolithic polycarbonate
Polycarbonate is widely used as a reliable and practical translucent material for decorative glazing of construction projects and other structures, for the installation of canopies and roofs, greenhouses and greenhouses. Monolithic and honeycomb material can be processed with ordinary tools, which increases its popularity among owners of homesteads and suburban areas. Before you build a carport, gazebo roof or greenhouse, it is important to understand how to cut polycarbonate at home, so as not to damage the material.
First of all, you should prepare a design of the structure, calculating the dimensions of each element of the glazing. It is recommended to take into account the dimensions of the material (they are standard) in order to minimize the amount of waste. If the elements have curvilinear outlines, prepare appropriate patterns from heavy paper or cardboard. When preparing material for an arched-type greenhouse, pay special attention to the end elements with a semicircular top.
- The area where it is planned to cut polycarbonate plates is cleaned from debris, leveled, covered with sheet material. plywood, chipboard, etc.д.
- Lay a sheet of polycarbonate on a flat solid surface, if the material has a special layer that protects the material from aging under UV rays, pay attention to the marking of the sides. the sheet must lie with the protective layer upwards. The material with a mirror or laminated surface is laid in a similar way. The film, which protects the polycarbonate from mechanical stress during transportation and mounting, is not removed until the end of the installation work.
- Perform a marking according to the project, using a black marker and a metal (or wooden) ruler, tape measure, ready-made patterns from cardboard.
In order not to damage the large area polycarbonate sheet during marking, lay a board with a width of 100 mm and a length of about 2 thousand. mm, and step on it only. This eliminates the risk of deformation of the material, the appearance of scratches on the surface.
For the convenience of cutting polycarbonate to size, and in order not to damage the surface of the material, on both sides of the cut line underlay polycarbonate two parallel boards 401002200 mm. they should raise the panel in the area where it will be cut.
The choice of tools and cutting rules
Consider how and what is better to cut cellular polycarbonate and monolithic translucent polymer.
It is important that the tool does not spoil the material. for example, scissors for cutting plastic or construction scissors can not be used, they squeeze the cellular polycarbonate, deforming the edges of the cut.
Also contraindicated cutting tools with large teeth, including wood hacksaw. it tears the material, the cut is uneven, with burrs and jagged edges.
- A knife (assembly or clerical);
- Angle grinder (angle grinder);
- circular saw;
- with a metal hacksaw;
- electric jigsaw;
The method of cutting is chosen according to the available tools, thickness and structure of the material.
Using a knife
To cut the polycarbonate a box cutter that has a blade consists of breakaway segments is used. Also suitable building knife, it is more convenient to use thanks to the ergonomic handle. A shoemaker knife can also be used.
For solid polycarbonate this tool is not suitable, because the material is too hard and the work requires a lot of time and effort. The knife is convenient to cut honeycomb sheets of small thickness. not more than 6-8 mm.
Before cutting a panel, check the sharpness of the blade on the unnecessary scraps. If necessary, sharpen the shoemaker knife or remove the blunted elements of the retractable blade. Use a rule or metal ruler to cut in a straight line. The blade should be at an angle to the surface. the thicker the material, the angle should be closer to the right.
First make a notch on the end face, then, without removing the blade from the notch, slowly guide it along the scythe line of the marking towards yourself. Remove irregularities and occasional surplus fragments after the element has been cut from the board. If the polycarbonate material is not cut in one go, repeat the process in the same way. Do not bend, break the sheet, otherwise its edges will be severely deformed.
If you need to cut a large area, it is better to choose a tool that will provide a higher performance. In any case, you will need a knife to remove burrs and trim irregularities, fitting the glazing element exactly to the specified dimensions.
Cutting with an angle grinder
To cut the polycarbonate grinder, use a wheel designed for metal cutting. Cut the panel with an angle grinder without fear of melting the edges of plastic material will help:
- Use a cutting wheel to work with aluminum (it heats up less due to friction);
- Use an angle grinder with a speed regulator (work should be done at low speeds, it also reduces the risk of burrs).
It is convenient to cut monolithic polycarbonate and honeycomb panels with an angle grinder, including curvilinear trajectory. When working, always use protective goggles that protect the eyes from flying chips.
After turning on the power tool, you should wait until it reaches the necessary speed of rotation. cut sheet material by moving the angle grinder away from yourself along the mowing line. When cutting a panel along the lintels, hold the tool so that the blade goes straight, without touching the ribs.
Cutting Square holes in perspex and polycarbonate
When you are finished, check that the cuts are straight and remove any chips or dust that have entered the cells with a blower or vacuum cleaner.
Using a circular saw
The circular saw must be equipped with a fine-toothed blade. use a blade designed for plastic or metal. To saw a solid or composite panel, use the same principle as an angle grinder. First allow the tool to gather momentum, then cut the raised panel with the two planks, moving the tool away from you. Press the base plate of the tool against the sheet metal. this will help you cut more precisely along the outlined contour.
Using a metal saw
Hacksaw, equipped with a blade with fine, frequent teeth, will help cut a straight strip of polycarbonate, to cut a sheet lengthwise or crosswise. You cannot cut difficult shapes with this tool.
Cutting thin Lexan Plexiglass Polycarbonate sheets
Working with polycarbonate: how to cut the monolithic material
The panels of well-known polycarbonate become more popular every day. All thanks to certain features of this material, including its incredible lightness combined with high strength. To build a quality construction from monolithic polycarbonate, it is important to know how to cut it correctly. Further on the peculiarities of this process at home.
With what and how to cut polycarbonate in the home?
Polymer plastic sheet, more commonly known as polycarbonate, is becoming more and more popular every day. And not coincidentally: the relative cheapness and excellent properties of the material brought it to one of the first places in sales. The fact that almost anyone can work with it is also of great importance, if only the desire. But since this is a relatively new material, not everyone knows how and what to cut polycarbonate at home to get a quality cut and not to spoil the material.
Cutting with an angle grinder
Cutting polycarbonate at home with an angle grinder is a fairly common way of working. To do this, use a wheel 25 on metal.
It is difficult to overestimate the value of this tool. in capable hands it can be used in many construction processes.
Using an angle grinder you can very quickly perform a cut of polycarbonate. The main thing is not to put pressure on the material so it does not break, especially if your tool works at high speed.
It is recommended to practice cutting in small pieces to determine the force of the pressure. In any case, you can not press hard, making the cut as carefully as possible.
With what and how to cut polycarbonate at home?
Polymer plastic, more familiar to everyone under the name of polycarbonate, is becoming more and more popular every day. And with good reason: its relative cheapness and excellent material properties made it one of the bestsellers. It is also of great importance that almost anyone can work with it, it would be a desire. But since this is a relatively new material, not everyone knows how and what to cut polycarbonate at home to get a quality cut and not to spoil the material.