The Better Cut Cellular Polycarbonate
Recently, in many construction operations, polycarbonate has replaced heavy, brittle, and relatively expensive silicate glass. This practical and affordable material is used for decorative glazing, the construction of urban infrastructure elements, the construction of greenhouses and greenhouses, the erection of the roof of arbors, sheds or terraces. The durability and reliability of the structure made of it depends on the observance of processing technology and the correct installation. A frequent reason for rejecting material during operation is incorrect cutting of sheets, so some inexperienced craftsmen wonder how and how to cut polycarbonate so as not to damage the panels. In this article we will tell you what tools you can use for processing, and how to use them correctly.
The most effective tool with which you can cut a sheet of polycarbonate plastic is a conventional angle grinder. Since this material, especially cellular, is quite easily processed, even the cheapest Chinese models can handle cutting. Experienced craftsmen note that it is better to perform angle cutters straight cuts of large lengths. You can cut polycarbonate with this tool in a curve, but it requires a lot of experience. In order not to spoil the material when cutting, the following rules must be observed:
- For cutting sheets of this material, an angle grinder with a cutting wheel for metal with sharp, frequent teeth is used.
- When cutting sheets of polycarbonate plastic, it is better to use an angle grinder at low speeds so that the cut is smooth and the edges of the material without burrs.
- If it is necessary to cut cellular polycarbonate, the cutting wheel angle grinder can be placed strictly between the ribs.
Note! Angle grinder refers to high-speed tools, it is quite difficult to work with it without experience. In order to properly perform the cut and not damage the material, you can practice the residues of polycarbonate.
Another tool that can be used to cut polycarbonate is a household electric jigsaw. It is considered a universal device for sawing materials of different density and thickness. The jigsaw cutting file is fixed only on one side, therefore it can be used for cutting holes and curved cuts in polycarbonate. To use this tool, you must follow a few rules:
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- To process sheets of polycarbonate plastic, a jigsaw is used, the cutting blades of which have small teeth.
- In order to keep the edges of the polycarbonate straight after sawing, a new, sharp cutting blade must be used.
- To obtain an even, accurate cut, you can use a cutting blade for metal, which does not tear polycarbonate, but cuts it.
- When processing monolithic plastic of large thickness with a jigsaw, a large amount of chips is formed, which must be removed promptly so that they do not interfere with sawing.
Important! Professional masters with the help of a jigsaw only perform curly, curved cuts, since it is much longer to cut them in a straight line than an angle grinder.
At home, polycarbonate can be cut with a regular clerical knife. With this tool, cellular plastic with a cellular structure is more often processed. Monolithic polycarbonate is not cut with a knife, as it is too hard. To make the cut smooth, it is better to adhere to the following technology:
- To cut a sheet of polycarbonate plastic, you need a high-quality, sharp clerical knife.
- Polycarbonate is cut in 2 stages using a stationery: first, a small incision is made so that the tool does not slip, and then the material is carefully cut.
- A stationery knife is used to cut cellular polycarbonate with a thickness of not more than 4-6 mm.
Keep in mind that with the help of a clerical knife, small trimming and fitting of plastic sheets is performed, since it is long and inconvenient to make large-length cuts with them. An ordinary clerical knife can quickly become dull or break.
When cutting panels made of polycarbonate plastic, it is easy to damage the material or spoil the edges of the sheet, violating the technology. Experienced craftsmen advise against saving on tool blades and cutting blades, since 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 smooth, sheets of plywood or chipboard are laid out on it.
- Before cutting polycarbonate, markings are applied to the surface using a marker and a long ruler.
- Under a sheet of plastic, on both sides of the intended line, wooden blocks are laid with a thickness of at least 40 mm. From above along the markings also lay a wide board used for movement.
- Straight cuts are performed using an angle grinder at low speeds, and the curves are jigsawed.
- After completion of the operation, the chips are blown off the surface of the material with compressed air.
Note! Cellular plastic up to 6 mm thick can be cut in a pile by folding several sheets on top of each other and placing plywood under them. In industrial conditions, this material is processed using a laser, which is much faster and easier than a hand tool.