heating and molding lexan - Page 2 - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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mainwiz3 wrote:
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oven will work better than shop heater you get more even heating and less chance of browning the lexan had part is getting this past wife
Parts that I'am trying to make are small and shouldn't have to form to much. No experaments in the house I like hot food and a warm bed far to much for that.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 03:30 AM
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I have had very good luck shaping Lexan. First I heat it to 250 degrees for an hour, this is to drive out any moisture in the material. Yes it does hold moisture, when you heat it to quickly it foams and is useless. After its preheated to 250 turn the oven up to 375 degrees. Work quickly as it cools fast. Dont use mama's oven, she wont like you if you do.

If you just need straight line bends use a sheet metal brake, can be done at room temp. I made my own wind wings this way.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 03:53 AM
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I use my butcher block table and some clear oak planks to clamp the Lexan that won't be bent to the table and to protect that part of the Lexan. I hang the bend part just off the edge of the table.

Then I use another piece of clear oak plank to protect the outer side of the bend from heat while I heat it back and forth, top and bottom with an electric heat gun. This gives me a heat channel where I want the bend to be.

You have to be patient and go slow because Lexan takes a long time (especially the 1/4" thick stuff). Once the Lexan gets pliable in the bend area, I use the hand held plank to bend the plastic in the direction I want to bend it. It will want to bubble on you as the heat gets near the bend point so don't be disappointed if that happens.

Hold the bend for about 3 or 4 minutes until it cools. Don't force it because if it didn't get there the first time you can always re-heat it for more on a second pass.

Once it develops a bend you will have a heat trap so things will happen faster the second time. Be sure to always keep the heat gun moving. Stop at all and you have instant blisters.

This is how I made my Fletchie Pod windscreen and side door cover. All of my corners blistered slightly on the inside of the bends but they were fine.

Be sure to do all your edge sanding and finishing before doing bending.







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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 11:08 AM
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Roadrogue puts some numbers to whatI have experienced. IIRC Lexan (Polycarbonate sheet) reacts to a different heat wavelength than acrylic (Plexiglass) and different equipment is needed for bending. Anyway I have bent it with sheet metal equipment and by heating with a gun much like Rudy says.

Keep in mind that polycarbonates are very easy to scratch or haze. Wiping your hand over the surface will cause hazing. If you want a tough surface a layer of mylar is added.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 01:52 PM
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desert wings wrote:
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mainwiz3 wrote:
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oven will work better than shop heater you get more even heating and less chance of browning the lexan had part is getting this past wife
Parts that I'am trying to make are small and shouldn't have to form to much. No experaments in the house I like hot food and a warm bed far to much for that.
I understand the hot food and warm bed part. as for what everyone is saying about scrathing the lexan while working buy some felt to cover your bending form I worked for National Cycle for a while and this is what they covered their molds with when forming M/C wind screens.

Tell me it can't be done and I will make it happen if I can make or get the parts made
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 06:04 PM
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 07:29 PM
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