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Would anyone happen to know a good way of heating Lexan in order to shape it.

Don't really know if you can do it in a way not to destroy it or if would require specal tools to do it. Any input would be helpful.
 

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You got a sword handy, might wanna fall on it now :D.

Seriously though, what are you trying to do with it, how thick is it, and how clear does it still have to be when done. I've spent a considerable amount of time experimenting with lexan, few attempts have been successful. If you're doing a gradual bend in ONE direction, a heat gun and some welding gloves, but be carefull because you get it too hot and the gloves will leave prints. Anything else, especially 3 dimensional shapes, you're gonna need a salamander set up and a vacuum table, and even that won't work if it's too thick.

Although, if anyone knows something I don't, please share, because I'd love to know the secret (woulda saved a couple hundred bucks more than a few times).
 

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Alright then consider myself impailed. Thought maybe an oven trick might do it but I guess that you would need fast high heat and fast cool down.



Thank you
 

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You could still try the oven (again, depending on what you're doing), but it would have to be set pretty much as high as it would go, and you'd have to be dang careful to have it in just long enough to get soft, because that stuff browns easier than you'd think.

Slow, low heat distorts it, high fast heat browns it if it gets too hot, but if don't get hot enough it'll start to bend then shatter like a cheap plate.
 

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I don't know what you're doing, but I understand you can heat and mold Teflon.. Maybe someone can help with that..
 

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Just a thought about making some windshield extentions to the lower sides just above the mirrors. No one makes anything like what I want to make. I have a pair under my mirrors they work great but above the mirror they need to be shaped different and fallow the contour of the windsheild.



[ That's part of the problem I tend to think to much] :?
 

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use hardwood flooring boards as handles. The lexan will and should fit the groove. welding gloves and a nice large shop heater. set the heater so you can work the material up and down in and out of the heat. Keep it in motion. if you are trying to match a curve get it drawn on a stable surface and heat slowly in and out of the heat till the desired curve is achieved. To long in the heat and it will brown and forcing the movement in the material will cause it to shatter. Finish cutting it to shape and sand the edges by hand with a rubber block. some will torch the edges but I believe it makes the edges more brittle and more likly ti break or shatter.
 

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You can heat Lrxan in an oven till soft yhem put it on a mold to form I use to work in plastic manufacturing and have seen 4 ft x 8 ftx 1/4 in lexan sheets formrd like this.
 

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Thank you will give it a try Bobalou. Long time no here hope alls well with you and yours
 

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oven will work better than shop heater you get more even heating and less chance of browning the lexan hard part is getting this past wife
 

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mainwiz3 wrote:
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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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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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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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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desert wings wrote:
mainwiz3 wrote:
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.
 
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