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Old 05-15-2010, 11:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How to make lexan fit with the contours of a grill

How do we make lexan fit the contours of the grill? How can we assure that it will fit nicely?

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Old 05-15-2010, 12:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi,

If I were to do it, I'd make template with paper or cardboard that fit as close as possible to the optimal shape. Then cut the lexan according to that template. If that's what you were asking.

Hope that helped.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you're looking for curved pieces, lexan can be heated and bent, shaped and stretched easily. You've got to heat it to around 200F with a heat gun, or for small pieces you can put them into a wood frame and put them in the oven to soften them up.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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In heat-forming polycarbonate, you often get internal bubbles, spoiling the appearance. These are steam. To avoid them, soak the stuff at 200 F for up to 8 hours if it has been stored under high humidity. Then you can ramp it up to forming temperature.
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I just flexed mine and tied it down in the corners. If I remove it, it springs back to (nearly) flat again. I'm not sure how flat or curved your grille is, though. Mine's pretty flat, with maybe 10% total curve across the width.
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I built Rear Wheel Skirts, and Partial grill blocks with Lexan (polycarbonate). I used a metal bending break, and just bent it like it was a sheet of aluminum. It worked perfect.
Cold bending Lexan (IMHO) is much better than using heat. Heating it is hard to get the temperature even and in the narrow range that allows permanent bending, without bubbling or melting.
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Polycarbonate (AKA Lexan) absorbs quite a lot of water. To avoid bubbling when heat forming, soak it at a temperature close to boiling for up to eight hours to dry it before going up to forming temperature.

To get even heating, shielding radiant sources helps, but a fan is wonderful. To do small pieces in a home cooking oven, you can stick a rod through the top vent to turn a temporary air stirrer with a drill, among other possible dodges.
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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care to elaborate ?

doesn't it just break ? if you bend it like that ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kgwedi View Post
I built Rear Wheel Skirts, and Partial grill blocks with Lexan (polycarbonate). I used a metal bending break, and just bent it like it was a sheet of aluminum. It worked perfect.
Cold bending Lexan (IMHO) is much better than using heat. Heating it is hard to get the temperature even and in the narrow range that allows permanent bending, without bubbling or melting.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Plexiglass is an acrylic. Easy to cut and bend with heat. I find it to brittle. Even after I was done with my wheel skirts, I started getting cracks. I tried to relieve the stresses by heating, but still they kept cracking and small parts started breaking off.

Lexan is a polycarbonate. Some of the toughest stuff I have ever worked with. It does scratch easier than acrylic, and is much more expensive. It's used in aircraft, and Nascar windscreens. Not as easy to work with, but my Lexan wheel skirts will last the life of my car. Cold bending it with out a metal bending break would be very difficult.
They are both clear plastics, but that's about all they have in common.

I hope that helps a bit
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Smile lost in texas

Hey
I read your post where did you get the lexan? Did you have your own break or go to sheet metal shop? I live in north texas where is eden?

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