Acrylic bending, also known as acrylic hot-pressing molding, which is based on the acrylic thermoplastic characteristics, heated to a certain temperature, plastic deform after softening. Acrylic heat resistance is not high, as long as it is heated to a certain temperature, it can be bent. The maximum continuous use temperature of acrylic varies between 65℃ and 95℃ with different working conditions. The thermal deformation temperature is about 96℃(1.18MPa), and the softening point of Vicka is about 113℃.
Tools You Need for Bending Acrylic Sheet
Bending acrylic sheet requires a range of tools and equipment.
Heat Source: Acrylic bending machine, Hair Dryer, Heat gun, and Convection oven. basically, the choice of a heat source will depend on the usage and type of the acrylic sheet you’re bending
Clamps: Clamps to hold the acrylic sheet when bending acrylic sheet
Scrap Wood: To make jigs, you need a straight-edged piece of wood to form perfectly the angle you need.
Acrylic Sheets: the material should be of high quality. In most cases, acrylic sheets come in 1/8 inch thickness.
Protective Equipment: Goggles to protect your eyes, Gloves to protect hands, Nose masks to protect you from gasses, Industrial boots to protect your feet
Bending Acrylic with an bending machine
Adjust the temperature
adjust the heating gap
adjust the length positioning
adjust the angle
put on the acrylic sheet
heating and bending by hands
If you want more shapes, you can use the wood jig as follows: Remove the heated, flexible acrylic from the strip heater and move it to the jig.
Bending Acrylic with a Hair Dryer
Although plexiglass is strong and durable, plexiglass can be bent using heat. This can be done using a simple household hair dryer and following the steps below:
Remove the protective film on both sides
Set the hair dryer to the highest setting and hold it about at least 5 centimeters away from the surface of the sheet.
Slowly move the hair dryer back and forth across the surface of the plexiglass along the fold line and make sure that it’s evenly heated. From time to time, pull lightly on the edge of the acrylic sheet to check flexibility.
Once the plexiglass is pliable, carefully mold it into your desired shape.
Allow the plexiglass to cool for several minutes before handling it.
Bend Acrylic with a Heat Gun
The process of bending plexiglass with a heat gun is very similar to bending plexiglass with a hair dryer. It’s fairly simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
make sure that the plexiglass is at room temperature before attempting to bend it. If the plexiglass is too cold, it will be difficult to bend.
Place the acrylic between two scrap pieces of wood, one of which is your jig, and use the vise to clamp it all together.
work slowly and evenly, moving the heat gun back and forth across the surface of the plexiglass along the fold line and make sure that it’s evenly heated
carefully bend it into your desired shape.
Bending Acrylic with a convection oven
Depending on the application you have in mind, you can also soften and bend Acrylic using a convection oven. Such as Making an acrylic bowl, it’s also easy to make your own acrylic napkin rings using a convection oven.
Handy tips if you are going to bend with a convection oven:
Never place the acrylic sheet on a grid, but on a flat, heat-resistant tray.
Place the tray in the oven to preheat it and allow it to heat up gradually.
When the set temperature has been reached (160 degrees Celsius), leave the acrylic sheet for 4 to 5 minutes. Thinner sheet thicknesses (up to 5 millimeters) will be ready to bend more quickly.
To make a sharp fold, leave the acrylic sheet on top of the heat-resistant tray and fold it along a batten.
Keep the Acrylic fixed in the chosen shape until it has cooled down completely. It will now remain in the form you require without springing back.
Tips for bending acrylic sheet
Acrylic is brittle, can’t be cold rolling bending, can only heat bending. Heat bending should pay attention to controlling the heating temperature, if heating temperature has not reached the softening point, acrylic sheet will break. And if acrylic heating time is too long and the temperature is too high, acrylic will foam.
casting type acrylic is more difficult to bend, extrusion type acrylic easy to bend.
comprehensive consideration of which material to choose, control the heating temperature, in order to produce no foaming, size standard acrylic products!
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