Question on using clear vs. non-clear sheet styrene

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Question on using clear vs. non-clear sheet styrene

Joined: November 15th, 2005, 7:52 pm

June 12th, 2018, 7:40 pm #1

Folks,

I'm in the process of scratch building a part that calls for a .30 piece of sheet styrene (something like 2 1/2" by 1 3/4") to be made curved by rolling it over a round pencil.  Well, since I don't have any non-clear styrene in that thickness I used a sheet of clear to do it.  I wasn't doing it for very long the other day (no change) before I had to take care of something else but I noticed that the plastic seemed to be more rigid than non-clear plastic so I'm wondering if I'd be better off gluing non-clear .20 and .10 pieces together and going from there or would a .20 piece by itself probably be flexible enough on its own?  The height of the curve is probably something like a 1/2" or so. 

Any advice is welcomed.

Thanks,
Rick  
Last edited by RRman on June 12th, 2018, 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: May 20th, 2013, 12:03 am

June 12th, 2018, 8:35 pm #2

 Hi Rick ,
I'd try rolling it freehand and holding it under hottish tap water. 
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Joined: July 29th, 2006, 1:18 am

June 12th, 2018, 11:21 pm #3

Styrene is naturally clear and somewhat brittle (that's why clear canopies are easy to break or crack). Non-clear styrene has additives to color it and make it more flexible. You're probably going to be better off to make a mold of your part and vacform it in a more flexible clear plastic such as acetate, Vivak, or Pet-G, or finding a piece of clear tubing of the right size such as that sold by Plastruct.
Michael McMurtrey
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IPMS-Canada #1426
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Carrollton, TX

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Joined: February 24th, 2002, 12:50 pm

June 13th, 2018, 12:26 am #4

Sky King wrote: Styrene is naturally clear and somewhat brittle (that's why clear canopies are easy to break or crack). Non-clear styrene has additives to color it and make it more flexible. You're probably going to be better off to make a mold of your part and vacform it in a more flexible clear plastic such as acetate, Vivak, or Pet-G, or finding a piece of clear tubing of the right size such as that sold by Plastruct.
If I'm reading the OP correctly, he doesn't need it in clear, clear is just what he has to work with at the moment. Or do I have it completely backward? 

If I/we knew exactly what it is you're trying to make, we might be able to help you better. 
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Joined: July 29th, 2006, 1:18 am

June 13th, 2018, 1:01 am #5

Snake45 wrote:
Sky King wrote: Styrene is naturally clear and somewhat brittle (that's why clear canopies are easy to break or crack). Non-clear styrene has additives to color it and make it more flexible. You're probably going to be better off to make a mold of your part and vacform it in a more flexible clear plastic such as acetate, Vivak, or Pet-G, or finding a piece of clear tubing of the right size such as that sold by Plastruct.
If I'm reading the OP correctly, he doesn't need it in clear, clear is just what he has to work with at the moment. Or do I have it completely backward?
No, you don't. I just got ahead of myself. 😳 However, my advice still holds (provided a clear part is what he needs). 😇
Michael McMurtrey
IPMS-USA #1746
IPMS-Canada #1426
CAHS #5646
Carrollton, TX

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Joined: November 15th, 2005, 7:52 pm

June 13th, 2018, 1:43 am #6

Folks,

Thanks; no, the part is going to be painted so it doesn't matter if the styrene itself is clear or not.  Again, it just seems like .30 in clear is pretty rigid and I'm wondering if the non-clear may be more malleable in that thickness.

Rick 
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Joined: February 24th, 2002, 12:50 pm

June 13th, 2018, 2:00 am #7

Yes, non-clear will be MUCH more maleable. 

I have a bunch of virgin white styrene on hand. It's about .020 to .025 if that would work for you. Be glad to send you an envelope full of it. Just PM me your address. 
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Joined: July 29th, 2006, 1:18 am

June 13th, 2018, 2:02 am #8

RRman wrote: Folks,

Thanks; no, the part is going to be painted so it doesn't matter if the styrene itself is clear or not.  Again, it just seems like .30 in clear is pretty rigid and I'm wondering if the non-clear may be more malleable in that thickness.

Rick e
I think 30 thou is going to be too rigid to bend around such a small radius, whether clear or not. I'd use 10 thou or 20 thou and laminate the pieces until you have the size you need, or try to find Plastruct or Evergreen tubing of the right diameter.
Michael McMurtrey
IPMS-USA #1746
IPMS-Canada #1426
CAHS #5646
Carrollton, TX

Proud IPMS-USA Low Number Thumper!
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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 2:45 pm

June 13th, 2018, 3:43 pm #9

Just get some 0.030" sheet. Laminating will cause you more grief than it's worth. If you use solvent glue, you won't have a smooth sheet of laminated plastic. If you use anything else, you'll have shear problems when you try to form it.

Or make the part with 0.020" sheet. It may be strong enough on it's own.
Todd Enlund

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"Roger. What should I do 'till then?"
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Joined: November 15th, 2005, 7:52 pm

June 13th, 2018, 6:48 pm #10

Thanks all!  I went with trying it out with a .20 piece on non-clear and it is much more malleable than the .30 clear (and would probably be more malleable than eve a .20 clear piece) and certainly seem like it'll strong enough on it's own.

Thanks again!
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