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Bending plastic is a process of shaping it into a desired form using heat such as an oven or a heat gun
Basics of Bending Plastic
- Choose the right plastic. Not all plastics can be bent. Thermoplastics, such as acrylic, polycarbonate, and ABS, are common types of plastics that can be bent.
- Heat the plastic. The plastic must be heated in order to become pliable enough to bend.
- Bend the plastic. Once the plastic is heated to the appropriate temperature, it can be bent into the desired shape. This can be done by hand, using a jig, or using a specialized bending machine such as a plastic strip bender
- Cool the plastic. Once the plastic is bent, it must be cooled in order to retain its shape. This can be done by allowing it to cool at room temperature or by using a quenching medium, such as water or air.
Tips for Bending Plastic
- Apply heat evenly to the plastic to avoid warping.
- Bend the plastic slowly and carefully to avoid cracking.
- Overbend the plastic slightly to compensate for springback.
- Use a jig or bending machine to ensure accurate bends.
- Cool the plastic slowly and evenly to avoid stress cracks.
- For bending PVC tubes compressed air can be used as a support inside a sealed pipe to prevent the pipe from collapsing when heated and bent.
Plastic Bending Safety
- Wear gloves and eye protection when bending plastic.
- Do not heat plastic that give off harmful vapors without proper respiratory protection
- Be careful not to overheat the plastic, as this can cause it to burn or melt.
- Avoid bending plastic with or near open flames.
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