Guide to forming polycarbonate sheet

polycarbonate sheet may be thermoformed, cold formed and brake formed, resulting in one-piece shapes. The onepiece configurations are desirable to retain the original tough integrity of the material. Thermoforming, including vacuum thermoforming, may take place at various temperature ranges, which require different sheet conditioning and handling. High-temperature thermoforming (370ºF to 415ºF) provides deep draws and sharp detail. Lower temperatures (350ºF to 370ºF) fit simple drape forming. Cold forming is possible when a retainer frame holds the polycarbonate sheet to a shape. Flex forming is cold forming performed at temperatures between 300ºF and 340ºF for a few hours — until the shape sets. Brake forming produces a straight bend and eliminates high-temperature strip heating, which can warp the sheet.

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