How would I go about bending Lexan, seeing as I don’t have a heat gun? I do have a large oven with a minimum temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit that I could use to warm up lexan, but I’m not sure if that’s a good idea. I need to curve the lexan to have a 90 degree curve, with a diameter of around 8 inches. What would the best way for me to do this be?
Use a lighter and an edge that you can bend it on.
I wonder if a hair dryer and a ton of time would work?
I’ve used a gas stove before with mixed results.
I want a curve rather than a bend. For a flywheel hood.
I’ve heard that warming in an oven actually works, but I’ve never actually done it. do not use a lighter, I’ve done that and it doesn’t work out well… you need even heat, so turning your oven on like 250 degrees (polycarbonate gets soft at like 300 degrees according to google) and checking on it to make sure it doesn’t burn should get it soft enough to bend. you’ll need a curved mold to put in on though
After you have it heated maybe put it on a 3D printed mold with a melting point higher than that of the plastic you want to bend. Tell me if I’m incorrect with this logic.
I haven’t a 3D printer
Just use a hair dryer. I think it should have enough heat to bend. If you need a mold, you can probably make one out of wood if you have a hacksaw or a bandsaw.
I’ve used an acrylic bender with awesome results. They can be found for fairly cheap.
It would probably work if you put it in the oven at about 250, but make sure it is on something like a cookie tray so it doesn’t bend or drip through the wire rack.
For how long?
probably not good if it’s melting
We have used a 28" Grizzly Brake to cold bend Lexan.
We have found cold bending with a metal bending brake(i.e. Harbor Freight $45) or clamping in a vice or 6" wide pliers or a square edge works better that heating. At work we use a larger hand powered bending brake to COLD bend 1/4" thick polycarbonate fo saftey guard. No bubbles, no burns on the plastic or the person doing the bending. Heating is recommended for acrylic.
A preheated oven is actually the best possible tool you can use. Even heating, and it’s easy to setup a jig to create the shape you want.
Polycarbonate will soften at around 145-150 degrees Celsius. Preheat your oven to around 155, then turn down to around 150.
Place your jig and Lexan in oven.
Two types of jig:
1.) Wood, curved cut to correct arc, spanned with thick paper.
2.) Tension jig that forces the lexan into correct arc before heating. Heating then sets the arc.
What I used last year was a hairdryer. It worked very nicely. I just put it on the highest setting and started bending it.
I’ve used an oven before and it works well, but you need to make sure to not overheat it or the lexan will bubble up.
In a shooter hood application, the lexan doesn’t need to be bent. The structure of the shooter should hold the lexan in position. For example curved sides with cross braces every 2-4 inches. Then attach (zip ties or screws) the lexan to the cross members to hold the shape. You will need this structure independent of bending the lexan, since the lexan is thin and needs the support.
All we do is bend it, or use a hammer…