Colorless polymers, a variety of plastics and other synthetic materials are actively entering our lives. Organic glass is also worth boldly included in this list. It is used in the repair and construction works, in furniture production. Also, souvenirs, photo frames and other different items made by yourself are made from plexiglass. Often people ask how to bend plexiglass correctly, so that the surface is smooth, and give it the necessary shape.
What is plexiglass?
Organic glass is durable. This artificial material is highly transparent. Glass does not break thanks to the polymers in its composition. According to the chemical composition and many characteristics, plexiglass is completely different from natural glass.
This material is also called polymethyl methacrylate, acrylic glass and plexiglass. Plexiglas is mainly used for the manufacture of aquariums, shelves, countertops, photo frames and other items. In addition, it is used as interior doors. Craftsmen who know how to bend plexiglass correctly make statuettes, key rings and various ornaments from it. In order to give organic glass the desired shape, certain rules must be followed.
Properties and features of plexiglass
This synthetic material has several advantages due to which it is successfully used in the automotive industry. It is used to make billboards, greenhouse structures and roofs. Unlike natural glass, organic glass is not fragile, has a small weight and is easy to cut and deform under the influence of high temperatures. It is this feature that reveals how to bend plexiglass at home.
In addition to these features, this material has other important advantages, namely:
- It has electrical insulating properties.
- Good light transmission.
- Not beating, safe for others.
- Moisture-resistant, does not deform and does not deteriorate under the influence of external factors, is frost-resistant.
- When heated, does not emit toxic gases, environmentally friendly material.
- Perfectly bends.
- Not affected by ultraviolet rays.
- Resistant to chemicals.
Plexiglas sheets are sold with a film applied on top, it protects the material from cracks and scratches.
Rules for bending organic glass
Thanks to thermoplasticity, organic glass easily changes shape. Before bending plexiglass, you need to familiarize yourself with the following rules:
- It is only necessary to heat the glass at the bend points.
- For heating, it is better to use special linear heaters.
If there is no linear heater, a variety of improvised devices are quite suitable:
- soldering iron;
- hair dryer;
- electric stove;
- boiling water.
Before you start working with organic glass, it is better to work out a bit so as not to spoil your work.
The principles of the implementation of the folding of organic glass
A linear heat source is able to heat organic glass so that it is bent in a specific place. This type of source can be made of ordinary nichrome wire. A linear heat source is often made from ordinary candles, they simply line them up.
Another option, how to bend plexiglass, is with the help of cylindrical objects. They are used as a template, this helps to give organic glass the necessary shape. In order not to burn yourself during the heating of the glass, you need to use heat-insulating gloves or silicone gloves.
After the work is completed, the resulting products need to be cooled gradually, thereby minimizing the stress inside. If the polymer must be completely melted and then poured into molds, it is necessary to ensure that the containers for reflux are clean, otherwise this will affect the appearance of the product.
A large margin of patience and accuracy greatly affect the quality of work performed. You also need to know how to bend plexiglass evenly, in accordance with all technologies. All tools and materials are best prepared in advance. To carry out this procedure, you must take:
- nichrome wire;
- metal pipe;
- source of power.
Several operations need to be carried out with organic glass, this will allow a better bend:
- The surface must be clean; if there is dust or other impurities on the surface, they must be thoroughly wiped.
- Glass must be dried, while observing the appropriate temperature conditions.
- It is better to fix the material with nichrome wire.
- When clean and dry plexiglass is fixed, you can begin to heat and bend the material.
- When bending glass, a certain radius must be taken into account.
How to bend plexiglass with a hairdryer?
Since organic glass is a thermoplastic material, it is easy to give it the necessary shape and bend, acting on the material at high temperatures. It is very simple and easy to bend plexiglass with a hairdryer, so this method is used most often.
First you need to clean the glass from dust and dirt, and then determine the place of bending and scratch it on a sheet. After the material is heated to the desired temperature, the scratches will disappear.
With a vise we fix the glass on the edge of the table, heat it and bend it gradually. During the work, do not turn off the building hair dryer, since the temperature must be constantly maintained.
Having familiarized yourself with how to bend plexiglass with a hairdryer at home correctly, you can easily perform a neat fold.
Bending organic glass using wire involves four main steps:
- Before bending plexiglass, it must be dried, otherwise the structure of the material will change and this will affect the appearance of the product. Drying is carried out at a temperature of 80 degrees, about an hour and a half.
- Next, the sheet is placed on a workbench, and nichrome wire is fixed along the line of the future bend.
- In order for the nichrome wire to heat up, it must be connected to a regulated heat source.
- Under the influence of heat, after a while, the sheet begins to bend under the weight of its weight.
This method is good if the farm has a special machine, and it is necessary to process glass in large volumes and quickly, preparing for further use or designing furniture.
Other methods of bending organic glass
To bend organic glass, it is dipped in boiling water for 1 minute. Then they take out the material and immediately bend it, putting silicone gloves on their hands. There are also many other ways how to bend glass at home, improvised means:
- Gas-burner. Using a burner, it is very easy to bend, it is enough just to heat organic glass in a certain place. In order to get heat exclusively to the bend, a tin can should be attached to the gas burner, at the bottom of which a hole similar to a slit is cut out.
- Soldering iron. Using a soldering iron to bend organic glass, you can get a high-quality and accurate bend. But before starting the main work, you need to practice.
- Hot pipe. Before bending the glass with a hot pipe, it must first be prepared and wiped with a solution of soda.
When working with plexiglass, you need to learn one important rule: to bend this material, it must be softened in a certain place. You can use any heat source for this. The shape of the material also just changes, you need to make a little effort, and the unremarkable plexiglass strip turns into a real work of art, you just need to warm it up to the required temperature.
Now you know what this material looks like, what it is and what characteristics it differs, which means you will be able to cope with the task, having figured out how to bend plexiglass.