cutting alupanel

How to cut Dibond®

When you order Dibond® sheets from our webshop at Plasticsheetshop.co.uk, we’ll cut them to the exact size you require for free. But you might be planning to cut a sheet of Dibond® yourself. Read on to discover our tips on cutting Dibond and get the job done without a hitch.

Requirements:

No special tools are required for cutting Dibond®, we recommend using a saw blade for metal or hardwood. However, chips and dust from sawing can clog up the saw blade and create a rough edge. it is advisable to use an effective means of removing chips, for example, a blow gun will do the job. You should also use eye, breathing and hearing protection when cutting Dibond® sheets.

1. Mark the cutting line

The first step is to mark out the cutting line on the Dibond sheet’s protective film. If you happen to have removed the protective film already and will have to mark the top layer directly, use a pencil to avoid damaging the surface. If an Alupanel or Dibond sheet is damaged, it’s no longer guaranteed to be weather resistant and it may be uneven in appearance. To make it easier to mark your straight line for cutting, you can apply a wide strip of masking tape to the sheet and mark the sawing line on it.

2. Move the saw, not the panel!

When cutting Dibond, it’s important to move the saw through the sheet rather than moving the sheet itself. Because Dibond is a very light material, it’s less stable if moved along the saw blade.

3. Make sure the panel is clean

Even if the protective film is still in place, the surface of the sheet can still be damaged by dirt and dust on the underside. Making sure that the sheet surface is spotlessly clean before sawing will avoid this problem.

4. Check the saw geometry

When you cut Alupanel properly, the saw line will be straight with hardly any saw marks and very rough edges on the top layer. If your results are unsatisfactory, check the geometry of the saw, the cutting rate and the speed. The thermal drain of Dibond is limited so if the saw speed is too high heat will be created. This will cause the material of the core to flow and will discolour the top layer. If the cut is rough and ragged, check that the sheet is not vibrating during sawing and provide it with more support. If necessary, you might need to fit the saw with a new blade.

5. Set up your saw correctly

To make a success of this task, it’s essential that your sawing machine is set up correctly. We’ve provided a guide below:

  • Circular or panel saw
    Use a saw blade with hard steel teeth suitable for non-ferrous metals. It’s best to choose a blade that is thinner towards the centre as this helps to prevent the blade from getting stuck. Set the speed at 5,000 – 5,500 revs and a transfer speed of 4 cm per second.
  • Jigsaw or reciprocating saw
    Use a saw blade suitable for soft or non-ferrous metals. A thin saw blade about a millimetre thick and a maximum of 15 millimetres wide if the best option. The ideal cutting speed will differ depending on the sheet thickness. Experiment by sawing scrap pieces to decide the best speed. The maximum transfer speed is low, 1 cm per second.
  • Band saw
    Use a standard saw blade that is approximately Imm thick x 20 mm wide and a maximum of four teeth per 10 mm. The transfer speed should be set at 2.5 cm per second.

Cutting Dibond®

As well as sawing, it’s also possible to cut Dibond® sheet with percussion scissors. Ensure that the trimmer clamp is fitted with a shock-absorbent cushion clamp to prevent damage to the sheet surface. If you need more information about the options for processing Dibond®, have a look at our blogs or contact us with your questions we’re always happy to help.

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