Machining plastics

Plastics are suitable for DIY because – with good preparation and proper tools – they are easy to machine yourself. Of course, every plastic has its own machining possibilities. Of course, some plastics are easier to work with than others. But with our extensive range, you can be sure that there is always the right match for your job!

These are the ways you can process plastics

There are different ways to process plastics. Sawing, drilling and gluing are of course well-known, but did you know you can also engrave, hot or cold bend, paint or polish plastics? Each material has its own possibilities, of course. For example, you can bend some plastics, but not others. Find out more about the processing options for all of our plastics on our blog.

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Machining acrylic

Machining the plastic acrylic is doable, provided you use cast acrylic (GS) and not extruded acrylic (XT). This is because extruded acrylic sheets are produced in a different way so there is more tension in the sheets. The chances of cracking or breaking when you process an extruded sheet are then higher. You can process moulded acrylic in the following ways:

Machining foamed PVC

The plastic foamed PVC is a very light material that you can easily process. Especially in the advertising world, this material is used for letters, figures or padding. You can process this plastic in the following ways:

Machining solid PVC

Solid PVC is easy to process in many different ways. In particular, solid PVC is often welded. As a result, we often see this plastic used as front panels or as electrical protection panels in installation technology. Solid PVC can also be welded to acrylic, allowing you to create the most beautiful structures. You can also process this plastic in the following ways:

Polycarbonate machining

Machining polycarbonate requires almost the same approach as machining the plastic acrylic. The only difference is that polycarbonate is 250 times stronger than glass, where acrylic is 30 times stronger. This actually only makes machining this plastic easier. In addition, polycarbonate can be bent both hot and cold, a great aspect if you want to use this material as a boat window. Below, we have listed all the processing possibilities of this plastic for you:

HPL/Trespa® machining

Machining the plastics HPL and Trespa® is a bit more challenging, as this material is very heavy with a hard surface. Machining these plastics is similar to machining hardwood. Therefore, we recommend you use hard steel tools, such as a hacksaw and drill, if you want to machine this plastic. With the right tools and proper preparation, the following machining operations are possible:

ACP/Dibond® machining

A common processing method for the plastic ACP/Dibond® is stickering. This plastic is ideally suited for this because of its smooth surface and resistance to bending. Printing on ACP/Dibond® is also very popular because the sheet has a coating that is suitable for a wide range of printing techniques, such as epoxy/urethane two-component inks. You can process this plastic in the following ways:

Editing polyethylene

Polyethylene can be machined in a variety of ways, allowing you to use it for a wide range of applications. This ranges from a fine mechanical part to large covers. As this plastic is a thermoplastic, which means that it softens when heated, polyethylene is excellent for welding. Gluing is also possible, provided it is done by a specialist. The following operations are possible with this plastic:

  • Bending (warm)
  • Drilling
  • Milling
  • Sawing (circular saw)
  • Sawing (jigsaw)
  • Turning
  • Welding
  • Bending (cold)
  • Coating
  • Cutting
  • Engraving
  • Glueing
  • Lasering
  • Lettering
  • Painting
  • Polishing
  • Water cutting