Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Extrudierte Copolyesterplatten

How’s that for a title ?! Proper science time on the blog !

To be honest I can’t remember how I ended up with a sheet of this stuff. I probably saw it on a trade stand and thought it looked useful or interesting. Quite a few of the materials I have to hand arrive this way. Curiosity makes me want to try new things and sometimes I get lucky finding something new that is a boon to my work.

The material in the photo is a transparent polyethylene terephthalate sheet – it feels like a plastic/Perspex hybrid. From a bit of web searching it appears the stuff is used in building works for clear domes. It’s described as having a “high self cleaning temperature” (whatever that means), high impact strength and a brilliant surface.

From my point of view it’s a 2mm thick clear sheet protected by plastic on both sides. It’s certainly very clear and looks more like a fresh pair of glasses than normal plastic sheet.

Cutting with a knife is nearly as fun as cutting Perspex. The sheet cracks at the end of cut lines fairly easily. It would probably be better cut with a piercing saw, something that should be reasonably easy as it’s not as brittle as Perspex. Filing wasn’t as easy as I’d have expected, you really have to go at it to make an impression.

I used the stuff to glaze my fishing boat. This worked well enough but then I only needed rectangles. I’m not sure if it is better than plastic sheet or the acetate that normally resides in the clear section of most model shop plastic racks.

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