Acrylic sheets are one of the most affordable and sturdy solutions for home décor needs. It comes in a variety of colors and thickness levels to meet your custom needs. Also, these sheets can be bent permanently using a few simple tools, bending fixtures, and adequate steps.
It is possible to bend acrylic sheets due to their thermoplastic properties. They can be turned into any desired shape by hobbyists and handymen as well. Depending upon their thickness level and size, acrylic sheets can be bent easily. In case you are interested in getting a slight curve, you may need to use natural deflection of the acrylic material.
The foremost recommendation from experts for bending plexi glass is to use high-quality materials so that the acrylic glass can bear the deformations. The cheap sheets come with high internal stress; even if they do not break while bending, they may rupture due to load. It is good to pick sheets made up of cast acrylic to get the desired curvature with ease.
(Easy techniques) Bending acrylic or plexiglass sheets
Here are three methods to bend acrylic sheets to get the desired shape:
Experts that do acrylic bending jobs on a routine basis prefer to execute this task by using filament aid. To complete this task, the acrylic sheet is placed over thin and long filament having a bending line right above the wire. In case if the material is heated up to 160 degrees Celsius; it can bend with ease.
At this point, the material becomes softer so that it can be molded to get the desired shape with ease; however, additional care is required to bend it safely. Then the material can be fixed to the desired shape by cooling it down. Once it comes to a lower temperature, it stays in the same shape forever.
Blow Dryer Bending:
In case if you don’t have a filament, it is possible to bend a plexiglass sheet using a blow dryer or oven. While using this technique, it is important to note that the sheet may become softer or flexible over larger areas. Simply remove the protective film from both sides of the sheet and then start heating it.
If you are using a hairdryer for heating purposes, the heat point must be kept at a distance of 5 cm from the sheet. Keep on moving the hairdryer over the entire bending line so that it can be heated evenly. As it becomes flexible, bend it to the desired shape and then cool it down. The material will retain its shape for the entire lifetime.
Convection oven-based bending:
It is possible to bend smaller acrylic sheets using a convection oven. Note that, the sheet should not be placed on the grid; rather it must be heated on the flat surface using a heat resistant tray. Simply place the acrylic sheet on the heated platform and set the temperature to 160 degrees Celsius. Let it sit over there for at least 4 to 5 minutes. In case if you have a thinner sheet, it may bend fast.
In case if you need a sharp bend on the sheet, bend the heated acrylic sheet along the slat and let it stay in the desired shape until it cools down. After this, the sheet will stay in its shape without rebounding.
Once you have bent the acrylic sheets, you may need to glue them to each other or over different materials to complete the home décor project. The task is easier, but make sure you are using high-quality glue to get the most adequate results.
Steps to glue acrylic or plexiglass sheets:
Step 1: Clean the surface:
Before you glue plexiglass over any other material, it is important to ensure that the surface is clean. It is possible to clean the sheet using a glass cleaner. At the same time, clean the other surface as well so that a perfect joint can be formed. The dirty surfaces do not adhere to each other.
Step 2: Sand the plexiglass:
Get a piece of sandpaper and sand the sheet using it. It will help you to create smooth edges while making sure that surfaces adhere to each other. In case if the surfaces are uneven, the gaps may not allow you to bond them accurately.
Step 3: Use powerful adhesive:
Method 1: Use superglue
It is important to make use of the right glue to complete the job. Prefer to pick a high-quality adhesive or superglue that can stick to the acrylic sheets in the long run. Simply apply the glue at the desired area of the sheet and align both surfaces. Press the surfaces and hold them firmly at the desired place.
Method 2: Using solvent cement
Another commonly used method to glue two acrylic sheets to each other is using solvent cement. It can be used to attach these thin sheets of plastic to almost anything. You can apply this cement on the desired surface using a dropper or syringe. Make sure you protect your skin from making direct contact with the cement.
Step 4: Fix it well:
Once the two sheets or materials are attached to each other; hold them firmly for some time so that they can adhere to each other. Prefer to press them gently against each other to form a solid bond. It may take a few minutes and then your creative construction is ready to decorate your home.
Expert tip: Before attaching both surfaces to each other using glue, it is important to check their dimensions so that a perfectly aligned bond can be formed.
Market these days is loaded with a wide range of glues that can be used to combine two pieces of plexiglass sheets. Prefer to pick the best one to create strong and solid joints for your greenhouse. Also, it is important to use quality materials for acrylic sheets to decorate your home.