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Cutting and fabricating Expanded PVC Sheet

Expanded PVC can be shaped much like wood. A good shop knife can cut thicknesses up to 3 mm. Up to 6 mm thick sheets can be scored and snapped on the score line. For speed and a very smooth edge, expanded PVC can be cut with a circular saw, table saw, band saw, or router. After cutting, edges can be smoothed with a file or a medium grit sand paper.
Common applications for expanded PVC include screen printing, signage, exhibits, displays, photo mounting, and costume making.
Expanded PVC can be easily painted with paints that are compatible with PVC. Recommended paints are vinyl, acrylic, and two-component polyurethane paints. A primer is not required but material should be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol before applying paint.
Expanded PVC can be bonded to itself with PVC cements used for bonding PVC pipe. To join expanded PVC to other substrates use an adhesive formulated for PVC.
The expanded PVC is thermo-formable and can be heated and bent into a desired shape. Once the material has cooled it retains the shape it was formed into.
Because of how easy it is to form it is often used for making costumes and suits of armor. 1/8” thick is the typical thickness that is used for these applications.
Title: Cutting and fabricating Expanded PVC Sheet
Description: Information for working with expanded PVC.
Published: 4/15/2008
Last Edited: 5/4/2012
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