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Thread: HDPE vs UHMWPE

  1. #1
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    Dave - Primal
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    So a lot of people search to be using HDPE. Personally I've used UHMWPE. Is one better than the other? I am struggling to work with mine (6mm sheet) any recommendations on how to accurately cut these plastics and which tools to use?

  2. #2
    mrsam's Avatar
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    Sam Price
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    HDPE is the cheaper material in the UK hence why it's the plastic of choice. It's also the easier to work with, i just use a hand saw and a straight edge to cut mine and it can get it fairly accurate. Tidy it up with some filing and you're good to go.

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    Mark Leigh
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    What is the thickness of choice for beetle weight chassis people are using?

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    We use 5mm hdpe for fat lip with 8mm on the front. Nothing so far has caused any damage of any note and it fights spinners regularly.

    To cut use a metal ruler. A Stanley knife and do a few passes. Go at least half way through and then use a pair of pliers to break. Obviously that doesn't do curves but you can use a saw for those bits.
    If it aint broke you're not trying hard enough!

  5. #5
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    Thanks that's really helpful! I wasn't expecting it to be that thin I thought it was going to be 10mm at least. I think HPDE is they way forward for my first beetle weight.

  6. #6
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    Nicholas White
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    When looking at UHMWPE I was told to look at RG1000 by direct plastics - it's the recycled version and is more reasonable in price

  7. #7
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    Henry Nourse
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    UHMWPE is much harder to work from what I hear. I'm told it's rather slippery so can't be easily secured using things like clamps, so some people drill holes and pin it that way. I can't confirm this but Robert Cowan, a builder in the US, has stated it provides some benefits with this slippery nature as other weapons and wedges struggle to get a grip. But again, I've not used it so I can't say for sure!

  8. #8
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    Rory Charlesworth
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    I believe Red Devil from Battlebots uses UHMWPE chain guides for its tracks. I assume the slipperiness helps greatly there, considering you want as little rolling resistance as possible.

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