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Thread: HDPE/Acrylic/Nylon/RG1000

  1. #11
    I was more hoping that people would be able to give me their experience with things, how easy it was to work with, how it performed against certain weapons, except acrylic as we've already ripped that one to shreds.

  2. #12
    HDPE is cheaper than RG1000 (reground UHMWPE) about 3rd - 5th cheaper. good impact properties - used to make rubbish chutes on building sites - those yellow tube things.
    The main property benefit is that its a better bearing surface, low friction coefficient, which in our game is not a necessity.
    We don't have water issues... yet... so this is a null point.
    They both have great impact properties, albe it HDPE iis softer therefore will take the force better than shocking, but could lead to dents.

    The only real difference is do you mind eventual dents - HDPE
    You want to pay less - HDPE
    less dents - RG1000
    Green material - RG1000
    White or black - HDPE or RG1000

    trying to confirm the stat about the chute material, I see both HDPE and UHMWPE are both used to make the chutes.
    Last edited by Roboteernat; 19th July 2017 at 17:54.

  3. #13
    UHMWPE is also super slippery, more so than HDPE, so it can be a lot harder to machine as a result and I imagine that would carry over to RG1000. I've heard tell that this can be useful for avoiding getting grabbed or for getting out of tight corners but I'm doubtful it makes too much difference.

    We've used HDPE so I can talk a bit about our experience with it when it comes to working with it (it never went into the arena!). It's a nightmare to cut, or rather it can be, but you can do it with either a jigsaw or a bench saw so long as you have the appropriate blades for the job. You'll need to cut at a low speed to avoid it melting mind, that caught us out even at medium speeds! Get that right and it's easy, but it took us quite a few goes to get it figured. Flood-cooling would probably help a lot but I can't say for sure. It's a pain to clamp down or mark on too since it's so slippery and as such nothing really holds it and ink can come right off. Drilling was fine, again just use low speed and make sure you have a good grip on the drill as it sometimes pulls and makes nasty hourglass shaped holes! You can shave corners with a knife quite easily which is handy for rounding things off without a load of filing too, plus 5mm or smaller bits can be cut using just a knife with a few passes but things like 8 or 10mm will eat up a lot of punishment.

    Like I say, I haven't used it in the arena but it does seem to take hits pretty well from what I've seen. A lot of gouges and not a lot of actual damage seems to be quite common. There's actually a thread in the Beatleweight section about the advantages of HDPE against UHMWPE, so that might be a good place to look.

  4. #14
    Treat HDPE as if you're working wood, if you have wood working tools such as a planer thicknesser, crosscut, handplane etc you'll be able to cut it and achieve a very good finish as well. Avoid sanding and abrasives as the finish will not be so good, you'll be better off with a handplane. Be ready for a big mess tho!

  5. #15
    As none of you mention it, i'm guessing my original plan of angle grinding the HDPE down to size isn't advisable or will otherwise produce not too good of a cut?
    Jigsaws aren't too expensive, although I need to buy (or just build) a work bench still before construction fully gets underway, motors & battery arrived today, so literally only thing left to do is figure out how to work the HDPE I bought (2000mm/500mm/10mm) in the best manner. Will need to buy some thicker stuff for key areas i know.

  6. #16
    Ocracoke's Avatar
    Team Kaizen

    Angle grinders will spin too fast and melt the plastic I would have thought, I can melt it with my Dremel and a cutting disc attachment at full power. I too am going to borrow a jigsaw and a workbench to cut the side panels for my featherweight. Like wood, I would think using a junior hacksaw to make a guide for the jigsaw would help ensure a straight cut (least that is my plan anyway).
    Team Kaizen - Build Diary for all the robots

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  7. #17
    I would plan your parts on the big sheet, then see what managable size you can cut it to to neatly trim the parts from that.

    jigsaw - if budget is problem then the cheapo jigsaw from argos shall be fine - £17.99 but if budget is better then i would get a better one with variable speed control and bigger wattage. i bought a battery one from Lidl for £39.99
    People have used fine cut hand saws to cut it too, i guess this will also lead to straighter edges! also clamping some wood to run against will give you a nice edge
    Last edited by Roboteernat; 4th August 2017 at 15:23.

  8. #18
    You need wood working tools for HDPE, so no angle grinders and such tools. A jigsaw, crosscut, mitersaw or manual saw will work, then finish off with a hand planer to get a good finish or take small amounts of material at a time and get a good fit.

  9. #19
    Don't use an angle grinder for main cuts on plastics, use a jigsaw as advised. But for getting nice smooth surfaces and small chamfered edges, I use a angle grinder for that stuff. Either a standard grinding disc or a flap disc. It will melt easily but the discs just power through. Best to make light passes, and prepare to be covered in plastic dust
    Jamie McHarg
    RogueTwo Robots

    With great power, comes great reliability.

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