Sintra® Material, an expanded PVC sheet product, can be cut using common methods for plastic materials. These methods include, knife cutting, sawing, and routing operations. Shearing with a guillotine shear is generally not recommended.
Sintra Material up to 3mm thick can be cut with a knife or blade. The cutting angle should be approximately 30 degrees and the blade should be sharp.
Thicker sheets can be cut with hand, circular, band or saber saws. Wood-cutting saws can also be used. Fine tooth hack-saws are not suitable since the finer tooth spacing creates excessive friction and produces an undesirable finish. For best results, in all cases, use saw blades that are identified as triple chip tooth configuration or “plastic cutting.”
Circular Saws including portable, radial arm or panel saws can also be used to cut Sintra material. Sheets can be stacked if multiple pieces are to be cut the same size. Recommended blades are No-Melt Plasti-Kerf, Triple-chip Carbide and many veneer type blades. The recommended blade geometry for carbide-tipped blades are, angled or curved teeth with alternative chamfer cutting rippers or set with well rounded spaces between teeth. Rake angle 5 – 10 degrees with a distance between teeth 3/16” – 1/2”. Cutting speeds up to 10,000 FPM at a feed rate up to 100 FPM are possible.
Band Saws can be used for making curved cuts. Very little additional edge finishing is required. Recommended blades are Do-All straight knife edge or “V” tooth blade. Blades should have no-rake, 8 teeth per inch and be a hard edge type. Up to 3,000 FPM are possible.
Saber Saws (portable) can be used for cutting curves, bevels, and intricate patterns. They are not recommended for straight cuts. Recommended blades should have 10-15 teeth per inch and be a hard edge type.
Stationary or hand routers can be used for cutting, slotting, beveling, rabbeting, rounding edges and trimming. Best cutting results are obtained with carbidetipped router bits. Cutting speeds of 3,000 FPM and feed rates of 10 in/min are possible.
Shearing and Guillotine cutters are not recommended for cutting Sintra Material.
This type of cutting subjects the material to strong compression during the shearing process that may result in an unsatisfactory or fractured cut edge.
Should rough edges result from any of these cutting operations, it may be from one or more of the following reasons:
1. Dull cutting tool.
2. Inadequate support of the work piece.
3. Saws not adjusted closely to the work.
4. Vibration of the cutting tool.
5. High friction temperature on the cutting surface.
All images courtesy of © ASTOUND Group, EXHIBITOR 2013, Vegas, Nevada