When working with Homalite H-100, H-101 or H-911 sheet stock, it's important to use the proper methods for machining hard plastics. By following these guidelines, you should get superior results:

  • Protect the plastic surface with masking.
  • Use fixtures and/or clamp down the plastic.
  • Minimize vibration between tool and material.
  • Keep tools sharp and accurately dressed.
  • Use recommended machine speeds.
  • Feed evenly at slow-to-moderate rates.
  • Take shallow cuts.


The material should be cooled by using water or air to cool the area contacting the cutting tool. While Homalite plastics don't drag, fuse or gum like many thermoplastics, avoiding overheating during fabrication reduces stress build-ups.

Machined surfaces, edges and drilled holes having any chips or roughness should be smoothed by sanding or filing. Useful tool life may be extended with acetone cleaning.

Here are a few other key considerations:

Cutting:
Use diamond-coated circular saw blades to provide a smooth cut. Water is recommended for cooling and reducing dust. Band saws of at least 12 teeth per inch can be used for rough-cutting parts.

Drilling:
Carbide-tipped and high-speed steel drills are suitable for drilling Homalite plastics. Points should be properly ground, with a 59° angle; the rake should be heavy with 10° to 15° clearance. Drill speeds can range from 1,000 to 2,500 RPM. Holes larger than 1" can be cut with a hole saw. In all cases, edges should be smoothed with a file or tapered stone.

Routing, shaping and edge trimming:
These can be done with rotary cutters, end mills, jointers, files or abrasive wheels. Tools should be operated in the 3,000 ­ 5,000 RPM range for best results.

Punching:
Due to the specific properties of H-100, H-101 and H-911, punching is not recommended.

Cleaning:
As indicated above, finished parts may be cleaned with soap and water, chlorinated solvents, standard glass cleaning preparations, and other non-abrasive cleaning formulas. Soft, clean paper tissues are best for cleaning and wiping.

 


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