Because of its high quality and low price, HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) is one of the most popular materials in engineering plastics today. HDPE has very good tensile strength and high density, so it has a wide range of applications, such as plastic bottles, cutting boards, scrapers, equipment friction strips, etc. But before these products can be produced, the HDPE sheets must be cut to the right size and shape. This article will cover the tools and methods used to cut HDPE sheets for smooth, burr-free results.
What Tools Do I Use to Cut HDPE Sheets?
HDPE sheets are not as difficult to machine with common tools as iron boards. It can be machined with many common tools. For example, scissors, utility knives, hand saws, etc. at home can cut thin HDPE sheets. Even thick HDPE sheets can be cut with common chainsaws and table saws. Since HDPE is a thermoplastic, if too much heat is generated during cutting, it will melt and fuse the HDPE.
Considering the characteristics and cutting accuracy of HDPE sheets, I recommend the following tools to cut HDPE sheets. Cut thin HDPE sheets directly with a utility knife and thick HDPE sheets with a table saw.
How to Cut Thin HDPE Sheets?
The main tools used to cut thin HDPE sheets are a utility knife, ruler, scribe, and long tail clip. Since it needs to be done by hand, pay attention to protection, especially hand protection. Cut-resistant gloves are recommended. The cutting process is as simple as cutting an acrylic sheet or plywood, and it is recommended to cut no more than one-third of an inch thick.
1. Use a ruler to measure the size of the HDPE sheets to be cut and use a scribe to draw cutting lines on both sides of the sheet.
2. Use the long tail clip to fix the ruler along the cutting line to the HDPE sheet to be cut.
3. Use a utility knife to cut the board evenly and forcefully along the edge of the ruler, from one end of the HDPE sheet to the other.
4. After cutting a line for the first time, you can cut several times along the line with force. Flip the HDPE sheets over and repeat steps 2 and 3.
5. Fix the HDPE Sheets on the table and extend the part to be cut out of the table along the cutting groove.
6. Finally, break down the suspended part with force, and the cutting is completed.
How to Cut Thick HDPE Sheets?
Cutting thick HDPE sheets can be done on a table saw just like cutting wood boards. Due to the physical properties of PE products that become soft or even melted when heated, we need to use a saw blade specially designed to cut plastic to prevent a lot of heat from being generated. This saw blade has the “Non-Melt Plastic” marking on it. To achieve the ideal effect of a smooth cutting section and no burrs, it is recommended to choose a saw blade with more serrations.
1. Use a scribing pen to draw lines according to the cut size.
2. Place the HDPE sheets on the table saw and align the scribed lines with the saw blade. Then push the board forward with even force.
3. If the sheet is too long, you need to catch the sheet at the end where the sheet was cut. To avoid the plate falling, and affecting the cutting.
How To Cut Curves on HDPE Sheets?
In real life, we need to use plastic sheets that are not always square or rectangular, but round. At this time, we need to use another tool, the jigsaw.
There are three conditions to be aware of to cut the ideal smooth perfect curve with a jigsaw.
1. Thickness of the sheet.
2. Density of teeth on the saw blade.
3. The forward movement speed of the jigsaw.
If you don’t have enough experience cutting the curve, you can try several times on scrap sheets of the same thickness to reduce errors when cutting.
How to cut HDPE sheets in Our factory?
We, Shandong Lijiu New Material Co., Ltd have an industry-leading plastic cutting machine, which can automatically and accurately cut HDPE sheets, UHMWPE sheets, pp sheets, and nylon sheets according to the size input on the CNC controller.
Watch the video below, you can see the process of cutting HDPE sheets with a plastic cutting machine.
If you want to cut HDPE sheets with a circular saw, take extra care to hold the circular saw firmly and push it forward with even force. In contrast, we recommend a table saw.
Personal protection is required when cutting, goggles, masks, cut-resistant gloves, and safety shoes are all very necessary.
We provide HDPE sheet cutting services. If you need the right size and shape of HDPE sheets, you can get the size you want directly. Please feel free to contact us.