When Plexiglas® sheet is heated to its optimum forming temperature (approximately 325°F - 350°F), it becomes soft and pliable, and can be formed to almost any desired shape. As the material cools in its formed state, it stiffens and retains the shape to which it has been formed. Because the material is formed at low pressure, molds can be made of low-cost wood and plastic. This permits architects to specify complex shaped, custom-designed panels in small quantity at reasonable tooling cost. Low-cost wood and plastic molds can also be used to produce hundreds of formed panels without loss of quality in the finished part.
Flat sheets of Plexiglas® sheet can be cold-formed -- bent while cold to a smooth contour and held to the radius by springing the material into a curved channel support. The recommended radius of curvature for Plexiglas® G sheet should be at least 180 times the thickness of the sheet. For Plexiglas® MC sheet, the recommended radius of curvature should be at least 300 times the thickness of the sheet.
Table 4: Recommended Minimum Radius of Curvature For Cold-Formed Plexiglas® Sheet|
Recommended Minimum Radius (in)|
Plexiglas® MC |
Radii of curvature less than those specified may exceed the design stress limitation for the material, resulting in crazing.