To Drill or Not to Drill

Redwood Plastics has the ability to cut and drill most plastics to suit your needs. However, sometimes on-site fabrication is best. This is particularly the case with precision plastic applications where the plastic needs to be drilled for affixation on site. For indoor applications with a constant temperature there will be no problems. However, if the application is outdoors or has temperature fluctuations you may find the holes do not match your backing substrate. This is due to thermal expansion – plastics expand and contract due to temperature change. Most of the very high performance plastics, such as the imidized plastics, are quite dimensionally stable but many others are not. UHMW polyethylene for example has fairly poor dimensional stability and can often expand 1/2″ or more when exposed to a higher temperature at the time of installation. If this is not compensated for, the holes may not line up.

There are some recommendations to mitigate this effect. Leaving the plastic at the ambient temperature for 24 hours will let it “settle” but your best bet is to drill on-site if you are concerned. Note that if we do the drilling here at Redwood, we’ll need to know exactly where those holes go and what size they are. Accurate measurements will help you avoid disappointment in your application.

Contact us for assistance with your application.

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About redwoodplastics
Since 1971 Redwood Plastics has worked directly with customers to find solutions for a variety of problems including shock, abrasion, noise, wear, & friction. In partnership with our manufacturing divisions, Redwood Plastics molds, machines, and fabricates a wide-range of high quality, custom components. Our dedication to ethical and respectful interaction with our customers, suppliers and each other is the key to our long standing relationships. Relationships that are enabled by the pride, enthusiasm and commitment of each member of our organization. follow plasticsolution at http://twitter.com

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