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I'm after localish suppliers and any advice on real world experience of any of the above,

this will be for the outer wing skins on the 90.

Forex appears to be a tad brittle as mine has cracked in 2 places and the 90 hasn't been offroad yet!

Hips comes up as high impact styrene anyone used this? will it be suitable.

I can get some for a good price hence the question.

I'm after 4mm thick 4ft by 4ft square ideally of which ever material would be best suited/cost effective

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Tony, what about kaylan? Not terribly cheap but it'll take all kinds of abuse, is available in pretty much any colour and is flexible. Polycarb is strong and tough but not very flexible and will eventually crack when hit repeatedly - it'll take high irregular impacts but will crack if hit regularly with a lower force. That's why something a bit more flexible is a good idea. Polyprop and the high impact polystyrene you mention will perform OK and will be cheaper than polycarb but they'll also be fairly rigid so will crack eventually.

As Jez mentioned, polycarb is a good replacement for glass as it doesn't shatter as easily as glass, is light and has good UV stability (so takes a while to go cloudy) but, IMHO, its quite expensive / too stiff for pannels.

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cheers all I'll try and track some down locally.

unless someone has some excess laying around they want to get rid of?

Tony we use these people for ABS, can be bought in 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6mm thickness only white, black and grey smooth/smooth or pinseal/smooth. Good tough material difficult to break and reasonably cheap. Can sell you a part sheet but we do not hold stocks of the whole range.


Tel 01727 863138

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Strangely, I have a little experience of this!

Kaylan is Polyurethane - very good material within certain bounds. Bit on the expensive side.

Polypropylene is hard wearing, but has a high coefficient of thermal expansion - which will make it not fit in hot/cold weather.

Polyethylene or HDPE is very good. almost impossible to break damage although will gouge more easily than polypro. It will also tend to stretch instead of tearing/cracking.

ABS is a good all round material, but will crack/split if you hit it hard enough. ABS is good for higher temperatures than the above.

Polycarbonate is very heavy, will crack more readily than most of the above and is very expensive.

For what you are doing, Polypro and HDPE win IMHO. Something that thin isn't going to have a great deal of inherent strength, so better to have something that will stretch rather than shatter or tear.

Both are available in sheet form from Quadplas


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One possibly is a material called Comtex. This was developed at Leeds University where I used to work.

It is a self reinforced composite made out of polypropylene fabric. It is strong, lightweight and incredibly tough and very good at absorbing energy. 10mm layer of it will stop a .44 magnum bullet at 10 feet, a solid shot gun pellet. For bullet proof body armour it failed only on one test which was the high velocity 5.5mm round which penetrated it. Only thing which stops those are solid ceramics which weighs a lot more then the Comtex.

Not sure who markets it now. Used to be a company called Vantage Polymers

Hope you find something suitable.



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just got this from a supplier ref the HIPS


yes it is impact resistant but not to the degree of polycarbonate which is a much tougher material. Both materials can be vac formed but the impact styrene absorbs water which can cause problems when forming.

regards Phil

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Polycarbonate would be a good choice, riot shields and safety specs are made from it, if you get the right formulation it deforms rather than shatters..

You could also look at glass/ carbon reinforced Nylon....?

I would think that what ever you get should have some reinforcing in it, either chopped-up thermosets, glass or carbon.

another good choice would be Acetal, brand names include Delrin, its also available with a filler/ reinforcement.

...i'll leave it there, Materials were my thing at uni, and I don't want to bore you all.

Duponts website is worth a look, if you can wade through tech-specs...

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If you've made wing bars then surely it's very unlikely to take an impact as your old wings have - so why not use some thin ally? I can see the logic in using plastics or fibreglass on things where you want to make strange shapes, or have something that will bounce back, but for a bit of flat panel ali is readily available, light, and performs pretty well.

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