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Thread: Polycarbonate Windscreen. Can I Drill Holes in it? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-12-2016 03:03 AM
nikonian
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canvas6st View Post
Polycarb is just a type of plastic. While it has impressive impact resistant qualities, it is not resistant to cutting, as would be the case with a drill bit. It's hard to break, easy to scratch. Givi screens, for instance, are made of polycarb. I wouldn't be surprised if the stock screen was made of the same, and I can tell you first hand how easily that one was to cut with a jigsaw.

Go for it, you'll have no trouble.
By the way Givi Screens are made from Acrylic not Polycarbonate
05-02-2010 07:27 PM
PTRider Drill bits for plastic
McMaster-Carr catalog page 2429
http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/116/2429/=6x3k54
05-02-2010 03:55 PM
gijoecam
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin View Post
I would never put a polycarbonate windshield on a bike. Here's why.

Many years ago a good friend of mine was riding home from work on his 900 Honda. It had a full fairing with a polycarbonate windshield.

Without warning a car (CN Rail Police car no less) pulled a turn across two lanes right in front him. There was nothing he could do, and the bike T-boned the car.

The impact sent my friend fying forward into the windshield. Top of windshield hit visor of full-face helmet. No contest, helmet visor caved. As the polycarbonate was so strong the windshield continued on to carve through my friend's face until it hit the back of the visor opening, somewhere around his ears, where it finally snapped.

Amazingly after a year of rehabilitation and many surgeries my friend survived to tell his tale. He even got another bike eventually, but made damn sure it had an acrylic windshield.

The shear toughness of polycarbonate makes it attractive as windshield material, but in a crash you want your windshield break, not your face.
Umm, what do you think the face shield on the helmet was made out of? In all likelihood, IT's polycarbonate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by garandman View Post
Right, you guys buy the proper drills.
Exactly. THe proper drills make all the difference in the world. Most industrial tool supply houses will have them available. I use them at work pretty regular. A standard metal bit will work fine IF and ONLY IF the drill feed rate is controlled (i.e. a drill press or mill are used) and the part is secured solid to a rigid surface so that if the drill bites, the part can't pull up onto the bit. We do that at work pretty regular when making fixtures and small parts.

Drilling thin polycarbonate or other plastics with a hand drill and a conventional metal bit can be done, but it's terribly difficult and often leads to cracks.
05-02-2010 03:23 PM
GT_Hawk those car bodies are tahter thin I believe but yes it shows it can crack. I have seen reports as well on stress cracking. If I remmeber right its considered a very crack resistant material.
05-02-2010 03:16 PM
SCraig
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glazier2000 View Post
Very strange that you've seen polycabonate crack!
I work everyday with polycarbonate and acrylic in our business and I can say I've never seen a "run" or crack in polycarbonate!
Our polycarbonate sheets are 1/8, 3/16, 1/4 and 1/2 inch and you can drill, cut sand, fold (if strong enough) and pound with sledge hammer all you want and will never crack it.
ps: polycarbonate is used in making bullet resistant glazing too.
(there is no such thing as bullet proof)
First, I admit I didn't spend much time hunting up one that was cracked. It's been 10+ years since I raced these models. I still had a few old bodies laying around and just grabbed the first one that had a crack in it. This one spent a lot of time on the track and it's pretty beat up in places.

Believe me when I say I have seen them much, much worse than this. I have had them crack to pieces. The worst spots were right over the front fender well where the body flexes and the nose where it tended to get hit hard.

Both photos are thumbnails. Click the thumbnail to view the full-size photo. The first photo is an overall body (1/10 scale, about 14" long), and the crack is on the right rear corner as can be seen in the second photo. You can also see where I "Stop-Drilled" it with the tip of an X-Acto knife to keep it from getting worse.

05-02-2010 02:23 PM
garandman
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glazier2000 View Post
Very strange that you've seen polycabonate crack!
I work everyday with polycarbonate and acrylic in our business and I can say I've never seen a "run" or crack in polycarbonate!
Our polycarbonate sheets are 1/8, 3/16, 1/4 and 1/2 inch and you can drill, cut sand, fold (if strong enough) and pound with sledge hammer all you want and will never crack it.
ps: polycarbonate is used in making bullet resistant glazing too.
(there is no such thing as bullet proof)
Right, you guys buy the proper drills.
05-02-2010 02:17 PM
GT_Hawk do you have a drill press ?. tjhat way wvwn with metal bits you can control the speed you go into the plastic. A hand held drill has a greater chance to dig in.
05-02-2010 01:08 PM
Heavy-H My Givi cracked at a mounting hole last ride. I drilled a tiny hole in it to stop the crack. Hope it holds out......
05-02-2010 12:31 PM
Glazier2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCraig View Post
I disagree, I've seen polycarbonate crack many times. I've flown aircraft with polycarbonate windscreens and I used to use clear polycarbonate bodies on R/C cars. It takes a lot to make it crack but it will crack, I can assure you.

However, to answer the original question, the best way to stop a crack in polycarbonate is to drill a small hole at the end of the crack. It drills quite easily, as would be expected from a plastic.
Very strange that you've seen polycabonate crack!
I work everyday with polycarbonate and acrylic in our business and I can say I've never seen a "run" or crack in polycarbonate!
Our polycarbonate sheets are 1/8, 3/16, 1/4 and 1/2 inch and you can drill, cut sand, fold (if strong enough) and pound with sledge hammer all you want and will never crack it.
ps: polycarbonate is used in making bullet resistant glazing too.
(there is no such thing as bullet proof)
05-02-2010 11:39 AM
Merlin I would never put a polycarbonate windshield on a bike. Here's why.

Many years ago a good friend of mine was riding home from work on his 900 Honda. It had a full fairing with a polycarbonate windshield.

Without warning a car (CN Rail Police car no less) pulled a turn across two lanes right in front him. There was nothing he could do, and the bike T-boned the car.

The impact sent my friend fying forward into the windshield. Top of windshield hit visor of full-face helmet. No contest, helmet visor caved. As the polycarbonate was so strong the windshield continued on to carve through my friend's face until it hit the back of the visor opening, somewhere around his ears, where it finally snapped.

Amazingly after a year of rehabilitation and many surgeries my friend survived to tell his tale. He even got another bike eventually, but made damn sure it had an acrylic windshield.

The shear toughness of polycarbonate makes it attractive as windshield material, but in a crash you want your windshield break, not your face.
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