Vacuum Forming Page
This page was created to show what could be done in 2010. The Altuglas Division of Arkema donated Tuffak brand polycarbonate to the team. There were a number of formed polycarbonate pieces used on DEWBOT V, but some of these have bubbles in thesm. The bubbles form because polycarbonate is hygroscopic--it absorbs and holds a small amount of moisture. When the Polycarbonate was heated to forming temperature, the water turned to steam and formed the bubbles. This can be solved by heat-soaking the Polycarbonate before it is formed. This YouTube video shows what could be done for protective covers and other pieces on DEWBOT VI. DIY Vacuum Forming
On the DEWBOT VI pivot chassis, the four corners have exposed chain and a sensor that need to be covered. Thus, during the 2010 build season, Team 1640 made its first vacuum-formed parts: chainguards which covered those sensors and chains. Mark Morun created the form.
For more information, see Arkema's polycarbonate forming and fabrication link.