Source for thin smoked Lexan?

Another fundraising event, another capital improvement for the team. This time, a 36" Vinyl Cutter for Team 228.

Among it’s other uses for making banners and custom team shirts, I’d also like to use it to make team and sponsor name/logo decals for Lexan panels on our robots. I was never really impressed with the legibility of text on clear polycarbonate, so I’m looking for “smoked” grey polycarbonate for robot panels, a la Team 148’s Tumbleweed.

Since this is one of those things that’s usually forgotten until like two days before ship, I’d rather purchase some stock now to avoid that problem. After doing quite a lot of searching through the usual sources (McMaster, MSC, Grainger) and a few local plastics suppliers, I wasn’t able to find anything thinner than .118".

Is this the minimum thickness commercially available for smoked polycarbonate [that’s still cost efficient]? Or do thinner sheets exist? (0.040" or 0.062" wall polycarbonate would be ideal.)

Thanks in advance.

254 has never been able to find thin smoke polycarb from our suppliers either.

how about just getting some window tint film and put it on the back side of a clear sheet?

Nice idea, i was looking for something like this. We haven’t been able to find any thin smoked lexan either.

the thinnest our supplier has is 1/8th inch hence we stray away from it.

Polycast has a material POLY II®UVA in .030,.060 and .080.
http://www.spartech.com/polycast.html

That appears to be acrylic (Plexiglas). I doubt many teams will sacrifice performance for looks.

I haven’t seen the smoked lexan either. The way that I do team numbering on clear lexan is to get vinyl letters printed in reverse and adhere them to the back of the panels then paint over the vinyl. It gives a very clean look and the best part is that scratches on the surface of the polycarb won’t mess up the lettering/logoing.

Did you find this site amongst your searching?

Sheet Sizes:
4’x8’, 5’x8’, 6’x8’. Other sizes available upon request
Sheet Thickness:
.030”, .040”, .060”, .093”, .118”, .177”, .220”, .236”, .375”, .500
Available Colors:
Clear,** Gray, Graylite**, and Bronze and Light Green. Custom colors available upon request.

I’m a huge, huge fan of this method and highly recommend it. You can get any color you want, and it has a great appearance. The polycarb also gives it a very glossy finish regardless of paint. I almost did this 973 this year, but was lazy and plotted paper panels to adhere to the back. I regretted it all season.

Art,

Check with Laird Plastics in Bloomfield. Team 177 has been using them for polycarb since we started FIRST.

Good Luck.

Mike

Thanks Mike.

After looking through their catalog, I’ve found found several different types of .060 grey Lexan that I will be further inquiring into.

Just wondering if anyone was able to find smoked/grey lexan in 1/32" or 1/16" thickness.

Thanks,

-RC

we buy all plastics locally from here

http://www.fortcollinsplastics.com/products.html

they sell smoked polycarbonate in .03 inches thick, we typically spring for the slightly thicker .06 so it doesn’t tear out of whatever mounting holes are used. i don’t know if Fort Collins plastics will mail order but it might be worth a shot. they will also lazer engrave it for you if you like, this costs more however.

I know in the past we have used two different places to buy polycarbonate sheets online as the nearest retailer to us is 4+ hours away.

www.eplastics.com and www.onlinemetals.com

Hope that helps.

I emailed them and they said they did not sell any smoked polycarbonate below .125 nor did they know of anyone who did.

Which is what I’ve been running into.

-RC

Maybe this? http://www.sdplastics.com/makrolongp.html

Our team “Frosts” lexan by sandblasting it at low pressure.