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aluminum vrs Plexiglas and Lexan

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Dave Boland, Jun 21, 2005.

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  1. Dave Boland

    Dave Boland Guest

    I will be replacing a front panel with some switches, etc.
    on it ans was wondering if anyone could point me to a
    comparison of the three materials? I'm interested in the
    plastics because they are non-conducting, but I know they
    are not as strong. Couldn't find a good comparison so far.

  2. Chuck Olson

    Chuck Olson Guest

    Hi, Dave,

    My favorite is Lexan (polycarbonate) - - it is tough, rather than brittle,
    the way styrene and acrylic plastic are. Take a piece of Lexan an inch wide
    and 1/8" thick and try to break it in half - - you'll be surprised. It can
    be drilled, sawed and machined with much less of a tendency to melt than
    Plexiglas (acrylic plastic). If I see ANY polycarbonate sheet plastic at the
    flea market or in the scrap bin at TAP Plastics, I buy it up - - extremely
    useful. For a front panel, you'll probably want to get a product that is
    heavily tinted or black - - unless you are proud of what's behind the panel
    and want to jazz it up with colored LED's, as in some of the transparent
    computer cases on the market.

    Good luck

  3. Al keeps a lot of electromagnetic crap out, Plexi and Lexan dont.

    It all depends on what you have behind the front panel

  4. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Dave,

    Personal opinion: I always go for the metal. Keeps EMI in as Martin
    said, can (somehow...) be labeled, looks more professional. Also, a deep
    scratch on Lexan can't really be polished away anymore. Neither can it
    be done on aluminum but it doesn't look as bad if that happens.

    Regards, Joerg
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