Help! Working With Sintra (expanded PVC) for the first time

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ProfCoppersmith

New Member
What started as a blaster build project has now expanded into a full suit of Mandalorian Armor... Funny how that happens.

For said armor, I am going to be working with Sintra (Expanded PVC) sheets. However, I have never worked with it before. I know it can be formed with a heat gun, and cut with a saw or (slowly) with an exacto knife. What I don't know is what adhesives, or solvents, work best with it. I already plan to use rivets for the body plates, as they don't need to attach to each other.

My issue is in assembling the helmet, which will be made up of multiple pieces of shaped Sintra, attached at the edges. Formed around a tactical helmet.

Any suggestions as to how to put the helmet pieces together would be greatly apricated. Thank you ^_^
 

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ProfCoppersmith

New Member
Thank you! Though I have a new question to add to this. Has anyone ever tried using SC-125 solvent or Acetone as a solvent to weld Sintra? I used to use that sort of thing on scale models, but I've never tried it on anything other than styrene.
 

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ProfCoppersmith

New Member
Super glue, and if you need rigidity at a corner of something run a bead in the corner and sprinkle on baking soda. Also pvc cement works
Thanks! Though, how strong is the bond made with the super glue and baking soda technique? I was planning on issuing bindi to fill any major gaps, but if that makes a stronger joint I’ll use the super glue instead.
 

RussWebb

New Member
Thanks! Though, how strong is the bond made with the super glue and baking soda technique? I was planning on issuing bindi to fill any major gaps, but if that makes a stronger joint I’ll use the super glue instead.
I’ve used it to fill small gaps by actually mixing it together and for reinforcing small areas on box like areas and it holds extremely well. It’s kind of one of those things you play with and figure out where it’s useful and what it can do.
 

ProfCoppersmith

New Member
I love using Sintra, but I wear a respirator when heating or sanding it. I've heard the fumes it gives off when being heated are toxic. Safety first.

Good luck!
Will do. Most of the solvents for this sort of thing are pretty nasty too, if you’re using them I’m larger quantities... which I will be. So I do plan on using a respirator at minimum. A fume hood as well if I can swing it.
Thanks for the advice! ^_^
 

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ProfCoppersmith

New Member
I’ve used it to fill small gaps by actually mixing it together and for reinforcing small areas on box like areas and it holds extremely well. It’s kind of one of those things you play with and figure out where it’s useful and what it can do.
I’ll try it out. Thanks! ^_^
I like to make my stuff pretty sturdy, so it would be great to have a cheap way of making strong joints on plastics.
 

animator

Well-Known Member
I've also used Smooth-On's Free Form Air to fill gaps and support corner joints from behind. Sintra sands quickly and easily, and I thought Free Form Air was a pretty good match to that. Plus Free Form Air is light weight.
 

ProfCoppersmith

New Member
I've also used Smooth-On's Free Form Air to fill gaps and support corner joints from behind. Sintra sands quickly and easily, and I thought Free Form Air was a pretty good match to that. Plus Free Form Air is light weight.
Hmm. I just looked at it, and I definitely want to try it out at some point. Sadly, it's a little bit pricy just to use as a filler putty for me at the moment. I'll probably look into it when I get to the point of doing resin castings and the like.
But I am definitely keeping this in my materials list now. Thank you! ^_^
 

ProfCoppersmith

New Member
I’ve used it to fill small gaps by actually mixing it together and for reinforcing small areas on box like areas and it holds extremely well. It’s kind of one of those things you play with and figure out where it’s useful and what it can do.
I will run some stress tests with it then. ^_^
Especially when I make something for costume use, I like to make sure it will stand up to getting kicked around. I've seen, and had, too many props and costume components break after getting bumped in a convention, or just from getting miss handled in transport (one of many reasons I avoid flying to cons anymore).
Again, Thank you! ^_^
 

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