How to cut foam plastic so it does not crumble

The nuances of the process

Getting a smoother and neater cut will help with the following tips:

  • Be sure to pre-mark the material. Some craftsmen recommend making a shallow cut with a blade along the mowing line of the future cut to facilitate the work;
  • The cutting tool should be preheated;
  • You can rub the blade of your knife or hacksaw with white wax candle or liquid grease;
  • It is desirable to sharpen the blade every 2-3 meters of the cut;
  • Act smoothly and evenly, without sudden movements and pressures;
  • The foam sheet should be securely mounted on a flat surface or secured so that the cut part does not hang in the air and break off. Do not cut Styrofoam by weight and in an upright position;
  • After making the cut, the edges of the material are rubbed down with a piece of Styrofoam.

foam, plastic, does

To cut foam without crumbs and shaped, it is better to use thermal tools. homemade or fabrication machines, soldering iron. When making a homemade machine tool, it is acceptable to use steel wire instead of nichrome wire. To smooth out the protrusions, rub the pieces of foam against each other.

  • knife;
  • hacksaw for wood or metal;
  • soldering iron;
  • An angle grinder, called an “angle grinder”;
  • Thin metal wire like string;
  • thermal cutter;
  • machine to cut the foam plastic;

Applications of Styrofoam.

are not limited to the construction and repair sector. Foam boards and sheets are widely used in the following areas of human activity:

  • In medicine. cases for equipment, packaging for glass and sharp objects;
  • In organization of active leisure. inserts in life jackets, buoy contents, floats;
  • In the repair of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment;
  • In shipbuilding, as unsinkable compartment filler on small ships (dinghies, boats);
  • For design purposes, in construction and modeling.

So not only for the noise insulation of the roof of the house or thermal protection of the walls the question of how to cut the foam plastic is relevant. From it you can make a model of a boat, build the protection of the refrigeration circuit in an air conditioner or make a decorative figure of unique design. Low weight and affordability of the material should not mislead about the ease of its mechanical processing. cutting foam has a number of secrets and tricks.

How to cut foam like a PRO. Cosplay Tutorial

How to cut foam plastic or foam plastic?

Of modern polystyrene foam collects thermal insulation structures, cut decorative elements and produce a large number of other things.

Its scope of application is very wide. And not least because this material is easy to handle, quickly installed and it can be cut with their own hands.

Homemade thermal cutter for styrofoam

However, cutting foam with your own hands must also be able to. After all, in order to get a really high-quality cut and the final part, you need to try hard. Note that Styrofoam is not dangerous for human health.

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Tips from the professionals

For fast and efficient cutting foam plastic, it is recommended to adhere to the following tips from professionals:

  • It is not very convenient to cut with an ordinary knife. It is best to use a soldering iron instead. It is possible to cut the foam quickly and efficiently if the round side can be easily flattened with a hammer. Additionally it is necessary to put a metal cap on the electrical device. The blade should be well secured. Only then should the soldering iron be plugged in. Work with the tool only in a well-ventilated area. It is best to open windows additionally. The soldering iron emits gas when heated, which has poisonous effects on the respiratory system.
  • The best way to cut the foam is with a nichrome thread. It will make the process go fast and the edges will be straight.
  • Nichrome material is found in hair styling appliances, hairdryers, irons, boilers. If you can‘t get it, you can use steel wire. It should be stretched across the table. One side is fastened rigidly and the other only by means of a spring. A transformer is connected to both of them. It should be connected to the mains beforehand.
  • The foam sheet must be placed on top of the wire. The current charge depends directly on the thickness of the working material. It is necessary to achieve that the wire becomes red. It should not be allowed to glow, because in this case the cut may turn out too wide.
  • All manipulations are most convenient when the table is at an angle of 20-60 degrees to the floor. The feed of the foam itself will be under its own weight. However, there must be sufficient slip to do so.
  • The nichrome wire will become larger during use. That is why it is important to secure it with a spring on one side. Thanks to it will adjust the length.
  • To cut the foam it is allowed to use an angle grinder or an electric jigsaw. It is also recommended to use a saw with a wavy blade.
  • If foam figures need to be created, then dough molds are quite suitable for cutting them out. However, in this case, you can take only the foam plastic, the thickness of which does not exceed 1.27 cm.
  • For quick smoothing of the ledges it is necessary to rub the foam plastic against each other.
  • In the process of working with the foam plastic it is recommended to perform all manipulations on the cutting board. In this case, the probability of damaging the table is minimized.

At the present moment in the design of interiors foam figures are very popular. For their creation it is advisable to use a special knife or automatic device. For smooth edges it is advisable to perform all manipulations with a preheated object. The knife can be made by yourself from an old soldering iron. This tool is very popular among interior designers.

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Cutting foam plastic with a hacksaw and angle grinder

With the first tool it is much easier to cut insulation, although the principle of the work is no different from that of the knife. This is often the preferred method when cutting slabs up to 8-10 cm is required. For cutting foam sheets you can use a metal or wood saw, but in any case the blade must have an optimal length and fine teeth. With such cutting elements the cut will be much smoother and the amount of debris will be much lower. You can work with this tool in almost any position that’s comfortable for you. When sawing it is important to make only a smooth movement of the hacksaw, not a jerky movement.

Cutting foam sheets can also be performed with an angle grinder and an electric jigsaw, but in this case it is necessary to take into account that in the course of work there is a significant amount of debris. This is due to the fact that in the first situation the tool’s wheel rotates at high speed, and if the disk also has large teeth, then in the process of sawing there will be a significant destruction of the structure of insulation in the place of cutting. If the rotational speed is reduced to its minimum setting, the foam will start to burn and melt, which must be avoided to avoid damaging it.

In general, the angle grinder is excellent for cutting plates up to 50 mm thick, but the quality of the cut will be much better than when using a knife, hacksaw and other power tools. For optimum results you need to use a thin diamond wheel, which after passing creates a better quality place the cut than when using a disk designed to work with metal.

You can also use a jigsaw, but with it you can not achieve perfect evenness in the cut because of the vibration of the saw, as well as in the process of cutting there is a lot of small debris. A significant advantage of its use is the ability to make shaped cuts, which turns out to be much more difficult to carry out through the other tools listed above.

  • Hot wire. Two nails are hammered in, and a nichrome wire is stretched between them
  • Cold String. Regular metal string is used
  • Knife
  • Metal hacksaw
  • A special tool designed for cutting foam plastic.

It will be very difficult and inefficient to cut a slab of Styrofoam of greater thickness than 50 mm with a knife. If you use an electric jigsaw, there will be a lot of debris, and the string cut will not be straight. Therefore, the best option for cutting Styrofoam with a thickness of up to 10 cm at home with a hand saw.

Ordinary Styrofoam. terminology and characteristics of the material

Broadly speaking, foams are a broad class of cellular (foamed) plastics based on polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride, urea, phenol, and even formaldehyde. What all these materials have in common is their minimum density and internal structure in the form of frequently spaced and shallow gas cavities. In practice, however, we have to deal with the only kind of foam. low pressure polystyrene foam, abbreviated PSV.

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It is the only one with an affordable price, while all other cellular plastics are considerably more expensive to produce and are not often used in construction and renovation work. The international name for low-pressure polystyrene foam (PSV) is the brand name Styropor, patented by the developer BASF back in the 1950s. The documentation for the imported foam board often uses the abbreviation EPS. For practical purposes it is important to know that all these terms. styrofoam, PSV and EPS. refer to the common and familiar from childhood Styrofoam.

The structure in the form of small gas pores and the considerable size of the plates determine the main operational advantages of foam:

  • Excellent insulation on all sides of the house. You can perform insulation foam inside the room, you can carry out this procedure outside, you can combine the external and internal insulation, and the cost of such “double” protection will still be lower than the estimate for the newfangled roll insulator;
  • Excellent acoustic protection of the premises. In fact, sound comfort is already achieved during thermal insulation work. if the frost cannot penetrate the foam layer, the loud sounds can not do it all the more;
  • Environmental safety. Foam is absolutely non-toxic, including on the cut lines and long-term use. Some varieties are allowed in contact with foodstuffs, which is regulated by European quality standards (!). over, the foam is safe when repairing, to try “on a tooth” walls pasted them not the slightest need;
  • High resistance to mold, damp, microorganisms, fungi, algae and other undesirable companions of human life. To strengthen the longevity of such consumer qualities, cutting foam with their own hands should be carried out accurately and competently;
  • Ease of installation due to its diminutive weight. This quality significantly simplifies transportation and laying of foam, but when working outdoors should pay attention to the possible “wind difficulties”. foam billet easily swept away even a slight breeze.

Briefly about the essentials

Deciding what is the best way to cut foam in the home, choose between conventional tools and devices with a “hot” blade. A sharpened kitchen knife or a good quality office knife can be used to cut a small thickness of boards. For more massive products it is better to use a hacksaw for metal with a fine tooth or a thin stretched string. But these tools leave behind a lot of debris and do not guarantee edge quality. Much more convenient so-called thermal knives, precisely and accurately melt the material according to the marking without crumb formation. They do not cost a lot, so homemakers assemble them with their own hands, which does not require much time and money.