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Thread: Small hole drilling in polycarbonate

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    Default Small hole drilling in polycarbonate

    Haven't been around for some time and it's great to be back.
    I'm having a problem drilling a .025 hole at .475 depth in a polycarbonate part. I tried different speeds and tried to vary the depths to no avail. Still can't get a straight hole.
    Help with this subject would be appreciates.

    Stephen K.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    804

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    Your drill might be broken, look at the point under a microscope. A solid carbide drill will run straight, and a HSS should work fine.

  3. #3
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    Polycarbonate melts easy and acts gummy. Use water with a little soap in it as a coolant.

    Feed slow using a good drill you've inspected under 10x magnification.

    Peck drill, clearing the chips frequently. Blow the hole and the drill clean before re-entering.

    That's a deep hole for the diameter. Make sure the drill is spotted correctly. If the drill starts off center, it will follow and exaggerate the error.
    Last edited by Forrest Addy; 03-04-2011 at 01:55 PM.

  4. #4
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    while nature/drill size tells you to run at high rpm, Molten plastic will tell you to run low rpm.

    Expect to have to use feed rates similar to glaciers ice flows.

  5. #5

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    I have had good luck drilling all kinds of plastics using a carbide 2 flute center cutting end mill. Run it very slow, around 500 RPM's and you can go quite deep if you peck drill it as well.

    George

  6. #6
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    George makes a good point, Anything solid carbide will be MUCH more rigid then anything HSS, And at 0.025" it will even be affordable! maybe..

  7. #7
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    Oct 2002
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    Middlesex, New Jersey
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    Wink Small hole drilling in polycarbonate

    My thanks to the tips that I received from the guys on the forum. A combination of ideas payed off. I was able to drill nice clean straight holes .025 by .475d without a problem. Slow speed, about 130rpm, pecking and cleaning and for the lubricate I used mineral oil. I tried water and soap and that caused it to bind. Thanks again for your help.

    StephenK (NJ)

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