Common plastic materials for making architectural models
In architectural model making, main materials that are commonly used also include plastics. Plastic materials have a wide range of classification, and plastic plates, Perspex plates, ABS plates and PVC plates are commonly used.
Plastic plates, Perspex plates, ABS plates and PVC plates are hard materials among the model-making materials, mainly used to make exhibition models. They are prevailing plastic materials for model making. They are produced by different chemical raw materials and different processing technologies. Because of large differences in material density and physical and chemical properties, they also have different advantages and disadvantages as well as application scope.
(I) Plastic plate
Material density: 0.93. It is a plate polymerized through synthetic reaction or condensation reaction by utilizing high polymer and various auxiliary materials, having thermosetting property and low melting point. It applies to manual and mechanical processing but does not apply to numerical control engraving and high-speed cutting. It is applicable to large-scale plane in architectural model making, and can’t undergo secondary thermoplastic process.
Advantages: good chemical stability and weathering resistance, fine and smooth texture, easily dyed, easily processed, and low cost.
Disadvantages: poor abrasive resistance, no high-temperature resistance, easy aging, and difficult preservation
(II) Perspex plate
Perspex is also called acrylic. Density: 1.19. It is a material polymerized by methyl methacrylate. It can be divided into cast plate and extruded plate according to the production process, and into transparent plate and non-transparent plate according to its category. Common thickness: 0.5~3mm. Transparent plate is generally used to make building glass and lighting parts, and non-transparent plate is mainly used to make the main building. It has strong thermoplasticity, and can be used to make various shapes of curved surfaces through heating and molding.
Advantages: good chemical stability and weathering resistance, fine and smooth texture, high mechanical strength, easily dyed and easily processed.
Disadvantages: complex production process, easy aging and difficult preservation
(III) PVC plate
Density: 1.19; hardness: 1.38 ~ 1.430. It is a plate calendered and laminated by using PVC resin and stabilizer and other auxiliary materials. It can be divided into laminated plate and extruded plate according to the production process, and into transparent plate and non-transparent plate according to its category. Common thickness: 3mm, 5mm, 10mm and 20mm. It is applicable to block shape processing in architectural model making.
Advantages: good chemical stability, smooth and clean surface, high hardness, high strength, aging resistance, easily processed.
Disadvantages: laminated plate has limited application scope. Internal stress changes easily occur during non-linear molding numerical control processing, thus resulting in deformation in processing.
ABS plate is commonly known as engineering plastic alloy. Density: 1.05. It is a acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene terpolymer. It organically integrates various properties of PS, SAN and BS, and also has good mechanical properties with balance of toughness, hardness and rigidity. It has white and light beige colors, with common thickness of 0.3~5mm. It is a main material for today’s popular manual and computer craving model making.
Advantages: wide range of application; fine, smooth and stiff texture, high strength, easily processed, easily dyed, and strong plasticity
Disadvantages: low heat distortion temperature, high plasticity.