How to Drill Axgard Solid Polycarbonate Sheets

Our friends and manufacturer of Axgard Solid Polycarbonate Sheets, Clear Amber, have produced some technical information and brief instructional video to describe the best method for safe and accurate drilling of the Axgard sheets.

Axgard Solid Polycarbonate Sheets are virtually unbreakable, so do not splinter or crack in the same way as other acrylic and low-grade resins, which are brittle and tend to shatter and break. So drilling Axgard is made easy, even for the DIYer!

Thanks go to Clear Amber for the following...

How to Drill Axgard Solid Polycarbonate Sheets

How to Drill Axgard Sheets Step by Step

  1. Safety First – Always wear the correct PPE to avoid injury
  2. Secure the Axgard® well to avoid movement and prevent any vibration which could cause chipping
  3. Select a standard HSS Drill for the chosen hole size
  4. Carefully fit the Drill bit in to the Chuck and tighten in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions (Safety Note: If you are wearing gloves be careful to avoid getting them caught in the moving parts)
  5. Set the speed to the highest speed available on the Drill; ideally between 500 to 2500 rpm
  6. Mark on the film with an X where you wish to drill the hole and align the Drill bit to the centre of the X
  7. Start the drill on maximum speed, and gently apply downward pressure. It is normal for swarf to form around the drill bit which can be brushed off when the hole is completed
  8. Finally, back the drill out of the hole slowly to free any swarf or plastics chips out of the hole, this is especially important when drilling deeper holes

Drilling Axgard Frequently Asked Questions

What Size holes should be drilled for screws?

Depending on actual final application of the AXGARD, it is generally recommended that holes are drilled 1.5 times bigger than the screw diameter to account for sheet expansion.

What specific Drill Bit should be used?

High-speed steel (HSS) drill bits work very well. HSS bits are very hard and heat-resistant which makes them ideal for drilling Axgard sheets. More specifically, as a guide, twist drills for Axgard sheet should have 2 flutes, a point with an included angle of 60° to 90°, and a lip clearance of 12° to 18°. These factors help to reduce the heat by allowing the cuttings to escape easily as the hole is drilled.

Does the Axgard Sheet thickness affect the drilling process?

The thickness of the Axgard sheets doesn’t make a difference to process, but we would advise that for the thickest options of Axgard the drill is reversed out and the hole is cleared every 3mm of drilling depth.

Do I drill Axgard-MSR Mirror Sheets the same way?

Yes, simply follow the same process of high speed and low pressure; however, for Axgard®-MSR Mirror Sheets you are best to drill through mirror backing side of the sheet. This helps to make a clean drill hole on the mirror side and avoid and flaking or chipping of the mirror backing when the drill exits the far side.

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