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Which material to use for these requirements?

  1. Apr 5, 2016 #1
    I would like to know what material would be the best choice for this set of requirements:
    - Non-conductive
    - Non-magnetic
    - Very low heat expansion (similar to iron/steel)
    - Readily available to work on (cut, glue, cnc) so I can buy in the shop in sheets or so
    - No need for melting or processing chemically, stable as it is
    - Not poisonous

    PVC/ABS/PET is almost looked good to me just heat expansion is too much. Is there any better than that?

    (Well, I am not sure if this really should go under chemistry; although this looked the best place for me.)
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2016 #2


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    How about some variety of wood?
  4. Apr 5, 2016 #3


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    Yeah, but what do you want is use it for?
  5. Apr 5, 2016 #4
    wood, drywall sheets, glass panels, fiberglass, concrete, leather, cloth rolls, ......
  6. Apr 5, 2016 #5


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    I was going to tell you carbon fiber, but it's not readily available and it conducts electricity.

    (carbon fiber is dynamite for bicycles, though)
  7. Apr 5, 2016 #6


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    Your glass reinforced polymers are on the order of double the coefficient of expansion of steel. Is that similar enough?

    As for poisonous and easy to work you have to make your own decision. The glass in them ruins tools and can cause silicosis. As long as proper PPE is used it is no more dangerous than clay.

    Glass reinforced liquid crystal polymer can be as low as half that of steel.

    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
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