We asked our followers on social media to reach out to us with any questions they had on our HYTAC products or thermoforming in general. Our Process Specialist, John Shpack, responded. Here are our answers:

What does CMT recommend for polishing complex geometries?

Water Resistant polishing cloth in the 1000 to 1500 grit range. Also, if you are able to use a lathe, hand polishing the material quickly before putting it on a lathe will improve the finished polish and speed up the process.

What RPM does CMT recommend for machining HYTAC?

Every machining center is different but the sweet spot is in the 6,000 to 8,000 RPM Range. Please refer to our Machining HYTAC guidelines to best find the RPM and feed rate for you.

CNC routers would be maximum RPMs.

Can we use our own inserts or do we have to use the ones sold by CMT?

You can use any insert that you wish as long as you don’t use Heli-Coils.

When working with PP, we often need to run sheet temperature in excess of 400F. Does CMT have any plug material that can work with that temperature?

Hytac-WF and WFT both have operation temperatures in the 450 Degree Range.

When I machine W material, it is very dusty. Any recommendations?

Hytac-W is very dusty. We recommend that you run a flexible Shop-vac hose attached to your tooling head with copper grounding wire. Using a material like FLX would also help eliminate dust – the shavings come out in much more manageable sizes.

With sudden PS global shortages, we are looking to convert our current thermoformed PS cups into PP thin gauge cups. Do you have a recommendation on an appropriate plug assist material for thin gauge PP sheeting?

HYTAC-FLXT is your best choice. The Teflon additives in the material will ensure a clean release from the film even if the sheet is very hot. Polishing well beforehand will also help with part clarity.

Does CMT have a minimum order quantity? What if I only need 1 or 2 small pieces of material?

We have no minimum order requirements. All credit cards are excepted if you don’t have an account with us.

Does CMT offer machining of our parts?

No we do not, however we may be able to recommend some local shops in your area. Please feel free to reach out to your sales rep for additional information.

Can you ship direct to me? I am not located in the US.

We ship worldwide but have many distributors around that world that can assist you. Depending on what area you are located in, we can either ship direct or refer you to the distributor in your territory. If we can ship direct, your Sales Rep will offer you specific details regarding what paperwork is needed and work out shipping logistics.

I would like to know if the abrasive qualities of Hytac FLX syntactic foam will adversely affect the machine tool used for cutting the material. Ballscrews, linear guides, bearings, etc. My concern is if any of the chips get stuck internally that they may damage the components.

Newer machining centers offer good protection to all internal load surfaces. We do recommend you cover your machine table ways and coolant recovery reservoir filters to make cleanup easier.