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Old 01-11-2010, 11:05 PM #1
GtrLvr
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Polycarbonate thickness

I figured this was the best place to ask this question, you tankers probably have the most experience with this. I'm making a pair of car door shields for a Fallout game this spring. I already have the doors (Saturn door skins) and I'm going to put windows on them. I'm looking to find what the thinnest possible clear polycarbonate (Lexan etc.) that will withstand a paintball impact. I checked my local Home Depot and Lowes and got a small piece that was .08" thick, it took a couple hit and then broke. Thats really all they have there. I also know I can order it cheaper online. I found a place that has .125" for a reasonable price but I want to be sure it will hold up. So if anyone has any experience with this stuff and maybe a site it would be much appreciated. Thanks a lot.
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:42 PM #2
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For my team's tank we were going to use the same thing for the windows but ran into the same problem.

What we settled on was pulled metal mesh with about 1/8 inch holes. It will take the hits better and will not stain like the lexan/plexiglass will.

If you still want the "window" you can put a sheet of lexan slighty behind it. the mesh will break the ball while the sray/bits of shell are the only thing to hit the "glass".
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:32 PM #3
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http://www.mcmaster.com/#polycarbona...-stock/=5clpit
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:26 PM #4
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That site's a real good one, I may order from there once I figure out what the minimum thickness is.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:13 AM #5
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I'd try at least 3/8 to quarter inch. Shoot a sample first. I assume you want to SEE through it. Otherwise polycarbonate twin wall. Lets light through but really can't see through it.

Now Ultraviolet/sunlight degrades polycarbonate. Note the UV protected twin wall. If you get regular poly sheeting, plan on it getting brittle and replacing it from time to time. Shade it when stored.

http://www.theplasticstore.com/pdfli...iwallSheet.pdf

Actually what you want is Netting. Anti tank teams and players will COVER those windows with paint. You won't be able to see out of them. That is a defense and tactic for neutralizing tanks. What you can't SEE, you can't defend...

I have a 4 wd pickup I bought to convert to a tank and drive to work. I didn't really want to get paintball gooh all over the interior and the air conditioning is nice. So I was going to play with the windows up but was going to rig a windshield wiper and SPRAY that would drop in between the top rail and windowglass. That way I could maintain visibility. Maybe some netting in front of the side glass and front glass to deflect/bounce most of the paint off. Guys that use windshield wipers discover the size of the stock fluiid reseviour is most inadequate. So keep in mind where you want that 5 gallon container too. Mine would be behind my seat with the extended cab. maybe back in the bed. A little higher, might pump better.
My best thoughts.

Windshield wipers will scratch polycarbonate.
So don't go there with them. Consider just a good WATER SPRAY to rinse off the polycarbonate so you can see..

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Old 01-13-2010, 11:04 AM #6
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I seriously considered netting but I felt that would degrade from the realism of the car door. I'm using real car door panels. I think part of the fun will be watching the paint hit the window as the other team tries to shoot me out. As for wiping it off I'm just gonna carry a towel, reaching around to wipe it off is no big deal. If I can't then I've just got an opaque shield for a while. I'm not sure if these will really be used more than just this game, although I'm hoping they will be so cool people will write them into other games. I think I'm going to go with 3/8", .08" took a couple point blank hits before breaking, 3/8" should take it no problem. If they break in play, I guess it'll just add to the realism.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:55 PM #7
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I carry a spray bottle full of water inside my walking tank. Even though it bounces a good many balls off the netting, it isn't long until I can see to walk or ID targets or threats. A garden sprayer with a candy cane shaped nozzle might be handy.. You probably have one lying around. Recycle...
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:00 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GtrLvr View Post
I seriously considered netting but I felt that would degrade from the realism of the car door. I'm using real car door panels. I think part of the fun will be watching the paint hit the window as the other team tries to shoot me out. As for wiping it off I'm just gonna carry a towel, reaching around to wipe it off is no big deal. If I can't then I've just got an opaque shield for a while. I'm not sure if these will really be used more than just this game, although I'm hoping they will be so cool people will write them into other games. I think I'm going to go with 3/8", .08" took a couple point blank hits before breaking, 3/8" should take it no problem. If they break in play, I guess it'll just add to the realism.
Scott , are you sure you bought polycarbonate (Lexan) at Lowes and not acrylic , plexi-glass ,or something else ?..They look exactly the same but they are not...Now that I think about it , Ive never even seen .08" thick Lexan at Lowes or Home Depot ,..... 1/8" is the thinnest they have and it is very expensive compared to the other stuff...4x8' sheet of 1/8" thick Lexan costs around $120 at Home Depot.
My god ,There is absolutely no reason you cant use 1/8" thick polycarbonate for your door windows if you only want it to be strong enough to withstand paintball hits...The polycarbonate lenses in your paintball mask are thinner than that......My old 6x6 tank bodies were completely made out 1/8" thick polycarbonate and youve seen how much abuse those tanks take....Point blank Paintball hits dont even come close to cracking it......3/8 " thick Lexan is waaaaaaay overkill unless of course your worried about DarthMag coming at you with a sledge hammer.....In which case he would still have a tough time breaking 3/8" thick lexan......lol.......Make sure you bought Lexan brother cause it sounds like you have regular plexi-glass or maybe acrylic.....The clear sheets all look the same in the store rack but theres a BIG difference......especially the price........and Lexan is 200 x stronger than clear acrylic.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:26 PM #9
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So if I order polycarbonate I will be getting the right stuff? 1/8" would make it way cheaper and lighter. I've been looking at these two sites: http://www.mcmaster.com/ http://freckleface.com/shopsite_sc/s...tml/index.html Do these have the right stuff?
Thanks a lot Ed, the first HEP game can't come soon enough, I can't wait.
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Old 01-14-2010, 04:11 PM #10
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Scott, you can get 1/8" polycarbonate right at home depot......Just make sure the backing paper on the sheet says "Lexan" and you will have the right stuff.....I knew something was wrong when you said the stuff you had cracked with paintball hits......Ive only cracked 1/8" Lexan with several point blank rocket hits from my cannons , but thats way more foot pounds of force and a much larger mass projectile than a paintball gun.
I have a leftover piece of Lexan at my house if you want to come and get it for free....It measures roughly 16"X 32".....Not sure if its enough for your window but you can have it if you want, .....let me know.
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Old 01-14-2010, 04:22 PM #11
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i want to pick up some 1/4 or 1/2 inch lexan for some vision port blocks. where can i get lexan that thick? a 2 ft x 1 ft peice would be all i need
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Old 01-14-2010, 05:39 PM #12
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Adam , ....heres a link from GtrLvr's last post.......Gives you all the sizes available and pricing

http://freckleface.com/shopsite_sc/s...tml/index.html
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Old 01-14-2010, 06:59 PM #13
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thanks ED! If your not doing anything and you are itching for a tank battle feb 6th come check out russian Front at Strategy Plus. theres 3 to 5 tanks id say so far
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:27 PM #14
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Oh Im definitely itching for tank battles Adam......I have to wait till spring though since I go into paintball hibernation in the winter........Actually my 6x6's are in storage for the winter and it would be a real pain to get them out and prepped for a winter game.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:51 PM #15
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Lexan is the registered trademark name for polycarbonate. simultainiously developed by GE and Bayer back in the 50's. A few times in the recient past I have purchased some polycarbonate by the name of "Tuffak" .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexan

http://www.alro.com/DIVPlastics/plas...uct_tuffak.htm
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:17 PM #16
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I'd say to go for the black netting like material for a window. cleaning the plastic lens is gonig to be a pain in the butt while playing and it will be a masive paint magnet. Plus if you looking to add to the realism of the game your using these for. How many panes of glas shave you seen in the capital wasteland that weren't broken Maybe making a small eye slit would work. Jusy my two cents.
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:06 PM #17
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Netting is a far superior option to plastic. Lets shelve realism for a second. Lets look at practical use on a paintball field.

* A little slack in the netting prevents the vast majority of breaks.
* It's much cheaper, and easy to work on.
* Comes in a wide variety of tint levels, so it's easily replaceable with 90% during the day and 10% during the night if you just use some snaps to keep it in place.
* It's ventilated by default. Nobody wants to sweat their nuts off, and have to drive around 5 more hours in a seat saturated with it. That right there should be #1 in everybody's book. A comfy crew performs better, period.
* Field repairs are much faster, unless you happen to carry extra, pre-cut pieces of plastic with you and installed a system for rapid mounting.
* Netting doesn't require much to keep visibility levels up. A bottle of water tops. Very simple. Like somebody pointed out, plastic requires a high pressure sprayer to clean it off, not to mention the amount of smears and streaks you have to deal with it. That's extra logistics since you need to keep the cylinders pressuried or run a high powered pump, and the reservoir full, and much more weight from the system overall.
* It's less dangerous in an accident. You want to bounce your head off lose netting or hard plastic that can shatter when you slide into a ditch and roll onto your side by accident? I'll take netting.

If the only argument is for realism... meh. It's paintball. If you want realism, join the army =P
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:39 PM #18
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Indy007, thanks for the advice but did you read my post? I'm building shields out of car doors, not tanks. So I won't have any problems with heat or repairs or anything else tank related. If they break, then they break. I'll play on with them anyway. As far as realism, it's a Fallout game, there's nothing realistic about it. Like Misfit said, there's not a single unbroken pane of glass in Fallout. I'm gonna be painted green and dressed like the hulk. I meant realistic in post-apocalyptic terms, not military realism.
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