SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Location: Buffalo NY, USA

Total posts: 29
Posted:So I'm thinking of getting some clear PVC to use in making LED toys and am wondering what people think of it? How is the bounce, durability, transparency? What's it like compared to normal schedule 40 PVC? What about Polycarbonate tubing? Since I'm looking to use this in a rope dart, durability is a necessity.

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DIAMOND Member since Jan 2011


Flow Artist
Location: USA

Total posts: 67
Posted:In terms of use in flow toys, use PC (Polycarbonate).
PC is much more durable and scratch resistant. It's used in children's and manufacturing safety glasses.

PC is much stronger than PVC per weight (both flex and rigid PVC). 2.2 MPa vs 0.49 MPa Yield strength with the same density. PVC varies in density depending on manufacturing methods.

In terms of transparency, once again, PC is used in glasses for a reason. Not only can it be crystal clear, but is used in bulletproof glass to provide ridiculously high impact strength.

In terms of bounce, it depends more on the weight of your toy and the structure of it. (The eigenvalues of the stiffness matrix is more affected by shape than material, think wood bridges vs. steel wire.) If you use either PC or PVC to make a dragon staff, it will flex and bounce a lot. Using it in a rope dart, bounce won't matter unless you cover it with something. Plus I highly recommend not letting your rope dart hit anything.

As a side note and a question: What length is your rope dart?
My shortest is my arm span plus shoulder height and it's easy to work with, with my longest at four times the length of elbow to elbow but winding this without it hitting the ground requires triple wraps or body wraps. If you have any advice on the matter, it'll be useful in helping beginners and teaching at movement/flow camps/festivals.


SILVER Member since May 2007

Location: , New Zealand

Total posts: 42
Posted:Yup, polycarbonate is the way to go. For a toy that's going to get banged around, fracture toughness is what you need and polycarbonate beats PVC hands down.


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