Saturday, May 25, 2024

Kydex uses replies

Jeremiah Uronis

Good stuff. Thanks everyone. I will not be using this stuff.
Replies below.

We were just making gun holsters for personal use. It’s fairly easy to use. We used it to form a holster inside of a spray-on cosmetic cover for a police officer and it turned out really cool. I can imagine it could be used as a fairing cover of some sort for a prosthesis.

Kydex is just PVC
It vacuums forms well if hot enough. Get gets too soft very quickly if over heated and All PVCs release Chlorine gas when they are burned so use proper technique. Do not use an over heated oven to heat it quickly. The surface will melt and or burn before the center gets to temp.

Used it to stiffen soft body jacket in the waist groove and to attach straps. Would place between layers of bocklite (pelite) and aliplast. It doesn’t thermoform in that it doesn’t adhere to itself when heated. It is also higher toxic is it catches on fire.

I’ve done custom foot orthoses with it but it cracks over time. Forearm/wrist/ hand applications work well.

We use to use it a lot for bivalved TLSO’s. Be careful not to over heat it -it gives off noxious fumes. You can use it for items that don’t have a lot of tight contours.

I’ve tried making a few things with Kydex. It’s a cheap plastic but had major fabrication limits. First, if you over heat it, it releases hydrogen chloride(very smelly and burns your eyes). The main limiting factor was cracking. It works ok for upper extremity splints and back brace panels but that was about it. And even when used in non weight designs, it still cracks fairly easy if it impacts anything. Even setting quick rivets would crack it if hit too hard.

Be careful with that stuff, we used to make all the body jackets at Rancho out of it in the 70’s. As I recall, if it gest too hot it smokes and gives of PVC—-a bad carcinogen.

Kydex doesn’t self – adhere so plan on draping a heat – softened piece over a form that is not overly or deeply contoured and wrapping over this with an ace wrap or similar.
Best if around 285-290 degrees for a little longer time that the “usual” 350 degrees…
It is strong and doesn’t readily fracture so does have its applications.

I’ve only seen tlso’s thermoformed with kydex circa 2005. It supposedly produces cyanide gas when heated…haven’t seen the stuff since 2005.


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