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Posted by markg on April 30, 2003 at 10:44:22:
In Reply to: Expanded PVC, styrene, acrylic, whats the best?............. posted by chris_harper2 on April 29, 2003 at 22:34:48:
Boaphile cages uses surface-to-surface bonds for the front. The top, back and bottom are one piece bent. The sides are surface-to-edge however, and I can tell you after having a Boaphile cage get damaged in shipping (this was 2 years ago when he hadn't perfected the shipping method yet) that the surface-to-edge were as strong or stronger than the material itself. He uses a thick goopy bonding agent that looks like a metal weld (but is plastic of course.) So it is possible to get strong bonds on edges. I don't know what he uses to do it, but I'm sure any plastics outlet can offer info.
Precision Caging and www.herpcages.com use polystyrene (high density) and chemical welds. These edge-to-surface bonds are incredibly strong. I have dropped one of these cages on a cement floor with no breakage to a bonded joint.
I'm not a good cage builder, but I know alot from experience how these different materials perform. My opinion is this: For lizards with claws, use styrene. For snakes, use either. Both plastics hold heat well and conduct heat well. PVC has the colors if you want to pay more (colors cost almost twice as much per sheet). My opinion of acrylic: OK for windows and doors, but don't put a heat pad on it. Acrylic enclosures are fine in a heated room where all edges of the cage are at or near the same temperature.
One other material that doesn't get used enough IMO: ABS. This can be blown into a cage like Neodesha did when they made their great cages. There is one rack maker out there that uses ABS for the shelves and back, with acrylic side for viewing. The solvent used with ABS makes strong joints.