I found a Thule Motion XT cargo box that has a large dent and crack in it. I learned from a documentary manufacturing video on how Thule cargo boxes are made that they are essentially
utility grade all-purpose acrylic. The acrylic pieces are heated in a massive rotary oven the...where the material is heated to roughly 340 degrees. After being heated in the oven the acrylic has gone from sturdy to pliable perfect for vacuum molding
I'm wondering if a standard heat gun could focus enough hot air into a corner of the cargo box to make it pliable enough to push out a dent with. It looks like 340 degrees is the target spec. Might be tough to achieve that with outdoor temperatures and a breeze I'd imagine. Anyone know what's possible with a heat gun for making plastic pliable again, specifically acrylic?
Worth sharing the following details on acrylic for others who may come across this
What are the Characteristics of Acrylic (PMMA)?
Now that we know what it is used for, let’s examine some of the key properties of Acrylic. PMMA is classified as a “thermoplastic” (as opposed to “thermoset”), and the name has to do with the way the plastic responds to heat. Thermoplastic materials become liquid at their melting point (160 degrees Celsius in the case of Acrylic). A major useful attribute about thermoplastics is that they can be heated to their melting point, cooled, and reheated again without significant degradation. https://www.creativemechanisms.com/blog/injection-mold-3d-print-cnc-acrylic-plastic-pmma