Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
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Official Q&A: VRC 2023-2024: Over Under

Usage Guidelines All Questions

R18 is PVC a legal type of plastic?


Charles Jeffries (Event Partner)
25-Jan-2024

<R18> states:

A limited amount of custom plastic is allowed. Robots may use custom-made parts cut from certain types of non-shattering plastic. It must be possible to have cut all of the plastic parts on the Robot from a single 12” x 24” sheet, up to 0.070” thick.

d. Legal plastic types include polycarbonate (Lexan), acetal monopolymer (Delrin), acetal copolymer (Acetron GP), POM (acetal), ABS, PEEK, PET, HDPE, LDPE, Nylon (all grades), Polypropylene, and FEP.

e. Shattering plastic, such as PMMA (also called Plexiglass, Acrylic, or Perspex), is prohibited.

Is PVC (in its sheet form of course) considered a legal non-shattering plastic? In certain extreme scenarios it can certainly shatter, however at the same time it has been deemed safe for use as structural components in the field elements themselves, which from my understanding are made from PVC pipes. Therefore can the GDC please clarify whether for the purposes of R18 whether PVC sheet is considered a legal plastic type?

Answered by committee
14-Feb-2024

PVC is not included in the list of permitted plastic types in <R18>, and is therefore not legal for Robot construction.