Metal has been the traditional choice of material for parts manufacturing. With the advent of engineering plastics, however, a lot has changed. More and more manufacturers can now make parts like couplings and pipe fittings from these specialised plastics instead of fabricated metal. Are there inherent benefits associated with the use of engineering plastics in the manufacturing industry? Sure there are, and they are quite significant ones in fact.
Read on to find out why the use of parts made of engineering plastics has been gaining momentum by the day.
Engineering plastics are affordable yet quite strong and durable.
In the past, not many parts were manufactured from regular plastics. The main challenge associated with the use of regular plastics in the manufacturing of parts is that it is too weak. These plastics do not have the material tolerances required to withstand harsh or demanding operating environments, and this renders them unsuitable for use in parts manufacturing.
In terms of strength and durability, metal parts are the gold standard. But they often come with a high price, of course. When manufacturers need to make less pricey parts that do not need to be as strong as metal but can't be as weak as regular plastic, engineering plastics is the go-to option. Parts made of engineering plastics can be used for most light- and medium-duty applications while limiting the use of metal parts for heavy-duty applications.
Engineering plastics offer a wider range of product designs.
While both metal and engineering plastics parts come in standard and custom designs, engineering plastics generally allow for the manufacturing of a broader selection of designs. Thanks to the unparalleled design flexibility associated with various plastic manufacturing techniques, such as injection moulding and extrusion, plastic manufactures can make parts of almost any design, something that might be quite difficult when using metal fabrication techniques. Even if it may be possible to achieve the desired designs with metal parts, the cost implications may be simply prohibitive.
Engineering plastics are much lighter in weight.
As an added advantage, parts manufactured using engineered plastics are lighter in weight compared to comparable metal parts. This makes them a perfect choice for applications that do not require the use of heavy parts.
Engineering plastics do not corrode.
The non-corrosive nature of engineering plastics makes them a clear winner for use in applications where parts may be exposed to water or harsh chemicals. Engineering plastics will not react with water or any chemicals, eliminating the potential for corrosion.