When Ordering Parts – Plastic Machining Is The Way To Go

What is the difference between plastic injection molding and plastic machining? In some industries, precision is important but it is part of the overall equation: price, lead time, efficacy, and efficiency. This is true when manufacturers are making parts for toys and even electronic devices in massive quantities where volume is a large part of the equation. In some industries, however, it is crucial that components be as precise as possible. Fluid handling, military, medical, and aerospace applications need the most accurate tools possible, and for this, they turn to precision machining.

Why Plastic?

Why not use metal when precision is needed? Precision plastic machining is an art and is often times much more difficult to hold the tolerances that metals may achieve. With a company that specializes in precision plastic machining like Tamshell, companies can offer the precision typically found with a metal part but with the versatility of plastics. This ability allows engineers and designers to use lighter materials, materials that are self lubricating or offer better chemical or wear resistance then their metal counterparts.

Plastic is typically less expensive than metal during manufacturing, as well as in long term use. You can see this very clearly in the aerospace industry. Manufacturing plastic bearings, for instance, is much less expensive and time consuming than using metal. A polymer bearing can offer self lubrication and maintenence free operation. It is also much lighter, which results in greater fuel efficiency. You can see this in the fluid handling industry as well. Plastic fittings and manifolds are less expensive and offer chemical resistance that metal fittings and manifolds cannot offer. When in place, it is resistant to corrosion, scale buildup, and sweating.

Machining or Molding

Machining is preferred over molding when you need precision. It is useful to have a mold when you are mass producing products like toys or computer shells. This way, you can easily and quickly produce the quantities you need within budget. However, when you have a more specialized piece, such as surgical instruments, machining offers the control you need and the tight tolerances it affords.

What Other Benefits Does Plastic Have?

Plastic is ideal for other reasons as well. In the medical field, for instance, plastic can withstand repeated sterilization without damaging the structural integrity. Besides being resistant to corrosion, plastics are also resistant to chemicals. This makes it an ideal choice for any industry, particularly fluid handling. Plastic is often used by underwater seismologists because of its strength, durability, corrosion-resistance, insulating qualities, and ability to withstand elements like salt and water. It would be impossible to expect metal to perform like this under such harsh conditions..

The Advantages

The advantages do not end with the flexibility, versatility of applications, and cost benefits. It is highly valued for military and telecommunications applications because it is stable and acoustically efficient. It does not interfere with electrical or mechanical signals, which would distort vital communication.

The Applications

The applications for plastics are endless, and machining offers a complexity and integrity that is impossible to achieve with other mediums. Machined plastics are flying in the sky, traveling below the sea, working in your doctor’s office, and drilling the oil that we need: when precision matters, there is no substitute for plastics.

Join the movement and switch to plastic.  Contact our consultants at Tamshell today!