Harnessing the Power of Plastic
One of the perks of working with raw plastics is the ability to fabricate the plastic material into a wide range of sizes and shapes. This plastic fabrication involves custom extrusion, routing, and machining of plastic materials to create the exact shape a manufacturer or other customer needs. At Piedmont Plastics, we provide or assist with sourcing customized plastic fabrication solutions to help customers create the parts they need for their end product.
Enhancing Functionality and Aesthetics Through Custom Plastic Fabrication
Custom plastic fabrication can create the exact product a manufacturer needs in the necessary shape and following the specifications for the project. Manufacturers can develop products with high tolerances for impact and chemical exposure with customized fabrication. This manufacturing process is eco-friendly, and most custom fabrication has little risk to workers for injury or exposure to toxic chemicals. The result is a plastic part or product that is durable, attractive, and long-lasting.
To understand how product functionality can be enhanced, you must first understand the possible types of custom plastic fabrication. These include the following:
Plastic lamination covers the material with a barrier along its surface to improve its durability or overall look. If the main material is prone to damage, plastic lamination can protect it. Film and resin are two common lamination materials.
Plastic welding involves melting different pieces of plastic to adhere to one another. Many thermoplastics cannot be combined using adhesive, so welding is a good choice to fuse the materials.
Compounding combines two or more plastic materials by melting them together, then using a mold die or other shaping tool to create the finished product. The result is a plastic compound combining the advantages of both plastics to create a stronger or more attractive material.
Molding refers to heating plastic until it becomes pliable, then putting it around or into a mold. Once molded, the plastic is allowed to harden into a new shape. Blow and injection molding are two subsets of this type of fabrication.
Manufacturers often choose plastic extrusion when creating tubes, pipes, or sheets. This uses melted plastic that is pushed through a screw mechanism where it is shaped into the desired form. It hardens as it extrudes out of the sleeve or pipe, creating the desired part or product.
Foaming involves physical or chemical blowing to create a foam. Foam can then be formed into many different shapes. Additives, like pigment or fire-retardant chemicals, can be added to the plastic in its foam form to add benefits to the original base material. Once in its shape, the foam hardens to create the new product.
Materials Commonly Used in Plastic Fabrication
There are hundreds of different plastics on the market today, ad the best one to use in plastic fabrication will depend on many factors. Piedmont Plastics will help you make the right choice for the project you have. However, some products are commonly used in custom plastic fabrication, especially if you will be doing any injection molding. These include:
- Acrylic (PMMA)
- Nylon (PA)
- Polycarbonate (PC)
- Polypropylene (PP)
- Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)
- Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
How Plastic Fabrication Can Save Time and Money in Production
Plastic fabrication can help companies save time and money when producing new materials instead of metal. Plastic, particularly the thermoplastics and compounds now available, can be just as durable, and sometimes more durable, than metal. Moving parts have less of a risk of corrosion and wear, and plastic cannot rust. Thus, plastic will last longer in most instances than metal.
In addition, plastic is less expensive to produce. Customizing is also easier, so less time is spent on producing products. Plastic injection molding takes far less time than forming metal into the same shapes, so companies can get from start to finish more quickly.
Plastic is also lighter than metal, so any final products that must be shipped to their buyers are more affordable. This adds to the cost savings of making the switch to plastic significantly.
Are you interested in these benefits for your manufacturing needs? The team at Piedmont Plastics will not only help you choose the best plastic, but we can also assist with custom fabrication. Reach out to our plastic experts today to learn more about how to lower costs and create time-to-end products with custom-fabricated plastics.