Best Plastic for Motorcycle Parts
Manufacturers are increasingly turning to durable plastic materials for motorcycle parts to make motorcycles more lightweight, fuel-efficient, and visually attractive. In addition, as plastic technology continues to improve the strength and durability of these materials, the automotive industry is increasingly turning to plastics to replace metal as a raw material for vehicle parts.
Plastics also reduce the weight of motorcycles, allowing for faster speeds and improving the fuel efficiency of these vehicles. Yet within the plastics industry, there are many different materials to consider, each with unique benefits. Here is a closer look at the best plastic for motorcycle parts and how plastics are improving the automotive industry.
How Plastics Contribute to the Automotive Industry’s Development
Plastics have had a fundamental role in the development of the automotive industry. Today, approximately one-third of all parts in a vehicle is plastic. They assist manufacturers in three distinct ways.
Reducing Vehicle Weight
The lighter a motorcycle or other vehicle is, the less fuel it takes to run and the faster it can travel. Creating lightweight materials without sacrificing the durability of those materials is a key goal of the automotive manufacturer, and plastics allow this.
Plastics require less energy to produce than metal. They also allow for more fuel-efficient vehicles. These two factors help manufacturers reduce emissions by as much as 10%.
Modern plastic polymers are more durable and weather resistant than their metal counterparts. They have more flexibility and thus can resist impact damage more readily than metal. They also resist rust and other weather damage. This combination of durability and weather resistance makes plastic an ideal raw material for motorcycles and other automotive parts.
What Are the Types of Raw Material Used in Motorcycle Manufacturing
In the motorcycle manufacturing industry, multiple raw materials go into creating the components of each vehicle. These include:
- Polypropylene – Propylene, or PP, can easily be molded and machined. In addition, this plastic has high corrosion and heat resistance and a low density, creating lightweight vehicle parts.
- Polyvinyl Chloride – Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, makes up many vehicle components because of its excellent chemical, corrosion, and impact resistance. It creates both rigid and flexible parts for motorcycles.
- Polycarbonate – Polycarbonate, or PC, is a rugged and transparent material ideal for windscreens and windshields on motorcycles. It also provides strength and electrical insulation, often used for headlight lenses.
- Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene – ABS is a cost-effective, impact-resistant plastic with a high heat tolerance. Manufacturers use it for fairings and dashboards on motorcycles.
- High-Density Polyethylene – High-density polyethylene, or HDPE, is a lightweight material that is easy to manufacture. Manufacturers may use it for seats and trims on motorcycles.
Each of these materials has benefits in motorcycle manufacturing, and the type of part a manufacturer makes will impact the best choice.
What Type of Material is Used in Motorcycle Fairings?
The outer shell of a motorcycle, also known as the fairing, is commonly made from plastic. This motorcycle part protects the engine from debris while also improving the vehicle’s aerodynamics by reducing air drag and deflecting wind. The smooth surface made from plastic is ideal for motorcycle fairings.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, or ABS, is a common plastic used for this motorcycle part, especially on sports bikes. This thermoplastic polymer is strong and flexible, making it less likely to scratch or break and providing incredible strength to protect the delicate engine components underneath. ABS adds the rigidity and strength of styrene and acrylonitrile with the flexibility of butadiene rubber to create a versatile and lightweight polymer material. It resists heat well, too, and can come in a wide range of colors to match any look for a motorcycle.
Versatile Plastics for Motorcycle Parts from Piedmont Plastics
The material specialists at Piedmont Plastics are ready to help you find the best materials for your motorcycle part manufacturing needs. Whether you need PC, ABS, PVC, or a different polymer, we can assist you in discovering the right fit for your application. So, reach out to one of our experts today.