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How Has Plastic Manufacturing Made Production Better?
We’re willing to bet that you can’t get through one day without benefitting from plastics—they’re everywhere! You’ll find plastic in your car, your office, your home, and even your pocket. However, is plastic really the optimal choice in many cases? Often it is, and plastic manufacturing has only improved over time. Decades of plastic manufacturing have taught us quite a lot about how to optimize production. In the 21st century, we rely on plastics but also have a ton of control over how we produce them. Read on to discover how plastic manufacturing has made production better.
To begin, let’s look at the plethora of plastic options available to you when you need a custom part. Below are some of the most common options you may encounter when developing the plan for your new components, and each has unique properties that serve a particular function.
If there’s one thing you know about silicone, it’s probably that silicone performs excellently in a wide variety of temperatures. Whether you throw silicone into an oven or a freezer, you can pull it out without noticing any damage. Temperature resistance is one thing, but silicone is also resistant to water, acid, chemicals, and oil. It’s tough to mess with silicone.
This allows silicone to be a great material for wide-use cases. Versatility is nothing to sneeze at, and silicone’s flexibility helps keep it durable for a long time.
Polypropylene doesn’t react to acids, so you’ll often see cleaning solutions in polypropylene containers. On top of that, polypropylene has poor electrical conductivity, which makes it an excellent insulator.
Thanks to the natural properties of polypropylene, you can liquify it at its melting point and easily shape it in a mold. Unlike some other materials, you can do this many times with polypropylene before the material begins to degrade, making it recyclable.
Polyethylene is one of the most commonly used plastics in the modern era, with two different main types: high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE). HDPE has great impact resistance and resistance to chemicals like solvents and alcohols. It’s also a food-grade material, which is why many cutting boards and food-industry-conveyors utilize HDPE.
On the other hand, LDPE is less impact-resistant, but more flexible than HDPE. LDPE is what forms many water bottles. You’ll also notice LDPE in packaging materials and other components that manufacturers thermoform (shape with heat).
Though you may not realize it, nylon is a highly durable material that originally served in the war effort back in the 1940s. Because of its lightweight and waterproof properties, nylon was an excellent material for parachutes and other military gear and helped advance the Allies’ war effort.
Today, nylon is a low-cost material that’s easy to produce and has dozens of applications. Even though it behaves like a fabric, it’s actually a plastic, so there are more uses for it than you might think!
Different Manufacturing Processes
One of the biggest changes about plastic manufacturing in recent years is the accessibility of different manufacturing processes. Some products require companies with large machines for their creation. At the same time, there are other products that individuals can produce in their own homes.
3D printing is a process that may seem complicated and inaccessible, but it’s actually surprisingly easy. Nowadays, you don’t need more than a few hundred dollars and a little time online to get great 3D-printed results in a matter of hours. Of course, personal 3D printers can’t hope to produce large items or vast quantities of items. For personal projects, though, 3D printers will get the job done with shockingly good results! Therefore, this manufacturing process works in many contexts.
While a process like 3D printing uses heat to convert plastic to another form, CNC machining is a subtractive process. Through cutting, drilling, and grinding a solid piece of plastic, this process creates a unique final shape. This is the ideal process when you’re looking for incredibly tight tolerances or have a piece that’s particularly tough to mold. This process is also possible with metal if plastic won’t hold up in a given application.
Plastic Injection Molding
Plastic injection molding is one of the oldest plastic manufacturing processes, and it’s still the best one available. With decades of experience, injection molding is as efficient as ever, and costs are likewise lower than ever. Whether you’re looking for a plastic plug manufacturer or someone to produce custom components, you should get in touch with a trusted company like Polymer Molding Inc.
One of the best parts of injection molding is the versatility of the process. You have very few limitations on the products you can create, and you can make those products with any of the materials we listed above, plus more. If you want to learn more about the plastic injection molding process and find out which materials are right for your needs, reach out to the team at Polymer Molding Inc.
Tailor the Process to Your Needs
Overall, the greatest benefit of plastic manufacturing is that it gives you the ability to customize every part of the process.
We discussed earlier that 3D printing is not the best way to go if you need to churn out a high number of parts. Instead, consider plastic injection molding if a high volume is what you’re after! Injection molding is ideal because the process can continue with low costs per part after the creation of the initial mold. This saves you money.
The form your component will take also helps you decide what process is right for you. Parts with complex geometries may be more difficult to mold. Therefore, you could consider CNC machining instead of molding.
You can decide on a material for your component based on the required resistances, stresses, and strains of your product’s end use. With dozens of plastics to choose from, you’ll have several great options for your part.
Now that you know how plastic manufacturing has made production better, you should reach out to the team at Polymer Molding Inc. if you’re interested in custom injection-molded parts. Whether you need components that resist high heat or want colorful plastic toys, we have you covered!
Committed to a Better Customer Experience
When you call Polymer Molding Inc. during normal business hours, your call will be answered by a live person, every time. It is our sincere commitment to lead the market in exceptional customer service, because you deserve to do business with a company that truly cares about you and your product needs. Our knowledgeable, friendly and helpful sales and customer service representatives will take the time to help you select the best parts for your applications at the most competitive prices in the industry. We are here to answer questions, process your orders, and prepare your shipments quickly and efficiently. Click the button below to compare our pricing and see the Polymer Molding difference.