Engineering plastics have a couple of advantages over the metallic materials in production for a number of reasons. First off, these engineering plastics have great mechanical and thermal properties. They are lightweight with good wear properties. They are also corrosion resistant and chemical resistant with electrical and thermal insulation. Apart from being easier to process, engineering plastics are also cost-saving compared to the metal counterparts.
You can find engineering plastics in semi-finished plastic materials such as plates, rods, tubes and sheets. The type of plastic you choose depends on the needs of the applications. Some of the best thermoplastics to work with include:
ABS or Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is a thermoplastic that provides excellent machining. It has high impact strength, versatility and also a variety of colors and textures. ABS is easy to process since it can be electroplated and can be bonded easily. It is often used in making prototypes since it can be sawed, glued or heat formed.
Acetal & Delrin
Acetal & Delrin is the trade name for engineering plastic material known as Polyoxymethylene or POM. It is your go-to plastic if you want all the best properties of thermoplastics without the full strength of a metal part. POM is one of the strongest and stiffest of the thermoplastics available in the market today. In fact, POM was first formulated to compete with metal materials such as Aluminum and Zinc castings.
Nylon and Nylatron
Nylon and Nylatron are among the most widely known engineering plastics for their excellent properties. Nylon and Nylatron have great bearing properties and are also chemical resistant. These materials are also available in various grade including glass-filled options. The materials low moisture absorption gives it good dimension stability and great electrical properties making it a highly sought after thermoplastic.
Polycarbonates are a group of transparent thermoplastics with high stiffness and impact resistance to temperatures as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit. Polycarbonates are used in such a wide variety of applications due to these properties.
Thermoplastic polyurethanes have many properties that enable this group of thermoplastics to replace materials like rubber, plastic or metal. The elasticity, transparency and high abrasion resistance qualities of these materials make them quite versatile in application. These materials are elastic because the thermoplastic elastomers have linear segmented block copolymers with hard and soft segments. Polyurethanes can be extruded or injection molded on conventional thermoplastics as well.