Why should I use Plastics?
Why should plastics be considered as either replacement materials or in a new, ground-up design?
Plastics, as a general family of products, share several demonstrable advantages over traditional materials 9metals, wood, glass etc):
Weight Savings: For example, nylon is 1/16th the weight of steel, acrylic is ½ the weight of glass and PVC is 1/16th the weight of copper. The lower weight per cubic metre of plastics can result in power savings (lower energy needs), labour savings (less personnel require to install a product) and other potential benefits.
Corrosion resistance: Most plastics withstand the effects of common chemicals, water and a wide variety of solvents, acids and other corrosive liquids.
Impact Resistance: Plastics can take a punch. Their inherent ability to resist breakage from impact makes them a wise choice in tough applications in both commercial and industrial settings.
Low Friction / Self-Lubricating: There can be considerable cost savings when the need to lubricate is reduced or even eliminated. Plastics can also include additives that improve their inherent good to excellent wear properties. This is especially true in the class of engineering plastics.
Abrasion Resistance: Closely linked to low friction characteristics, products that wear longer reduce maintenance needs, promote longer run times and can result in improved productivity.
Optical Clarity: Other than glass, plastics are the only materials that are transparent. They can combine light transmittance, light weight, strength and impact resistance to achieve truly unique products.
Ease of Machining / Fabrication: Plastics are typically easier to machine than most metals, cause less wear on machine tools, are easier to handle during the machining process, reduce finishing costs, are easily decorated and can exhibit integral colour.
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Environmentally Friendly: Contrary to some misguided opinions, plastics are ‘green”. Plastics require far less energy to produce than metals and glass and many types are recyclable. Their light weight helps fuel efficiency on cars truck and aeroplanes. Plastics are good insulators, saving heating and cooling costs, resulting in more comfortable living spaces. In addition, bio-degradable plastics are becoming more readily available.