While metal fabrication can be very useful, plastic is supplanting metal in areas where the ultimate precision is needed. Compared to even plastic injection molding, machining allows intricacy, accuracy, and custom design more easily and cost effectively. An industry in which precision design plastics are especially useful is fluid handling.
What applications are most common for machined plastic components? There are actually quite a few; the most common are:
- Constant flow regulators
- Evaporative cooling towers, coolers, and condensers
- Filtration and water quality products
- Fluid coolers
- Heat exchangers
- High pressure wash systems
- Pumps, including sewage, boiler feed, inline, and pressure booster
- Tanks and pressure vessels
Plastic has a number of advantages over metal, the most important of which is corrosion-resistance. This is obviously a major concern when the components will be handling fluids. Metal is prone to rust and corrode internally due to contact with fluid, as well as externally with exposure to air, salt, elements, UV rays, or low pH ground levels. This is true even of more expensive, high quality metals like Titanium. Plastics, on the other hand, can be used in highly corrosive, acidic environments safely and efficiently.
Here are some other benefits you can find with plastic parts and components:
- Plastics are lighter and cost less to manufacturer and install.
- Plastics have better insulating properties. This increases energy efficiency, and it also greatly reduces sweating. This, in turn, reduces the risk of burning when hot fluids are transported. You will also save money because you do not have to add after-market insulation.
- Plastics, depending on the materials, can be very heat and chemical resistant, making them ideal for any number of fluid handling applications.
- Plastics are self-lubricating, non-contaminating, and can be transparent.
Plastics is the material of choice for industries where precision is key, including the aerospace, petrochemical, semiconductor, defense systems, and medical sectors. Using the most sophisticated materials and custom building to your specifications is key in creating quality products. This is easier and less expensive with plastics than with metal, allowing greater engineering freedom, energy efficiency, reduced material and labor costs, and overall flexibility.
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