With the appearance of engineering grade resin materials, the conversion from metal to plastic was introduced in the 1950s. However, until today a lot of manufacturers are still not familiar with the benefits of the technique.
Now, in the ever changing landscape, many different sophisticated and cost effective plastic materials are being researched and developed, while many industries have come to realize the benefits of replacing metal with plastic when producing parts. As a matter of fact, for most companies which have replaced metal with plastic, they can expect cost savings of up to 25 – 50%.
The plastic molded parts are able to offer a great number of benefits to businesses in any industry, thanks to the plastic material that is as strong and reliable as the metal, while able to be engineered to the same level of tight tolerances.
The Advantages of Plastic over the Metal
Now, as more and more industries have come to realize the benefits to replace metal with plastic, part manufacturers quickly opt for high volume plastic injection molding as their process of choice.
Plastic parts have multiple common advantages over the metal, such as:
- Able to offer a higher tensile strength than a diversity of metal materials
- Lighter part weight
- Lower manufacturing cost
- Extremely flexible design
- Less material waste
- More efficient production
- Easier to meet various regulatory requirements
- Reduced packaging and shipping costs
- A service life as longer as six times
- Higher resistance to corrosion
- Repeatable and predictable manufacturing
In addition to reduced part weight, as well as improved overall part strength and resistance to corrosion, replacing metal with plastic also allows us to consolidate several different metal parts into a single plastic one. Moreover, apart from providing the equal strength and offering the same level of tight tolerances as the metal, fewer secondary operations are required of a plastic part, thus able to save both time and costs.
Actually, it is possible to build a plastic part that possesses higher quality physical and chemical properties than the metal, with the help of specialized design methods.
Applying Plastic Parts for Cost Reduction
As mentioned above, replacing metal with plastic is able to cut costs by up to 25 – 50%, thanks to the following several factors: one single plastic part is able to replace several different metal parts, so subsequent fastener and assembly can therefore be eliminated; it is able to add colors to the plastic melts during production, so the painting or laser marking processes can thus be eliminated.
In addition to cost reduction, the application of the plastic material can also dramatically enhance parts quality. The advantages of plastic part can be optimized in several ways that include:
- The plastic materials are able to be reused
- Product service life is extended
- Design options are more diversified
- Secondary processes which are time consuming and costly can be eliminated
- Product structural strength is improved
- The product is lighter and easier to use