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Durable and Long-Lasting: 5 Distinct Advantages of Industrial Polymers

by Olufisayo
Industrial Polymers

If you didn’t know it already, industrial polymers especially film forming polymers, are extremely versatile and have a wide range of uses and applications from mold making, to primers, sealants, and adhesives.

You can search out more details on the different types of polymers available and their respective qualities, also, there is an overview here of what distinct advantages you can gain when you use this almost indispensable commercial product to help your business keep the production line rolling.

A cost-effective solution

You could be forgiven for instinctively choosing a metallic material when you are searching out a custom-machined component to use for a specific project you have in mind, but you could discover that opting for a plastic material instead could be the solution you are looking for and a more cost-effective alternative.

The reason why machined polymer and composite components are likely to be more cost-effective in comparison to their metal-based counterparts is down to a number of relevant reasons.

Firstly, machined plastic parts are going to weigh a lot less than the metallic equivalent and that means transportation costs and maneuverability is improved.

On top of that, polymers have the edge over metals by virtue of the fact that you can use lower power motors for any moving parts as polymer offers lower frictional properties, reducing wear and tear compared to metal components.

These low wear rates should help to ensure that you have less machine downtime and your repair and maintenance costs are reduced.

Therefore, in a direct cost comparison, your decision to opt for a polymer alternative to metal could offer some significant financial benefits in the long term.

Greater resistance to chemicals

Another important characteristic that gives plastics the edge of metallic materials is that this type of product is often more resistant to chemicals than its metal counterpart.

It is hard to escape the obvious weakness of metals when it comes to their vulnerability to attack from a number of very common chemicals.

That is bad news if you are using metal components and if you add the threat of corrosion due to the effects of moisture you can see that this is a potential problem in a number of industrial settings and applications.

You can apply secondary finishes and coatings to metals to prevent this from happening but that is going to add to your material costs.

As an alternative, polymer and composite materials are renowned for their impervious qualities when coming into contact with even the harshest types of chemicals.

Insulating properties are another prime consideration

It can often be the case that metallic components need to be subjected to a secondary coating process if you want to ensure that it has some insulating properties.

Having to go through a secondary process with metallic components adds to the cost and the alternative to this scenario is to go with polymer materials that already have those insulating properties without any need for additional treatments.

Plastic and composite components enjoy natural corrosion-resistant properties and won’t require sheathing when they are in a situation, unlike their metal counterparts in certain circumstances.

Another key point to note with regard to secondary finishes and the added expense of this is that plastic materials can be compounded with colour before machining, removing the need for a secondary process like a painting.

Molds are easy to produce

Polyurethane opens up a world of engineering possibilities and one of those is the ability to create very durable casting compounds that also have very good mechanical properties.

You can easily create a flexible mold or durable rubber part casting within a matter of minutes.

Rubber molds have been found to be a cost-effective method for manufacturing a diverse range of concrete and plaster items and typical industrial applications include the production of wheels, bumpers, and seals for the automotive industry.

There are different products within the polymer family, as it were, and that means you can often find the right composition or properties in one of these to suit your chosen task or application.

What you get when working with polyurethanes is access to a range of highly versatile engineered properties and that gives you the ability to create durable casting compounds that are also able to boast some enviable mechanical properties too.

All you have to do is create a list of attributes and properties that you are looking for in order to create your chosen product and you should be able to find a polyurethane compound that matches these desired qualities.

For example, you might decide that you need a compound that is wear resistant, offers excellent tear and tensile strength, and also offers a degree of flexibility too.

These are just some of the attributes you can find when working with the right polyurethane compound.

When there is no alternative

It can also be the case that polymers come to the rescue and allow you to be able to make an item that would not be possible with any other known material.

Polymers can be made into clear and waterproof forms and PVC is the default option, for example, when creating medical tubing and blood bags, as they also manage to extend the lifespan of the blood and related products at the same time.

The medical industry is already heavily reliant on polymers and there is a diverse range of medical devices and products that have need polymers to be able to deliver functionality.

One example of this would be the anti-thrombogenic material known as heparin, which is delivered via flexible PVC catheters that are used extensively in open-heart surgery procedures and general blood collection duties.

As you can see, industrial polymers offer a number of clear and distinct advantages in comparison to alternative materials, and it is even more highly prized when there is no viable alternative at all.

From mold making to compounds and many other uses besides, polymers provide many different solutions and many industries would probably struggle without access to this material.

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