Plastic Machining: Selecting The Right Material-Water Absorbtion

Not all plastic materials are suitable for every application. Properties such as temperature, impact strength, and wear resistance must be evaluated, in order to select the perfect material for a the specific plastic machined part’s application.

When selecting the proper material for any specific plastic application, the choice should be made given with an emphasis on the most crucial properties for the part’s specific use. Impact strength is often a critical property that must be considered.

Water absorption refers to a material’s ability to soak water and moisture, measured at a rate of percentage per 24 hours. This particular specification is crucial to analyze when a custom plastic machined part will be utilized in a high humidity application. The higher a plastic materials water absorption rate, the greater a parts dimensions will increase.  Such an increase in size will also change tolerances if a material with a high absorption rate is selected for humid applications.

If your plastic machining needs require a low water absorption rate or a rate of zero, the following materials should be considered as possible solutions:

  • Rulon
  • Teflon
  • UHMW
  • Polypropylene

Materials are compared to one another among a wide range of design considerations, leading to a very efficient selection process.

Plastic materials vary vastly and selecting the right one for your application is crucial for a plastic machined parts’ success.

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