Industrial manufacturing is an extremely demanding process and requires highly durable machinery. One way to make sure this machinery continues to function properly is by implementing industrial plastic parts. These parts are commonly used because they are durable, temperature-resistant, chemical-resistant, and less prone to corrosion than their metal counterparts. Here, we will explore how industrial plastic parts are made and what polymers are generally used.

The Machining Process for Industrial Plastic Parts

In order to machine industrial plastic parts, CNC machining is generally used. CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining uses pre-programmed computer software to guide the machines and tooling during the production process. Since the production is run by a computer system, the CNC machining processes are highly precise, allowing for the creation of intricate parts and products with little to no error and easy repeatability. Numerous CNC machining processes can be used to create industrial plastic parts.

  • CNC Milling is a process that uses a cylindrical cutter on the axis to shape flat surfaces, grooves, and other characteristics into the part. Milling is primarily used to create complex 3D shapes effectively.
  • CNC Turning rotates the work material as the tool stays stationary. As the material rotates rapidly, the stationary tool cuts into the piece, creating the desired specs. This process is generally used to create symmetrical or cylindrical parts.
  • CNC Grinding removes small amounts of material from a stationary workpiece using a high-speed abrasive wheel. It can be used to create parts with complex shapes and tight tolerances.
  • CNC Lapping is the process of fine polishing and surface finishing. The machine removes small pieces of material by rapidly polishing the part against an abrasive surface. This also corrects any irregularities on the surface of your product.
  • CNC Drilling is the first process for machining holes in your products. These holes are limited to the size of the drill bit, however, it is a good starting point for creating the necessary holes in your product.
  • CNC Broaching enlarges drilled holes and improves the finish of the hole. This process can be used to enable the use of coupling components and keyways.
  • CNC Boring uses a single-point cutting tool to enlarge a hole. The tool rotates so the hole size is not limited by the tool size like in CNC drilling.
  • CNC Tapping creates a threaded hole for screws and bolts to be used.
  • CNC Reaming is used to smooth existing holes. However, during this process, very little material must be removed.

Common Polymers Used to Create Industrial Parts

There are many polymers used to create industrial plastic parts. Each of these polymers reduces the weight of the machines and does not corrode like metal parts do, allowing the machine to run longer without the need for costly replacements and repairs.

  • Polypropylene is a transparent polymer that exhibits high fatigue resistance, impact resistance, heat resistance, and freeze resistance and is durable and rigid. These properties allow it to be used for mechanical and structural applications.
  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) exhibits high rigidity, good weldability, insulating properties, impact resistance, abrasion and strain resistance, and high dimensional stability.
  • Nylon is a strong polymer with high tensile strength, high-temperature resistance, friction resistance, and wear resistance.
  • Polycarbonate is another transparent polymer with good impact resistance, high strength, a low moisture absorption rate, and good chemical resistance.
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is a great insulation material that is resistant to weathering, chemicals, corrosion, shock, and abrasion.
  • PEEK is a polymer resistant to chemicals, hydrolysis, steam, and wear resistance that can operate at high temperatures.
  • Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW) is a self-lubricating polymer that is resistant to abrasion and impact, is tough, and affordable.

Trust Ensinger With Your Industrial Plastic Parts Manufacturing

At Ensinger, we have been manufacturing and machining high-quality industrial plastic parts for more than 80 years. Our team has extensive experience in engineering, providing you with the program management, design, and support needed to ensure your project is a success. We also have extensive fabrication and manufacturing capabilities, including injection molding and CNC machining, allowing us to take on any of your plastic projects. With a large catalog of plastics, we are able to fabricate a product that will meet and exceed all of your expectations. Contact our team today to learn more or to get started.