I thought Plastic was a Cheap Material?

We do hear this question regularly. And, maybe, in years gone by Plastic was that Cheap material.

Back in the 50’s and 60’s, plastics were very inexpensive, and were very limited in types and availability. Generally, the materials that we available were the ‘cheapest’ plastics that are still available today.

What cause this to change?

Plastics are primarily produced from Oil and Oil by products. As oil pricing has skyrocketed from the 50’s, so did the low end plastic material pricing.

In addition, a new generation of Performance Plastics have been developed. These high tech, mechanical and engineering grades of plastic materials were developed. These plastics replace metals and other substrates in manufacturing. They out live, out perform most materials at a fraction of the cost of the material it replaces. Many of the these high performance materials have improved physical properties, like: significantly lighter, have excellent wear properties, are self lubricating, and can withstand chemicals and UV.

But, all materials are not designed to the same standard. This is true with plastics as well. Choosing the wrong plastic for a project can be a costly mistake. All engineering perimeters should be considered: strength, impact, sunlight, water absorption, electrical resistance, temperature range, etc. We’ve all witnessed the ‘cheap’ plastic kids toy that lasts but a couple of days, the clip or cover in your car breaks off, the inexpensive outdoor furniture and so on. These are examples of under designed or of choosing a material for its resin cost, not its physical properties.

What Should You Do?

The answer is really quite easy….Ask.

Talk to one of our experienced ‘Plasticologists’ and tell them your requirements. You’re input, and a little time to answer some questions could save you enormous time and expense in your finished parts. All plastics are not created equal, and neither are all plastic suppliers. Give us a try, and take the guess-work out of choosing the right material for your job.