Plastics are the most common materials for end-use parts and products, from consumer products to medical devices. Plastics are a versatile material with thousands of polymer choices, each with its own special mechanical properties.
Plastic manufacturing processes have been developed to cover a wide range of applications and part geometries. For any designer and engineer involved in product Pet Preform development, it is critical to be familiar with the manufacturing options available today and foreseeing new developments in the way parts are manufactured in the future.
When choosing a manufacturing process for your product, consider the following factors:
Form: Does your part have complex internal features or strict tolerance requirements? Depending on the geometry of the design, manufacturing options may be limited, or they may require extensive manufacturing design (DMM) optimization to make their production more economical.
Volume/Cost: What is the total or annual volume of the parts you plan to manufacture? Some manufacturing processes have high upfront costs in terms of processing and installation, but the parts produced are very cheap. In contrast, low-capacity processes have lower startup costs, but due to slower cycle times, lower automation, and manual labor, the cost per component remains the same or only slightly decreases as capacity increases.
Lead time: How long do you need to produce parts? Some processes produce the first parts in 24 hours, and some high-volume production processes take months to process and install.
Material: What pressure and pressure does your product need to withstand? The best material for a given application is determined by many factors. Cost must be balanced with functional and aesthetic requirements. Consider the ideal characteristics of your particular application and compare it to the choices available in a given manufacturing process.
Plastics have thousands of different base chemicals, derivatives and additives that are formulated to cover a wide range of functional and aesthetic properties. To simplify the process of finding the material that best fits a given part or product, let’s look at two broad categories of plastics: thermoplastics and thermosets.
Thermoplastics are the most common type of plastic. The main feature that makes them different from thermoset plastics is that they can undergo multiple cycles of melting and curing without significant degradation. Thermoplastics are typically provided in the form of small particles or flakes that are heated and formed into the desired shape by various manufacturing processes. This process is completely reversible because no chemical bonding occurs, which makes it possible to recover, melt and reuse thermoplastics.
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