Seven Benefits of Replacing Metal Parts with Plastic Parts

For many years, conventional wisdom has dictated that metal parts are superior to plastic ones. However, recent advances in engineered resins and plastic injection molding have turned that thinking upside down.

Due to their strength, durability, and affordability, plastic parts are replacing metal parts in a wide range of industrial applications. Here are seven benefits of replacing metal parts with plastic parts.

1. Lighter weight.

Weight is a critical consideration for vehicles of all types. Lighter weight means better fuel efficiency for both ground vehicles and aircraft. Plastic injection molded parts can weigh as much as six times less than their metal counterparts, making for easier handling and greater fuel efficiency.

What’s more, less weight means reduced shipping and handling costs for parts. These reductions benefit both manufacturers and customers alike.

2. Less maintenance.

Plastic parts do not require the special coatings or painting that most metals need to prevent corrosion. High-quality plastic components are both heat- and corrosion-resistant.

3. Enhanced strength.

Metals are stronger than plastics, right? Well, no, not necessarily. Many new industrial plastics have equal or even higher tensile strength than competing metals. New polymers can withstand potent acids and extreme chemical or thermal conditions.

Also, when several metal parts are welded together, there can be points of weakness. Since plastic components can be manufactured in one piece, the part maintains optimal strength.

4. Lower costs.

Time is money in the manufacturing industry, and plastic injection molding takes less time than metal casting.Whereas it can take up to four months to complete, plastic injection molding dies can be finished in only six weeks.

The savings continue since plastic injection molds don’t need more work beyond the molding stage. Here are some examples:

  • The need for extra metal fasteners and assembly operations is eliminated with plastic parts. Customized details such as gussets, ribs, or bosses can be molded into the plastic component itself.
  • Since color is added directly to plastic melts, no extra time and labor are needed for painting.
  • Plastic molds typically last longer than metal casting molds and can be reused for more runs.
  • With plastic injection tooling, designers can create a single plastic part that does the work of several metal parts.

These advantages routinely add up to a savings of up to 50% throughout the tooling and manufacturing process.

5. Regulatory compliance.

Metals coated for corrosion resistance may be restricted in some countries. For example, exporting restrictions can ease when a manufacturer replaces a product containing lead or lead-based paint with an engineered resin.

6. Design creativity and flexibility.

Unlike metal casting, which relies on gravity to fill molds,plastic injection uses pressure. Pressure filling allows more options for complex designs.

In addition, plastics come in various colors, finishes, and textures that allow for customization, creativity, and aesthetic appeal.

7. Less waste.

Plastic parts have up to six times the life expectancy of metal alternatives. Moreover, since excess plastic can be recycled, manufacturing waste is significantly reduced with the use of plastic components.

Are you seeking a way to reduce manufacturing costs while exceeding performance? Plastic injection molded parts may be the answer.

Today’s high-quality plastics are strong, lightweight, durable, and versatile. Capable of precise component design and production, plastic parts are the wave of the future for industries ranging from aerospace to food and beverage and from home appliances to healthcare.

For more information on how plastic parts can benefit your company, please contact us at All Service Plastic Molding today.