Machined Plastic Parts or Metal Parts?

Conveyor Wea Bend

Partwell Group engineers have noticed a growing trend in the number of clients seeking to replace traditional metal components with plastic versions; most especially on wearing machine components. Let’s explore some of the reasons why.

  1. Food Approval

Firstly, many grades of plastic such as high molecular weight polyethylene PE500 grade, acetal,  polypropylene (PP), PETP are fully FDA approved. Therefore such materials are very often engineered into components that will come into direct contact with food such as food processing machines, food and beverage conveyor systems etc

  1. No Unsightly Rust

Quite an obvious point, but plastic will not rust. If a client has a damp environment metal parts are more likely to rust.  Plastics such as PETP specifically offer low moisture absorption properties therefore will not be affected by a damp environment. Some grades of plastic will absorb moisture, but technical sales engineers at Partwell will always recommend the most appropriate material for your application.

  1. Wear Resistant Properties

Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene and nylon in particular offer excellent wear resistance, therefore often used to machine into bespoke plastic parts such as bearings, gears, pulleys, rollers, food processing and beverage conveyor change parts.

  1. Noise and Vibration Dampening

All grades of plastic are naturally quieter on impact and vibration dampening compared to metals.

  1. Chemical Resistance

Machined plastic components, plastic sheet and plastic rods are often used in chemical applications such as lining storage tanks as they resist distortion when in direct contact with chemicals. Both polypropylene and PVC perform very well when exposed to chemicals.

Contact Us for Bespoke CNC Machined Plastic Parts

Partwell can supply CNC machined bespoke plastic parts from a drawing, or we can reverse engineer from existing components.  For a quotation contact the engineering department directly on 01254 295707 or email your CAD drawing to cnc@­partwell.­com


18th February 2014, 9:45