Metal to plastic conversion technologies have been used for decades, but many manufacturers haven’t examined all of the advantages that might be utilized to enhance goods. Automotive and aerospace businesses have been among the most active in converting metal to plastic, motivated by the opportunity to cut weight and enhance fuel economy.
Agriculture is another area that is heavily influenced by metal to plastic component conversion. Engineered plastics may now be just as strong, chemically and heat resistant as metals, making them an excellent choice for fluid handling systems and other high-temperature applications.
Benefits to use Plastic over Metal
Manufacturers of agricultural goods will profit from metal to plastic injection mold making component conversion in the following ways.
1. Flexibility in design
The creative flexibility offered by changing metal agricultural components to plastic is one of the most appealing features of the procedure. Working closely with an experienced injection molder and design engineer to understand the aspects that must be considered to preserve a complicated structural design for your component is suggested.
Injection molding allows for undercuts, threads, ports, and tight tolerances, making it more efficient to make complicated components of plastic than metal. Plastic components may also be made more robust, thanks to the design flexibility. In addition, strength may be enhanced without incurring extra costs by molding structural elements like ribs, bosses, and gussets.
Another significant benefit of the metal to plastic conversion process is the reduction of component weight. By utilizing plastic to minimize component weight, you may get more parts per pound of material, save money on shipping, and enhance the end-experience of users with the product.
In some instances, lowering component weight may also improve the gas economy and increase recycling options.
In general, agricultural product makers will save money by converting metal parts to insert mold plastic parts. Throughout the design and injection molding process, cost reduction may be achieved in a variety of ways:
- A single injection may replace many metal pieces.
- A molded component made of sturdy, designed plastic
- No fasteners or assembly required
- Colors may be introduced to the plastic polymer, obviating the need for painting or laser branding as a separate step.
- Welding, grinding, and adding dent and scratch resistance as well as noise dampening are no longer necessary.
4. Polymers with New and Improved Properties
Many product engineers and designers have been persuaded to reconsider the usage of classic materials such as metal due to ongoing developments in polymer research. For example, part makers and injection molders can now make components previously considered impossible with plastic, thanks to new and better polymers.
Engineers may also add a significant degree of structural stability to molded objects by using advanced polymers with appropriate fillers and reinforcements. Plastic components may be as sturdy as metal with the proper selection and design optimization.
Before proceeding with plastic to metal component conversion, consult with an injection molder to ensure that the transition is appropriate for your product. This procedure requires extensive research that considers the ultimate usage, cost, environmental circumstances, and manufacturability.
Analyzing the conversion advantages and the real-world environmental effect can assist you in selecting the appropriate material for your agricultural item.
5. Resistance to Corrosion
Most metals need a secondary or tertiary operation to apply a coating through a dipping or spray process to avoid corrosion over time, but plastic is intrinsically corrosion resistant. Some metal alloys are very corrosion resistant, but they may also be rather costly. Different procedures should not be required to protect plastic resin against deterioration in a hostile environment.
6. Manufacturing Costs Are Lower
By its very nature, injection molding has few adverse effects and produces very little waste material. Large runners are used in casting to circulate the molten metal that must be extracted as a subsequent step. Lubricants used in stamping and machining may need a further cleaning step before being sent to a client.
Plastic injection molding should not need much further work after the molding step, lowering labor costs and secondary process materials. This will lower the cost of the component, improve the efficiency of your operation, and result in a profit.
7. Regulatory Adherence
While corrosion resistance has been noted, there is another difficulty with secondary coatings related to controlled materials in certain countries. It’s possible that even if the metal hasn’t been treated, it will impose additional limitations.
Lead, for example, is a prohibited substance in nations with rigorous RoHS regulations. It may not be easy to export into a nation that prohibits the use of lead. However, you could replace that lead portion with an engineered resin for the same or less money and have little to no restrictions when exporting into the same area or country.
8. Tooling Costs are Reduced
The cost of tooling is usually a topic of debate, and comparing a casting or set of forming dies to an injection mold is an excellent example. Metal casting may take anything from 12 to 16 weeks to finish. Die sets for plastic injection molding may be made in as little as 6 weeks or in half the time.
If you think that time is a direct connection of money, using an injection mold might save you money simply because you can produce components faster than waiting for a casting die to be completed and trialed.
In addition, plastic injection molds may last up to six times as long as a casting mold before needing to be changed, in addition to the original tool time and expense. This may result in significant cost savings during the product’s lifetime.
Intricate designs are challenging to achieve in metal without using complex molds that take a long time to make. Gravity is often used in casting to transfer molten metal into all sections of a casting mold. However, relying only on gravity may limit the metal’s ability to flow and fill every space when it comes to tight corners.
Regardless of the corner circumstances, plastic injection molding may apply pressure to fill the mold. Slides may be used with plastic molds to generate embosses for additional component attachment. In most cases, they would be impossible to achieve in a casting mold. Aside from that, you may create a design that uses less plastic and costs less to package and transport.
Vivek is a published author of Meidilight and a cofounder of Zestful Outreach Agency. He is passionate about helping webmaster to rank their keywords through good-quality website backlinks. In his spare time, he loves to swim and cycle. You can find him on Twitter and Linkedin.