Manufacturing Thickness Tolerance
Here is a listing of most common plastics, and the manufacturing thickness or diameter tolerances. Some of our most popular plastic sheet materials are listed, with the standard thickness tolerances of that material. For addition materials, other thickness ranges or for a special thickness tolerance, please contact us. Measuring a plastic sheet is one way of checking the thickness tolerance, the other way is to see the manufacturing tolerance for that plastic sheet.
Plastic Thickness Tolerance
This chart only covers the most popular plastic sheet materials. For other materials, other thicknesses, or for plastic round rod tolerances, please contact us.
Metal manufacturers hold extremely tight tolerances on the products they produce. This is mainly because they can easily do that, metals hold tolerances better than most raw materials. Plastics are much more difficult to produce into sheets and rods, and therefor, the consistent tolerance across a large sheet might be 15 times that of a metal material.
As an example, cast Acrylic sheet is poured between 2 sheets of glass. These sheets vary more than any other plastic, and can be +/- 20% or more. This would mean a 1.00″ thick sheet could be from .80″ – 1.20″ thick within the same sheet, and still be within the factory tolerance (materials within a factory tolerance can not be returned due to being larger or smaller than your optimal size).
We do our best to only work with quality factories, that have the latest production technology in producing the best quality plastic sheets and rods. The equipment used today is far superior to the machines of just 10 years ago. Most plastic sheet and rod items are produced to much closer tolerances. Most engineering plastics have a +.025″/-.00″ on the thickness, and rod diameter can be held to very close tolerances now.
If you have a specific plastic that you work with, and you need some very tight tolerances on the thickness or diameter, please let us know. We will work closely with the factory to produce a material that meets and perhaps exceeds your requirements.
Sheet Cut Sizes and Tolerance:
Cut parts will have a cutting tolerance of +/-.125″. What does that mean to me? Many materials are supplied by our factories as exact sheet sizes, meaning if we order a 48″ X 96″ sheet it may arrive as 48″ exactly and 96″ exactly. When we cut, we use saws, and each time a material is run through the saw, it generates saw dust – the material is removed where the blade goes through the sheet. This amount will reduce the size of the sheet, and cause parts ordered as 24″ to be as small as 23.875″. This is a basic law of physics, and we can not cut without using this saw cutting method, which reduces the size slightly.