I Thought Plastic Was A Cheap Material…
I thought Plastic was a Cheap Material?
We do hear this question regularly. And, maybe, in years gone by Plastic was that Cheap material.
Back in the 50′s and 60′s, plastics were very inexpensive, and were very limited in types and availability.
What cause this to change?
Plastics are primarily produced from Oil and several Oil by-products. As oil pricing has skyrocketed from the 50′s, so did the low end plastic material pricing.
In addition, a new generation of high tech, mechanical and engineering grades of plastic we developed. These plastics replace metals and other substrates in manufacturing. They out live, out perform most materials at a fraction of the cost of the material it replaces.
Isn’t Cheap better?
All materials are not designed to the same standard. This is true with plastics as well. Choosing the wrong plastic for a project can be a costly mistake. All engineering perimeters should be considered: strength, impact, sunlight, water absorption, electrical resistance, temperature range, etc. We’ve all witnessed the ‘cheap’ plastic kids toy that lasts but a couple of days, the clip or cover in your car breaks off, the inexpensive outdoor furniture and so on. These are examples of under designed or choosing a material for its resin cost, not its physical properties. Thus, no, cheaper is not better. Cost should be just one of your decision criteria.
What Should You Do?
The answer is really quite easy. Ask.
Talk to one of our experienced ‘Plasticologists’ and tell them your requirements. You’re input, and a little time to answer some questions could save you enormous time and expense in your finished parts. All plastics are not created equal, and neither are all plastic suppliers. Give us a try, and take the guess-work out of choosing the right material for your job.
Some of our lower cost materials: HDPE, PVC, Styrene – less expensive, not cheap. Each with very specific strong points, and yes weak areas as well.
Cheap plastic is most likely not the best plastic.
Google+ – Hayden Hess