Each engineering plastic, such as acetal and nylon, has its own pros and cons. One must therefore account for those strengths and weaknesses when using a given product for an industrial application. However, engineering plastics can be manipulated in order to lower the impact of their inherent weaknesses. This article discusses some of the benefits of using engineering plastics that have been modified by the addition of reinforcing fillers, such as carbon fibres.
Better Dimensional Stability
Engineering plastics usually retain their dimensional stability up to a certain limit. One must ensure that this limit isn't exceeded during the use of that engineering plastic. However, some unpredictable situations, such as shock loading during a power outage, can cause the material to be exposed to forces that are greater than it was designed to handle. The product can therefore end up warping, shrinking or creeping irreversibly. Reinforcing fillers help to increase the dimensional stability of the plastic so that it can survive exposure to the conditions that exceed the capabilities of its counterparts that don't have those fillers.
Improved Thermal and Electrical Conductivity
Plastics are known for their poor electrical and thermal conductivity. However, their strengths, such as their lightweight construction, often make it necessary to use them in applications where thermal and electrical conductivity is desirable. For instance, their use as bearing boxes in machinery may require them to have some thermal conductivity so that excess heat is channeled away from moving parts. Reinforcing fillers help to increase the thermal and electrical conductivity needed in different applications.
Increased Temperature Range
Many engineering plastics, such as thermoplastics, easily melt once they are subjected to heat. This susceptibility to heat is due to the lack of chemical links between the molecules of those plastics. Such inherent weaknesses can limit the applications where those plastics can be utilised. However, the introduction of reinforcing fillers, such as boron or glass fibres, can increase the temperature range within which those engineering plastics can be used without any fear that they will melt due to the intense heat to which they are exposed.
As you can see, it is often better to select an engineering plastic that has had reinforcing fillers added to it instead of opting for the version that lacks those fillers. The added cost of getting the material that has fillers will be more than justified by the superior performance that those products will exhibit. However, you need to talk to an expert, like the ones at E-Plas, so that the right reinforcing fillers are used for your specific application.Share