Original Author: Rachael Everly
Plastic and plastic components are widely used by heavy equipment manufacturers for the large number of benefits they offer. In addition to their high-impact resistance and high wear, quality plastic also possesses better strength properties.
Plastic also provides thorough resistance to rust and corrosion, which makes them better when it comes to performance. When compared with metals or alloys, plastic also proves to be a better material for fabricating into motor parts that require frictionless movements – such as hydraulic sleeves and shafts.
Heavy equipment manufacturers only use heavy duty plastics. These are used for bins, trailer and truck linings, hoppers, dump trailers and the like.
It’s quite impressive how plastic components can easily handle the toughest materials including coal, salt, sludge, and asphalt without cracking, breaking, or corroding. Since the material is also immune to high temperatures, it allows heavy equipment to perform with efficiency even in jobs that involve extreme temperatures such as heated asphalt. It also keeps the equipment thoroughly protected in extreme weather.
Using plastic equipment and liners not only boosts the efficiency of the operation but also reduces equipment’s clean-up and downtime. As far as using the material is concerned, plastic components are used for fabricating products ranging from wear pads, gears, bushings, and bearings to v-bottom, truck bed liners, and dump truck trailers. Driver caps and cable sheaves are also designed using plastic as they are more reliable to perform in harsh environments.
Plastic Components vs. Metal Components - Which Option is More Feasible for Heavy Equipment Manufacturing?
To design heavy machinery in equipment, the material used goes through the fabrication process. It is evolved into a shape to make an end product. As far as designing heavy equipment is concerned, it is important to understand each option – plastic, and metal. Remember that the pros associated with plastic are the cons for metal.
Plastic Fabrication Benefits
As far as the results are concerned, it majorly depends on the type and sturdiness of the plastic used. However, regardless of these facts, the benefits of the process itself are tremendous. Some of these are listed below:
1. Easy Formation
Plastic has a low melting point as compared to other materials. Not only this, but it also has high malleability, which enables it to take both basic and complex forms without a lot of hassle. Metal forming is the toughest part because some metals can be really stubborn. In fact, changing their shape would be nothing less than a daunting task.
2. Efficient Production
Unlike metal, plastic fabrication production often involves fast turnover rates and quick cycle times.
3. Better Finish
As opposed to metals, plastic can mostly be fabricated into better and sturdier finish. It can also be colored before the process and can quickly reduce both the need and cost associated with post-treatment process.
4. Light Weight
Even for heavy equipment, plastic is lighter than most other materials of comparable dimensions, including metal.
5. Chemical Resistance
There are many tough jobs taken care by heavy equipment and machinery. If it is designed with plastic, it naturally becomes less susceptible to chemical damage. It can easily survive chemical reactions such as rusting or oxidation. On the other hand, metals are not chemical resistant.
By overcoming the limitations earlier associated with plastic, it has now become the most used components in the heavy equipment manufacturing. Heavy-duty plastic does not have structural weaknesses. It is suitable for multiple applications, which require high structural strengths. Today, it is not only used for building materials but for most heavy equipment and machinery components.