Deciding Whether or Not You Need a Thermoplastic Plate
If you’re at the point of deciding whether you need a thermoplastic plate for your machine, the most advantageous method to help you make a decision is by having a prototype developed. Having a prototype made will demonstrate what the materials are like to deal with, how they look and if they meet your specifications. Several prototypes can be produced by applying specific resins and finished with various surfaces. By holding the components in your hand, it’s often clearer to understand what the variations are and also the standards of resin used along with the final product.
Your decision to have a particular resin and finish will come down to appearance, quality and structure of the plate. Other determining factors will be the stability of the thermoplastic plate and the turnaround times provided by the manufacturer. Gathering this information will lead you to a series of questions that will help you reach your final decision. Whether you require several hundred thermoplastic plates or several million, the type of manufacturer you go to will largely depend on the questions you have answered.
Questions About Thermoplastic Plates
What you need to think about when considering purchasing a thermoplastic plate:
- What is thermoplastic?
- In what machine will the plate be applied?
- What proportions do I need to have?
- What different materials could I use?
- Is a thermoplastic plate durable?
- Where can I purchase my thermoplastic plate?
By answering these questions, you will have your decision on whether or not a thermoplastic plate is right for your machine.
Throughout the rest of this article we will help you answer these questions. So, to begin with:
What is Thermoplastic?
Thermoplastic is a polymer plastic which on warming becomes a mouldable plastic. To produce a component from thermoplastic, you melt the plastic and then inject it into a mould of the required measurements. This can be done by using a mould injecting machine and will provide you with the component you need.
In What Machine Will the Plate Be Applied?
Depending on the machine that needs the plate replacing, you will have to follow the user manuals dimensions to find the correct size for your machine. There are various machines that require plates, choosing the material that suits it the best will help to prevent premature deterioration. The materials of the plate previously used in your machine may be familiar to you and may influence your final decision on whether thermoplastic plates would be suitable.
What Proportions Do I Need to have?
Having the right proportions for your machine requires precise measurements of width, diameter and height, as well as any other differentiating characteristics. The best way to identify this information is to look at the product manual that came with the machine or search for it online from the manufacturer’s website.
What Different Materials Could I Use?
There are several materials you could use for your plate. While thermoplastic is pliable and provides a stronger seal within your valve, it can break easier than metal or alternative materials. You can also manufacture valve plates.
Is a Thermoplastic Plate Durable?
Recognizing the durability of your thermoplastic plate can be determined by trial and error, but time is money and having your machine breakdown regularly costs your company significant losses. You don’t want this to occur. The advantages of thermoplastic plates can provide you with the stability you require from your product. These advantages are:
- Reduced force of valve seat
- Increased sealing properties
- Flexibility – less probability of weakening owing to the flexible movement of the thermoplastic
- Ability to tolerate extreme temperatures
- Decreased chance of wear and tear to neighboring parts
- Resistant to warming of up to 340 degrees Celsius
- Low friction
Where Can I Purchase My Thermoplastic Plate?
When searching for a reliable manufacturer for your thermoplastic plates, keep in mind that quality is fundamentally your principal aim. Purchasing cheaper parts will cost you time and money that will damage your business.
Look for a manufacturer who:
- Uses the most recent technology
- Ensures quality results will be manufactured for your business
- Operates in-house injection moulding machines
- Can develop products to accommodate your requirements
- Can offer fast turnaround times
- Can produce 100% interchangeable parts
Production Process of Thermoplastic Plates
Using high-quality materials on a state-of-the-art injection moulding machine, the raw material – which originates from pure plastic pellets – is melted and then moulded by injecting the plastic resin into the pre-formed mould then cooling. Individual specifications of your plate are primarily sought to guarantee exact duplicates of your original thermoplastic plate.
Once they are moulded and flatness is ascertained, they are then milled or lathed to the plates specifications. In addition to the milling process, a lapping method to further ensure the flatness of the product can frequently be undertaken. Products are then individually inspected with extensive quality control methods before shipping.
Pros and Cons for Thermoplastic Plates
As with all things, there are pros and cons when determining if thermoplastic plates are the suitable choice of material you need for your machine. knowing all the details before making a decision to purchase your thermoplastic plates will simplify the decision-making progress.
- Can be specifically produced with your individual requirements
- Thermoplastic has several grades than can be used to produce the component best suited for your machine
- Can be melted and cooled several times. This involves no loss if the sizing isn’t entirely true or a fault developed during the process
- Can be recycled
- Is self-lubricating
- Resistant to chemicals
- Resistant to temperature fluctuations
- Has flexibility, making it more responsive to movement and less liable to damage or break
- Produces a perfect seal between itself and surrounding parts of your machine
- Various finishes can be produced to accommodate your requirements
- Lower grade thermoplastics can damage easier than metal plates
- Invariably costs more to produce thermoplastic components, which will reflect in the purchase costs
As you can see there are substantially more pros than there are cons. But the ultimate decision can only be made by you and what’s best for your company.
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