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Selecting the Right Materials to Design and Manufacture Your Complex Part

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When you're designing and preparing to manufacture a complex part, it's important to choose the best materials for your needs. How do you evaluate the available materials – and make the right choice? Read on to learn how.


Kenson - Thermoforming CircleFactors to Consider

There are several factors to consider when choosing materials for complex products.  Certain materials will work better than others depending on the scenario.


Does It Need to Be Fire Rated?

If so, you may need a material that complies with the UL94 V-0 flammability standard. Many materials meet this specification, the most popular being Kydex thermoplastic. Thermoforming Kydex enables you to create components in just any shape or size you need.


Does It Need to Be Shielded for Electromagnetic Interference?

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can disrupt all sorts of electronic circuitry and devices. If your product needs protection against electromagnetic signals, you need materials that employ EMI shielding techniques. While metal is traditionally used for EMI shielding, most thermoplastics can also be treated to shield against EMI, usually  by spraying a conductive coating to the inner surface of the part. 


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Is the Product Designed for Outdoor Use?

If your product is designed to be used outdoors the materials you use need to be more durable. You need to take into account the temperature range of the surrounding environment, as some materials can become brittle in extreme cold temperatures or lose their shape in extreme heat.


Does It Need to Be UV Resistant?

Some materials are more UV resistant than others. Thermoplastics can employ coextruded caps with a UV resistant film on the top layer of the material. UV resistant coatings can also be applied to particularly vulnerable parts.


Will It Be Exposed to Harmful Chemicals?

Some products are subject to exposure to certain chemicals or cleaning agents that could cause harm or cause fading. This is particularly true for plastic medical parts that need to be wiped down after each use. 


Does It Need to Withstand Impact?

You also need to take into account the material's impact resistance, especially if the product is likely to be hit or run into. You should consider the amount of impact, the environment in which the product is deployed, and what type of impact you need it to withstand. 


Kenson - Painting CircleDoes It Need to Accept Paint?

For aesthetic reasons, some products or components need to be painted. Most materials, with the exception of polyethylene, can accept paint with the proper preparation and callout.


Does It Need to Be a Custom Color?

Thermoplastics are always a good choice for components that need to be embedded with color throughout. A part with fully impregnated color is often preferable to painting in that the color is retained if the item is scratched or damaged.


Kenson - Texture CircleWhat Kind of Texture is Needed?

Different materials have different textures but here is where thermoplastics are most versatile. Texture can be added to plastics in the mold or in the extruder. 


What is Your Minimum Quantity?

Some materials are only viable in larger quantities. If you need a smaller run, thermoplastics can still be economically viable. At Kenson Plastics our minimum quantity run for some materials with custom colored materials is as low as 600 pounds, which is perfect for many applications.



Let Kenson Plastics Help You Help You Select the Right Materials for Your Complex Parts

Kenson Plastics has been providing precision pressure formed plastics for almost fifty years. We'll work with you upfront to understand your applications and needs. We serve a wide variety of industries and offer a large number of high-quality materials. We're material neutral, so we'll make sure to find the best materials for your needs.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you choose the right materials for your needs.


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