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Plastic Fabrication vs. Stainless Steel

Plastic Fabrication vs. Stainless Steel

Steel has long been a trusted choice by industries for its strength and reliability. In many applications today, plastic can provide the same or even better performance as steel at a lower cost and shorter lead time. Employing plastics where well-matched can save considerable time and money while improving manufacturing and processing capabilities. Read on to understand the benefits and advantages of plastic machining and fabrication over stainless steel.

Advantage #1: Cost Savings

Plastic noticeably lead the way for ease of fabrication which immediately translates into lower manufacturing costs. A wide variety of sizes, shapes and styles, can be fabricated from plastics with the added advantage of reduced cost and difficulty than when working with steel.

Advantage #2: Corrosion-Resistant

For ionized water applications, plastics deliver a superior performance over steel. Where stainless steel can be broken down by water, leading to weakening rust and rouging residue, certain plastic tanks are chemically inert. This means they are corrosion resistant and can eliminate the chances of rouging.

Advantage #3: Chemical- Resistance

There are a variety of chemical resistant plastics, including Kynar®, PVC, and CPVC, which can hold up well in most environments aiding many medical, food processing, and chemical processing industry application. View our Plastics Chemical Resistance Chart for a full list of the chemical resistance properties of many engineering plastics.

Advantage #4: Shorter Lead Times

Large stainless tanks can generally take around 12 to 20 weeks to custom fabricate and deliver, whereas custom plastic machined tanks only take about 6 to 10 weeks.

Material Highlights:

  • Lightweight
  • High tensile strength
  • Impact resistant
  • High compressive strength
  • Excellent dielectric properties
  • Resists most alkalis and acids
  • Resists stress cracking
  • Retains stiffness and flexibility
  • Low moisture absorption
  • Non-toxic
  • Non-staining
  • Easily fabricated
  • High heat resistance

Top Plastic Applications:

  • Chemical & Water Tanks
  • Pump & Valve Components
  • Pipe Systems
  • Lab Equipment
  • Lab Cabinetry
  • Machined Parts
  • Chemical Resistant Applications
  • Wet Benches
  • Ductwork
  • Filtration Systems
  • Ventilation Systems
  • Chemical Feeders
  • Plumbing and Electrical Fixtures

Top Plastic Materials:

  • Polypropylene – superior working temperature and tensile strength.
  • Lexan® – outstanding mechanical, optical, electrical and thermal properties.
  • PVC – Polyvinyl chloride known for its inexpensive nature and flexibility.
  • Polyethylene – Low Density (LDPE), High Density (HDPE) and Ultra High Molecular Weight (UHMW PE).
  • CPVC – low cost, high glass transition temperature, high heat distortion temperature, chemical inertness, and flame and smoke properties.
  • Kynar® – ideal for applications requiring the highest purity, strength, and resistance to solvents, acids, bases and heat.
  • PTFE® – has the lowest coefficient of friction of any known solid material
  • Nylon® – the first synthetic fiber to be made entirely from the ingredients coal, water and air.
A Cost-Effective Alternative Cost-Effective Alternative to Steel Products

Miller Plastic Products is an industry leader in custom plastic fabrication and precision machining. Our skilled workforce, state-of-the-art equipment and strong commitment to quality enable us to consistently develop solutions for customers’ most difficult applications. We can find the right materials to work in almost any piece of equipment including pumps, valves, strainers, filters, tower pack, storage tanks, fume scrubbers and more.

Improve your manufacturing capabilities by employing plastics. Contact us to experience the benefits of custom plastic machining and fabrication.

“A Lot of our success has depended on converting ‘steel’ people to plastics. From machines parts to large chemical tanks to pipe systems, it has been a tough, hard sell. But we’ve been successful and the enthusiasm is contagious as people see the improvement. In all cases they’re highly impressed by the superiority of plastic replacement parts over steel part.” – Donnie Miller

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