When you’re stressed, deep breathing and meditating can help. When plastic is stressed, annealing is the cure. Increase the longevity of your manufacturing project by taking advantage of the many benefits of annealing custom plastic parts.
What Is Plastic Stress?
Plastics are often poor conductors, so rapidly heating and cooling a part during manufacturing can build up stress on it. Mechanical processes such as molding, cutting, drilling, casting, and extrusion can all contribute to stress. Even with an optimized design, that means your custom plastic part is more vulnerable to:
- Excessive wear
- Poor chemical resistance
- Diminished performance
What Is Annealing?
It’s an optional, secondary heat treatment to offset the stress introduced by the manufacturer. The annealing process is customized for each project because different plastics soften at different temperatures. In short, the idea is to heat up the material to half of the melting temperature for a specific amount of time based on thickness. Then it’s slowly cooled down to room temperature. This relaxes the plastic for top performance.
Is It Worth It?
In most cases, yes. It’s a matter of going the extra mile in plastic custom fabrication. When it’s in use, a part or component will contract and expand over time. If it hasn’t already experienced this in the extreme through annealing, it’s likely to crack—and you’ll notice it. Among the other benefits of annealing include:
- Better mechanical and thermal properties
- Better dimensional stability over time
- Improved material rigidity
- Improved wear resistance
- Improved integrity
- Tighter tolerance capability
- Improved chemical resistance
- Reduced shrinkage and expansion
- Increased chemical resistance
- Saves time and money in the long-term
Just as you choose a manufacturer for production quality, it’s essential that an experienced company performs the annealing. At Miller Plastics, we tout the many benefits of annealing custom plastic parts because it’s additional assurance that your project will be successful in the long run. We’re more than happy to explain how we carefully analyze your parts to determine the best annealing method for your individual needs. Contact us for a consultation, or visit us in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania.