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How to Select the Best Resin for Your Polymer Injection Part

It is common to get confused when choosing a plastic resin since there are many available on the market. With that said, having a few things in check before making a decision is paramount. For instance, issues like strength, visual appeal, and durability are factors to consider.

Plastic injection molding is among the best processes because it allows manufacturers to develop diverse products from melted resins. Therefore, molded plastic optics play a significant role in many industries today.

For optimal performance, select the best resin. But how do you go about choosing from the wide array available?

Factors to Consider When Choosing Resin

Expect new resins to enter the market as industries grow. Such introductions are what make resin selection difficult. However, the best way to approach it is to understand the use of the final product. Here are some factors to guide you through:

1. The Part’s Final Intended Purpose

Of course, resin selection depends on the ultimate use of the part. Here, it would help if you thought about the frequency of use and how it holds up to constant usage. Plastic resins can make the following:
• Drug caps
• Bottles
• Containers
• Closures

The diversity of use is broad. Therefore, thoroughly research on the end use before settling for a resin.

2. The Temperature Requirements

Environmental factors, such as temperature, play a great role. For example, if you want a part to use under a car’s hood, it should withstand high temperatures.
At the same time, the part must withstand extreme colds if you live in areas that experience winters. Extreme heat causes melting, while extreme cold causes cracking. So, keep that in mind during selection.

3. It’s Shelf Life

Molded plastic optics vary in durability. If you are designing disposable parts or products, durability won’t be a major issue to consider. The faster it is used and disposed of or recycled, the better. However, some other parts must last long.
An example is a polycarbonate used to manufacture medical-grade products. More thought would go into manufacturing due to its sensitivity. However, polypropylene is a better choice if you’re manufacturing a disposable food container.

4. Aesthetic Appeal

Does the part need to look good? Undoubtedly, aesthetic appeal matters if you want the product or part to attract buyers. On the flip side, if the part only plays a functional role, then the appearance is the least of your concerns.
Nonetheless, that does not mean functional parts should look ugly. The key to choosing resin is factoring in appearance and performance.

5. Flexibility Vs. Rigidity

Rigidity is the inability to bend or change shape. In this case, consider the part’s use more. Having a flexible part might not be the best idea if it should bear load. Using resins like PVC works both ways because you can make it as flexible or rigid as you wish.

Keep in mind that rigidity or flexibility has nothing to do with durability. It is possible to manufacture flexible yet long-lasting parts.

6. The Regulatory Requirements You Must Meet

The requirements you must meet mostly include the following:
• FDA
• EPA
• FAA

Most importantly, noting the guidelines for all these helps stay in the clear. However, depending on the industry, most considerations border on strength, durability and the food safety of the material.

Resin selection might not be easy, but considering the above factors helps smoothen the process. Ask yourself all these questions before purchase to avoid making the wrong selection.

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