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Plastics and composites

The machining of plastics & composite materials requires specially adapted and equipped machines.

 

Every year, new plastic compounds are produced, resulting in new semi-finished products, various non-ferrous metal alloys and new Composite materials.

What are plastics and composites?

Plastics are materials with variable technical properties due to their composition and the addition of additives. Plastics are processed into moulded parts, semi-finished products and many other plastic products.

Composite material is a term used to describe compound materials that are made of several materials. The properties of the material depend on its components and their mutual interaction.

Advantages of plastics

Due to their versatile processability, plastics can be used very specifically and their production can be individually adapted. The mechanical strength, toughness, temperature resistance and chemical resilience can be flexibly modified as required. 

Advantages in the processing of plastics are their low density and light weight, their resistance to water, acids and alkaline solutions, as well as their heat-insulating and sound-absorbing properties.

With the right tools and specially equipped machines, plastics can be processed cost-effectively into functional, durable and high-precision components.

Processing of plastic and composite materials.

Plastics are mainly used when the relationship between weight and strength of the material is important.

A wide variety of components are produced from plastics by machining. The special characteristics of the materials must be taken into account. Above all, it is the relatively low heat resistance that plays a major role during processing. Excessive heat development can lead to distortion or breakage and possibly cause the component to expand. Therefore, sufficient heat dissipation must be ensured.

Machines and tools for plastics processing.

Carbide tipped saw blades are ideal for cutting plastics with the circular saw. When cutting panel materials, it is important to pay attention to use a sufficiently high feed rate. Furthermore, a sufficient offset (the deflection of the teeth to the left and right) is recommended. This ensures good chip removal, prevents jamming of the saw blade and counteracts overheating.

Band saws are particularly suitable for cutting round or hollow bars and are versatile for straight, continuous or irregular cuts. The long saw blade on band saws is particularly effective at dissipating the generated heat.

When moulding plastics, it is important to use tools with a sufficiently large chip space. The larger chip space ensures reliable chip removal and heat build-up is avoided. Best milling results are achieved with up-cut milling and surface milling with low rake angle.

To avoid the risk of chipping, tearing, overheating or dimensional deviations when drilling into plastic parts, it is primarily important to use well-sharpened bits. Furthermore, no excessive pressure should be applied and by frequently pulling out the bit additional cooling should be ensured.