Thermoplastics are an important component in many industries in this day and age. The fact that they are reasonably cheap and can be modified to suit many different applications means that they are used for manufacture of all kinds of things from electronics to food packaging. Chances are that you will need to use them […]

Thermoplastics are an important component in many industries in this day and age. The fact that they are reasonably cheap and can be modified to suit many different applications means that they are used for manufacture of all kinds of things from electronics to food packaging. Chances are that you will need to use them for at least one application during the design and manufacture of your products.
One of the issues you will need to handle is how to fasten them together. This is a critical point since it will determine many other things including how well the products you are manufacturing will last. Some of the issues you need to pay specific attention to when doing this include:

Ensure that you get the correct load bearing fasteners

Many times, products made out of thermoplastics will need to bear some degree of weight. This depends on the application of the product. It’s important that you try to get fasteners that are also designed with this in mind. When fastening thermoplastics using aluminum Phillips screws, Inconel hex head cap screws or any other types of fasteners, it would be wise to find out how much of a load they can take first. You might need to modify features such as the size of the fasteners, the pitch on the threads and the spacing between each fastener to determine the best load bearing configuration. Most of the time, working with a high quality fastener expert will give you a better shot at getting this right.

 

Understand the properties of the thermoplastics

You also need to consider the nature of the material you are working with. Some types of thermoplastics are more brittle than others, depending on the way they are constituted. When you are considering the types of fasteners to buy, you need to keep this in mind. Well, getting the wrong fasteners means that you will have a difficult time with issues such as screwing the fasteners tightly in place. It also makes it possible to break the thermoplastics.
Fastening Thermoplastics

Use the correct specifications for fastening

Using the wrong specifications for fastening thermoplastics can sometimes result in problems. For instance, you could set the speed of your automated screwdriver too high, such that it results in heating up and melting of the plastic. When buying the thermoplastics, there are some manufacturers who will give you technical advice regarding the ideal conditions in which to fasten the plastics. If this is not forthcoming, you can also ask your fastener supplier for more advice regarding this. Either way, you should always make sure that you have some technical information about the specifications for working with the thermoplastics.
In summary, thermoplastics are some of the most commonly used materials in most areas of manufacturing. If you are thinking of using them for product design, you need to understand how to fasten them to each other and to other materials properly. Using the above, you can easily choose the best way to go about this with ease.

About the Author

Larry Melone
By Larry Melone
President

Started my career in the fastener world in 1969 at, Parker Kalon Corp. a NJ based screw manufacturer located in Clifton, NJ working in inventory control, scheduling secondary production and concluding there in purchasing. In 1971 I accepted a sales position at Star Stainless Screw Co., Totowa, NJ working in inside sales and later as an outside salesman, having a successful career at Star I had the desire with a friend to start our own fastener distribution company in 1980 named: Divspec, Kenilworth, NJ. This was a successful adventure but ended in 1985 with me starting Melfast in August 1985 and have stayed competitive and successful to date. Melfast serves the OEM market with approximately 400 accounts nationally.

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