Materials

This page gives a brief overview of some of the materials we regularly use on projects. Use this page to help select the appropriate material based on the material properties or aesthetics you require. This is not an exclusive list, if you require an alternative material please describe in your part description and we will help select some appropriate materials

Aluminium

 

Aluminium is a great material to generate prototypes or light tooling. 

It is light, easy to machine, and is low cost. 

It is widely used in automation, Jigs and fixtures or prototype tooling.

Aluminium can be anodised in a range of colours. This creates a coating on the surface of the Aluminium which also protects it from corrosion.

It can also be Hard Anodised which produces a dark Gray finish which is 70 Hrc and gives a hard wearing surface.

 

Plastics

 

There are a huge number of plastics available, depending on the properties required for the application in mind.

Listed here are some plastics and their common uses:

 

                               Max Temp      Min Temp      Machineable      Electrical Insulator         Cost

Acetal (Delrin)         180f                 50f                    Good                        Good                       Low

HDPE                        180f                -20f                    Good                      Not Good                 Low

 

This is a commonly used low cost plastic which produces a good surface finish when machined. They are widely available. Used for general tooling, low wear applications. Available in Black and white colour.

 

Clear plastics:

                                  Max Temp      Min Temp      Machineable      Electrical Insulator         Cost

Polycarbonate           

Cast Acrylic

 

These are see through plastic sheets. Polycarbonate has greater impact strength and is widely used for machine guarding. Surface can scratch easily. 

 

Plastics with good wear properties (slippy plastics)

                                    Max Temp      Min Temp      Machineable      Electrical Insulator         Cost

Peek

Nylon

Teflon

 

Stainless steel

 

Stainless steel is noted for its corrosion resistance. It can be polished to produce a clean shiny surface. It comes in Sheet, Solid Bar, Pipe and stock sizes. It is ideal for laser cutting and folding as its strength can facilitate thin wall thicknesses.