Custom plastics are parts and products that are specially designed, fabricated and assembled by plastic fabricators. They are plastics that are well suited to particular applications, processes or environments. These precision parts are fabricated from polymer resins and may be lathed, milled, molded, annealed, welded, cut, bent, formed or stamped.
Almost any thermoplastic material can be custom formed, including polypropylene, polycarbonate, acrylic, nylon, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene and polyethylene. The pure plastic resin is mixed with additives that change or enhance the plastic’s properties, like strength, temperature resistance, color, flexibility, ductility, moisture resistance, abrasion resistance, lifespan, surface finish, texture, hardness and durability.
Custom-made plastic products span many different applications within the medical, oil, automotive, food and beverage, electronics, pharmaceutical, packaging, plumbing, construction and appliance industries, among many others. Custom plastic products include anything from small plastic washers to large, complex medical machinery enclosures for clean rooms.
Other products include tanks, pipe systems, filtration systems, automobile parts and ventilation systems, as many of these must be made according to the specific standards of their applications. Custom plastic products may be more expensive, but they are also produced in smaller runs, have a larger amount of fine detail and high precision.
Many custom plastic fabrications are made using CAD/CAM or CNC-operated machinery that follows a certain design, print or sketch that is uploaded into computer software. The design is then carried out by the computerized machinery, ensuring a high degree of repeatability and no human error. Thermoplastic is a very formable material when heated, and it can take the shape of just about anything. There are many different types of plastic. Some plastic product applications require certain properties and therefore must be specially made.
All plastic made for the food processing, dairy, brewery, restaurant and kitchen industries must be made from FDA approved food grade plastic. This type of plastic has greater purity than others and must be resistant to fats, oils, moisture and other materials. Similarly, plastic made for medical parts, equipment and containers are also held to specific safety standards. They must be able to handle bodily fluids, be air and water tight and must not contaminate medications.