Plastics Used in the Automotive Industry: How to Choose Them

The automotive industry is one of the largest consumers of plastic materials. Plastics are used in a variety of applications in automobiles, including body panels, engine parts, and interior trim. So, do you know the type of plastic, and how to choose it?
Plastics Used in the Automotive Industry

Plastic machining parts have become an important part of the automotive industry due to its durability and ability to withstand extreme temperatures.

In this blog, we will introduce some of the most common types of plastic used in the automotive industry. And we will help you how to choose right plastics.

10 Types of Plastics Used in the Automotive Industry

Polyethylene (PE): 

This is the most common type of plastic used in the automotive industry and can be found in everything from fuel tanks to dashboards.

PE is durable and resistant to many chemicals, making it an ideal material for car parts that need to withstand harsh conditions. We can machine PE parts for your needs.

Polypropylene (PP): 

PP is often suitable for car interiors because it’s lightweight and has a high melting point, making it resistant to heat and wear.

PP parts are also suitable for engine components, as it can withstand high temperatures and is corrosion-resistant.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): 

PVC is another common type of plastic suitable for car manufacturing. It’s often used for car parts that need to be flexible, like hoses and seals.

PVC is also resistant to weather and chemicals, making it a good choice for exterior car parts.

Polyurethane (PU): 

PU is a versatile plastic that can be hard or soft, making it ideal for various car parts.

It’s often used in seat cushions, dashboards, and other interior components.

PU is also resistant to heat and chemicals, making it a good choice for exterior parts.

car seats

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS): 

ABS is a strong and durable plastic that is often suitable for car body panels. It’s resistant to impact, meaning it can withstand bumps and scratches.

ABS is also easy to mold and paint, making it a popular choice for car parts. We can machining ABS parts for your needs.

Acrylic (PMMA): 

Acrylic has many properties that make it ideal for automotive use. They are strong and durable yet lightweight and easy to work with.

Acrylics can be molded into any shape, making them perfect for custom car parts.

They are also resistant to heat and chemicals, which will not degrade over time.

Acrylic parts are an excellent choice for high-quality, long-lasting car parts.

car light covers

Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO): 

TPO is a plastic-type often used in car fenders and bumper covers. It’s lightweight and impact-resistant, making it a good choice for these parts.

TPO is also easy to paint, making it a popular choice for car manufacturers.

Polycarbonate (PC): 

PC is a strong and durable plastic that is often used in car windows. It’s shatter-resistant, making it a good choice for this application. PC is also easy to mold and paint, making it a popular choice for car parts. We can machine PC to custom various parts.

Engineering thermoplastic (ET): 

We can use ET to manufacture car engine components. It’s heat-resistant and has a high melting point, making it a good choice for this application.

ET is also easy to mold and paint, making it a popular choice for car parts.

automotive industry plastics parts

Fluoropolymer (FP):

FP is a type of plastic that is often used in car brakes. It’s heat-resistant and has a low coefficient of friction, making it a good choice for this application.

FP is also chemically resistant, making it a popular choice for car parts.

Thermoset (TS): 

TS is a type of plastic that is often used in car headlights. It’s heat-resistant and has a high melting point, making it a good choice for this application.

TS is also easy to mold and paint, making it a popular choice for car parts.

Why Use Plastics in Automotive Industry?

There are many reasons why plastics are used in the automotive industry.

First of all, plastics are very light and strong. This makes them ideal for car use, where weight is a major concern.

Plastics also can be molded into any shape, which allows for a great deal of creativity in car design.

In addition, plastics are very durable and resistant to heat and cold. This means they can withstand a lot of wear and tear, which is ideal for cars subject to a lot of use.

Finally, plastics are inexpensive, making them a great choice for mass-produced vehicles.

How To Choose the Right Plastic To Make the Best Car Parts?

There are different types of CNC plastics, each with its benefits and drawbacks. When choosing the right plastic for your car parts, you need to consider the following factors:

1. The type of plastic: There are two main types of plastics – thermosets and thermoplastics. Thermosets cannot be melted and reformed, while thermoplastics can.

2. The stiffness of the plastic: Stiffer plastics are better for car parts that need to support a lot of weight or stress, such as engine blocks and suspension components. Softer plastics are better for parts that don’t need to be as strong, such as dashboards and door panels.

3. The weight of the plastic: Heavier plastics are stronger, but they can also add much weight to the car. Lighter plastics are not as strong, but they can help reduce the car’s overall weight.

4. The cost of plastic: Some plastics are more expensive than others, so you need to consider your budget when choosing the right plastic for your car parts.

5. The availability of plastic: Some plastics are more widely available than others, so you may need to special order some plastics if you want to use them for your car parts.

6. The color of the plastic: Some plastics are available in different colors, so you can choose a color that matches the rest of your car’s interior or exterior.

7. The finish of the plastic: Some plastics have a glossy finish, while others have a matte finish. The type of finish you choose should be based on the look you’re going for with your car.

8. The moldability of the plastic: Some plastics are easier to mold than others, so if you’re planning on customizing your car parts, you’ll want to choose a plastic that is easy to work with.

9. The environmental impact of plastic: Some plastics are more environmentally friendly than others. If you’re concerned about the impact your car has on the environment, you may want to choose an eco-friendly plastic.

Our Machining Capabilities for Plastics Parts

Our plastic machining capabilities are vast, as we work with all plastics. We can machine parts with intricate designs and tight tolerances.

We work with various plastics, including but not limited to ABS, PC, PE, PP, and PS. And we can CNC machine nylon parts, PTFE parts, and PEEK parts.

And we understand that each type of plastic has its unique set of properties, which is why we take care to select the right tooling and machining parameters for each job.

Our experienced engineers and technicians have the knowledge and tools necessary to produce high-quality parts.

We constantly update our machines and software to ensure we use the latest technology.

cnc machining plastics

Conclusion

Automotive manufacturers have been using plastics for car parts for many years. There are good reasons why they do so. The use of plastics can result in lighter, stronger, and safer cars.

However, it is important to choose the right plastic for each application to get the best performance from them.

Since we offer CNC machining services for plastics, you can contact us to learn more details if you have any questions. And you can also check the below link to browse our homepage.

FAQ:

How To Machine Plastics By CNC Machining?

CNC machining is a great way to machine plastics quickly and accurately. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when machining plastics to ensure the best results.

First, choosing the right type of cutter for the job is important. Plastics can be very tough to cut, so using a cutter that is too soft can cause the cutter to wear down quickly.

Second, when machining plastics, it is important to use a lower speed than usual. This will help to prevent the cutter from overheating and melting the plastic.

Finally, it is important to use coolant when machining plastics. Coolant will help to keep the cutter from overheating and will also help to prevent the plastic from sticking to the cutter.

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