With supply chain costs rising on everything from raw materials to the freight of finished goods, manufacturers and engineers must keep in mind the overall manufacturing costs that affect an end-product or assembly. One option to keeping an OEM’s product assembly competitively priced in the market is rethinking the best material to produce the product assembly. Increased raw material costs for metals are continuing to position alternative manufacturing materials such as thermoset plastics in a role for existing product conversions to reduce manufacturing costs while keeping optimum product performance. ...continue reading

There are two main types of plastics: Thermoplastic and thermoset. Thermoplastic materials are more common molding materials such as nylon, ABS, polypropylene, and polycarbonate, among others.
These thermoplastics are generally used in more price-sensitive components that do not require improved material performance properties. Thermoset plastics on the other hand are heat-stable materials suitable for components that operate in aggressive environments including high temperatures, outdoor, electrical applications. Utilizing a thermoset material within a molded product gives the end part stability in such elements, allowing the product assembly to remain durable over the life of the product and ensure its safety during operating use. Compared to thermosets, many thermoplastics will degrade in high temperatures or outdoor environments, jeopardizing the integrity of the product assembly and internal components. ...continue reading

Although molded thermosets have history dating back to the original bakelite plastics created by Leo Baekeland in 1907, current views of thermoset plastics, or composites, are as a niche material suitable for performance-forward applications requiring additional protection against elevated temperatures, electrical current, corrosion, and chemical exposure over traditional thermoplastics such as Nylons, Polypropylenes, ABS, and others. Whereas these types of thermoplastic materials and their properties may degrade or become compromised during use, the material properties of thermosets allow molded components to remain strong and durable under such conditions and environments, allowing products to remain safer for product users and last longer in the market or field before needing to be discarded or replaced. ...continue reading

As a performance-based molding material, thermosets offer strong material properties for molded parts and components such as heat resistance, chemical resistance, and excellent electrical and insulation performance. Aside from the above property benefits, molded thermosets also provide superior resistance to corrosion over metal and many thermoplastic material solutions, making thermosets a material of choice for applications exposed to moisture, water, steam, condensation, and other wet environments. Whereas a metal or thermoplastic product assembly may be susceptible to corrosion or rust in wet environments, potentially jeopardizing the integrity of a product assembly or its internal components; parts and components molded with a thermoset will remain strong and durable, and ensuring user safety during operation and use of the product throughout its life span. ...continue reading

Molded thermosets are used for parts and components in many different industries and end-markets due to the versatile material property benefits of thermosets such as heat, chemical, and corrosion resistance, coupled with low costs to manufacture. One driver of thermoset molded components is the home appliance industry. Parts such as cookware bases, handles, knobs, and side plates may all be molded with a thermoset material to protect both the product from failure and ensure user safety at a competitive price point to mass produce. In applications requiring electric, thermosets can be used as insulators to protect internal components and wiring from electrical current and electrical arc or track. Aside from cost and material performance, thermosets may be molded with a high-quality surface finish to ensure parts meet all aesthetic requirements. ...continue reading

When creating a new part or product, designers select a suitable material to manufacture the product in. When creating a new plastic or composite part or component, engineers and designers have a wide array of molding materials to choose from. Selecting the best material to manufacture your product in depends on different variables involving the material property requirements and material cost. Selecting the wrong material can potentially affect the safety and performance of a product or may unnecessarily increase part cost by choosing a higher performing material than is required. Incorporating a thermoset molding material over a thermoplastic for a given component can host a variety of advantages for the end-product or assembly. ...continue reading

Thermosets are used in products in a variety of industries. Electrical and automotive are two heavy users of molded thermoset components due to thermoset materials durability and protection against high temperatures and electrical current. Another industry that relies on the unique properties of thermoset molding materials is the home appliance market. Engineers utilize thermosets in product assemblies within home appliance products to provide user safety, product performance, and reduce overall manufacturing costs compared to similar metallic or thermoplastic component assemblies. ...continue reading

Thermoset plastics have been widely used in manufacturing for parts requiring protection against high operating temperatures and electrical currents. From the old bakelite materials to new age composite formulations used in advanced automotive, aerospace, and electrical markets, thermosets are a material of choice for challenging applications. When determining the correct molding material to use on a component or product assembly, engineers and molders must also take into consideration the best molding process to use for their application. Thermosets can be injection, compression, injection-compression hybrid, and transfer molded; with each process providing certain advantages and disadvantages. ...continue reading

Using thermosets as a molding material can offer strong material properties including chemical and corrosion resistance, electrical insulation, and low water and moisture absorption, however one of the main drivers of implementing thermosets into a molding application is the heat resistance provided to molded end parts. Thermoset materials including phenolic and bulk molding compound (BMC) polyesters may have formulations with heat deflection temperature properties rated up to 500° Fahrenheit. Thermoplastics on the other hand may only have heat deflection temperature properties rated up to half of thermosets or even less. Product applications in industries such as automotive, electrical, home and kitchen appliance, industrial, and energy markets all rely on thermoset molded components for product assemblies to remain durable when experiencing elevated operating temperatures. ...continue reading

Using Manufacturing ERP Software for Quality

With a commitment to quality, Woodland Plastics seeks to provide high-quality thermoset parts and components to our customers with an assurance they have been molded and inspected to the product or customer’s quality standard requirements. One avenue Woodland leverages its quality system is through manufacturing ERP software. Manufacturing ERP is a business management software system that streamlines manufacturing operations and data to provide a real-time view of its core business processes. By implementing quality functions through the ERP system, Woodland can accurately record, monitor, and analyze quality-specific data and other quality-related functions. ...continue reading