We were thrilled to attend the Southern Manufacturing Show in Farnborough last week and enjoyed speaking to so many product designers and production managers. A topic that we frequently covered in conversation was how to choose the right material.
For many first-time product designers and manufacturing entrepreneurs, finding the right material for a project can be challenging. There are thousands of plastics on the market, each with different advantages and disadvantages, from cost to strength, flexibility and surface finish.
In the following article, our experts offer an insight into the various factors to consider when choosing your material:
1. What will the product be used for?
There are a few things to consider initially when choosing a material for your product, such as:
• Durability – does the material need to be hard-wearing?
• Aesthetics – will the product need an attractive finish?
• Flexibility – does the product need to be solid or have some give?
• Application – if you’re using plugs and caps, will they need to be push-fit or threaded?
All of these factors will affect the material you choose, so it’s worth thinking about your answers if you’re looking to talk to an expert.
2. Are there environmental factors to consider?
This is a two-part question. Firstly, is it important to you to use a recyclable material? In today’s climate, manufacturers are being encouraged to be more environmentally conscious. We’re proud to have an ISO 14000 certification and would be happy to advise on managing environmental impact.
Secondly, it’s worth considering the environment the product will be used in. For applications that could be exposed to high temperatures, you’ll need to consider a material that can withstand these conditions for required duration.
3. What is your budget?
Naturally, some materials are more expensive than others. Bear this in mind when making your decision. Our Technical Sales Team can advise on the most cost-effective solution based on the specific use of end-product.
4. How many do you need?
Depending on the process used, some materials will be quicker and cheaper to mass-produce than others. To find out the most cost-effective process and the materials associated with it, it’s best to talk to an expert manufacturer. We’d be happy to offer advice on your project, as we have a huge range of production capabilities.
5. Give it a trial run!
If you’re a first-time buyer, it may help to trial a few products to see which works best for you. At Sinclair & Rush, we offer free samples on a number of our products.
As you can tell, there are a lot of different factors to consider when choosing the right material for your project. At Sinclair & Rush, our experts are on hand to offer advise and guidance on all of our materials, so you can make an informed choice. Get in touch today by giving us a call on 01634 686 504.