Nylon is a synthetic thermoplastic that is extremely versatile and resistance to many chemicals. In our decades of small plastic parts manufacturing in Colorado, we have used it in a wide variety of ways. It is a material that is naturally very strong, but in some applications, glass is added to create greater structure and rigidity. What is referred to as “glass-filled nylon” provides many benefits to manufacturers, but there are also some cautions to keep in mind if you choose to work with it.
Advantages of Using Glass-Filled Nylon in Small Plastic Parts
Glass-filled nylon is created by adding powdered glass to the nylon resin or by extruding the plastic with glass fibers. The resulting material has some very useful properties:
- It has a stiffness that is up to 80 percent greater than standard nylon
- Its tensile strength is as much as 70 percent greater than standard nylon
- It has a thermal expansion rate that is roughly half of unfilled nylon, providing increased stability when exposed to temperature changes
- It is 50 percent harder than standard nylon
It’s easy to see why the material is used in many different kinds of small plastic parts. That said, it isn’t right for every project. There are some drawbacks that have to be considered as you choose your resin.
Disadvantages of Using Glass-Filled Nylon in Small Plastic Parts
When it comes to plastic injection molding, no material is perfect. The key is to understand a resin’s limitations and how they might affect your project. For glass-filled nylon, these challenges include:
- It is more brittle than standard nylon
- It can cost approximately 50-100% more than unfilled counterparts
- It is abrasive and will cause accelerated wear on tools
- It can also abrade mated parts
- It is approximately 15 percent heavier than standard nylon
- Its weld lines can be significantly weaker
None of these is a reason to automatically dismiss glass-filled nylon. Instead, you just need to keep them in mind as you design your part. If you are looking for an extremely strong, rigid, and stable plastic for your parts, this material is one you should consider.
In the Know on Nylon
As a leader in small plastic parts manufacturing in Colorado, we have extensive experience in working with glass-filled nylon. Is it the right material for your project? We’re happy to talk with you about your goals and give you our perspective.