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AIM Processing Small Plastic Parts Blog

Don’t Be Fooled: Thicker Isn’t Always Stronger

[fa icon="calendar"] May 10, 2016 12:44:55 PM / by Jon Gelston

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It would make sense that the thicker the walls of a part are, the stronger it is. However, that’s not always the case. That statement is based on the assumption that the walls have a uniform density. Unfortunately, thicker walls have the potential for voids or hollow spaces within them. This means you may not be getting the consistent depth, or the strength, you were counting on.

Better Strength Strategies

To maximize the strength of your parts in a consistent, reliable way, there are two strategies you can use. The first is to have thinner walls but utilize structural ribs to add firmness and stability. There’s a science to how the dimensions and orientation of ribs can impact the rigidity of a part, but the bottom line is that they provide strength without increasing weight the way thicker walls do.

The second strategy is to manufacture your part using structural foam. We’ve blogged about this before, noting that it’s a process in which an inert gas is added to the melted resin resulting in a strong, honeycomb structure that can be 10-30% lighter and provide a whole host of other benefits.

Stronger by Design

As with every characteristic of a part, taking the time to consider options for making your pieces stronger rather than simply bulking them up can provide tremendous advantages. Not only will you produce parts with greater resistance to bending and crushing forces, but you might be able to do so at a lower per-part cost as well.

Take Advantage of Our Expertise

Our plastic injection molding experts have decades of experience in the industry. We can look at your design and very quickly tell you if there are ways to make your parts stronger and produce them more cost-effectively. And our skilled production team members know all the tricks of the trade for using an excellent design to produce perfect parts. Give us a call if you have questions about your next project.

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Topics: Plastic Injection Molding

Jon Gelston

Written by Jon Gelston