Plastics are everywhere. In your home, your automobile, and definitely in your electronics. Plastics are used in almost every industry around the world due to their low investment cost, environmental advantages, and their durability. The electrical industry uses many different plastics to keep you safe, provide durable solutions to transmit power, and often times house and control components from other industries. From big to small, plastics can do it all, and these are the five most common applications for plastics in the electrical industry:
Application 1 – Casings / Housings
Modern electronics need to be robust, such as laptops and cell phones. Typically they are housed in a polycarbonate or ABS casing / housing to ensure they are chemically resistant, free from electrical discharge, and can withstand minor impacts. These casings can also protect electronics from large temperature swings, such as below zero temperatures in winter to above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in summer sitting inside a hot car.
Application 2 – Circuit Breaker Housings
Circuit breaker housings are a little more robust than a standard casing. The generally don’t have to survive impacts such as a dropped cell phone or a laptop, but they do have to survive large electrical charges. Their goal is to contain electrical components and ensure that no fires or other hazards can occur.
Application 3 – Conduits
Electrical conduits are important as they route and protect wiring inside of a structure such as a wall or ceiling. An additional function is to insulate wires and prevent electrical leakage. The best plastic choice for conduits is an electrical plastic that can have a rigid or flexible exterior that offers protection for any given project demands.
Application 4 – Cable and Wiring Insulation
Plastic is an excellent insulator to protect cables and wires from exterior hazards and also the users of the wiring. Most cables and wires are additionally housed in electrical casings or conduits for protection from electrical leakage. Plastic insulation also protects people from the risk of electrical shock, and stays flexible through its life with chemical and corrosion resistance.
Application 5 – Circuit Boards
Circuit boards are a common item that are used in almost every industry currently. An electrical and non-conductive plastic is a perfect choice for circuit board backings, as it will allow copper tracks to run through without interference. This provides a safe and efficient path for electricity to flow. You will predominantly find circuit boards in electronics such as televisions, cell phones, computers / laptops, and automobiles. They are making headway to be included more in home appliances and 3D printing is currently being used to improve manufacturing processes.
There are thousands of resins available for plastic products and components. Many engineered resins will withstand extreme temperatures, corrosive environments, electrification, have more recycling options, and even more characteristics. The key will be to discuss what your product needs with your designer and molding partner, then select the optimum resin available.
Every new product starts with a concept. A fresh idea to make a current product better, or to fill a void in the marketplace. Bringing products to a global market is a complex process. The global economy is fast-paced, but we have designed many products to be a leader in the global economy. We can offer advice on the best surface finish to exceed your design expectations, and also offer advantages beyond function and form. When you need a resource to design your next plastic project, need help to select a resin with all the parameters needed for a successful product, or design your injection molded parts for manufacturing, we’re here to help. SEA-LECT Plastics is a turn-key supplier that can handle the intricate details. We are a leader in plastic injection molding with options for assembly and logistics. We can aid with resin selection on a new product, offer turn-key assembly options, and program management to see the complete development cycle through with success. Give us a call at (425) 339-0288 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. At SEA-LECT Plastics, we specialize in military product applications, outdoor adventure gear, musical instruments, supporting the medical parts manufacturing and all kinds of consumer product industries. Our goal is to make your project efficient and cost-effective to manufacture, assemble, and ship no matter how complicated your concept is.
Matthias Poischbeg was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. Matt moved to Everett, Wash., after finishing his bachelor’s degree in business in 1995 to work for Sea-Dog Corporation, a manufacturer, and distributor of marine and rigging hardware established in 1923.
In 1999, Matt took over the reins at Sea-Lect Plastics Corporation, a sister company of Sea-Dog and a manufacturer of plastic injection molded products with an in-house tool & die shop. Matthias Poischbeg is also a contributor to Grit Daily.