Manufacturers, designers and engineers recognize the ability of composite materials to produce high quality, durable, cost-effective products. Composites solve problems, raise performance levels and enable the development of new innovations. Here are some helpful resources to learn more.

Navigating the Transition: Switching to Thermoplastic Components and Parts

For many industries, product innovation has been a driving force behind performance and revenue growth, and can make a huge difference to a company’s bottom line.

One significant area of innovation in recent years has been the rise of thermoplastic composite parts in industries like aerospace, sporting goods, transportation, and more. Composite parts have many advantages over traditional materials and the automation advancements pioneered by Re:Build Oribi Composites has made thermoplastic part manufacturing cost-competitive with traditional materials.

Considering making the switch? In this post, we’ll explore the advantages and factors to consider when switching to thermoplastic components and parts.

Traditional materials vs. thermoplastics

Companies make the leap to thermoplastic composite materials for a variety of reasons, including performance, versatility, and sustainability. While traditional materials like metals have dominated many industries for decades, thermoplastic composite parts have significant advantages.

Benefits of thermoplastic components include:

  1. Versatility and design freedom: Thermoplastics are incredibly versatile. Unlike traditional materials, which often require complex machining, thermoplastics can be molded and reshaped easily, which is especially important for industries like aerospace and automotive.
  2. Lightweight: Thermoplastics are significantly lighter than metals, and this weight reduction can lead to increased fuel efficiency and decreased energy consumption.
  3. Sustainability: Thermoplastics are recyclable, unlike many traditional materials.
  4. Durability: Thermoplastics exhibit excellent chemical resistance and resilience, often outperforming traditional materials in harsh environments. They are also resistant to chemical degradation, extending the lifespan of your products.
  5. Reduced lead times: Thanks to Re:Build Oribi Composite’s innovative and automated thermoplastic manufacturing process, thermoplastics are often quicker and easier to manufacture than traditional materials. These shorter lead times are invaluable for industries with rapidly changing market conditions.

How to switch to thermoplastic components

What factors do you need to consider when navigating the transition to thermoplastic parts, and what steps should you follow? Every industry is different, but generally speaking, you’ll want to follow this process to seamlessly transition to thermoplastic manufacturing.

First, select your material. Thermoplastic composite parts can be manufactured with many different materials, including carbon fiber, glass fiber, and more. It is critical to understand the specific needs and requirements of your product before selecting the materials. The right manufacturing partner will help you determine the best material and resin to achieve your specific goals.

Next, optimize your design. As discussed above, thermoplastics often allow for more intricate and complex product designs and structures, so making the transition opens up a new world of possibilities. Switching to thermoplastics allows companies to rethink their products and components in ways that were not possible with traditional materials.

Then, you’ll want to prototype your optimized design so you can test and evaluate the performance of the new parts and components. Comprehensive testing can include mechanical testing, durability testing, environmental testing, and more. Once you’ve tested, you can make any necessary adjustments to your product design or manufacturing process.

Ready to get started?

The Re:Build Oribi Composites team is here to help! Contact us for more information about how thermoplastics can transform your business, and how to successfully transition your component sourcing processes.

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