The Best Wear-Resistant Plastics for CNC Machining
When machining custom parts for high-friction or high-wear applications, choosing a durable precision plastic for your production is critical for safe, effective, and long-lasting operations for end users. Wear resistance defines a plastic’s ability to resist volume loss through mechanical actions such as rubbing or scraping, and these materials feature low-friction properties to enhance component performance. Advantages include:
- Minimized mechanical wear and damage
- Contamination prevention
- Reduced noise within facilities
- Minimized maintenance needs
- Extended lifespan of machined components
Your best wear-resistant plastic will vary depending on the type of contact occurring during operations, environmental conditions, load expectations, and many other factors. For assistance assessing your application’s requirements and navigating your options, contact Upland Fab today. Our expert machinists will get to know your specifications and recommend your best wear-resistant plastic.
Wear-Resistant Plastics to Match Your Specifications
Stiff, high strength, and low friction, complex or tight tolerance components machined from acetal plastic deliver excellent performances in dry or wet environments. Acetal is highly versatile and available as a homopolymer or copolymer to match your project requirements:
- Choose acetal homopolymer, or Delrin, for high-strength performances at room temperature, enhanced stiffness, and extreme toughness.
- Choose acetal copolymer for superior operations in continuous high-heat or hot water environments and to take advantage of significantly lower porosity.
Per ASTM D646, Vespel polymide is one of the most durable and highest performing precision plastics available for CNC machining productions. Vespel offers:
- Low friction
- High-temperature resistance
- Excellent creep characteristics
- Good ductility
- And many other benefits for high-wear applications.
However, Vespel's extreme strength and stiffness make it notoriously difficult to machine. That's why working with an expert machine shop, such as Upland Fab, with experience in machining Vespel parts is imperative. Our team will minimize waste to maximize your resources and deliver precision Vespel components.
Nylon thermoplastics, sometimes called Zytel or DuPont, are among the best wear-resistant plastics currently available for CNC machining runs. These materials are lightweight, strong, stiff, and offer excellent resistance to wear, abrasion, and impact. As nylon is widely available and cost-effective, it is a good option for productions looking to make the most of their resources.
Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is a versatile and durable thermoplastic used to machine engineering parts and components. It can be used to create parts with outstanding resistance to harsh chemicals, steam, water, and saltwater. PEEK’s ability to maintain stiffness at high temperatures, excellent strength, and reliable stability likewise makes it one of the best wear-resistant plastics for harsh applications, including:
- Aerospace assemblies
- Oil and gas processing
- Food and beverage productions
- Semiconductor manufacturing
Teflon, also known as polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE, is a high-performance, low-friction fluoropolymer with great resistance to weathering, chemical exposure, and high temperatures. Many grades are available to match your needs, including unfilled, glass-filled, bearing, and FDA-compliant options.
Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW) is a tough and durable plastic material used to machine wear-resistant parts across industries. It has a low friction coefficient and is chemical-resistant, and common applications include:
- UHMW wear strips
- Chain guides
- Parts for packaging machinery
- Marine dock fender pads
- And more!