Plastics in engineering

Engineering mechanical plastic solutions 

Ensinger manufactures and processes a wide range of different engineering plastics, which are primarily used in mechanical applications and as components in industrial machinery. In doing so, we have various in-house plastics processing methods and decades of know-how in the field of engineering and high-performance plastics at our disposal, enabling us to implement even the most demanding requirements with maximum precision. Ensinger is therefore ideally equipped for the various fields of application in the wide area of mechanical engineering.

Material solutions for mechanical engineering 

In the field of mechanical engineering, steel and metal alloys are traditionally used to achieve high mechanical strength and precision of components. However, metals are now often replaced by engineering plastics, as the latter offer a variety of advantages. It is often thought that high-performance plastics are too costly an alternative, but these particular materials can provide solutions where traditional materials fail - offering more scope for improvement and progress. Ensinger's goal is to use engineering plastics to achieve better and faster operation of equipment and lines through optimized material combinations. 

Plastics in mechanical engineering are often considered as a convenient solution for mechanical components such as gears, supports, sliding elements, spacers, valve components and many other applications.

Manufacturing solutions for mechanical engineering

Machinery and equipment manufacturers are demanding more efficient, cost-effective and safer solutions. Ensinger can accompany such product developments right from the start thanks to our comprehensive value chain in the field of engineering plastics. Our extensive know-how is based on decades of experience, and our team is happy to provide support from the compound to the injection-molded part, ready for series production or from the semi-finished product to the high-precision machined finished part. The many possibilities offered by Ensinger in the field of polymers and manufacturing processes create a high degree of flexibility depending on the requirements, with simultaneous knowledge transfer in all directions.


Many environments, such as wet systems containing salt water, oxidizers and acids, or sterilization and cleaning processes, can prove problematic for metals and require the use of special and expensive metal alloys. Conversely, these environments are harmless to most plastics. We can help you find the right engineering plastics for the conditions that require corrosion protection.
Plastics can have a slightly lower resistance compared to metals. However, their significantly lower weight brings great benefits to all moving parts. Plastic components remain functional at weights well below that of most metals. This results in the achievement of reduced inertia and higher operating speeds. Furthermore, the energy required to operate the machines is significantly reduced.
Plastics can be processed efficiently by extrusion, injection molding, compression molding and other methods at temperatures of no more than 400 °C (worst case) to produce high-precision components with extremely tight tolerances. Most metals, on the other hand, require processing temperatures of more than 1,000 °C. In the case of plastics, very high processing speeds and feed rates can also be implemented, enabling a significant reduction in the production time of mechanical components.
In addition to the advantages already mentioned, construction plastics have a low weight and a low price per kilo. Furthermore, wear decreases due to corrosion resistance and optimised sliding properties and therefore you can not only simplify and improve your machines with these materials, but also save money in addition. 
In some cases, lubrication of mechanical components is not possible because of the desire to avoid contamination. Other times it is difficult to implement because parts may be difficult to reach during maintenance, or perhaps because high temperatures prevail that cancel the effect of lubricants. In these instances many plastics can be used in completely dry conditions and simultaneously offer excellent wear resistance.

Ensinger – all from one source

As a full-service provider for modern mechanical engineering solutions made of high-performance plastics, Ensinger relies on a fully integrated value chain. Specifically adapted to the growing requirements of the industry, Ensinger produces a wide variety of polymer compounds in-house. These are processed into high-quality mechanical engineering applications at our sites using innovative plastics processing technologies. We supply semi-finished products, profiles, round rods or even injection-molded blanks and can machine these into high-precision machine components on request. Finally, we complement this offering with industry-specific know-how.




  • Universal materials, unfilled versions of engineering plastics for mechanical applications. 

  • Materials with high stiffness, improved mechanical strength and low thermal expansion thanks to reinforcement with glass or carbon fibres. 

  • Impact-resistant materials for applications in which components are frequently subjected to impacts and must not crack. 

  • Self-lubricating materials with special additives to reduce the coefficient of friction and improve wear resistance. 


Composite Robotic Arm

insert made of TECAPEEK natural

Metal replacement with TECAPEEK natural inside a carbon fiber composite robotic arm

In high speed moving components, saving weight is crucial to reducing inertia and improving efficiency. In this case study, a composite robotic arm used for high-speed picking and handling Delta Robots was enhanced by replacing a metal insert with TECAPEEK natural high-performance thermoplastic material.

Robot head: gripper

made of TECATEC PC CW50 black composite plates

Robotic gripper for a handling device

Advanced automation often requires customised solutions, in particular for the heads of the robots. Typical applications are automated solutions for handling devices and respectively their components such as the grippers.


Our materials and manufacturing experts will be happy to advise you on your specific application - contact us using our contact form.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON Mechanical Engineering plastics

  • When changing from metal to plastic, the design of the component should normally be reviewed in order to maximise the benefits of using plastic. Particular attention should be paid to machining tolerances, different mechanical properties that may require design modifications, higher thermal expansion, possible deformation in the case of long term applied loads (creep), and/or changes in properties with temperature.
  • When searching mainly for ease of processing, the most natural and common choice is TECAFORM AH. This material can be machined very quickly, without problems of swarf removal and without excessive fragility. When, in addition to easy machinability, also superior dimensional stability and precision are required, TECAPEEK natural becomes the best choice.
  • The best material for a certain application can be chosen after considering all main working conditions: if the application is static or dynamic, temperature of use, mechanical loads, presence of external factors such as chemicals or exposure to UV, cleaning conditions, etc.

    If you need help in choosing the right material for your application, you may ask to our specialists or check our material selector tool.