Plastics for mechanical engineering
Weight-to-performance
Discover plastics in engineering

Plastic solutions for mechanical engineering

Ensinger produces a wide range of engineering plastics which are predominantly used for mechanical applications and components of industrial machines.

The field of mechanical engineering is traditionally focused on steel and metal alloys in order to achieve high mechanical strength and precision of the parts. Nowadays, replacing metal with engineering plastics is common due to their wide range of benefits. 

Often, high performance plastics are perceived to be too expensive to use as an alternative. However, you will find that these special materials can offer a solution where other traditional materials fail, opening up the doors to improvement and progress.

Plastic is often a convenient solution for mechanical components such as gears, supports, sliding elements, spacers, valve components and many more applications.


Benefits to Mechanical Engineering

Most of the environments that are problematic for metals and require the use of special (and expensive) alloys, for instance, wet systems containing salt water, oxidizing agents, acids, sterilizing and cleaning processes, are usually harmless to most plastics. We can help you find the right engineering plastic material to suit these environments without the need for corrosion protection.

In some cases, lubrication of mechanical components must be avoided (e.g. to prevent contamination) or is not easy to achieve (parts difficult to reach during maintenance, high temperatures where lubricants are ineffective). Many plastic materials are able to work in completely dry running conditions with excellent wear resistance.

Plastics might be slightly less resistant than metal, however, they also weigh much less, carrying great advantages on all moving parts. Plastic components remain functional with minimised weight, thus, inertia is reduced, higher operating speeds are possible and furthermore, the power needed to operate the machines is consistently lowered.

Plastics are easy to process by extrusion, injection molding, compression molding and other techniques at "low" temperatures of maximum 400°C (worst case), against over 1,000°C processing temperatures used for most metals. Moreover, plastics allow really high machining speeds and feeds that considerably reduce production time for mechanical components.

Along with the aforementioned advantages, low weight and low price per kg of engineering plastics, you'll find that not only can plastics simplify and improve your machines, but will also save you money.


Solutions for Mechanical Engineering

Engineering plastics

General purpose, unfilled versions of technical plastics for mechanical applications.

Sliding optimised plastics

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

Fibre reinforced materials

Materials with high stiffness, improved mechanical strength and low thermal expansion, due to glass or carbon fibre reinforcement.

Impact resistant materials

Shock resistant materials for applications where components need to withstand frequent impacts without cracking.

Machinable Plastics for Mechanical Engineering

Ensinger offers a complete portfolio of thermoplastic materials suitable for mechanical engineering applications.

PEEK Plastic Material TECAPEEK natural

TECAPEEK natural

Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) - TECAPEEK natural is a high performance, high temperature, semi-crystalline thermoplastic manufactured by Ensinger...
PEEK Plastic Material TECAPEEK PVX black

TECAPEEK PVX black

TECAPEEK PVX black is a modified PEEK polymer with 10% each of PTFE, graphite, and carbon fibre. That makes TECAPEEK PVX an ultra high performance plastic material …
Cast Nylon Plastic Material TECAST T natural

TECAST T natural

TECAST T natual cast nylon offers a combination of good mechanical properties, excellent bearing and wear characteristics, and the large-size capabilities of the casting process.
Polyamid Nylon Plastic Material TECAMID 6 GF30 black

TECAMID 6 GF30 black

PA 6 GF30 is a 30 % glass fibre reinforced polyamide that we manufacture under the trade name TECAMID 6 GF30 black...
PET Plastic Material TECAPET white

TECAPET white

TECAPET white is formulated to provide improved toughness, and enhanced machinability. The material also offers excellent sliding and wear properties as well as a low coefficient of friction…
PET Plastic Material TECAPET TF grey

TECAPET TF grey

TECAPET TF grey is PTFE modified, giving excellent slide / wear characteristics. TECAPET TF is often used for parts in the food processing industry, as it is approved for direct food contact...
Acetal POM Plastic Material TECAFORM AH natural

TECAFORM AH natural

TECAFORM AH natural acetal is an unfilled POM-C with a unique balance of physical properties not available in most other thermoplastics.
Polyamid Nylon Plastic Material TECAMID 6 MO black

TECAMID 66 MO black

The addition of molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) to PA66 produces a material with improved sliding and friction properties...

Case Studies Mechanical Engineering

thread in part for robot arm made of TECAPEEK natural
PEEK Plastic Material TECAPEEK natural

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.

Frequently Asked Questions on Mechanical Engineering materials

  • 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 must be paid to machining tolerances, different mechanical properties that may require design modifications, higher thermal expansion, possible deformations in case of long term applied loads (creep), and 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.