Plastic vs. Metal Parts: What Should You Choose for Your Products


Manufacturers have relied on metal to build their products for decades. But, as technology is evolving and consumers want better products built faster, a lot of manufacturers are looking for alternatives to metal parts. 

Even industries that heavily relied on “metal applications” in the past, such as the automotive, aerospace, military, and even consumer goods industries, have now switched to plastic parts. While metal will not be completely replaced as there still are industries where it’s the best material to use, such as in the case of electric and cooking ware, plastic brings a whole range of benefits to the table. 

Plastic Parts & Products Offer Fast Production Times
One of the major benefits plastic has over metal is its fast production time. Manufacturers that choose to use plastic parts for their products can get their products to market faster and gain a significant advantage over the competitors who are still relying on metal applications. 

Plastic Is More Economical Than Metal
Although technology has advanced tremendously in the last decades, metal is still quite difficult to work with and shape into different designs. That makes the design process both more expensive and longer. 

With plastic, on the other hand, we can engineer and prototype your part or product quickly and efficiently. While you do need to pay for the creation of the tool, this cost is almost insignificant as you don’t need to spend on the design process anymore. 

Plastic Lasts A Long Time
Yes, metal is sturdy and durable, but unlike metal, plastic doesn’t corrode. That makes plastic a better alternative for industries like automotive or aerospace where the products are often exposed to the elements. Moreover, plastic parts can reduce the downtime required to fix or replace parts. 

Plastic Is Up To 6x Lighter Than Metal
Plastic machined parts can be six times lighter than its metal counterpart. Even when it comes to lightweight metals like aluminum, the plastic part is considerably lighter. This is especially important in the automotive and aerospace industries where lighter materials and parts can lead to more efficiency and lower fuel costs. 

Today’s Plastic Is Strong
One of the main arguments against plastic used to be that it’s not as resistant as metal. That’s not the case anymore. Modern plastic has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than before, meaning that it can ensure a significant amount of stress compared to its density before failure.

More Manufacturers Are Turning To Plastic Parts
Easier to produce, cheaper design, lighter than metal, but just as resistant, there is no surprise that plastic is becoming the go-to alternative for more and more manufacturers. While not all metal parts can be replaced with plastic, manufacturers can gain by turning to plastic parts where it makes sense. 

At PlasTech Machining and Fabrication, we know the importance of quality plastic parts. Every month we ship thousands of manufactured products to manufacturer in the following industries:

  • OEM (Original equipment manufacturers)
  • Computer Manufacturers
  • Defense
  • Electronics
  • Marine
  • Medical
  • Semiconductor
  • Microwave
  • Telecommunications

We can help you too. Our expertise and the quality of our products will help you make a difference in your products’ performance and help you gain a competitive advantage.