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Identifying the Right Material for Machining

May 31, 2023

The raw metal or plastic used for parts is just as important as how the parts are machined; selecting the wrong one could unnecessarily balloon part costs. For instance, superalloy and darling of the aerospace world, titanium, is hard to machine, and parts made of it will almost certainly cost more than ones made of aluminum or stainless steel. The point? If it’s not truly needed, opt for a more inexpensive metal.

 

Polyether ether ketone (PEEK), the Superman of polymers, is strong enough to replace metal in certain applications but prepare yourself for some sticker shock, as PEEK is typically around five times the price of other high-performance thermoplastics. Other technical considerations that will help you choose a suitable material for your part’s application include specific measurements such as tensile strength, heat deflection, and overall hardness.

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