Understanding Different Manufacturing Materials

If you’re running a manufacturing company, you may have had a hard time deciding what materials you should use. The wrong choices can lead you to delays, high costs and inefficiency. The right choices can enable you to create your design exactly as you imagined it. Some materials may be a lifesaver for one business, but the worst possible thing for your own business. To get a better understanding of what can suit your needs, it helps to understand different types of materials that are commonly used in manufacturing.


When several different materials are fused together, they create composites. Unique materials arise from these combinations such as plywood, paper, concrete and plastics. These materials sometimes come with special handling requirements when mailing, which may discourage you from ordering constant shipments. However, composites are often cheap and their makeup is usually resistant to harsh conditions. A good injection mold design & manufacturing service can help with customizing the materials, especially plastics. With the right setup, repairs shouldn’t be too difficult.


If you are looking for glossy, strong materials that can conduct electricity, metals might be your ticket. Bronze, tin, aluminum, steel and copper are just a few examples of these materials. Metals tend to be tough and malleable at the same time, making them great for manufacturing. Extreme temperatures don’t seem to affect metals in most circumstances. The drawbacks are that metals can be pricy due to sourcing difficulties.


Polymers are perhaps the most complex materials on this list. Whether they are natural or artificial, polymers consist of repeated subunit chains. A few examples are rubber, nylon, cellulose and Teflon. Polymers are often not very durable and their uses are limited. However, polymers are usually affordable, highly accessible and easy to work with for general applications.


When producers form nonmetallic materials with high heat, ceramics are often the result. Clay is the most common ceramic, but cement, glass, stoneware and porcelain are also used in manufacturing. Ceramics can be fragile, so you may have trouble with handling and processing. As long as you’re careful, ceramics tend to be cheap and lightweight with excellent insulating properties.

You will most likely be using several different materials for your products, but it helps to estimate a ratio before diving in. After you’ve established what works best for you, you should be able to pump out more items without sacrificing time and money.

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