Plastics Machining: Every Bit as Much an Art as it is a Science

Apr 19, 2017 | Machining, Phenolics

Plastics Machining: Every Bit as Much an Art as it is a Science

To say that the world would look a lot different without the wonders of phenolics and plastics machining is something of an understatement. Everything from NASA to the energy sector to the smartphone you’re probably using to browse the Internet either wouldn’t exist or would be dramatically changed – not to mention much more expensive. But for as much as G10-FR4 machining and other types of plastics machining are a science, there is also a very real artistry behind it, too. Plastics machining often comes with a unique set of challenges that depend on the final application and may require a creative touch to handle.

The Challenges of Plastics Machining

Because plastics machining is such a flexible enterprise, anything is possible – which unfortunately also means that anything can go wrong. There are a lot of variables in play, like the fact that most plastics are incredibly sensitive to things like changes in temperature and humidity. Because of this, operators need to be able to solve problems in real-time as they occur. Nearly any decision made on the path to accomplish a goal or solving a problem is equally dependent on both the operator and the material he or she is working with. Plastics machining isn’t an easy task for everyone – it takes someone who can adhere to the scientific properties of what they’re working with, understand the needs of the material, and its final application, and be creative to turn restriction into opportunity at the same time.

In a classic Venn diagram showing the relationship between art and science, in terms of plastic machining, the point in the center where those two circles overlap would be labeled “experimentation.” Plastics are incredibly versatile, but that also means one material can be wildly inconsistent from the next.

Just as writer may craft many different versions of a scene until they find the right one, or a scientist may perform a test again and again to verify a hypothesis, professionals like those as JMJ Profile, Inc. must experiment with all the things a particular material can do before we can provide our customers with a breakdown of what it can do for THEM.

These are just a few of the many reasons why plastics machining is every bit as much an art as it is a science. At JMJ Profile, Inc., we work regularly with clients in fields as varied as automotive to aerospace and more – all wildly different applications using the same basic materials as a foundation to accomplish something extraordinary. Only by bringing together the scientific attention-to-detail that shows you what plastics can do AND the artistic eye that reveals the limitless possibilities can you create an environment where truly everything is possible.

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