There are many applications that require parts capable of providing protection from electrostatic discharge (ESD) or EMI/RFI interference. For these applications, parts can be produced from plastics that have the required electrical properties.
About Conductive Plastics
Plastics, by nature, are normally insulators. Parts made from non-conductive plastics tend to accumulate and retain a static charge very easily. In contrast, parts made from conductive plastics maintain a zero potential and do not accumulate static charges. This property is valuable for reducing the risk of an unwanted electrostatic discharge. Consequently, conductive plastic parts are the right choice for applications where the presence of static electricity may increase the risk of a fire, explosion, or malfunction of other electrical components and devices.
Conductive plastics can also be used produce parts which shield and protect electronic components from the effects of electromagnetic interference (EMI). These parts form a conductive path for electromagnetic waves, diverting them away from sensitive electronic components which could be easily damaged.
There are various ways to produce plastics that have the desired conductive properties. The basic approach is to combine conductive polymers, particles or fibers with a base polymer to form a conductive plastic. This can then be compounded and used to produce plastic materials from which parts can be either machined or molded.
Advantages of Conductive Plastic Parts
Conductive plastic parts offer a number of advantages over parts made from metals or other materials coated or painted with surfactants. Finished conductive plastic parts are lighter in weight, easier to handle and generally less costly to transport and ship than their metal counterparts.
In addition, parts made by machining conductive plastics are more economical than those made by molding. Unlike molding, CNC machining eliminates the need for expensive molds, while the greater precision of the CNC process eliminates secondary operations which may be required to finish parts to the required standard.
When Should You Use Conductive Plastic Parts?
Conductive plastic parts should be considered for any application where uncontrolled electrostatic discharges have to be prevented or eliminated. These applications include the following:
Electrical equipment and devices
Electronic devices and components
Industrial machinery and equipment
Applications governed by ATEX directives requiring the use of plastic materials in hazardous areas (ATEX zones) and the equipment used in those areas.
Machined Conductive Plastic Parts from CRG
At CRG, we use CNC machining technology to produce parts from conductive plastics. These parts are produced on the latest CNC equipment and are manufactured to each customer’s individual application requirements in our ISO 9001-registered facility.
With CNC technology, CRG can process a wide variety of conductive plastic materials ranging from .001” thick and greater to widths and lengths up to 126”. Close-tolerance cutting to within ±.005” ensures your specs will be achieved with a minimal waste of material. Our controlled process ensures that the finished parts are always clean and dust-free, with smooth, chip-free edges.
If you are seeking machined conductive plastic parts for your product or application, CRG will be pleased to review and discuss your needs.
To find out more about the machined conductive plastic parts we can supply, please contact our sales department at firstname.lastname@example.org.