When it comes to plastic machining, clarity is very important to our customers for both cosmetic and functional reasons. Transparent parts that are exceptionally clear and free of surface blemishes inspire confidence in the end user.
On a practical level, clarity is often required because device components, such as acrylic manifolds, must be cleaned periodically and require visual inspection of all internal channels to ensure all unwanted residues have been removed during cleaning.
Customers specify the clarity they are seeking in a variety of ways. Some just call for “water clear” – about the same level of clarity that you would expect from a glass of still water. Others are more specific – for instance, defining it as the ability to read a certain font size at a set distance through the part. Optical lenses – which are not machined, but are molded by our microPEP team — call for an even higher and very scientific definition of clarity. PEP Connecticut Plastics can plastic machine everything else.
Our customers are impressed when we show them a clear, acrylic or polycarbonate machined laboratory equipment component with complex dimensions, very long, high-quality finish drilled holes, and a blemish-free surface. This is a real showstopper for them because they know how difficult these acrylic manifolds are to make.
Plastics can be very sensitive to heat and chemicals. They vary widely in their machining characteristics, and are difficult to handle without expert knowledge. Excessive machining pressure can cause functional or cosmetic defects. On a mill or a lathe, plastic walls and other features will be deformed and highly stressed, unless the machining strategy is carefully designed. We routinely deal with these concerns for custom plastic parts, ranging from breadbox-sized housings to micro-machined gearing.
Make no mistake, clarity reveals a lot more than what meets the eye about what we know, and what we can do.