Introduction

PA, commonly known as Nylon, is a synthetic polymer with broad applications across many industries. The material is popular because of its good mechanical strength, stiffness, toughness, shock absorption and wear resistance.

Often seen as a universal plastic for producing mechanical structural parts, PA also boasts good electrical insulation and chemical resistance.

Surface Finish

Electroplating

Electroplating can be functional, decorative or corrosion-related. Many industries use the process, including the automotive sector, in which chrome-plating of steel automobile parts is common.

Electroplating Image
Bead blasting

Bead blasting results in parts with a smooth surface with a matte texture. Used mainly for visual applications and can be followed by other surface treatments.

Bead blasting Image

Manufacturability

Tolerance

- Standard: (+/-) 125 µm -Achievable: (+/-) 100 µm , (+/-) 50 µm

Wall Thickness

- The minimum wall thickness should be at least 1 mm for machined parts. - 2 mm is suggested for better strength and 2.5 mm for a rigid wall.

Pocket depth

- Pocket depth should be up to 3 times the diameter of the end mill

Engraving

- Engraving is preferable to embossing - For the clear, legible text consider fonts such as Arial or Gothic - Design letter strands with a width of at least 2 mm

Internal Radii

- The minimum internal radii possible is 1 mm - In general, internal radii dimensions depend on the depth of pocket being milled

Holes

- Use standard drill bit sizes - Minimum of 1 mm in diameter

Threads

- Use standard metric inserts - Smallest threaded insert possible is M2

Design Recommendations

Min Wall Thickness

0.5 mm

Min End Mill Size

0.8 mm (0.03 in)

Min Drill Size

0.5 mm (0.02 in)

Max Part Size

1200 x 500 x 152 mm [(x,y,z] (mill) 152 x 394 mm [d,h] (lathe)

Undercuts

Square profile, full radius, dovetail profiles

Radii : Depth

Depth must not exceed 12x drill bit diameter. For end mills, depth must not exceed 10x drill bit diameter.

Engineer's Pro Tips

  • PA can be reinforced with glass fibers (i.e. PA66+GF30), increasing the material’s strength substantially. With reinforcement, PA can achieve similar strength characteristics to POM.
  • PA is not well suited to polishing or disassembling. It also cannot be assembled with glue.
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