The general advantages of plastics are well documented. Among these
are design flexibility, including part integration, chemical and corrosion
resistance, cost effectiveness, and low weight. With these advantages,
plastics continue to make inroads in various internal and external applications.
Plastics can also create an advantage in appliance design, notes Paola
Babka, global marketing director, consumer markets, GE Advanced Materials,
Plastics (Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands). “The development, styling,
and manufacture of next-generation appliances can be done in such a way
that new products immediately stand out from the competition, also creating
possible brand identity,” she says. “Products such as these
call for the greatest possible freedoms from the materials they use.
Engineering thermoplastics can offer among the broadest possible range
of performance properties and capabilities compared to conventional metal-based
An example of what one leading appliance company—in this case,
Spain’s Fagor—can do with engineering thermoplastics is seen
in the article, Metallic
Look Enhances Refrigerator Design. This is one of three applications—plus
a few pictures thrown in for good measure—illustrating some of
the ways plastics are being used in appliance design.
In addition to creating attractive aesthetics, internal plastic parts
can also be vital to a product’s success. Certainly in one food
equipment application, they saved the day. When Hobart Corporation found
a problem created by contamination in a dough mixer design, it changed
over to a plastic-based bearing. The component is lubrication- and maintenance-free,
as well as contamination- and chemical-resistant. Find out more by reading Adding
More to the Mix.
As populations continue to reach retirement age in developed countries,
the market for medical devices is likely to continue to grow, and with
it, the use of plastics. In one medical application, Draeger Medical
was looking for a material to use in a blower that could quickly reach
high speeds. The 55-mm wheel needed thin walls and high tensile strength.
The material has the purity required for clinical use. Read more in High
Of course, compared to the whole range of what is happening with plastics
applications in the appliance industry, a triplet of cases is just a
small sampling. Still, perhaps these examples will trigger new thinking
of innovative ways appliance producers can use plastics in their product
designs. READ ON:
Look Enhances Refrigerator Design
More to the Mix