Why is Plastic Used in Fluid Handling Equipment?

Metal has long been the standard across the fluid handling industry, but plastics supply even greater benefits for a lower price. That's why today, many forms of fluid handling equipment are made with plastic components. But what are some of these benefits, and how can plastic be a viable replacement for metal? You'll be amazed at all that plastic can do!

Abrasion & Corrosion Resistant

Acrylic sheet and polypropylene are two popular plastics used to make plastic water pump parts like rotors, bushings, bearings, housings and gears. Both are resistant to many forms of wear and tear, including abrasions and corrosion due to the chemicals or other fluids passing through them. This helps equipment and parts last longer so facilities like water treatment plants undergo less downtime for maintenance and repairs. Corrosion is one of the biggest drawbacks of using metal — plastic's resistance to this condition simply can't be beaten.

Highly Hygienic

As we mentioned in our article about pharmaceutical plastic, it's easy to sterilize and sanitize plastics using even the most abrasive chemicals without worrying about the equipment breaking down. This is important for the equipment itself, as well as the fluids it carries. Plastic pumps can provide extremely high purity fluid storage and transport, which makes monitoring and control processes easier for operators.

Insulation & Flame Resistance

Plastic is a much better insulator than metal, so if hot fluids are being transported, you won't have to worry about your fluid handling equipment sweating flammable liquids. But even if burning does occur, plastic has a high level of flame and heat resistance, so your equipment would not be severely damaged if the problem is quickly addressed.

Doesn't Leach/Absorb Impurities

Plastic pumps are also popular because they don't contain any impurities that might leach into water and contaminate it, skewing the readings. Additionally, the plastic will not absorb any impurities from the water, chemicals or other fluids passing through it. The parts may need to be sanitized now and then, but they can easily be sterilized using either clean-in-place (CIP) or sanitize-in-place (SIP) methods.

Cost-Effective

Plastics are easy to manufacture into a variety of shapes, including custom parts made specifically for your fluid handling equipment. It's easy and inexpensive to create replacements and, once the parts are in place, they'll last a long time due to their sturdiness. Thanks to their insulating properties, plastics can even help facilities become more energy efficient, saving money on utility bills as well. Overall, plastics can help reduce material, labor and energy costs to keep your facility running smoothly and your customers happy.

Learn More About Fluid Handling Plastics

Think fluid handling plastic might be just the material for your job? We think so, too! Keep learning about the many different uses and benefits of plastic, or contact us today so we can help you find the best solution for your project.

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