July 14, 2022

Considerations of material changing

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With any material change there is much to consider besides just the cost.

Operating Environment:
What is the average operating temperature?
Material RTI value is critical for this
What is the peak operating temperature?
HDT is probably the most critical value
Is it wet or extremely dry?
Water Absorption rates can have an impact on mechanicals. Nylons have some of the highest rates.
Is it exposed to chemicals?
Chemical compatibility specifications must be considered

Mechanical:
Is it under any kind of constant external stress
Creep values must be considered
Does it have to sustain and kind of impact
Impact strength is a critical value
Filled materials generally have lower impact values than non-filled materials
Manufacturing process
Some processes naturally lend themselves to more mechanically robust plastic parts. Mostly due lower internal stress levels within the component itself. An example would be compression molding versus injection molding.

Other:
Flammability Requirements?
5VA, 5VB, V0, V1, V2 or HB?
Dielectric Strength
I believe you are probably aware of this requirement as it is an electrical connector you are speaking about

Environmental:
Is your company under any kind of environmental restrictions with regards to the products you sell like RoHS, Blue Angle or any of the EU Environmental requirements?
The flame packages in these materials may or may not be compliant with these and other environmental restrictions (Like Halogenated/Brominated flames packages).
The environmental agencies vary in their restrictions and a thorough evaluation of each is required in order to insure you do not conflict with them in your material selection.

This may seem like a lot to consider, and it is, but as an old mentor of mine use to tell me “It is better to make sure you cover all your bases than to be celebrating at home plate only to realize you just made an out.”

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