Is plastic better than steel? Save time and money with igus®

Are plastics a viable alternative to save time and money?

Is plastic better than steel

Is plastic better than steel? I know that someone people will think that is extreme and that plastic won’t be able to withstand the same forces and impacts that metal would, but you might be surprised.

There are plastics that have been designed to be an alternative to steel components. When you consider the disadvantages of using steel, such as:

  • Corrosion/rust
  • Lubrication required
  • Expensive

So, considering these vulnerable features of using steel, it Is no wonder that people are looking at replacing steel parts with more cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternatives. So, is steel better than plastic in the long term?

Is plastic better than steel and should you replace it?

It may seem daunting but switching steel parts for plastics can offer a multitude of benefits. With igus® products the key features are:

  • 100% corrosion-free
  • Low weight
  • Vibration resistant
  • Maintenance-free
  • 100% lubrication free
  • Cost-effective

But the main key areas are they can save you time, money and help save the environment.

Save time

The above benefits are advantageous for machines and applications however they also have an added boost of reducing your downtime from component failure and regular maintenance. With smart plastics, predictive maintenance and condition monitoring ensure that unplanned downtime is a thing of the past.

Save money

Back to the question, “is plastic better than steel?” and we can consider costs. Currently the cost of steel is rising and is sitting at 20% higher than It was 18 months ago. The manufacturing of plastics is ever evolving, and new technologies are being used which are keeping the costs of producing plastic low. Linking to the above point of intelligent plastics, this reduces unplanned downtime, eliminating catastrophic failures, which are expensive. igus® mass produces parts, recycles old parts, re-granulate broken parts, all keeping costs low to produce, making plastic cost-effective.

Save the planet

igus® has a few “green” initiatives: our recycling program, the chainge program and we are also invested in Mura technology. All initiatives help to reduce the eco footprint, whilst also reducing the total cost of ownership/running cost.  Whereas most of our competitors’ products are manufactured from various grades of steel, which are costly to purchase and not environmentally friendly, the igus® energy chain is cost-effective, hard wearing and has less of an eco-footprint. This is the same for our plain bearings, 100% plastic.

You can read about what igus® is doing to help on our sustainability blog page here.

At the beginning I mentioned downtime costing industries billions of pounds every year and by changing from steel to plastic, you can reduce unplanned downtime, save time and money. So, is plastic better than steel? Not necessarily…..  


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