Plastic Rods for Machined Parts and Industrial Uses

Many material types, grades, and colors, with small to large diameters in various lengths

Need plastic rod for machined parts and industrial uses? Curbell Plastics supplies plastic rods in different diameters, lengths, material types, grades, and colors.

Plastic rod materials can come in a variety of filled systems including glass-filled, graphite-filled, PTFE-filled, MoS2-filled, and oil-filled. These additives make plastic rod useful for a broad range of industries such as aerospace, packaging, conveying, food processing equipment, heavy equipment and machinery, scientific instrumentation, facilities MRO, and more. Industries use materials like polypropylene and HDPE rod stock for general purpose applications, and DuPont™ Vespel® Polyimide or PTFE rod for high performance applications.

What is Plastic Rod?

Plastic rod is a stock shape often machined into parts—machined parts used in almost every major industry. Rod is a solid stock shape, whereas plastic tube has a hollow inner diameter. Plastic rods are most commonly processed via extrusion, where molten plastic is forced through a die. Any melt-processable plastic can be extruded into rod stock of any desired length. Small diameter rods are typically extruded rather than cast.

A limited number of plastic materials including nylon, acrylic, and polyurethanes can also be cast into rod stock where liquid resin is poured into a mold. The advantages of casting include more efficient manufacturing of large diameter rod, lower residual or “built-in” stresses, and more homogenous material properties.

Strength, Wear, Weight Reduction, Machinability - Plastic Rod for Any Need

Plastic rods are available in materials ranging from commodity plastics like acrylic to high performance plastics like DuPont™ Vespel® Polyimide. Whether you need a plastic with high strength and rigidity, a rod made for excellent friction and wear resistance, or rod materials that are chemically resistant, lightweight, and easy to machine, there is a rod for your application.

Certain grades of plastic rods are formulated for enhanced performance characteristics such as electrical grade, bearing, low friction, and more. These specialty plastic rods are replacing metals and other materials in industries like aerospace, oil and gas, scientific instrumentation, packaging, conveying, and food processing equipment. Why? Plastics help lighten components, can resist chemical attack, and can even exhibit excellent abrasion resistance.

Learn more about plastic rod material types that are:

Additionally, some rod materials are available with fillers to enhance performance. For example, glass-filled PEEK rod offers enhanced mechanical and thermal properties over those of basic PEEK, plus excellent resistance in harsh chemical environments. PTFE-filled acetal rod optimizes sliding friction properties, and oil-filled nylon rod has enhanced wear properties which often eliminates the need for external lubrication in bearing and wear applications. DuPont™ Vespel® rods offer a selection of graphite-filled or graphite/PTFE-filled options for high performance purposes.

Popular Plastic in Rod Stock 

Some plastic rod types come in a variety of grades allowing you to select the best option to meet your application requirements. Top material grades include general purpose (GP), bearing grade, FDA compliant, low flammability, detectable grade, and more.

Clear, Colored, Strong, High Temperature, and More

Clear Plastic Rods. Clear acrylic rods resemble glass in their weight, feel, and shine while offering high impact resistance and durability. Cut-to-size acrylic curtain rods are often used for functional interior design purposes by construction companies, shower, tub, and spa manufacturers, and interior designers.

Colored Plastic Rod. Plastic rod is available in a wide variety of colors and options. Acrylic rod and square acrylic rod are available in transparent, opaque, and fluorescent variations in a broad array of colors or metallic color finishes. Other plastics like nylon or UHMW rod are often available in opaque colors including blue, brown, and green.

Some coloring can be critical to the application. For example, food grade blue plastic rod is often important to food, beverage, and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Since the food grade blue colorant is optically visible, unwanted particle contamination is generally detectable by eye or optical scanners. As not all blue colorants are food safe, Ask a Plastics Expert for material selection assistance. 

Other industries that use colored plastic rod include point of purchase displays, machine and equipment builders, valve and seals manufacturers, and production facility MRO departments. 

Hard, Strong Plastic Rods. Many industries rely on plastic rod for hard and strong performance characteristics plus other attributes like low weight, chemical resistance, and ease of machining. Hard and strong rods are often machined into fabricated parts for use as bearings, seals, bushings, sheaves, down-hole oil well parts, and gears. Filled plastics are sometimes selected for enhanced bearing and wear properties, strength, stiffness, and creep resistance. 

High Temperature Plastic Rods. Aerospace, scientific equipment, semiconductor and electronics, and other industries use plastic rod for high temperature applications. Selecting a material for use in a high temperature environment requires careful review of material properties data. When choosing plastic for extreme temperature applications like thermal insulators, electrical insulators, aircraft components, bearings, and seals, designers must be careful to select materials that will function reliably throughout the required temperature range.  

Small to Large Diameter Plastic Rods in Various Lengths

Plastic rod sizes range in various diameters and lengths to suit your application. From 0.062 inch to 14 inch diameters, common diameters range from 0.250 in, 0.375 in, 0.500 in, 0.750 in, 1 in and 2 inches, with some custom sizes available.

Plastic rod lengths typically vary from 1 foot to 10 feet, with most lengths commonly available in 4 ft, 5 ft, 6 ft, 8 ft, and 10 feet. The range of diameters and lengths lend thermoplastic rods to many useful applications. For example, thick diameter UHMW rods are often machined into feed screws for conveying applications, or PPS, Ultem®, and PEEK rod can be fabricated for semiconductor applications

Plastic Rod Fabrication and Machining Services 

Take advantage of our plastic fabrication and machining services to save time and money on plastic parts. Utilizing in-house capabilities and partnering with fabrication specialists, we provide customers with reliable fabrication solutions, machined parts, and custom-cut rod materials for any application.

If you have other cutting or machining requirements, Get a Quote.

How to Buy Plastic Rod

Curbell Plastics has been supplying plastic rods to customers for almost 80 years. In stock and ready to ship, there’s a wide variety of plastic rods ready to be cut or machined for your application. 

Shop now for the rod materials you need.