What is a resistant material? During lock-down and social distancing, we've been pondering all of the big questions! When designing or building a project, making sure it is also robust enough is a key consideration. It may need to stand up to handling, collisions, the elements, and more.
First, you need to decide what risks your project faces, then, how to counter that with material choice. We're going to explore resistant properties and then take a look at a selection of materials to see what resistant properties they have.
You can download this document as a PDF here.
What Are Resistant Materials?
A key element to determine if a material has resistant properties is the use to which it will be put. What is desirable from a material in one application may be of no use in another. Most, if not all, of the materials we stock, could be said to have resistant properties when deployed in an appropriate way. For the majority of our needs, we won't need to bust out the Maths, just a bit of consideration should do the trick.
Most risks are pretty straightforward. Here is a non-exhaustive list of potential risks; weather, temperature, liquid, solvent, vibration, abrasion, impact, UV, and the list goes on. Once you have a handle on the potential risks, you then need a material that is resistant to those risks. Let's check out a few of our materials and their resistant properties.
Bamboo, Side & Plain Pressed Panels:
What: Bamboo is hard and durable and can be used in place of hardwoods, plywoods (laserply) and MDF sheets. It is harvested from the fastest growing plant in the world and in a non-destructive and sustainable way. They can be can either be cut by hand or on a laser cutter.
Uses: Bamboo is hard and durable and can be used in place of hardwoods, plywoods and MDF sheets.
Resistant against: Scuffing and general wear. Bamboo is often used as flooring, decking and as wall panels. You can find more interesting bamboo facts here.
Laser Compatible Cork Sheets:
What: Cork is one of the most Eco-friendly raw materials on the planet and it also offers a diverse range of Design and Technology/Making applications. This material is suitable for laser cutting and laser engraving and as such, it can be cut into intricate shapes very easily and then laser decorated.
Uses: Cork is a very versatile material and as such can be used for a wide number of uses. For examples of uses that are both decorative and functional, click here and also here.. Some other possible uses include; mouse mats, heat/sound insulation, to decouple a project from a work surface to inhibit the transference of vibration, as a covering to improve the tactile nature of a product, gaskets, a protective layer or bumper, business card, and the list goes on and on.
Resistant against: Cork is resistant to liquids, gasses, thermal transfer, vibration/sound transfer, compression, abrasion, and when it does get hot enough to burn it does so without producing a flame. Find out more interesting Cork facts here.
Laser Compatible Rubber Sheets:
What: This Grey Laser Compatible Rubber is supplied in sheet form and has been specially designed for laser cutting and engraving. When cutting it, it produces no harmful gasses and it emits much less of an odour than other rubbers.
Uses: It's perfect for making custom stamps, custom seals, rubber feet, protective strips, and even durable external decorations.
Resistant against: alcohol, water-based inks, and abrasion. It also resists water and gases, making it suitable for custom seals. More information can be found on the product page.
High Impact Polystyrene (HIPs):
What: High Impact Polystyrene is a very tough and rigid plastic. It is highly resistant to impact, making it a very hard-wearing material. It can easily be routed, sawn, punched, drilled, guillotined, thermoformed or vacuum formed.
Uses: HIPs is often the material of choice for things such as signage, making toys, model making, packaging, tray forming, kick plates, printing and point of sale (POS).
Resistant against: Impact and abrasion. It makes a fantastic protective layer for things that may be struck by other things. Find out more here.
PETG Plastic Sheets:
What: PETG Sheets are extremely durable and represent good value for money. They have much better impact resistance than acrylic, excellent chemical resistance, are easy to work and form. The sheets also offer excellent light transmission properties and are also suitable for laser cutting and engraving. The ease with which it can be shaped and formed makes it a great choice for manufacturing and Makers alike.
Uses: PETG can be used for a wide variety of applications. These include; Retail display/POS, signage, food containers, sneeze guards, in place of glass, and any other applications that you would typically use acrylic for.
Resistant against: PETG has much better impact resistance than acrylic. It also has excellent chemical resistance. As it is very similar in appearance to acrylic, it can be used as a direct replacement. More information can be found on a product page.
Solid Wood Sheets:
What: Solid wood sheets offer excellent durability and a high-quality finish. They are perfectly suited to the laser cutter and can also be worked and finished by hand. They are currently available in Cherry and Oak.
Uses: They can be used for arts and crafts, interior designs, trophies, gift ware, marquetry, box making, lutherie, furniture restoration, and much more.
Resistant against: General wear, it will collect dings but is unlikely to break. More information can be found on a product page.
Most materials have properties that make them resistant in some settings. Materials that we didn't list may be just right for the needs of your project, check out the properties of some of our other materials. The product pages are a good source of information that will help you make informed choices.
If you enjoyed this guide, make sure you don't miss out on any other new free learning resources by signing up for our newsletter here.
©Kitronik Ltd – You may print this page & link to it, but must not copy the page or part thereof without Kitronik's prior written consent.