I’ve received some very interesting emails of late, from people desiring to know what the cost of of a plastic parachute would be (we don’t sell parachutes) to wanting 60 pink plastic flamingos installed on the family patriarch’s front lawn for a birthday (we don’t sell plastic flamingos either). Warehoused Plastic Sales is a distributor of plastic sheet, rod, & tube. We don’t make the plastic rather, we buy it from people who manufacturer plastic profiles (called converters) and make it available into the marketplace. Think of coming to one of our service centers like going to the Home Depot – plastic is sold in profiles similar to wood products.
plastic sheet being cut on a table saw
In wood you might think of a 4×8 piece of 3/4″ plywood sheet – same as plastic. Anything over an inch in thickness is often referred to as “plate”. In see-through plastics (acrylics, polycarbonates, & PETG) common thicknesses for fabrication (making things) are 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 3/8, & 1/2″. You can get heavy guages too but they’re usually special order.
Plastic tubing is used everywhere from gas line and pressure hose to bushings for conveyor systems. Heavy wear applications will call for acetal, nylon, PVC, Teflon, or polyethylenes. For rigid see-through applications such as watching fluids pass you’ll want acrylic, polycarbonate, or vinyl – the latter is the most resilient to caustic chemicals. For flexible tubing there’s HDPE as well as TEFLON or a hybrid called “duality” tubing too. Long tubing over 2″ is often referred to as pipe.
For machining out rollers or gears then you’ll probably want a rod profile – we stock1/16″ up to 14″. Thinner gauge materials are sometimes referred to as “welding rod” because it is used in plastic welding to fuse like-materials together similar to metal welding.
Above are some finished components machined out of PEEK rod, sheet, & tube. Remember that some plastics are very pricey and you don’t want to be machining away your profits so you have to figure out the best profile to minimize your machining time as well as your waste.