Thin Walled Plastic

I want to reduce the plastic wall thickness of my parts as much as possible, while maintaining high tolerances (+/- .001") and an ability to add in snaps, etc.

What’s the thinnest plastic walls you’ve seen injection molded? What material? I’m also looking at other processes like vac forming, gas assist, etc., but would love to know if anyone has other suggestions. I’d like to get my wall thickness down to about .020" or so.

I’m searching through the boards and online for more info, but figured I’d post this in the meantime.


With a good tool and an even better injection molding shop, you can get down to .5 mm (~.020) localized. I wouldn’t recommend a whole product that thin…although I have seen it done.

There are some very high-flow materials that you can use that maintain tremendous structural rigidity, but flows like water.

Of course you will be paying a premium for this type of material.

Can you go into details as to what it is you are looking to do wrt to the usage of .5 mm wall thickness plastic?

I found the material that I used for a cell phone product. Its pretty specialized stuff. Very abrasive and wears on tools pretty hard.

The material is Solvay IXEF. Various % of glass- we were looking at 30% for a product about a year ago. It can go up to 60% glass. I am sure if you do a search for it you will be able to dig it up.

Go directly to Dupont and the other materials manufacturers. They have great websites and you can call in and generally get help right from the source.

Can you actually get 60% (or even 30%) glass fill in a product with .5mm walls? I’d expect the flow to be absolutely terrible…

I remember being absolutely astounded at the amount of glass fill you were able to get with IXEF into thin walls. The material is rather interesting. It has a “ting” to it when you tap it on a hard surface. EXTREMELY rigid.

I would chat with the vendors directly as I wasn’t looking at getting that much fill into the thin walls.

Another thing you need to consider if you are going to use IXEF, is that it will need to be painted. It is NOT a cosmetic quality surface…unless you are looking for a swirl effect…you get a definite swirling effect when it is molded. I imagine cramming that much filler into the mold has to create a tremendous amount of turbulance.

I imagine cramming that much filler into the mold has to create a tremendous amount of turbulance.

…not to mention wear on the gate. Thanks for the feedback. I’ll definitely pursue some of these directions.

It looks like Makrolon 2205/2207 & 2405/2407/2458 might be good options too, since they have good melt flow properties and comparable mechanical impact properties to more common materials.

If anyone knows of optically clear materials that can be thin walled, please let me know. How thin can you go with cellulose? Any other hybrid materials?

Thanks again.