Innovations in polymer science have produced plastics that are lighter than aluminum and relatively durable, causing manufacturers and their customers to take a new look at how to use the materials.

At Muskegon-based Camcar Plastics Inc., the plastic injection-molded parts manufacturer is producing custom wrenches made from raw plastic material that is reinforced with glass, according to company owner and President Courtney Gust. 

The material, which is 50 percent glass-filled nylon, has been available and used by the company for years, but Camcar’s customers are becoming more open to replacing traditionally metal parts with plastic, Gust told MiBiz

“Materials have come a long way,” he said. “With some of the different additives that you can add in plastics now, you can come close to the strength of steel.” 

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