The Benefits of Polymer Composite Tool Handles
The best tools for domestic and industrial work are comprised of fiberglass polymer composites and steel. Originally conceived as a unique solution to severe industrial working conditions, fiberglass tool handles rapidly replaced conventional wood and steel components in both the professional and commercial markets.
This blog post will explore the benefits of fiberglass polymer composite tool handles in further detail.
High Strength and Lightweight
The improved strength-to-weight profiles of polymer composites over conventional materials such as wood and steel are the primary factor behind the material’s success. Pultruded fiberglass products display significantly enhanced mechanical strengths over structural steel on a pound-for-pound basis and weight reductions in the range of 75 – 80%.
Reducing the weight profiles of hand-held tools without a commensurate reduction in the tools’ mechanical strengths supports the manufacture of safer and more durable implements designed for everyday use. This reduces the labor intensity of transporting and using tools without compromising their physical capacities such as their resistance to physical impacts. Polymer composite tool handles can suitably be applied to heavyweight steel hammer heads with low risk of mechanical degradation due to continued physical shock. Tools for use in particularly demanding applications can be reinforced at pre-determined stress points.
Wooden tool handles are susceptible to rotting, particularly when regularly used in wet or humid conditions or stored in outdoor tool sheds. Pultruded polymer composites can be enhanced with a “wet-out” process to completely saturate the fiberglass component with a proprietary resin and establish a mechanical structure that is impervious to moisture. This weather-resistant behavior represents a significant improvement over both wood and steel, the latter of which can be prone to oxidation and rust through sustained use.
The outstanding corrosion resistant properties of polymer composites improve the service life of tools by negating the risk of failure due to rotting and reducing the effects of rusting steel components. This property also ensures that the tool’s tactility is maintained for a greater period to maintain the comfort of handling the implement.
The mechanical benefits of polymer composite tool handles are accompanied by significant design advantages to suit a range of commercial requirements. Pigmented resins enable polymer composites to be produced in a range of colors with no risk of aesthetic degradation due to peeling or chipping over time. Paints and varnishes used to stain the surface of wooden and metal tool handles will gradually degrade, but the aesthetic properties of fiberglass tool handles are embedded within its high strength structural matrix to provide a long-lasting aesthetic appeal.
Polymer Composites from Strongwell
Strongwell is a leading manufacturer of polymer composites for an extensive range of applications. Our pultruded fiberglass tool handles can be engineered in many different sizes and colors, with bespoke designs available upon request.