If you operate a farm, ranch, plant nursery or other agricultural business, you will be well aware of the importance of choosing the right materials for the job. However, while traditional materials use to create farming tools and equipment, such as wood and metal, have their disadvantages -- crucially, they are both vulnerable to damage caused by inclement weather and excessive moisture, two problems commonly encountered in any agricultural operation.
This is where engineering plastics really come into their own. These incredibly strong and durable thermoplastics are right at home on the farm, and engineering plastics such as polycarbonates can be turned to an enormous variety of agricultural uses. To that end, engineering plastics suppliers now offer a range of products suited for agricultural use -- here are just some of them, along with ways they can increase the efficiency of your business:
Stables and piggeries
Building your enclosed stables and piggeries out of tough materials is vital for keeping your livestock calm and contained, but many traditionally-built stables made of brick and wood are well past their prime. The stalls inside these buildings are particularly vulnerable to damage, as they are constantly in close proximity to a damaging combination of moisture, corrosive substances (such as urine) and the occasional angry animal trying to beat its stall into splinters.
Engineering plastics are ideal for providing inexpensive, reliable reinforcement to these structures, and are usable as both exterior walls and interior stall dividers used to keep individual animals apart. They are thoroughly resistant to the mould and fungus which can plague wooden stables and stalls, keeping your livestock free of nasty skin and respiratory conditions. In addition, thermoplastics are immune to the depredations of termites and other wood-boring insects.
Perhaps most crucially, engineering plastics are sterile and do not absorb moisture, unlike traditional timber stalls and walls which can harbour moisture and the infectious livestock diseases this moisture can carry. This makes maintaining a relatively sterile environment far easier, a particularly useful quality on stud and dairy farms.
Engineering plastics are also widely used for creating modern, easily-maintained hatcheries. These plastic hatcheries are ideally suited for housing and sheltering your chicks during their first days and weeks of life, and are particularly useful for hatchery flooring -- this is because they do not suffer corrosion when exposed to acidic chicken guano, while their smooth, non-porous surfaces make cleaning the floors of crowded hatcheries a much simpler prospect.
A necessary piece of equipment for any large-scale vegetable farming operation, vegetable conveyors were once made almost exclusively of metals. However, these metals were vulnerable to rust when left in exposed conditions, and the abrasive stones and grit carried along with the recently-plucked vegetables could cause extensive damage to easily-scratched metal components. Corroded metal also lost its semi-sterile properties, putting vegetables at risk of catching infectious blights and diseases.
Modern vegetable conveyors, on the other hand, tend to use engineering plastics extensively in their construction, and or good reason. Replacing metal components with ones made of food-grade thermoplastics can dramatically decrease instances of contamination and spreading diseases, while rust ceases to be a problem for the replaced components. Abrasions caused by stones and grit are also less of an issue, as engineering plastics do not rust and are not left vulnerable by scratches piercing their outer coatings.