Plastic Washers vs Metal Washers

Many applications require the use of washers. Washers are responsible for distributing the pressure of a nut over a surface, reducing the risk of the nut loosening at any point. While metal is one of the most commonly used materials for washers, there are other materials available depending on the needs of the application. Non-metallic or plastic washers are made from a variety of materials and offer a wide range of benefits when compared to metal washers, making them highly sought after by many industries.

plastic washers

Types of Non-Metallic Washers

Plastic washers are frequently used across a wide range of applications because of plastic’s diverse properties. Some commonly used types of non-metallic washers include:

  • Nylon. Nylon washers are often used due to their high strength, low-friction, and wear-resistant properties. They’re capable of withstanding most types of corrosive substances, and they are frequently used in electrical and thermal insulators.
  • HDPE. This material is used in washers because of its reliability in many applications, from food processing equipment to oil tanks. HDPE is highly flexible, watertight, resistant to low temperatures, and withstands harsh weather conditions.
  • LDPE. Many applications rely on LDPE because of its low-temperature resistance, including equipment in the construction industry, sporting goods, and refrigerator components. This material is flexible and features low water absorption, high impact strength, and resistance to substances such as acids, bases, and alcohol.
  • PTFE. Chemical containers and laboratories often use PTFE washers. They may be used in parts such as gears, bearings, and other moving components.
  • Vulcanized Fibre. Vulcanized Fibre is a laminated plastic composed of natural cellulose. Vulcanzied Flat Fibre Washers made from this material is an excellent alternative in many applications. One of the first plastics ever developed. Vulcanized Fibre is a tough, resilient

What Are the Benefits of Using Non-Metallic Washers vs. Steel?

There are several key benefits of using non-metallic washers compared to metal. These advantages include:


Non-metallic washers often cost less than metal washers. If you can achieve the same results with non-metallic washers as you would with metal washers, you will save more money by using them for your project.

Excellent Sealing Capabilities

Non-metallic washers have the ability to compress under pressure, making them ideal for sealing applications exposed to critical environmental conditions.

Lightweight Design

Due to their lightweight design, non-metallic washers can save you money on orders of products where excessive weight is a concern.

Insulating Properties

Non-metallic washers are also great for applications that involve the use of electricity or extreme temperatures due to their excellent insulating properties.

Resistance to Impact, Corrosion, Temperature, Wear, and Vibration

Based on the needs of your application, you can select non-metallic washers made from materials that can withstand certain conditions, such as exposure to corrosive elements. Materials such as polycarbonate absorb impact shock and isolate stress points. PTFE, nylon, Acetal, and UHMWPE offer lubricity to improve the longevity of parts, and other plastics have been developed to withstand extreme temperatures without severely compromising mechanical properties.


Non-metallic washers are safer to use in certain hazardous environments because they don’t generate sparks. Certain plastic washers are also made with fire-retardant grades.

What Industries Do We Find Non-Metallic Washers in?

When building new equipment, manufacturers often use non-metallic washers for various applications. For instance, medical manufacturers may use nylon washers in the production of medical instruments, while the plumbing industry often uses nylon washers for developing watertight, durable seals. The fire safety industry also relies on nylon washers in sprinkler systems.

Some of the many industries that use non-metallic washers include:

  • Sporting goods
  • Medical
  • Food
  • Electric
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Plumbing
  • Power tools
  • Automotive

Non-Metallic Washers from New Process Fibre

The reliability, cost-effectiveness, and various other benefits of non-metallic washers make them an ideal solution for various applications and industries. At New Process Fibre, we offer flat and specialty non-metallic washers using materials such as nylon, PTFE, HDPE, LDPE, and many more. As a one-stop shop manufacturer, we are capable of executing custom non-metallic orders to meet our customers requirements and specifications. To learn more about our nylon washers, please visit this page. For more information, or to get started on your non-metallic washer solution, contact us or request a quote today.


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