Northeast Plastics

Transportation: The Role of Plastics

The Lightweight Champion: Plastics in Transportation

In the dynamic world of transportation, the quest for efficiency, durability, and cost-effectiveness is perpetual. A key player in this quest is an often unsung hero: plastic. From the bustling streets of Philadelphia to the serene waters of the Pacific, plastics are transforming how we move, offering a blend of practicality and innovation. This article delves into the myriad applications of various plastics in the transportation sector, highlighting their benefits and listing the types commonly used in the industry.

Imagine trains, buses, trucks, boats, and RVs - all integral to our daily lives. Now, reimagine them lighter, more durable, safer, and more comfortable. This isn't a futuristic dream; it's the present reality, thanks to plastics. In both aesthetic and structural applications, plastics are not just a material choice; they're a smart solution, enabling us to travel further for less.

Advantages of Plastics in Transportation

  • Fuel Efficiency: The lightweight nature of plastics translates directly into better fuel efficiency. This is crucial in an era where environmental concerns and fuel costs are paramount.
  • Durability: Plastics are resistant to impact, weather, chemicals, corrosion, and even fire, ensuring longevity and safety.
  • Fabrication Ease: With their easy-to-fabricate nature, plastics allow for creative and practical design solutions in transportation.
  • Maintenance: Reduced maintenance and downtime are significant advantages, especially in mass transit systems.
  • Comfort: Sound dampening properties of plastics contribute to a more comfortable travel experience.
  • Design Flexibility: Available in various colors and designs, plastics offer aesthetic freedom.
  • Complex Fabrication: Plastics can be easily manipulated into complex parts, essential for modern transportation needs.

Real-World Applications

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the impact of plastics in transportation is evident. From rail cars and buses to RVs and trucks, plastics play a pivotal role:

  • Mass Transit: Components like bearings, liners, windows, and panels in buses and rail cars are predominantly made of plastics.
  • RVs: Windshields, interior components, and body panels in RVs leverage the lightweight and durable nature of plastics.
  • Trucks: In the trucking industry, plastics are used in flooring, mud flaps, and even snow plows.

The Capabilities of Plastic Fabrication

Northeast Plastics, a leader in the plastic distribution and fabrication sector, showcases the versatility of plastics through their services:

  • CNC Routing: Precision cutting of various plastics, including Phenolics.
  • Laser Operations: A combination of cutting and polishing in one operation.
  • Customization: From acrylic etching to heat bending of various plastics, the possibilities are endless.

A Spectrum of Transportation Materials

The range of plastics used in transportation is as diverse as their applications:

  • Acetal (POM) & Acrylic (PMMA)
  • ABS & Epoxy
  • HDPE & Liquid Crystal Polymers (LCP)
  • Nylon & Phenolics
  • Polycarbonate (PC) & PEEK
  • Polyethylene & PET
  • PTFE & PVC
  • Silicone & SMA-PC
  • TPE & Thermoplastic Polyesters


The role of plastics in the transportation sector is not just about utility; it's about pushing boundaries. As we continue to innovate and seek sustainable, efficient solutions, plastics stand at the forefront, driving us towards a future where transportation is not just about getting from point A to B, but doing so in a manner that's smarter, safer, and more sustainable.

For more information on the transformative role of plastics in transportation, visit Northeast Plastics or contact them at 215-637-2221. Their expertise and range of services offer a glimpse into the future of transportation, a future where plastics play a starring role.