Author: Robert K.
Plastic slides are an important pieces of fastening hardware. They help keep webbing, belts and safety fasteners in place, tying multiple straps together at a single point. They allow different sections of webbing to be used in machinery, to hold palleted cargoes together and keep items in place during long-distance shipping hauls, but it also makes them perfect for consumer items. Click here for examples of plastic slides.
Plastic slides have a distinct advantage over their metal counterparts. Modern plastic-forming technologies allow slides to maintain their shape and yet flex under different stress conditions. While metals have extremely desirable strength and hardness characteristics for certain applications, the fact that they're so hard means that they can't always be used the same way. For instance, slides with teeth can get a better grip on long bag straps and prevent them from readjusting themselves under weight, but similar fine-toothed slides made of metal would just wear at the strap fabric, causing fraying and eventual snapping. Plastics have closer characteristics to the strong synthetic strap materials themselves, allowing them to take on a wider variety of utilitarian forms and shapes while still retaining all of their functionality.
Plastic slides are also more appropriate for low-stress applications. Slides used in hiking backpacks, heavy-duty tent fasteners and even handbags are easier to adjust and maintain, especially in cold weather conditions where metal ones would ice up. The fact that they're formed with rounded, soft edges makes them more user-friendly. The polyoxymethylene, or POM, plastic used in many such slides ensures that even though the plastic can gain a good grip on the strap as a result of its shape, it also slides easily when it's time to make adjustments. POM plastics are also extremely stable under different temperatures and pressures, meaning that they resist deformation and breakage.
Finally, POM plastic slides allow firms to create marketable products at a relatively low cost. Because these slides can be produced cheaply in large quantities and formed to match many different dimensional constraints with ease, they're much more appropriate for clothing companies that want to create their own custom styles and set themselves apart from their competitors with higher-quality retail items.