Applications of Plastic Shims and Packers29 April 2016
The construction industry isn’t short of top-notch building materials, but there’s still always going to be those last few millimetres of play to deal with when the mating materials don’t quite line up. Plastic shims and packers are the tools of choice when this situation presents itself. The colour coded panels come in several shapes, but it’s the thickness of the product that really matters.
What do Plastic Shims and Packers Do?
If a window doesn’t quite align properly, a pre-cast beam isn’t fully levelled, then it’s the job of a contractor to “shim” the component until it is level. The colour coding helps here by informing the craftsman of the rated thickness being used. Bagged and ready for application, the levelling product is placed between two surfaces as a dimensional compensation aid. In other words, construction work calls for precision, but error margins are a necessary part of the work as machined surfaces don’t always align. Shimming absorbs tolerance variations.
Permanent levelling projects use these products. In civil engineering, look for uniformly shaped shims under concrete panels and large machinery. Horseshoe variants and slotted types are also heavily in use in these projects. They accommodate locating bolts, pins, and industrial strength fasteners, doing so with formidable non-compressible strength. Capable of flipping orientation, vertical applications also benefit greatly when plastic shims and packers are part of the workflow. For example, the product stops heavy tiles from sagging, prevents the grout line from being crushed as the heaviest tiles try to slide down.
If a bath tub isn’t properly levelled, then water is going to slosh over one corner and create a puddle on the floor. The shims come to the rescue during the initial construction stage, finding seating in fastener points and critical loading sites. The result is a professionally aligned water line. Similarly, slightly misaligned doors and windows can be trimmed ever so slightly by introducing stackable shims. Windows won’t jam halfway up, door won’t scrape against the floor, and water fillable appliances always fill with evenly distribute water, all thanks to this compensating mechanism.
This is an engineering and construction aid that saves time and money. Because of their presence, supplied materials and components can be allowed slight dimensional variances without incurring additional manufacturing costs. The uneven surface or misaligned supporting beam trims quickly when a handful of these products are carefully applied. Additionally, the strong plastics used in many of these high-quality shims are completely weatherproof, able to support tonnes of weight without compressing, and guaranteed to function as a permanent leveling tool.
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