Material Colors, Costs, & Certifications For Plastic Manifolds

After choosing the right material for your job, we proceed into the finer details: material colors for both functional and aesthetic purposes, their associated costs compared to other materials, and any special certifications that product needs. These factors play into the complete manifold design and its resulting success or need for adjustment.

Table of Contents

    Material Color Choices

    The chart highlights typically stocked colors for the various plastics. Manufacturers can produce a custom run in any Pantone color in all extruded plastic types. However, we caution the designer to know that this will result in higher production costs, increased lead times, and restrictions on quantity as minimum lot sizes will apply.

    Color Choices 
     Black White Natural (off white) Clear Amber Gray Other  
    Fluorosint 500        
    Nylon   Y  Yellow     
    Peek  Tan      
    Polycarbonate   Blue Tint     
    Polysulfone    Clear    
    PPS  Tan      
    Ultem®    clear    

    Material Cost & Cost Comparisons for SLMs or Bonded Manifolds

    Material costs range widely, depending on many factors including performance properties. Materials with higher costs often will have those higher performance properties, whether that's addressing temperature range, chemical resistance, or another important factor.

    However, we recommend designers consider what their products truly need to function best that operates within their budgetary limitations. Buying the highest performing material may not be the best answer. For example, instead of choosing ULTEM, electing COC/COP could fulfill the product's purpose just as well. This will decrease total production cost up to 50% — sometimes more depending on the manifold design. Carefully analyze the most important factors and features the product needs to have versus which would simply "be nice to have". This can often lead to a more cost-efficient production with a product that checks most (if not all) the boxes.

    We also suggest to think about the following price influencers as well:

    • Tool Wear

      Abrasive materials, especially with fillers, wear away at the tools used much faster than some other materials. This also contributes to faster burr formation. 

    • Instability in Post-Machined Products

      Some materials are labeled as "unstable soft materials". Size can change overnight after machining.

    • Special Tools for Special Materials

      Tough materials, like nylon and polypropylene, require specialized tools for successful machining.

    • Potential Moisture Absorption & Size Increases

      Some materials don't have hydrophobic qualities, making them predisposed to moisture absorption. While we take every step possible to ensure minimal absorption in those materials, changes in size between machining and shipping can happen.  

    • Part & Assembly Configuration

      Heavily cored parts with close tolerances to features create difficulties with some materials. 

    Single Layer Manifolds' Material Price Comparisons

    In the chart below, we have charted the prices of different materials for SLMs relative to acrylic, one of the most popular materials used for manifolds among other plastic products. These numbers are displayed as being multiples of acrylic's cost, e.g. ULTEM is generally 7.71 times more expensive than acrylic when used in SLMs.

    This serves to give designers and engineers a "ballpark" idea of how materials compare to others in terms of cost only. Remember, each material has their own unique set of qualities that could fit your project's needs better than some other materials that could cost less but offer fewer of those high-performance qualities that product requires. Each project is going to have different demands that designers need to consider. We understand that this is a balancing act that often challenges many in product design. If you need some help, reach out to one of our experts.

    Please note that we mean for this to serve only as a point of reference as prices are subject to change without notice.

    Note: Vespel has a value of 268.

    Bonded Multilayer Manifolds Materials Price Comparisons

    Price Relative to Acrylic plastic manifold bar chart

    Here, we limited the list to those materials we know can withstand the bonding process. Although it appears limited in material selection for bonded manifolds, other options do exist that can create multilayer bonded manifolds.

    This chart serves as a reference point only as prices are subject to change without notice.

    Got questions or need some help?

    Reach out to our team of experts now!

    Material Certifications

    Several types of certifications exist to protect consumers and companies alike in the pursuit of quality. When it comes to plastic manifolds, especially those in life science and medical, regulatory bodies aid in establishing a set standard for manufacturers that they absolutely must meet for use in those and other industries. The FDA, USDA, and other assorted organizations have created and implemented their own set of rules that products used in certain industries must meet.

    Here's a glimpse into the certifications that ensure the excellence of plastic manifolds:

    • ISO 9001:2015 logo

      ISO 9001:2015 Certification

      Any reputable specialized plastic machining company should have this certification that signifies they adhere to the rigorous quality management standards set by ISO 9001:2015. It also shows a manufacturer's dedication to consistently delivering products that meet customer expectations and regulatory requirements. 

    • RoHS logo in grey

      RoHS Compliance

      Manufacturers must understand the importance of environmental responsibility. They need to comply with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive, ensuring that they are free from harmful substances such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. This commitment to eco-friendly manufacturing reflects a dedication to sustainability.

    • NSF Certification

      For plastic manifolds utilized in water and beverage applications, ensure materials are NSF certified. This certification guarantees that the products meet the stringent health and safety standards required for contact with drinking water.

    • FDA

      This certification attests to the materials' compliance with stringent regulations, making them suitable for applications where hygiene and safety are paramount.

    • USDA-Logo-Square


      This certification reflects commitment to meeting the high standards set by the USDA for materials used in applications where cleanliness, safety, and reliability are of utmost importance. 

    • 3-A-logo

      3A Dairy Standard

      This certification ensures that the materials comply with the rigorous hygiene and sanitation standards required for applications in dairy processing.

    • Maple_leaf_--_Independent

      AG Canada

      This seal attests to the commitment to providing materials that meet the strict standards set for agricultural applications in Canada.

    • USP Class VI

      This certification guarantees that the materials used meet the strict criteria for biological safety, making them ideal for applications where contact with the human body or sensitive biological substances is unavoidable.

    Design Tip

    USP Class VI Certification for Materials

    USP Class VI material is a common request for life science and IVD instruments looking for low toxicity and bio-compatible plastic. The manufacturer usually only requires a small nominal payment for material certification. 

    We have listed below the most popular 30+ types of plastics that we work with most and their designations for your reference. This is not an exhaustive list. Remember to verify with the coordinating regulatory body with any questions. We try our best to keep this current, but these are also subject to change.

    FDAUSDANSF3A-DairyCanada AGUSP Class VI available
    Radel (PES)YY