Instrument cases are used to carry and protect various instruments while they are being moved and can provide protection for a wide variety of industrial items during shipping and transportation. They have the important role of protecting their contents from shock, vibration, moisture, dust, and other potentially damaging factors.
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Applications of Instrument Cases
Instrument cases are particularly useful in safeguarding fragile items, such as medical, musical, and electronic instruments. Electronic instrument cases are specifically created to carry audio/visual equipment, recording equipment, batteries, and other sensitive tools. Medical instrument cases, on the other hand, protect vials, syringes, medicine, and other materials. Electronic instrument cases and medical instrument cases can vary in size, material, and color. These instrument cases are usually lightweight, indestructible, and contain foam inserts.
Instrument cases can also be personalized by displaying company colors or logos on the exterior. Instrument cases may be constructed from aluminum, steel, or plastics, such as high density polyethylene (HDPE), fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP), carbon fiber, rotationally molded polyethylene, or linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE). Many are rectangular in shape with packing material inside, such as packing peanuts, heavy foam, special racks, shelving or a lining made of paper, foam, rubber, plastic, or other materials. While some instrument cases hold musical instruments and are critical for many musicians, the scientific community also relies on instrument cases to safely transport and store important tools used in medicine, research, engineering, biology, and other applications.
Instrument Case Design and Customization
Instrument cases can range from large crates to very customized and specific enclosures. For especially sensitive, delicate, or expensive items, the packing material inside is often custom cut foam that is specially made to fit securely around the item. Because of the variation in materials, many different fabrication methods are used to create shipping cases. Metal carrying cases are made from sheets of metal that have been fastened onto a metal frame. Raw metal is melted together until uniform then cooled into slabs which are pressed through a series of rollers until it reaches the desired thinness. The sheets are then bent into the customized shape and dimension and welded or screwed together.
The metal frame is usually constructed of extruded aluminum or steel. The corners are often reinforced with metal panels for longer life. Plastic shipping cases are molded through a number of processes, including blow molding, injection molding, and rotational molding. FRP plastics have fibers that are first woven, knit, braided, or stitched together before bonding to the surface of the matrix, a tough plastic. Additional features include latches, swivel casters, rubber gaskets for waterproofing, shock mounts, enhanced and fortified steel or aluminum framing, buckles, straps, or molded tracks for easy stacking.
Music Instrument Cases
Music instrument cases, to a musician, are very important. Instruments are fragile, and if people were to walk around with them with no form of protection, that would surely be a recipe for instrument destruction. A musician should always have an instrument case to protect their instruments. The obvious reason for having an instrument case is to protect the instrument from damage. This means the instrument will not get scratched or damaged during transit. Cases keep dust off instruments, ensuring that a musician does not have to clean the instrument each day. The bags also keep elements, such as temperature, low or high, humidity, and rain off to keep the instrument protected.
Manufacturing Process of Instrument Cases
Instrument cases are diverse. They range from large boxes to small and customized enclosures. For the highly sensitive instruments, custom cut foam is fitted to securely fit around the instrument. Different fabrication methods are applied thanks to the difference in materials used in construction. Hard instrument cases are made of metal or plastic. Metal instrument cases feature metal sheets joined to a metal frame. Due to their heavy weight, metal cases are rare. These are made of aluminum or steel. Aluminum is preferred for its light weight, while steel is preferred for its strength and durability.
Plastic hard instrument cases are common. They are created through rotational, injection, or blow molding. Some plastic materials have fibers that are first woven together to make the final plastic stronger. After the construction, latches, gaskets, casters, shock mounts, straps, buckles, and other attachments are added. The corners are strengthened by a piece of metal.
Soft cases are made of different fabrics, the most common being polyester and cotton. Inside the bags is custom cut foam for shock absorption. They may be created in the shape of the instrument or versatile to fit instruments of a given size range. Attachments include straps, buckles, and pockets.
Notable Types of Instrument Cases
- Acoustic Guitar Cases
- Bass Guitar Cases
- Banjo Cases
- Violin and Cello Cases
- Ukulele Cases
- Clarinet Cases
- Trumpet Cases
- Keyboard Cases
- Drum Cases
- Roadie Cases
Getting the Music Instrument Cases Size Right
Getting the right size instrument cases is important. While most musicians prefer taking the measurements of the instrument and having a custom case made, there are manufacturers, such as Gibsons and Fender, who create cases that match the dimensions of a specific instrument. Instrument measurements vary from one manufacturer to the next, so it is advisable to contact the manufacturer for correct measurements. You can also request the instrument manufacturer create a custom made case.