Nylon® is a synthetic thermoplastic polyamide that is known for its strength, temperature resilience, and chemical compatibility. It has been proven to be a lightweight, heavy-duty industrial engineering plastic replacement for metals that are resistant to both heat and corrosive chemicals.

Nylon® is a great material for parts that undergo flexure and bending.  With wear resistance far greater than many metals and other thermoplastics and a low coefficient of friction, Nylon® is ideally suited for use in slides, bearings, and other parts that need to stand up to high levels of motion and wear. Performance Plastics offers expertise in developing Nylon® resin formulations and combinations with other polymers such as glass, carbon, and mineral-reinforced versions.  For example, Minlon®, a mineral-reinforced Nylon® provides greater dimensional stability and creep resistance than unreinforced Nylon®, and lower warpage than glass-reinforced Nylon®. As a result, it is popular for use in compressor valves and big industrial parts, as well as in demanding aerospace applications.

Performance Plastics has seen Nylon®’s applications grow to include a range of applications to move water, acids, lubricants, solvents, chemicals, and fuels in automotive, military, and aerospace environments.  Although pump makers traditionally used various metals for pump housings, shaft guides, impellers, seals, bushings, and other elements, the desire to reduce pump weight, material, and processing costs have led many to opt for various Nylon® formulations instead. Performance Plastics can use Nylon® to offer a combination of physical strength, wear resistance, self-lubrication, and high cost-effectiveness.

Choosing the optimal Nylon® resin for an application depends on several factors, including the levels of pressure, temperature, and speed involved. In addition, the abrasiveness of the liquids or slurries involved, the degree of contamination that can be tolerated, and projected uses for the part must also be considered.

Nylon®’s toughness and elongation properties make it suitable for designs that involve snap-fits or press-fits. Injection-molded Nylon® parts from Performance Plastics are well-suited to secondary machining processes such as turning, drilling, tapping, and grinding, as well as ultrasonic insertion, ultrasonic welding, pad printing, and assembly.

To discover how Performance Plastics is partnering with world-class polymer scientists and industry-leading material suppliers to deliver nylon solutions, visit our website at https://performanceplastics.com or contact Rich Reed, our Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at (513) 321-8404 or RReed@performanceplastics.com.

 

Now Offered With and Without the Case

With Case ESNAT 1C
Without Case ESNAT 1NC

 

 

EnduroSharp® has changed the way aerospace maintenance professionals remove sealants and adhesives from substrates and fasteners.

Adhesively bonded nutplates are increasingly being utilized in the manufacture of aerospace structures, with extensive use in securing removable maintenance access panels.

Traditionally, aerospace maintenance professionals prepared nutplates using manual methods such as abrading files or grinders.  This proved very inefficient because the abrading was often uneven, leading to adhesively bonded nutplate failure.  While rotary abrasion tools (RATs) were better, they were often bulky and expensive.

That’s why EnduroSharp® developed the Nutplate Abrasion Tool (NAT).   Precisely designed to work with adhesively bonded nutplates, the product consists of an aluminum upper and lower handle and 4 nutplate base inserts.  The product is packaged in a convenient, rugged case which is handy for transporting.

Performance Plastics is a custom precision injection molder of high-performance, tight-tolerance thermoplastic components. We specialize in geometrically complex precision parts that consist of chemically inert materials. Our expertise led to the development of our patented EnduroSharp® line of Aircraft Maintenance Tools.

For more information on the EnduroSharp® Nutplate Abrasion Tool or any of our EnduroSharp® product lines, please contact Aileen Crass at acrass@performanceplastics.com or visit our website at www.performanceplastics.com.

Plastic Injection Molding vs Machining

We are often approached by customers who are currently machining their parts out of high-performance plastic materials.  How do you decide when it is better to injection mold versus continuing to machine parts?

Injection molding has many advantages.  It minimizes molding costs, is very precise, and is a highly repeatable way of producing resin parts.  Once set up, molding produces large amounts of parts per hour from many different materials.

While many companies do not have the capacity to injection mold materials, Performance Plastics has an extensive history of injection molding filled ultra and high-performance thermoplastics resins (PEEK, PFA, FEP, Torlon®, Vespel®, Ultem®, Extem®, etc.), and partnering with world-class polymer scientists and industry-leading material suppliers to develop unique custom resins formulations.

So, how do you make the decision to pivot from machining to investing in an injection molding process?

  • How many parts do you need?

Plastic injection molding is far less expensive per part than plastic machining. Machining a part is usually 25 times more expensive than an injection molded part.  But, the upfront cost of the mold is steep, usually several thousand dollars.  So, it makes sense to continue machining as long as your quantity is small.

  • Will you need to change your design?

As long as your project is still in the development stages of your design, you should continue to machine.  It doesn’t make financial sense to invest in an expensive mold if your design is not final.

  • The preciseness of your part.

The more precise your part.  While injection molding is very precise – within .005 inches – parts that have tolerances within .001 inches of specifications may still need to be machined.  The decision ultimately lies in the nature of the product.  Clients in medical equipment often continue to machine for its precision.  Others – such as integrated chip clients can tolerate slight variations.

  • How perfect your part needs to be?

Plastic injection molding can produce slight cosmetic imperfections that may or may not be acceptable based on your product.  Machining is likely your preference if your part can not display even a minor cosmetic defect.

  • Material

Your selection of resin materials is more limited to plastic injection molding.  Some harder, high-performance materials can only be machined.

To learn more about how Performance Plastics can cut your production costs while helping you take advantage of the unique properties of engineered materials, please visit our contact page or contact Rich Reed, our vice president of sales and marketing, at (513) 321-8404 or RReed@performanceplastics.com.

 

When it comes to extremely high-temperature applications, engineered fluoropolymers are an optimal choice for reliability and performance. While there are several engineered resins available on the market, for the most demanding applications, project leaders often request Vespel® or Torlon®. Understanding the differences between these two resins, the production methods involved and the labor costs associated with the materials will help you determine which one is correct for your project.

Vespel® vs. Torlon®

Vespel® is a polyimide plastic that is often used in high-heat environments that cause thermoplastic materials to lose their mechanical properties. It is one of the most dynamic engineering resins available and can be found in hostile and extreme environments, such as oil & gas, semiconductors, and aerospace applications.

With the ability to perform at temperatures of 500ºF and to endure temperatures up to 900ºF for limited periods, Vespel® has superior thermal stability. This material is also known for excellent friction and wear characteristics, being extremely creep resistant, and having a high resistance to chemicals. Vespel® is a lightweight alternative to metal, offering high tensile (8,750 psi) and flexural (16,000 psi) strength at one-half the weight of metal.

Characteristics of Vespel® include:

• High impact resistance
• Extremely high purity
• Minimal electrical and thermal conductivity
• Low water absorption
• Radiation resistance

Torlon® is a high-performance engineered thermoplastic that is difficult to injection mold, can readily hold tight tolerances, and is easy to machine. This polyamide-imide plastic offers exceptional toughness, even when operating in continuous temperatures of 500ºF. It excels in chemically harsh environments and is stronger at 400°F than most engineering resins at room temperature. Torlon® parts are commonly used in aerospace, chemical processing, and bearings.

Torlon® features:

• High dimensional stability
• Low creep
• High thermal endurance
• Tensile strength of 27,847 psi
• Flexural strength of 35,390 psi

Injection Molding is Our Specialty

Whether your application needs extreme thermal resistance, purity, thermal conductivity or exceptional toughness, our expert staff can assist in the material selection that will hold tight tolerances and meet all your production specifications.
We have developed proprietary molding and tooling processes enabling the injection molding of otherwise complex parts. Our expertise in fluoropolymers and injection molding can assist you in selecting the correct material for your application.

For more information on Vespel® or Torlon® please contact Rich Reed, our Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at (513) 321-8404 or RReed@performanceplastics.com.

A cleanroom is a controlled environment where products are manufactured and assembled in a dust-free, temperature-controlled environment. They are designed specifically to reduce the risk of contamination and minimize the potential for product defects. Cleanrooms are becoming increasingly important in the manufacturing industry as they are used in the production of a wide range of products, from microelectronics to medical devices.

Performance Plastics utilizes robotics in its clean room to offer customers the best of both technologies. Automation offers solutions to the four Ds in manufacturing, dirt, danger, dullness, and difficulty.
The primary objective of a cleanroom is to maintain a dust-free environment with minimal airborne particulate matter. To do this, cleanrooms are equipped with special filters and air-handling systems that remove and trap dust particles.

The primary objective of robotics is to maintain quality and consistency during the production of a product. Robots produce more accurate and high-quality work. Robots rarely make a mistake and are more precise. They can produce larger quantities in the same amount of time. They work at a consistent, sustainable speed.

In addition to controlling the environment, cleanrooms are also equipped with advanced temperature control systems. This ensures that the temperature and humidity levels remain consistent, which is important for the proper functioning of the products being manufactured.

Cleanrooms also help to reduce the risk of contamination. Products are kept in a sterile environment and are subject to rigorous cleaning protocols. This helps to ensure that the products are free from any potential contaminants.
For more information as to how Performance Plastics can provide you with a manufactured clean room solution, please visit our website at www.performanceplastics or contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at rreed@performanceplastics.com.

Performance Plastics celebrated its 40th anniversary on Wednesday, December 14th, 2022.

It was a fun day, including lunch for the staff and a birthday cake. A special shout out to the greater Cincinnati community, and congressman Brad Wenstrup’s office for helping to make our day even more memorable.

https://performanceplastics.com/wp-content/uploads/Cert-1.jpg

Sustainable aviation maintenance is a multi-disciplinary objective that seeks solutions to improve the environmental and societal impacts of air transportation.

Maintenance activities have environmental impacts including the production of waste and disposal of end-of-life parts. According to aviation experts, aircraft maintenance is of significant environmental impact and cannot be neglected. Corporate responsibility forces aircraft manufacturers and maintainers to take into account these impacts and develop some solutions to minimize the environmental impacts of the maintenance phase.

Maintenance professionals highlight the importance of safety and reliability in developing maintenance tasks and cycles. Manufacturers need to source efficient and practical solutions to meet the requirements of safety and reliability. But at the same time, the need to minimize life cycle costs while preventing or limiting harmful impacts to the environment. This goal can be achieved by defining objectives including making longer-life parts, utilizing reusable tools, and limiting harmful impacts on the environment during maintenance.

EnduroSharp® is a line of products used to repair and maintain aircraft structures that are reusable and resharpenable. The product line consists of non-metallic material removal tools that will not damage aircraft during the process of removing sealants, adhesives, and coatings. The EnduroSharp® nonmarring aircraft maintenance tools are made from Torlon®, a high-performance plastic that creates a durable tool that will hold a superior edge. Creating an effective tool for aircraft maintainers, that will not damage aircraft structures, like aluminum and composite allows your aircraft structures to last longer.

For more information on our EnduroSharp® Product Line contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at (513) 321-8404 or RReed@performanceplastics.com.

A fluoropolymer is one of the growing numbers fluorocarbon-based polymers. They are widely used in healthcare applications due to their biocompatibility, lubricity, sterilizability, chemical inertness, thermal stability, barrier properties, and high purity. However, when compared with other resins, they are significantly more expensive and require special techniques to injection mold due to their shear sensitivity, high melt temperatures, and fluorine outgassing when melted.

Although the best-known fluoropolymer, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE or Teflon®), has been on the market since the 1940s, newer resins have been developed to address specific injection molding niches. Perfluoroalkoxy polymer (PFA) and fluorinated ethylene-propylene (FEP plastic) are among the most recent additions to the list of fluoropolymer options.

PFA was developed in order to create a true melt-processable fluoropolymer. It provides the smoothest and least wettable finish of all of the fluoropolymers. Its optical transparency, chemical inertness, and overall flexibility have made it popular for use in lab equipment. It also has superior electrical properties, with dielectric strength that’s three to four times greater than PTFE can offer.

Like PFA, FEP is melt-processable and injection moldable. Its melting point of 260 °C (500 °F) is about 40 degrees lower than PFA’s.  It offers low friction and chemical inertness properties comparable to PTFE’s. However, it is completely transparent. Because FEP is highly resistant to sunlight, it is especially useful for molding parts that are subjected to weathering.

However, not all injection molders are equipped to work with fluoropolymers like PFA and FEP. Performance Plastics LTD. has developed a variety of tools and procedures to address the challenges involved in molding these materials. For example, our solution includes a hot runner system and mold designed to minimize the shear forces inherent in the injection molding process. We use proprietary metallurgy that’s highly resistant to fluorine gas corrosion, which helps extend the working life of the hot runner system, tooling and other components that make contact with the melted resin. We’ve also developed a direct-gating, multi-runner approach to tool design that eliminates the sprue and runner used in traditional injection molding. By eliminating the wasted material associated with the sprue and runner, Performance Plastics has been able to pass along material cost savings of from 20% to 40% by using these expensive resins more economically.

To learn more about how we can cut your resin costs while helping you take advantage of the unique properties PFA and FEP offer, visit our contact page or contact Rich Reed, our vice president of sales and marketing, at (513) 321-8404 or RReed@performanceplastics.com.

At Performance Plastics, we combine design expertise with automation to ensure tight tolerance part quality and consistency.  Automation allows us to efficiently inspect 100 percent of the parts we produce.

Automation is used on all our orders – high and low volume.  While automation is critical on high-volume orders, we utilize the technology on our lower volume for technically challenging, mission-critical applications to ensure quality.

Some of our mission-critical applications include:

  • We make parts that seal off chemicals in order to prevent dangerous leaks in the aerospace industry.
  • We manufacture parts used in plasma cutters that ensure two different types of gases are mixed correctly right at the nozzle for diversified industrial applications.
  • We produce parts that are used to test tissue samples for the medical industry.

At Performance Plastics, we use a combination of automation across all our applications.  We incorporate automation where cylinders, vacuums, and other actuators are moving products from place to place around the production facility – always testing our tolerances throughout the product cycle.

However, automation does make maintaining tight tolerances a bit simpler. An example is in our over-molding process.  Many parts we manufacture include battery contacts that run internally, a metal base, or features made from something other than plastics.  Automation can be used to feed these parts into the process without an operator.  Less human interaction reduces the possibility of human error and/or injury. Automation places the part in the mold to be over-molded, pulls the completed part out, and then re-inserts the next part quickly and reliably.

Where automation really produces an advantage is at the bottom line – cost savings. For example, cycle times can be greatly improved because automation allows us to do multiple things at once, such as vision checks and leak checks at the same time.

When our reliability increases, our customers’ risk is greatly reduced. Higher reliability and repeatability result in a lower risk of non-compliance.

To learn more about Performance Plastics’ uses of automation, contact Rich Reed, our Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at (513) 321-8404 or RReed@performanceplastics.com.

 

 

How to choose the best technology for your project.

 

Plastic injection molding and 3D printing are both viable technologies. 3D printing is an additive printing process that creates objects by building up layers of material, while injection molding uses a mold that is filled with molten materials that cool and harden to produce parts.

The use of 3D printing in innovative and experimental scenarios is a viable technology for its ability to create custom plastic part designs quickly.  However, the 3D process limits your material choices, as all materials are not a fit or even available in a form suitable for 3D printing.

3D printing is best used for:

  • Quick turnaround times
  • Low volume, slower production speeds
  • Parts in the design phase with frequent changes – prototyping, lower product quality
  • Smaller part sizes

Once a design has been finalized, plastic injection molding becomes the optimal process.  Most of today’s plastic parts are manufactured using plastic injection molding – it’s best for producing large quantities quickly and reliably in high-volume runs. You have greater material options with plastic injection molding, and you can control material weight, cost, and flexibility with endless combinations of materials.  It helps organizations control the cost and integrity of designs with complexities and tight tolerances.

Plastic Injection molding is best used for:

  • High volume
  • Finalized part design
  • Enhanced strength and durability
  • Complex, precision, detailed parts

At Performance Plastics we have optimized many projects that were once manufactured using 3D printing, only to discover that injection molding was the more efficient technology.  As experts in FEP, PFA, PAI (Torlon), PEEK, and Ultem resins we frequently work with mission-critical, time-sensitive applications.  3D printing is an essential component of the design process, but If you have a project that requires high volume (5,000+ parts per year), high-temperature resins, and tight tolerances with complex geometries, plastic injection molding is your solution.

Performance Plastics’ team of experienced engineers possesses the expertise to design and manufacture technically challenging projects and offer complex solutions within harsh application industries.

For more information on how Performance Plastics can assist in your material selection challenges, please contact Rich Reed, VP of Sales & Marketing at 513.321.8404 or rreed@performanceplastics.com.