Plastic injection molding and plastic extrusion are both popular manufacturing processes used to create plastic parts, but they differ significantly in their methods and applications. While they both produce high quality flurorpolymer parts, plastic injection molding produces three-dimensional shapes vs. plastic extrusion produces linear, two-dimensional shapes.

 

 

 

Process:

  • Injection Molding:  This process involves injecting molten plastic material into a mold cavity, where it cools and solidifies to form the desired shape. The mold typically consists of two halves and the material is injected under high pressure.
  • Extrusion:  In extrusion, plastic material is melted and forced through a die tocreate a continuous profile. The die gives the plastic its desired shape,and the material is cooled and solidified as it exits the die.

Equipment:

  •  Injection Molding:  Injection molding machines consist of a hopper where the plastic pelletsare fed into a heated barrel. Inside the barrel, the pellets melt and are injected into the mold cavity.
  •  Extrusion:  Extrusion machinery includes an extruder, which is essentially a long barrel with a screw conveyor inside. The plastic pellets are fed into one end of the extruder, where they are heated, melted, and forced through a die at the other end.

Applications:

  • Injection Molding:  This process is commonly used for producing intricate and complex parts with high precision and repeatability. It’s used in industries such as aerospace/defense, industrial, electronics, and medical devices.
  • Extrusion:  Extrusion is often used to create continuous lengths of plastic profiles or sheets with a consistent cross-section. It’s employed in applications such as pipes, tubing, window frames, and traffic control items.

Complexity and Cost:

  •  Injection Molding:  Tooling costs for injection molding can be higher due to the need for precision molds, especially for complex parts. However, once the mold is made, the cost per part can be relatively low.
  • Extrusion:  Extrusion tooling costs are generally lower compared to injection molding, especially for simple profiles. However, the process may not be as suitable for highly complex shapes.

Material Variation:

  • Injection Molding:  A wide range of thermoplastics such as FEP, PFA, Torlon, etc., can be used in injection molding, allowing for flexibility in material selection.
  • Extrusion:  While extrusion also supports various fluoropolymer materials, the process is particularly suited for thermoplastics that can be melted and reshaped repeatedly.

In summary, while both plastic injection molding and plastic extrusion are versatile manufacturing processes used in the plastics industry, they each have applications suited to different types of products and applications.

Plastic injection molding is best applied to three-dimensional shapes, while plastic extrusion is best suited for two-dimensional shapes.

For more information on the best molding application for your project, please contact Rich Reed, Vice President – Custom, at [email protected] or visit our website at www.performanceplastics.com.

Precision and purity are vital to semiconductor production.  Plastics assist in maintaining the standards necessary in production, ensuring that less time and resources are spent and that the items function properly.

Unlike traditional materials like metal or ceramic, plastics such as FEP, PEEK, and PTFE are more impermeable to corrosive acids, which are key to the production of microchips.

High-performance plastics such as Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP), Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK), and Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), are characterized by their exceptional properties in different areas. High-performance plastics are largely used where the highest demands are placed on thermal or chemical resistance or product mechanics.

Microchips are primarily made from semiconducting materials such as silicon, not plastics. Silicon wafers undergo a complex series of processes including photolithography, etching, doping, and layering to create the intricate circuitry that forms the basis of microchips.

However, plastics do play a role in certain aspects of microchip manufacturing, and Performance Plastics, A Pexco Company, produces many of the necessary components.

  1. Components: Resins are used in various components used to manufacture microchips. This includes components of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, such as chambers, tubing, and fittings, which often utilize specialized plastic materials resistant to high temperatures and chemicals.
  2. Cleanroom Materials: In semiconductor fabrication facilities or cleanrooms, where microchips are produced, stringent cleanliness standards must be maintained to prevent contamination of the delicate semiconductor materials. Plastics are used extensively in cleanroom construction and furnishings due to their ease of cleaning, resistance to chemicals, and ability to meet cleanliness requirements.
  3. Chemical Handling: During the fabrication process, various chemicals are used for etching, doping, and cleaning semiconductor wafers. Plastics are often used for the storage, transport, and handling of these chemicals due to their chemical inertness and resistance to corrosion.
  4. Consumables: Plastics are used in the production of consumable items such as gloves, face masks, and packaging materials used in the handling and transportation of microchips and semiconductor wafers within the fabrication facility.

Overall, while plastics may not be directly visible in the final product of a microchip, they are indispensable in various stages of the microchip manufacturing process, contributing to its efficiency, reliability, and cost-effectiveness.

For more information on high-performance plastics such as FEP, PEEK, and/or PTFE, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at [email protected], or visit our website at www.performance plastics.com

Injection molding has advanced significantly with the use of biocompatible fluoropolymers. Fluoropolymers are a type of synthetic polymer that contains fluorine atoms, providing unique properties such as high thermal stability, chemical resistance, and low friction. When these fluoropolymers are made biocompatible, they become suitable for various medical and healthcare applications.

The use of biocompatible fluoropolymers in injection molding offers several advantages:

  1. Biocompatibility: These materials are designed to be compatible with living tissues and can be safely used in medical devices and implants. This makes them ideal for applications where direct contact with the human body is necessary.
  2. Chemical Resistance: Fluoropolymers are known for their excellent chemical resistance. In medical environments, where exposure to various chemicals is possible, these materials provide a protective barrier against corrosion and degradation.
  3. High Thermal Stability: Fluoropolymers can withstand high temperatures without losing their structural integrity. This property is crucial in medical applications where sterilization processes involve elevated temperatures.
  4. Low Friction: The low coefficient of friction of fluoropolymers makes them suitable for applications where smooth surfaces and minimal friction are essential, such as in medical devices that come into contact with bodily fluids.
  5. Precision Molding: Injection molding allows for the production of complex and precise shapes. This is particularly beneficial in medical device manufacturing where intricate designs are often required for optimal performance.
  6. Cost-Effectiveness: Injection molding is a cost-effective manufacturing process, especially for high-volume production. This makes it an attractive option for producing medical components and devices on a large scale.

Applications of biocompatible fluoropolymers in injection molding include the manufacturing of components for medical devices such as catheters, connectors, seals, and implantable devices.

It’s important to note that the adoption of these materials in medical applications requires compliance with regulatory standards and guidelines to ensure the safety and efficacy of the produced devices. Manufacturers must adhere to strict quality control measures to meet the stringent requirements of the healthcare industry.

Expertise in custom plastic injection applications not only ensures the technical accuracy of the manufactured parts but also builds trust and fosters long-term partnerships between manufacturers and clients.

For more information on the top of Biocompatible Fluoropolymer Advances, please see our white paper at:

https://performanceplastics.com/blog/biocompatible-fluoropolymers/

Performance Plastics is a world-class complex injection molding company.  We work with our customers to leverage the capabilities of ultra and high-performance materials such as PEEK, Torlon®, Ultem®, PFA, FEP, PVDF, and ETFE and can achieve extreme dimension or tight tolerance injection molded parts.

For more information on Performance Plastics’ capabilities, please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at [email protected], or visit our website at www.performanceplastics.com.

 

Aircraft Maintenance Professionals are always looking for better and more efficient ways to complete their tasks.  Sometimes, in an effort to complete their tasks faster, they use items that were not designed for use in removal and damage to the underlying surfaces.

While there are currently many scraper blades on the market that are designed for adhesive removal, , not all materials are created equal.  Most of the blades currently on the market are made of three materials:  ABS, Phenolic, and Torlon.

 

ABS

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is a very tough, very durable thermoplastic used in a wide variety of applications. ABS is a common choice among other plastic production materials because of its durability, structural stability, and good corrosion, impact, chemical, and wear resistance.

ABS plastic is made when acrylonitrile and polystyrene monomers are polymerized with butadiene rubber to create acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). This blending is typically accomplished using an emulsification process, wherein materials that would otherwise not mix are formulated into a cohesive single product (think milk, where fats, oil, and water do not separate out of solution but exist as a homogenous mixture)

Phenolic

Phenolic is a laminated plastic used in a variety of custom plastic components due to its high strength, resistance to solvents, dielectric strength, and many other features.

Phenolics are manufactured by impregnating layers of material with a phenolic resin, and then applying heat and pressure, which transforms these layers into a solid mass. The result is a thermoset that is dense, dimensionally stable, structurally strong, has low creep, and is an excellent insulator.

Torlon

 

 

Torlon® is a high-strength, high-performance, melt-processable plastic material. It’s ability to perform under severe stress combined with its resistance to elevated temperatures makes it ideal for various applications across many industries.  Torlon (PAI) is recognized as being the highest-performing plastic that is melt-processable.

Polyamide-imides (PAIs) are thermoplastic amorphous polymers prepared by the condensation of an aromatic diamine, such as methylene diamine, and an anhydride, such as trimellitic acid chloride. PAIs have good mechanical, thermal, and chemical resistance, high strength, melt processability, and high heat capacity.

So, ABS is blended thermoplastic, Phenolic is impregnated plastic, and Torlon is a heat-treated, condensed thermoset.  Condensed thermoset materials are stronger, more resilient, and exhibit consistent performance without the risk of damaging the surfaces.

EnduroSharp® Torlon® aircraft maintenance tools were specifically designed by Performance Plastics, the Airforce Research Laboratory (ARL), and the University of Dayton Research Institute at Wright Patterson Air Force Base to safely and efficiently remove adhesives, sealants, and coatings while maintaining an effective edge and not damaging the underlying substrates.

For more information on Torlon® and/or EnduroSharp Torlon® Aircraft Maintenance Tools, please contact Aileen Crass, Product Marketing Manager at [email protected], or visit our website at www.performanceplastics.com/endurosharp.

 

Ultem PEI Polyetherimide thermoplastic component

Ultem PEI Polyetherimide thermoplastic component

Expertise is incredibly important in custom plastic injection applications. These applications often involve precise specifications and unique requirements, where even slight variations can significantly impact the final product. Close collaboration between the manufacturer and the client is essential to ensure that the design, material selection, tooling, and production processes align perfectly with the desired outcome.

Expertise in this context involves:

  1. Understanding Specific Needs: Engaging with clients to thoroughly comprehend their exact requirements, tolerances, and desired outcomes for the injection-molded parts.
  2. Tailoring Solutions: Customizing the manufacturing process, including mold design, material selection, and production methods, to meet the precise needs of the client.
  3. Material Knowledge:  Knowing material options and access to material suppliers is essential in developing unique custom resin formulations to meet production needs.
  4. Clear Communication: Maintaining open lines of communication throughout the entire process to address any concerns, discuss progress, and make necessary adjustments promptly.
  5. Quality Assurance: Ensuring stringent quality checks and inspections at every stage to guarantee that the final product meets the client’s specifications and standards.
  6. Flexibility and Adaptability: Being able to adapt to changes or refine the process based on client feedback or evolving requirements to deliver the best possible outcome.

Expertise in custom plastic injection applications not only ensures the technical accuracy of the manufactured parts but also builds trust and fosters long-term partnerships between manufacturers and clients.

Performance Plastics is a world-class complex injection molding company.  We work with our customers to leverage the capabilities of ultra and high-performance materials such as PEEK, Torlon®, Ultem®, PFA, FEP, PVDF, and ETFE and can achieve extreme dimension or tight tolerance injection molded parts.

For more information on Performance Plastics’ capabilities, please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at [email protected], or visit our website at www.performanceplastics.com.

Performance Plastics is pleased to announce two additions to its EnduroSharp® line of aircraft maintenance tools: the EnduroSharp® Torlon® Sealant Remover (TSR) and three new EnduroSharp® Adhesive Reamers (TAR).

The EnduroSharp® Torlon Sealant Removers (TSR) are non-metallic, spiral single-fluted cutters designed to remove non-metallic debris such as cured sealants and adhesives from larger surface areas such as fuel tanks.

Designed for use with a power drill, the cutters have a hex drive mounting feature and are reusable because they are made of a re-sharpenable material called Torlon®. The cutters were designed to remove sealants, filers, and coatings cleanly with no abrasion to the underlying paints, primers, or metal substrates.

The EnduroSharp® Torlon® Adhesive Reamers (TAR) are non-metallic, multi-fluted, straight-walled reamers. They can be used to remove debris such as cured sealants and adhesives from fastening and bushing holes in metallic or composite structures without damaging the structures. Originally offered in nine sizes, we have added three new sizes to the lineup: the TAR 171 (0.171” Diameter, Straight Fluted, ¼ Inch Hex Drive), TAR 234 (0.234” Diameter, Straight Fluted, ¼ inch Hex Drive), and TAR 296 (0.296” Diameter, Straight Fluted, ¼ inch Hex Drive).

Performance Plastics developed all EnduroSharp® Aircraft Maintenance Tools in conjunction with the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI), and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to provide reliable and dependable material removal tools for military and commercial aircraft maintainers.

Approved for use by the USAF, USMC, USN, and many foreign military organizations, EnduroSharp® tools are designed to prevent damage to metallic and non-metallic components such as composites, metals, and fiberglass. The EnduroSharp® tools are stiffer and maintain a superior cutting edge compared to other alternative thermoplastics tools.

For more information on the new EnduroSharp® offerings, please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at [email protected], or visit our website at www.performanceplastics.com/endurosharp.

As you’re designing and manufacturing your next project, wouldn’t it be ideal if you could analyze all the existing parts, compare them to the original drawings, and get results quickly, without damage? At Performance Plastics, we have the ability to do this through industrial computed tomography (CT) scans. This gives us the ability to measure all aspects of your part, without having to damage it.

Performance Plastics specializes in tight tolerance, high-performance polymers such as Peek, Torlon, FEP & PFA, and Ultem.  We leverage CT Industrial scanning to replicate parts made of other materials and improve their performance.

Industrial computed tomography (CT) scanning is a non-destructive testing (NDT) method that uses X-ray technology to produce detailed 3D images of the internal structure of objects. This technology is widely used across various industries due to its numerous benefits. Here are some key advantages of industrial CT scanning:

  1. Non-Destructive Testing (NDT): One of the primary benefits of industrial CT scanning is that it allows for non-destructive testing of objects. This means that the internal structures of components or products can be examined without causing any damage to the tested item. This is particularly important in industries where preserving the integrity of the object is crucial.
  2. High Resolution and Accuracy: Industrial CT scanners can produce high-resolution images with fine details, allowing for precise analysis of internal structures. This level of accuracy is especially valuable in industries where the quality and precision of components are critical, such as aerospace and automotive.
  3. Visualization of Internal Structures: CT scanning provides a three-dimensional visualization of the internal features of an object. This is particularly useful for inspecting complex geometries, assemblies, and multi-material components, allowing engineers and researchers to examine the internal structures in a comprehensive manner.
  4. Identification of Defects and Anomalies: Industrial CT scanning is highly effective in identifying defects, voids, cracks, and other anomalies within an object. This can be crucial for quality control and ensuring that products meet industry standards and safety requirements.
  5. Reduced Inspection Time: Compared to traditional methods of inspection, industrial CT scanning can significantly reduce inspection time. This is especially beneficial for industries where efficiency and rapid inspection are essential.
  6. Versatility: Industrial CT scanning can be applied to a wide range of materials, including metals, plastics, composites, and more. This versatility makes it a valuable tool across various industries, from manufacturing to medical research.
  7. Reverse Engineering: CT scanning can be used for reverse engineering applications, where the internal and external geometries of a component are captured digitally. This is useful for replicating or modifying existing components.
  8. Regulatory Compliance: In industries where compliance with safety and quality standards is essential, industrial CT scanning can help meet regulatory requirements by providing thorough and accurate inspections. In summary, industrial CT scanning offers a non-destructive, highly accurate, and versatile method for inspecting internal structures of objects, making it a valuable tool in various industries for quality control, research, and product development.

At Performance Plastics, we are experts in injection molding, specializing in high-performance plastics such as PEEK, Torlon, FEP & PFA, and Torlon for medical, aerospace, and industrial applications. Our proprietary tool design software, processes, and equipment enable us to injection mold components having complex geometries made from challenging ultra, high-performance thermoplastic materials, and reinforced compounds.

For more information on Performance Plastic’s capabilities, please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales, and Marketing at 513.321.8404 or email at [email protected].

Fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) and perfluoroalkoxy (PFA) are fluoropolymer materials that are often used in the construction of certain components in batteries, particularly as insulating materials. While they may not directly store energy in batteries, they play a crucial role in enhancing the safety, efficiency, and performance of battery systems. Here’s why FEP/PFA plastics are important for the energy storage function of batteries:

 

  1. Chemical Resistance: FEP and PFA plastics are highly chemically resistant, which is crucial in battery applications. They can withstand exposure to various corrosive electrolytes and chemicals found within batteries without degrading or reacting. This resistance helps ensure the long-term stability and integrity of the battery components, leading to improved battery durability and lifespan.
  2. Thermal Stability: FEP and PFA materials have excellent thermal stability and can withstand a wide range of temperatures, from extremely cold to very hot conditions. This property is essential for batteries, as they can operate in environments with varying temperature conditions. Maintaining thermal stability helps to prevent short circuits, leakage, and overall performance issues.
  3. Dielectric Properties: Both FEP and PFA injection molded parts are excellent electrical insulators. They have a low dielectric constant and low dissipation factor, meaning they have the ability to insulate and isolate electrical components in batteries effectively. This is vital for preventing short circuits and ensuring the safe operation of the battery.
  4. Low Permeability: FEP and PFA plastics have low gas and liquid permeability, which is essential for battery separators. The separators in batteries are critical for preventing direct contact between the positive and negative electrodes, while still allowing the passage of ions. Low permeability materials help maintain this separation, preventing electrolyte leakage and maintaining the battery’s overall performance.
  5. Mechanical Strength: FEP and PFA injection molded materials are durable and mechanically robust. They can withstand mechanical stresses and pressure changes that batteries may experience during manufacturing, assembly, and use. This strength is particularly important for maintaining the integrity of battery components and preventing damage.
  6. Non-reactive Nature: FEP and PFA are non-reactive with most substances, which is essential for ensuring the purity of the battery components. They do not react with the electrolyte or other battery materials, helping to maintain the chemical stability of the battery system.

While injection molded FEP and PFA plastics do not store energy in batteries themselves, they are crucial components for ensuring the safe and efficient operation of battery systems. Their chemical resistance, thermal stability, dielectric properties, low permeability, mechanical strength, and non-reactive nature all contribute to the overall performance, safety, and longevity of energy storage systems, making them indispensable for the function of batteries in various applications. For more information on FEP and PFA plastics for batteries, please call Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at 440-785-7122.

 

 

Fluoropolymers are indeed an excellent choice for parts that must perform in challenging environments. These polymers, which include materials like PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene), and PFA (perfluoroalkoxy), offer a range of unique properties that make them ideal for such applications:

  1. Chemical Resistance: Fluoropolymers are highly resistant to a wide range of corrosive chemicals, acids, and bases. This makes them suitable for use in environments where other materials would quickly deteriorate or corrode.
  2. Temperature Resistance: These polymers can withstand extreme temperatures, both high and low. PTFE, for example, can handle temperatures as low as -200°C and as high as 260°C, making it ideal for applications in harsh temperature conditions.
  3. Non-Stick Properties: Fluoropolymers have excellent non-stick properties, which means they do not easily adhere to other materials. This is why they are often used in cookware coatings, but it’s also valuable in industrial applications where materials need to slide or not adhere to surfaces.
  4. Electrical Insulation: They have good electrical insulation properties, which is important in applications where electrical conductivity could cause problems.
  5. UV Resistance: Many fluoropolymers are highly resistant to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, making them suitable for outdoor applications.
  6. Low Friction Coefficient: These materials have a low coefficient of friction, which means they can reduce wear and tear in moving parts and machinery.
  7. Biocompatibility: Some fluoropolymers are biocompatible, making them suitable for use in medical and pharmaceutical applications.

Fluoropolymers find applications in various industries, including chemical processing, electronics, aerospace, and automotive, where they are exposed to aggressive chemicals, extreme temperatures, and other challenging conditions. Their durability, resistance, and performance characteristics make them an excellent choice for parts and components in these demanding environments.

For more information on how Performance Plastics can help you with your material choice in challenging environments, please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at [email protected]

 

 

Thermoplastic injection molded PEEK Medical Tool

Thermoplastic Injection Molded PEEK Medical Device

High-performance polymers have gained significant attention in the field of medical devices due to their unique properties and advantages. These materials offer a compelling alternative to traditional materials like metals and ceramics in various medical applications. Here are some reasons why high-performance polymers are a great alternative for medical devices:

  1. Biocompatibility: High-performance polymers, such as PEEK, FEP, PFA, and PPSU, are inherently biocompatible. They do not trigger adverse immune responses or toxicity when in contact with biological tissues, making them suitable for implants and other medical devices that interact with the human body.
  2. Lightweight: Polymers are generally lighter than metals, making them ideal for applications where weight reduction is critical, such as orthopedic implants and prosthetics. Lighter devices can improve patient comfort and reduce the risk of complications.
  3. Corrosion Resistance: High-performance polymers are highly resistant to corrosion and chemical degradation. This property is advantageous in medical devices that come into contact with bodily fluids and other aggressive environments. Unlike metals, they do not rust or corrode.
  4. Radiolucency: Some polymers, like PEEK, are radiolucent, meaning they do not block X-rays or other imaging techniques. This feature allows for clear and accurate imaging of the surrounding tissue and device placement without interference.
  5. Customizability: Polymers can be easily molded and machined into complex shapes, which is crucial for designing patient-specific implants and devices. This customizability can improve the fit and function of medical devices.
  6. Low Friction and Wear Resistance: Polymers can offer low friction and wear characteristics, making them suitable for articulating joints and moving parts in medical devices. This reduces the risk of device failure and the need for frequent replacements.
  7. Electrical Insulation: High-performance polymers are electrical insulators, which is essential in devices like pacemakers and neurostimulators to prevent unwanted electrical interference with surrounding tissues.
  8. Thermal Stability: Many high-performance polymers exhibit excellent thermal stability, allowing them to withstand sterilization processes such as autoclaving without degradation.
  9. Cost-Effective: Compared to some specialty metals and ceramics, high-performance polymers can be more cost-effective, making medical devices more affordable for healthcare providers and patients.
  10. Regulatory Approval: Several high-performance polymers have received regulatory approval for use in medical devices, indicating their safety and suitability for these applications.

Despite their numerous advantages, high-performance polymers also have limitations, including lower strength and stiffness compared to some metals and ceramics. Therefore, their selection for specific medical device applications should consider the specific requirements and constraints of the device.

In conclusion, high-performance polymers offer a compelling alternative for medical devices due to their biocompatibility, lightweight nature, corrosion resistance, customizability, and other favorable properties. As materials science continues to advance, it is likely that high-performance polymers will play an increasingly significant role in the development of innovative medical devices.

For more information on polymers for medical devices and how Performance Plastics leverages their use, please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at [email protected].