The ability to mold unique and complex parts is what we do at Performance Plastics. Our engineers are constantly pushing the limits of our machines and material in order to produce complex parts. We excel when using high performance plastics for challenging applications.

Air motors produce continuous rotary power from compressed air. The vanes in the rotor cause the rotor to spin by sliding in and out when air is pushed into the rotor. The force differential created by the unbalanced force of air on the vanes causes the rotor to spin in one direction. Vanes are extremely important when it comes to how the motor performs. The torque of the motor correlates to the vane surfaces and pressure of the air. Vanes undergo a lot of friction wear and pressure, making material choice for this project challenging.

Vanes need to be made from material that have high strength, low creep, resistance to high temperatures, low friction wear and resistant to water and organic compounds. Any deformity or wear in the vane will take away from the torque of the motor. Therefore, we had to choose a high-performance plastic that will be able to handle the pressure of the compression inside the rotor without wearing or hindering the movement of the vane. The only two high performance plastic materials that fit the criteria are PEEK and Torlon®, two materials that we are experts in using at Performance Plastics. The mechanical properties in these high-performance plastics will allow for the vane effectively slide in and out of the rotor without causing damage to the vane.

To learn more about how Performance Plastics can help you with your project, contact Rich Reed, our Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at (513) 321-8404 or RReed@performanceplastics.com.

The Lithium Ion Battery industry has begun using more and more plastic parts in their manufacturing processes. Most batteries intended for light vehicle usage now have 50% more plastic materials than they did even 10 years ago.  Some batteries have entirely plastic formulations ranging from the electrolyte (polymeric electrolytes) to the casing.  This is due to the very low weight of plastics as compared to metals. Plastic incorporation in batteries increases the electrolyte efficiency if used in polymeric electrolytes.

Commercially available lithium-ion batteries also use plastics. Plastic components incorporated in batteries include separators, gaskets, and casing components. Plastics have good shock absorbing characteristics and prevent damage to the basic cell unit from minor accidental shocks. Also, plastics such as Teflon® PFA, Ultem® PEI, and PPSU have high temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, and are electrical insulators so they are excellent at preventing short-circuit and “rapid disassembly.”

There has been a major shift from metal to resins in gasket manufacturing. Gaskets can be made from Ultem®, PPS and Fluoropolymers (PFA) because of high heat resistance, chemical resistance, and ability to mold thin walls (.012”). Plastic parts may also lower the cost of production of batteries and may eventually replace most metallic components of batteries.

Performance Plastics is highly skilled at designing and molding high performance materials such as FEP/PFA, Ultem®, Torlon®, PEEK, POM, and PPS.  We work with our customers to solve technically challenging problems.   We can propose materials to implement part functionality in the design stage of development. We offer manufacturing solutions such as a clean room, the ability to offer direct gating of fluoropolymers, high volume production, visual inspection and automated facilities.

For more information and solutions, please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at 513-321-8404 or email rreed@performanceplastics.com

 

 

Torlon Performance Plastic component

Custom Torlon Performance Plastic Component

Torlon® is a high performance amorphous (non-crystalline) engineering thermoplastic that possesses exceptional physical and chemical qualities.   It is recognized as the highest performing thermoplastic that is still melt processible. Torlon®/PAI is a Polyamide-imide, which are either thermosetting or thermoplastic, amorphous polymers that have exceptional mechanical, thermal, and chemical resistant properties.

Torlon’s® exceptional properties are the result of being transformed from a thermoplastic to a cross-linked thermoset during a curing process. Torlon® is available in glass reinforced and carbon fiber reinforced grades which offer even greater stiffness and enhanced thermal expansion properties. The wear grades offer unmatched performance over a wide range of temperature and PV conditions.

Torlon® can be extruded into shapes and injection molded into intricate custom geometries. It performs well under severe conditions and at continuous temperatures as high as 500° F.  Torlon® possesses remarkable resistance to wear, creep and chemicals, including acids and most organics, which make it ideal for severe environments. Torlon® also has superior electrical and structural strength at high temperatures, excellent radiation resistance, an extremely low coefficient of linear thermal expansion, and exceptional dimensional stability.

Torlon® is the superior choice when applications require extreme high or low temperatures, such as bearings and seals.  PAI polymers offer superior compressive strength and high hardness characteristics that are critical in many applications that demand a high level of wear performance.

Torlon®/PAI polyamide-imides also offer superior toughness or impact strength.  PAI has a high heat deflection temperature and retains higher strength and stiffness at elevated temperatures. With PAI having superior stiffness and a lower coefficient of thermal expansion, this means that PAI has the advantage of better dimensional stability at elevated temperatures. However, PAI does absorb moisture, therefore, this also needs to be considered relative to the potential limitations a lack of humidity control could present with regard to dimensional stability.  PAI has higher tensile and compressive strength in the unreinforced extruded grade which has advantages in some applications.

For more information on Torlon® or other Performance Plastics products, please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at rreed@performanceplastics.com or call 440-785-7122.

 

An assortment of Torlon Parts

An assortment of Torlon Parts

 

An EnduroSharp(R) Scraper Blade & Holder Kit with Torlon(R) Blades

 

Ultem PEI Polyethermide thermoplastic component

Ultem PEI Polyetherimide thermoplastic component

High performance plastics are plastics that meet higher requirements than standard or engineering plastics. Generally, they are used in smaller amounts for critical applications such as aerospace, defense, medical or industrial applications. They represent about 1% of the plastics manufactured worldwide. High performance plastics differ from standard plastics primarily by their higher thermal stability, outstanding chemical resistance, and superior product quality.

There are many names for the term high-performance plastics, such as: high temperature plastics, high performance polymers, high performance thermoplastics or high tech plastics. The term “polymers” is often used instead of “plastics” when referring to a high performance plastic. Performance plastics are often achieved by the addition of stabilizers and reinforcing materials such as glass and carbon fibers to increase the degree of polymerization.

When it comes to thermal stability, high performance plastics generally have an operating temperature over 300ºF. One material, PEEK, can hold a continuous operating temperature of 500ºF, while another called Celazole® PBI has a continuous service capability of 750ºF. High performance plastics won’t deform or degrade in high temperature applications and maintain their superior mechanical properties.

High performance plastics also offer outstanding chemical resistance. PPS, FEP/PFA and PAI are resistant to a broad range of chemicals while Teflon® (PTFE) is almost entirely chemically inert and highly insoluble in most solvents or chemicals.
High performance plastics offer superior product quality in terms of machinability, durability, reusability, and recyclable qualities. They are used in a wide range of multi-use applications and durable applications and are frequently used to replace other materials such as metal, wood, and glass. Nearly all high performance plastics are recyclable.

The superior product quality of high-performance plastics (specifically their high heat resistance and strength/stiffness) can make them difficult to process, often requiring specialized machinery and talent. This, combined with their higher material cost, generally restrict their use to specialized applications. However, their capabilities and outstanding performance make high-performance plastic parts well worth the cost. For more information on high performance plastics or other Performance Plastics services, please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at rreed@performanceplastics.com or call 440-785-7122.

Performance Plastics’ Senior Design Engineer, Brian Black, walks through the key points of injection molding Torlon®.

Torlon

PAI (Polyamidimide) 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

Solvay Torlon® features superior creep resistance and mechanical strength over a wide range of temperatures and a very low coefficient of linear thermal expansion. It is an amorphous material with a glass transition temperature of 537°F.  Torlon’s resistance to chemicals, high-energy radiation, hydrolysis, and UV combined with its ability to maintain physical properties under extreme temperatures make Torlon® ideal for applications exposed to severe environments.

Torlon® is optimal for parts that need to perform under conditions generally considered too severe for thermoplastics. Typical applications include aircraft hardware and fasteners, automotive transmission and powertrain components, and oil & gas exploration and recovery equipment. The material’s excellent electrical insulating properties have made it a common choice for semiconductor fabrication and testing as well as electrical and electronic components.

Typical Applications Include:

  • Semi-conductor machinery parts
  • Aerospace components
  • Pump and Valve parts
  • Compressor Components
  • High Temperature Insulators

At Performance Plastics, we are experts in injection molding, specializing in high performance plastics.  Torlon® is a reactive polymer, which can cause complications during the injection molding process. A specific set of conditions, equipment, and processing procedures must be followed to effectively injection mold Torlon®. Our proprietary tool design software, processes and equipment enables us to injection mold components having complex geometries made from challenging ultra, high-performance thermoplastic materials, and reinforced compounds.

We utilize a unique combination of extensive material knowledge, mold flow analysis, a design system and process expertise to eliminate or minimize the need for secondary operations. Our expertise in process control allows us to effectively injection mold Torlon® in parts with extremely tight tolerances. This gives us the ability to provide an injection molded part made from the highest strength and stiffness of any commercial thermoplastic.

Torlon® is one of the many high performance polymers Performance Plastics manufacturers.  For more information on Performance Plastic’s capabilities, please contact Rich Reed, our Vice President of Sales and Marketing at 513.321.8404 or email at rreed@performanceplastics.com.

Performance Plastics is pleased to announce the promotion of Taylor LaValley to Production Control Manager.   Taylor has been with Performance Plastics for over 3 years, most recently as a Tooling Engineer, and will have responsibility overseeing the production schedule of our plant.

“Taylor has been with Performance Plastics through our recent growth and has brought a fresh perspective to our operations,” said Chris Lawson, Chief Operating Officer.  “Shifting Taylor to this new role is a statement of our commitment to expand our capabilities, increase team efficiency provide and improve overall lead times.   We are excited that Taylor has accepted the challenge of a new role.”

Taylor LaValley is a native of southeastern Ohio and attended Shawnee State University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Polymer/Plastics Engineering.  He brings to Performance Plastics previous experience as a plant manager for a packaging company in Texas.  He has acquired experience by working with many departments within our organization as a tooling engineer and possesses valuable knowledge of the workings of our proprietary processes.

Taylor stated, “I am excited for the new challenge of working with our staff to reduce lead time and increase overall customer satisfaction” stated La Valley.  “I plan to work with all the members of our team to explore and implement new process improvement strategies and technologies”.

Performance Plastics, located in Cincinnati, OH  is a custom injection molder of high performance, tight tolerance thermoplastic components for markets where failure is not an option, including Medical, Energy, Aerospace/Defense, and Industrial.

carbon fiber filled PEEK thermoplastic gear

Proprietary impregnated PEEK distributor gear for improved performance and useful life

Metals have been the first choice of design engineers for almost three centuries. Developments in highly engineered thermoplastics materials are challenging that dominance. The aerospace and automotive industries have led the charge in this dramatic changeover, initially driven by the need to reduce weight to gain fuel efficiency. Advanced thermoplastic and thermoset systems, including fiber reinforced compositions, are now finding their way into almost every industry.
PEEK is a mainstay material for a growing variety of applications in many different industries. Its popularity is due to excellent friction and wear characteristics, extended durability under punishing environmental conditions, including high temperatures, abrasion and aggressive chemical environments.

Unfilled PEEK resins emit extremely low levels of smoke and toxic gas when exposed to a flame. Glass and carbon reinforced PEEK resins offer high thermal stability and are among the strongest thermoplastics in the market.
PEEK has a long list of outstanding characteristics making it one of the most popular alternatives to metal:

• High mechanical strength and dimensional stability
• Excellent resistance to harsh chemicals
• High wear resistance
• Low coefficient of friction; high abrasion and cut-through resistance
• Excellent performance at high temperatures

Performance Plastics uses various grades of PEEK resin as metal replacements in applications where few other fluoropolymers would be considered. PEEK is widely used in industries such as: aerospace (commercial and defense), automotive, marine, industrial and energy (fossil fuel and renewable). To discover how PEEK polymer resins can make the transition from metal to thermoplastic easier, please visit our website at https://performanceplastics.com/capabilities/polymer-seals or contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at (513) 321-8404 or RReed@performanceplastics.com

Performance Plastics is a leader in providing innovative production solutions for our customers.  We have the opportunity to work on many new projects annually and follow a process guideline called our “Project Development Roadmap”.  This process is formatted in a way that everyone involved has a clear view and set expectations.

It has been our experience that the launch of a new product can be an overwhelming event for most companies.  Product innovation, testing, proving, and marketing all take toll. Performance Plastics works as a partner on projects to ensure successful outcomes. We go out of our way to make the process as smooth as possible.

With every new opportunity, we use our Product Development Roadmap to identify steps and milestones to ensure a successful project:

  • Set initial guidelines on budget, minimum quantity, investment, and contractual time commitments.

Before any true collaboration can begin, there truly must be a meeting of the minds.  We want to respect the customer and have the customer respect our process in turn.  Budget, quantities, and projected time frame are all key components of a true understanding.

  • Agreement on conceptual design and function of mold

Everyone truly needs to understand what the project needs to accomplish.  Often in times of negotiation, companies are so focused on details that the reason for the project gets lost.  We are Performance Plastics like to begin with the end in mind.  We begin with the required product outcome and work backwards.

  • Customer to issue PO

This is where our process is very different from the competition.  While some companies will perform the initial part design without a PO, we want the customer to be fully engaged in this process.  Our engineers work hand in hand with our partner’s engineers to solve the issues and meet the deliverables.  We require our customers to buy into the project, which requires commitment, time, and money.

  • PPL to perform initial part DFM (Design for Manufacturing), using mold fill, cooling, and warpage analysis to optimize part design. PPL to request customer approval.

The design for manufacturability is the general engineering practice of designing products in such a way that they are easy to manufacture.  But easy to manufacture does not always produce the best result.  We collaborate with our customers to design molds in ways that meet the expectations and requirements of the project, addressing mold fill, cooling, and warpage analysis data.

  • Customer to approve the initial DFM and ok PPL to launch mold design.

Keeping expectations in mind, we pause our process and perform an in-depth review with our customers.  At this point we re-evaluate the outcomes, make the needed modifications and engage in an open dialog regarding process improvements.

  • PPL to provide final DFM design to customer for approval.

 Taking in account modifications from the initial DFM, we then present out final version for the customer for them to independently verify and approve.  This is the final step at which we have open discussions on revisions, changes and process improvements.

  • Upon approval, PPL to launch mold construction.

Only after all these steps do we begin the mold construction.  We want to make sure all our parameters are satisfied in all design elements and deliverables before we begin construction.

It has been our experience that the more time we spend getting the process laid out correctly in the beginning, the fewer problems we will have when we begin production.  We want to make sure the whole team has clear expectations of the project guidelines, timeframes, and outcomes.

For more information on our “Project Development Roadmap”, or any Performance Plastics’ projects, please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at rreed@performanceplastics.com or 513.321.8404.

Performance Plastics offers the expertise and technology to produce net shape seals in high-performance materials such as PEEK.  PEEK (polyetheretherketone) polymer is a high-performance thermoplastic material with outstanding mechanical, thermal and chemical resistance properties

Seals have been used since ancient times and have evolved into a wide variety of shapes and materials. Mechanical seals are used to seal the openings of and joints between mechanisms to contain pressure and form a barrier to prevent the fluid (water or oil) used by a machine from leaking to the external environment.  Commonly used in pumps, motors, and compressors, seals are one of the most essential components to ensure a machine operates reliably and effectively.

PEEK is an organic thermoplastic polymer that offers excellent mechanical and chemical resistance properties for applications that are maintained at high temperatures. PEEK seals can be heated, cooled, and heated again without degradation since they are composed of thermoplastic materials.

PEEK polymer seals are well suited for demanding applications such as aerospace, automotive, and medical because of their robustness. They offer outstanding chemical resistance over a wide range of temperatures and are an excellent option for extreme applications where failure is not an option.  Performance Plastics’ team of experienced engineers possess the expertise to design technically challenging seals and offer complex solutions across a wide range of industries.

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

 

For decades, Performance Plastics has been delivering the highest quality custom plastic injection molding solutions in the industry for our customers. We take a highly specialized and consultative approach, working closely with our customers to develop the solutions needed to solve the most complicated issues.

Direct gating is a molding technique designed to drastically reduce the material waste associated with runner systems. This is critically important when working with sheer sensitive, expensive materials such as fluoropolymers (FEP, PFA, PVDF) and PEEK.

Direct gating is ideally suited for deep draw parts and/or small parts like medical components.  The technique saves resin and typically cuts cycle time by up to 50%.  In addition, it eliminates the need for downstream processing such as surface finishing or grinding.  The part quality achieved by direct gating is in many cases improved over parts manufactured with a cold runner.

We work with design engineers to create better products.  Direct gating is an advanced technique that increases value and provides advantages for new, innovative concepts.  Our hybrid direct gate technology eliminates the runner waste associated with conventional molding, significantly reducing material use and per part cost. Polymers are injected directly into the part mold eliminating the need for runners.

Performance Plastics excels at intricate injection molded components needing some combination of high temperature, low surface adhesion, chemical and organic resistance in a package with complex geometries and/or tight tolerances.

For more information on how Performance Plastics can solve your tight tolerance molding challenges, please contact Rich Reed, VP Sales & Marketing at 513.321.8404 or rreed@performanceplastics.com.