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

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].

In order to ensure the safety of medical devices, USP Class VI testing is required.  Developed by the United States Pharmacopeia, the Class VI test is a specific test conducted on medical devices to assess their biocompatibility.  It is designed to evaluate the potential adverse biological effects of the materials used in a medical device when they come into contact with living tissues or bodily fluids. Performance Plastics is proud to announce we have passed the test – we now offer material and process expertise.

The USP Class VI test is particularly important for medical devices that directly or indirectly interact with the human body, such as implants, surgical instruments, catheters, and tubing. The test helps to ensure that these devices are safe and do not cause harmful reactions or toxicity when used in clinical settings.

Here are a few key reasons why the USP Class VI test is conducted on medical devices:

  1. Patient Safety: The primary objective of the USP Class VI test is to ensure patient safety. By assessing the biocompatibility of the materials used in medical devices, it helps identify any potential risks or adverse reactions that may occur when the device is used in the human body.
  2. Regulatory Compliance: Compliance with regulatory standards is a crucial aspect of the medical device industry. Many regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), require medical device manufacturers to demonstrate the biocompatibility of their products. Conducting the USP Class VI test helps meet these regulatory requirements.
  3. Material Selection: The USP Class VI test aids in material selection for medical devices. It helps manufacturers evaluate different materials and determine which ones are the most suitable in terms of biocompatibility. This allows them to make informed decisions about the materials used in their devices, minimizing the risk of adverse reactions.
  4. Product Development and Improvement: The test is also valuable during the product development and improvement stages. By identifying any potential biocompatibility issues early on, manufacturers can modify or optimize their device design or materials to enhance safety and efficacy.
  5. Industry Standard: The USP guidelines are widely recognized and accepted within the medical device industry. Conducting the USP Class VI test demonstrates a commitment to quality and safety, providing confidence to healthcare professionals, regulatory bodies, and end-users.

It’s worth noting that the USP Class VI test is just one of several tests and evaluations conducted to assess the biocompatibility of medical devices. Other tests, such as cytotoxicity, sensitization, and irritation tests, may also be performed depending on the specific device and its intended use.

For more information on Class VI testing and how Performance Plastics can assist in certifying your medical device, please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at [email protected], or visit our website at

The shortage of glass has been an ongoing issue. Experts say the price of glass is on the rise as global supply chain issues continue throughout the world.  The glass shortage affects all industries that rely on glass for their containers, but right now, with the convergence of annual flu, the emergence of new COVID variants (Omicron), and the outbreak of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV) in children, the medical field is in dire need of glass for vials.

Silicon, which is one of the materials that is used in glass manufacturing has been in short supply for over a year.  Medical vials are made of Type I borosilicate glass, and this form uses the most silicon. The decreases in the recycling rates during the pandemic, are additionally hurting the production of glass vials.

Fluoropolymers such as FEP, PFA, and PCTFE are great alternative materials for glass. These fluoropolymers are superior to conventional plastics. Their inert, non-reactive, and unmatched durability makes their properties ideal for use in the medical industry. These fluoropolymers are also non-stick, ensuring the product does not adsorb to surfaces. They are also virtually impervious to chemical, enzyme, and microbiological attacks. All the benefits of FEP, PFA, and PCTFE make these fluoropolymers a perfect material to create vials out of, especially since they are injection moldable.

At Performance Plastics, we have extensive experience in injection molding fluoropolymers. We have developed proprietary tooling and processes enabling the injection molding of small, thin-walled, complex parts. Our expertise in fluoropolymers and injection molding can be the solution to the shortage of glass.

For more information on how to use fluoropolymers as your glass shortage solution contact Rich Reed, our Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at (513) 321-8404 or [email protected].


Performance Plastics specializes in the precision injection molding of technically complicated parts in advanced materials, eliminating the need to machine.

High performance plastic materials offer ideal properties when it comes to durability. Resins like polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE/Teflon®) are known for their dielectric strength, low dissipation, chemical resistance, outstanding performance at elevated temperatures, and levels of coefficient friction. However, these unique properties can make molding some fluoropolymers quite difficult. Performance Plastics has found a way to offer the benefits of these materials by injection molding alternate fluoropolymers such as FEP and PFA.

At Performance Plastics, we are experts at precision injection molding. We have developed proprietary tool design software, processes and equipment enabling us to injection mold components having complex geometries made from challenging high-performance thermoplastic materials (PFA/FEP/PEEK®/PTFE/Teflon®) and highly loaded 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.

Switching from machining parts to injection molding parts can be very beneficial. Not only does injection molding help lower costs, but it also allows for highly efficient production, complexity in part design, and enhanced part strength. Injection molding produces uniformity, the ability to make millions of virtually identical parts.

Injection molding isn’t for every project, but it can be cost beneficial for applications producing more than 10,000 pieces of the same part year over year. At Performance Plastics, we serve a variety of industries, from medical & life science, aerospace & defense to diversified industrial.

To learn about how precision injection molding can replace machined parts, contact Rich Reed, our Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at (513) 321-8404 or [email protected].

Medical devices must be dependable and safe, and moving operations back to the United States allow companies to have better control over the entire operation – procurement, engineering, production, and distribution.  The result is a higher standard of quality in products.  Medical device companies and other advanced industries need to have extensive and precise control over the entire supply chain of their products.

As an American small business, Performance Plastics is pleased to see the trend of manufacturing operations moving back to the United States.  A range of economic and strategic factors due to the recent epidemic have tipped the scales exponentially since 2020.

While there are many benefits of reshoring, some of the most important reasons include:

  • Greater Control of Supply Chain

Getting all your moving pieces to work seamlessly can be a near impossible task, especially across language and time zone barriers.  One of the primary advantages of reshoring is that it allows you to tighten your supply chain.

  • Reduced Lead Times

The greater the distance between where your device is manufactured and where you are located, the longer you can expect your lead time to be.  However, distance is not the only factor.  When moving from one country to another, inspection and transportation times between countries can add up to 50% to your lead time.

  • Fewer Import Tariffs

Import tariffs vary from administration to administration, but they will always be in place.  The recent increase in tariffs have caused the cost advantages of manufacturing offshore to shrink.

  • Reduced Energy Costs

Recent changes to international gas and power prices have drastically increased the prices of manufacturing and transportation from other countries.  Impact on the environment and achieving higher sustainability are very important to consumers.

  • Potential to Improve Brand Perception

Although we live in an international community, the origin of a product still has an impact on the perception of quality.  Some lower cost manufacturing countries even have a perception of being “dangerous”.

Medical devices necessitate the highest quality standards possible, which can’t always be regulated in an offshore manufacturing environment.  The vast global, economic, legal and social changes are all very dynamic and unpredictable in nature – making relocating operations a more sustainable, stable and efficient choice.

At Performance Plastics, we are experts in injection molding, specializing in high performance plastics for medical device components. 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] 


Diabetes care has seen several innovations through the years. One of the most important developments is the insulin pump, which for many patients provides an option to the traditional needle and syringe approach to insulin injections. Insulin pumps are small, computerized devices that are about the size of a small cell phone.  Insulin pumps deliver doses of insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar, on a pre-programmed schedule.

High performance polymers have enabled medical device manufacturers to go beyond the functionality of ordinary plastic materials to develop innovative devices for treating diabetic patients.  Resins such as FEP and PFA fluoropolymers are chemically resistant resin with outstanding properties and are currently used in numerous healthcare applications. Physical properties of resins such as high tensile strength, dimensional stability, excellent friction and wear characteristics and the ability to replicate fine features are important advantages as parts become smaller and thinner.

In developing new and advanced insulin delivery devices, resins offer unique advantages and have expanded the possibilities for innovative design and manufacturing. Medical grade fluoropolymers, such as FEP and PFA allow for the miniaturization of device components without the constraints of glass or ordinary plastic materials. With these capabilities, designers can now expand design performance and possibilities. Fine detail replication resulting from the material’s high flow and excellent dimensional stability properties position resins as an excellent material for lightweight and compact precision delivery devices.

Device components such as insulin storage require the use of a proven polymer materials. In addition to compatibility with insulin, purity and very low levels of leaching, resins provide excellent moisture barriers and extremely low water absorption, both necessary properties for optimal long-term drug container storage. These resins are also FDA approved and are compatible with all conventional sterilization methods from gamma to steam.

In future insulin delivery systems, the use of FEP and PFA resin components for various parts of the device will continue to rise. With the advantages engineering polymers offer for design innovation and performance, resins will continue to be the material of choice for delivery applications.

At Performance Plastics, we are experts in injection molding, specializing in high performance plastics. 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].



PFA plastic (Fluoropolymer) Thermoplastic Components

Ultem Polyetherimide is a material widely used in the medical industry.  It is a highly sought-after thermoplastic for its weight saving characteristics and for its use in reusable autoclave sterilization components.  Thermoplastic resins become more pliable at warmer temperatures which combined with strength characteristics, thinner walls and larger inner diameters make it a great option for medical tubing such as medical devices.

Thermoplastic polyurethanes dominate the catheter market and are used in some diagnostic and guiding designs. Extruded thermoplastic or thermoset materials are often used in cardiology or interventional radiology.   Polyamides and polyamide block copolymers dominate the percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty catheter market. They are the polymer of choice for balloon catheters and for stent delivery catheters.


Thermoplastic urethanes and polyether block amides are perhaps the most used thermoplastic elastomers in applications such as catheter tubing, balloons, wound dressings, surgical drapes, storage bags, strain reliefs and numerous other medical device applications.

Ultem is now widely used in:

  • Structural Medical Components
  • In Vitro Diagnostics
  • Medical Respiratory Devices
  • Infusion Pumps
  • Radiation Therapy Systems

Ultem has exceptional dimensional stability and machinability which makes it suitable for intricate medical devices. It can be molded with different materials like glass fibers, minerals, carbon fibers, etc. to enhance the mechanical strength of the products.

At Performance Plastics, we are experts in injection molding, specializing in high performance plastics. Ultem® is an amorphous material, 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 Ultem®. 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.

Ultem® is one of the many high-performance polymers in which Performance Plastics specializes.  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]


Thermoplastic medical spinal implant component, precision thermoplastic medical check valve, non-contaminating Thermoplastic medical valve component, precision thermoplasticmedical spinal implant component, non-contaminating medical spinal implant component

High Precision, PEEK, Thermoplastic Medical Spinal Implant Component

As technology continues to advance, medical device designers are being asked to increase performance and longevity of devices while decreasing costs. One of the most effective methods of achieving both goals is through a metal-to-plastic conversion using a medically compatible resin.

Newer polymers allow for the design of multiple features into one molded component and can replace metal components or multiple smaller parts. By improving the product design and manufacturing process with the latest materials and plastic manufacturing techniques, medical device designers can improve performance of the medical device while reducing its cost.

Medical devices continue to get smaller and more complicated. The size and complexity issues present opportunities for metal-to-plastic conversion. Small tools often are used by professionals who are gloved, and resins offer the ability to apply texture and reduce weight. By using a material that provides improved wet-grip characteristics and ergonomics, designers are able to improve the overall functionality of products. The use of properly selected thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) allows for products that withstand sterilization to be made more effectively.

Instruments that must be repeatedly cleaned and sterilized, sometimes multiple times a day such as dental instruments, can now be made from high-performance materials such as polyether imide (PEI), or polyetheretherketone (PEEK) polymers. These improvements result in better medical devices often at lower manufacturing costs.

Medical resins are ideal for bone implants. Devices made from PEEK polymer are a better match to the normal flexibility of a bone for implants. When a stainless-steel implant is used, the adhesion between the implant and bone tends to loosen over time, because the bone has a small amount of flexibility. A stainless-steel implant does not flex.

By using PEEK polymer as the implant stem, rather than traditional stainless steel, the polymer has close to the same flexibility as the bone and there is a reduced tendency for the implant to loosen over time. This compatibility between bone and polymer makes a more effective medical device — one that will allow better long-term outcomes, especially as the average life span of an implant increases in tandem with the life expectancy of the general population.

With the population aging and improving technology, medical device designers are being asked to increase performance and longevity of devices as well as decrease costs.  One of the most effective methods of achieving both these goals is a metal-to-plastic conversion.

Plastics can be used to replace even the most sophisticated medical device by incorporating simple design modifications.  High performance polymers offer the same strength and rigidity as some metals along with some additional advantages.

Advantages of the medical resins include:

  • Reduced Device Weight
  • Increased Design Freedom – Moldability of all Features
  • Improved Functional Aesthetics
  • Reduced Sterilization Burden
  • Improved MRI Compatibility

At Performance Plastics, we are experts in injection molding, specializing in high performance plastics.  Ultem® PEI and Peek are premium medical grade resins that are ideal for the manufacturing of medical parts and components.  Medical grade resins provide excellent mechanical properties and are highly resistant to chemicals and thermal degradation, making them highly desirable materials for plastic injection molded products within the medical industry.

At Performance Plastics, 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 medical resins into 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 medical resin.

PEI is one of the many high performance polymers Performance Plastics specializes.  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 [email protected].