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 four 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.

We have the experience to take a project from concept to production in-house. Every step of the process, from design and engineering, to tooling, protype, and full production, is done under the supervision of our experienced team. We produce complex, tight tolerance custom molded products of all types for the aerospace, medical and diversified industrial sectors.

We are technical specialists in collaborating and executing advanced, custom solutions for our customers. Injection-molded product fabrication is a complex process, especially when dealing with parts that are the size of a pin.  Our process is comprehensive and efficient to ensure that custom solutions can be delivered quickly and cost-effectively. High performance materials include PFA, FEP, ETFE, PVDF, PEEK, ULTEM, and Torlon.

With the ability to injection mold shot sizes as small as .015 grams with a wall thicknesses as thin as .008 of inch, Performance Plastics is anything but typical.  We are one of the leaders in tight tolerance, highly detailed medical parts.

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.

Performance Plastics specializes in precision injection molding of high-performance plastics. Our precise production process gives us the ability to injection mold difficult polymers, producing high quality thermoplastic products.

High performance plastic materials, such as PAI (Polyamidimide) Torlon®, possess ideal properties when it comes to molding for strength and durability. Recognized as one of the highest performing thermoplastic materials, Torlon® exhibits greater compressive strength and impact resistance than other high-performance plastics. Torlon’s high creep resistance and extremely low coefficient of linear thermal expansion (CLTE) provides excellent thermal stability. This provides for creating manufactured parts that exhibit high levels of tensile strength, friction wear, compression strength, and rigidity, ensuring exceptional mechanical loading capabilities up to 525°F (275°C).

At Performance Plastics, we are experts in injection molding, specializing in high performance plastics. High performance plastics, such as Torlon®, can be extremely difficult to injection mold due to the polymers unique structure. 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 you with 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 offers.  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.

Ultem PEI Polyethermide thermoplastic component

When trying to choose the correct polymer for your application, understanding the materials can help you make your decision.  For parts that require superior strength and durability, Ultem® is often a great choice.

 Ultem® is a semi-transparent high strength plastic material that can operate in high service temperature environments.  It is the ideal choice for demanding, high heat applications and can withstand continuous operating temperatures of 340 degrees F while maintaining strength and rigidity.

 Ultem® is a member of the PEI (polyetherimide) family of thermoplastic resins. It provides a unique balance of mechanical properties and processability that gives engineers superior flexibility and freedom in design. Ultem is available in a variety of grades that provide enhanced chemical, heat, and elasticity benefits. It also features high tensile strength, stiffness, strength to weight ratio and dimensional stability.

Ultem® is the high-performance polyetherimide material of choice for many aerospace, aircraft, medical and pharmaceutical applications, including medical components. It offers exceptional mechanical properties and exhibits natural flame resistance and extremely low smoke generation.

  • Heat, solvent and flame resistant
  • High dielectric strength and stability
  • Excellent mechanical properties
  • Rigid and strong
  • Exceptional resistance to environmental forces

Performance Plastics is highly skilled at designing and molding using high performance materials such as 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

Injection Molding Biocompatible Fluoropolymers For Medical Device Industry

Biocompatible Fluoropolymers And Advances In Injection Molding These Materials For Medical Devices, Drug Delivery Systems And Storage Components

Abstract

Injection molded fluoropolymers provide the chemical resistance and material performance needed for the manufacturing, storage and delivery of next generation cancer and biologic drug technologies. Fluoropolymers barrier properties, thermal properties and low surface adhesion characteristics offer advantages for powder and viscous liquid manufacturing, storage and delivery components.

In the past, fluoropolymer were not often considered for high volume parts with complex geometries due to injection molding process limitations. Developments in mold design and tooling steels combined with new manufacturing equipment and processing techniques now allow the use of these biocompatible materials for high volume drug storage and delivery components.

Introduction

Polyethylenes, polypropylenes and polycarbonates currently used for drug storage containers and delivery components will struggle to meet future efficacy requirements. Next generation drug technologies are bringing new handling and dispensing challenges because of increased chemical resistance and cytotoxicity issues. Long-term storage  solutions that  maintain performance and extend shelf life will be required. Improvements in dosage control and minimizing or eliminating the use of silicone coating operations in drug delivery components have also become industry wide concerns. Because of the elimination of traditional injection molding process limitations, product design engineers can now cost- effectively use fluoropolymers inherent material property benefits to address these issues.

Fluoropolymer Material Benefits

Fluoropolymers are chemically inert and pure generally containing no additives that could contaminate liquids or solids during storage or delivery. Fluoropolymers barrier properties resistance to chemical, enzyme and microbiological attack also eliminate biodegradation issues.

Barrier Properties of Thermoplastics

 

Figure 1. Barrier Properties of Thermoplastics

Compared to current plastics, the barrier properties of fluoropolymers (Figure 1) are exceptional. Aging, even at high temperatures and in the presence of solvents, oils, oxidizing agents, ultraviolet light and other environmental agents, is minimal because fluoropolymers do not use any leachable or degradable stabilizing additives. Fluoropolymers  also  have  a  low  refractive  index  and visual  appearance  that  is  unchanged  after  exposure  to light. Applications include drug containers and delivery systems components including bottles, vials, syringes and specimen trays.

Low Surface Energy Material Comparison

 

Figure 2. Low Surface Energy Material Comparison

Fluoropolymers have one of the lowest coefficients of friction of any solid material (Figure 2). Low surface energy in its solid state provides an anti-stick, non-wetting contact surface that is hydrophobic and completely resistant to hydrolysis. For sprays and inhalers, fluoropolymer manifolds can minimize drug delivery buildup to assure consistent dosing. Other applications include medical devices, surgical equipment, syringes, plungers, valves and connectors.

Fluoropolymer Processing

Concerns about fluoropolymer material application and processing limitations are prevalent.  It is still generally thought that sintering or machining are the only viable alternatives because of corrosion and thermal issues during the traditional injection molding process.  Temperatures of molds and equipment can range from 300°F to 800°F.

Highly toxic gases produced have an extremely corrosive effect on both molds and machines. Mold deterioration, runner system scrap rates, melt fracture, delamination and dimensional limitations of traditional gating methods. New fluoropolymers, processing equipment and manufacturing methods have been developed to address both by-product and material waste issues.

Continue reading by clicking, Performance Plastics white paper on fluoropolymers for the medical device industry or contact us to learn more.

 

Cost Effective Fluoropolymer Molding

  • Market: Medical/Life Science
  • Project Requirement:  Manufacture a cost effective, conforming fluoropolymer part

Fluoropolymers (PFA, PEF. ETFE, PTFE, PVDF) are ideal for many medical applications due to their desirable attributes including biocompatibility, lubricity, sterilization, chemical inertness, stability over a wide temperature use range, barrier properties and high-purity with low extractables and leachables. However, fluoropolymers are relatively expensive and are difficult to injection mold (shear sensitivity, high melt temperature, and fluorine outgassing when melted).

Overview

Our customer, a manufacturer of diagnostic lab equipment, developed a new system automating a critical, but time consuming, manual diagnostic process. This system greatly reduced processing time, but utilized PFA, an expensive material, in its small (features as small as 0.20 mm), thin-walled (down to 0.30 mm), highly complex consumable parts. In fact, prior to contacting Performance Plastics (PPL), the customer had worked with other high end molders, who while even ignoring cost, were unable to manufacture the part.

Challenge

As mentioned above, fluoropolymers by their nature are difficult to mold. Further complicating the challenge was the highly complex, thin walled design of the part. The customer was looking for a way to cost effectively manufacture a compliant part.

Solution

The customer, on advice from its material supplier, contacted PPL to develop a cost effective injection molding solution. PPL leveraged its extensive fluoropolymer expertise in designing a solution to this challenging component. Our solution began with a hot runner system and mold designed to greatly reduced shear forces inherent in the injection molding process. Mitigating shear is key to preserving the mechanical properties inherent in the resin. Further, PPL utilizes proprietary metallurgy highly resistant to corrosion from fluorine gas. This significantly extends the useful life of the hot runner system, tooling and all other wetted component coming in contact with the melted resin. Lastly, PPL engineers incorporated a direct gated multi-cavity tool design eliminating the sprue and runner associated with traditional injection molding processes. Employing a direct gated tool design removes the material waste associated with the sprue and runner, particularly important when utilizing expensive resins such as fluoropolymers.

Results

PPL was able to produce a compliant part within 60 days while meeting their cost target. This allowed the customer to successfully introduce its new automated diagnostic system. The multi-cavity mold has reduced the production cycle and lowered the amount of required raw and finished goods inventory. Additionally, the advanced metallurgy developed has been leveraged to produce longer life/lower maintenance molds for other chemically reactive or abrasive resin systems.

For more information about our proprietary molding process please contact us.