Mating parts providing a fluid or gas seal are critical components in most mechanical systems. We commonly think of them in valves and connector assemblies, but they are also found in pressure vessels, compressors, pumps, motors, engines, transmissions, and almost all mechanical power trains. Seals, especially those that mate to moving parts, have a demanding set of quality requirements. Each application has its own specific needs, but all seals are characterized by tight dimensional tolerances and excellent surface finish.

Our customer wanted to improve the usable life and leakage profile of a valve without absorbing any increase in component cost.  The sealing surface specifications were tightened to 0.0005 inches (12.7 µ) which was key to accomplishing the performance improvements.

The previous supplier of this component was unable to meet the more stringent sealing surface dimensional tolerances “out of the mold” necessitating a finish machining operation to bring the part into tolerance.  However, machining the sealing surface removed the resin-rich surface of the part creating micro-cracks in the surface and exposing reinforcing fibers. Both of these unavoidable consequences of machining negatively impacted component performance, useful life and cost.

Solution

Performance Plastics knew eliminating the machining operation would improve strength, reduce trapped impurities, and lower manufacturing cost.  Our engineering team focused on producing a “true net shape” part directly out of the mold.   Key to accomplishing the customers goals involved leveraging our proprietary, iterative tool design process.  It required making a 3D CT scan of preliminary molded parts measuring, in this case, approximately 1 million critical part dimensions.  This analysis identified minute distortions.  Utilizing internally developed proprietary software, PPL integrated the CT scan data with CAD/CAM software to make exacting mold modifications eliminating the out of tolerance conditions.  This process contributed to producing a best in class “out-of-mold” conforming part.

The manufacturing process also had to be optimized to produce the desired performance results.  Although the material posed molding challenges, PPL decided to direct gate the part at the top to ensure symmetry of material flow throughout the cavity, critical in achieving roundness to the sealing surface.

The results of development program surprised everyone. Performance Plastics was able to achieve  “out of mold” net shape parts with a seal surface capable of meeting sealing ranges of 100 psi to 3,000 psi, with no porosity and consistently meeting dimensional tolerances of 0.0003 inches, or 7.62 µ. Eliminating the need for subsequent finish machining dropped the leakage rate for the valve by 50%, from 1.0 scfm to 0.5 scfm.

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 rreed@performanceplastics.com

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 rreed@performanceplastics.com

 

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

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

Traditionally, aerospace maintenance professionals removed adhesives by using unreliable items such as scrapers, files, or grinders.  This proved very inefficient because the removal was often uneven leading to failure.

The EnduroSharp® C-130 Prop Hub Adhesive Material Removal Kit comes complete with case with custom foam inserts that contains:

  • 2 each pneumatic tools,
  • 1 each Class I, Division 2 flashlight,
  • 1 each contoured sharpening fixture (requires 120 – 180 grit abrasive paper, sold separately)
  • 4 each EnduroSharp® Torlon® Scraper Blades (2 each left hand and 2 each right hand).

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

For more information on the EnduroSharp® C-130 Prop Hub Adhesive Remove Kit or any of our EnduroSharp® product line, please contact Rich Reed at rreed@performanceplastics.com or visit our website at www.performanceplastics.com

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.

 

 

https://www.plasticstoday.com/medical/plastics-edge-over-metal-medical-device-fabrication

EnduroSharp® has changed the way aerospace maintenance professionals remove sealants and adhesives from substrates and fasteners. Introducing the Lil’ ABNIR Kit to the EnduroSharp® line of kits designed specifically for aircraft maintainers.

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

Precisely designed to work with adhesively bonded nutplates, EnduroSharp® tools are made from Torlon®, a high strength polymer, creating non-metallic tools that will not damage composite structures during use.

The EnduroSharp® Lil’ ABNIR Surface Prep Kit features a refined selection of commonly used tools with a lighter, easily transportable case. Designed as a two-layer kit, it is light and efficient tool kit for use in aircraft repair. The kit is designed for the maintainer on the go who needs to remove adhesives, sealants and coatings from aircraft structures.

The patented EnduroSharp® lineup consists of a variety of scraper blades, gap blades, reamers, cutter, bits, and discs for removal of substances on aircraft, windmill blades, boat/marine and automotive.

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

For more information on the EnduroSharp®  Lil’ ABNIR Surface Prep Kit,  or any of our EnduroSharp® product line, please contact Rich Reed at rreed@performanceplastics.com or visit our website at www.performanceplastics.com.

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 rreed@performanceplastics.com.

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on the EnduroSharp® Nutplate Abrasion Tool,  or any of our EnduroSharp® product line, please contact Rich Reed at rreed@performanceplastics.com or visit our website at www.performanceplastics.com.

 

Operation of the Nutplate Abrasion Tool

Torlon Performance Plastic component

Torlon Performance Plastic component

Highly engineered plastic formulations can achieve higher strength to weight ratios than traditional lightweight alloys such as aluminum and titanium.

Torlon® polyamide-imide is the highest performance plastic that is still melt processible, making it ideal for complex geometries.  Torlon® possesses a 500°F heat distortion temperature and a 500°F continuous service temperature allowing for usage at elevated temperatures while maintaining superior strength. Its ability to resist distortion under high temperature makes it perfect for industrial applications.

Long term reliability under strenuous conditions makes Torlon® ideal for load bearing, sealing and isolation applications.  The material provides significant advantages over metals when corrosion is an issue.   Torlon® has demonstrated superior resistance to degradation when exposed to elements such as PH levels and radiation.

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 enable 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 complex industrial applications. 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 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 rreed@performanceplastics.com

 

 

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

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

Precisely  designed to work with adhesively bonded nutplates, EnduroSharp® tools are made from Torlon®, a high strength polymer, creating non-metallic tools that will not damage composite structures during use.

The EnduroSharp® ABNIR Surface Prep Kit features a selection of commonly used tools with an improved design. Featuring a specifically designed multi-layer case, it is easy and efficient tool kit for use in aircraft repair. The tools are ideal to remove adhesives, sealants and coatings from aircraft structures.

The patented EnduroSharp® lineup consists of a variety of scraper blades, gap blades, reamers, cutter, bits, and discs for removal of substances on aircraft, windmill blades, boat/marine and automotive.

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

For more information on the EnduroSharp®  ABNIR Surface Prep Kit,  or any of our EnduroSharp® product line, please contact Rich Reed at rreed@performanceplastics.com or visit our website at www.performanceplastics.com.

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.