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

 

 

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.

PFA (perfluoroalkoxy) is a tough, flexible fluoropolymer that is used for flexible and reusable medical equipment pharmaceutical and semi-con devices when chemical resistance, high purity, and flexibility are required.

PFA is generally used for medical, pharmaceutical and semi-conductor plastics due to its extreme resistance to chemical attack, optical transparency, and overall flexibility. Keeping material purity is of critical importance in most injection molding applications, but particularly the medical, pharmaceutical and semi-conductor industries.

Devices used for medical, pharmaceutical measurement and semi-conductor are frequently exposed to harsh biological and chemical elements. Parts manufactured or coated in PFA materials provide good resistance and are an effective solution for avoiding contamination.

PFA is such an optimal material, that in some cases it can even replace stainless steel in medical devices.   PFA handles high temperatures and pressure well and is resistant to biological impurities. PFA is a go-to option for moving elements in medical devices because of its stiffness and long life, while providing flexibility and resistance to cracks

Many PFAs are used in pharmaceutical industry because of mandated regulations for process component materials. PFA is very versatile in how parts can be manufactured, and it lends itself well to extrusion, injection molding, transfer molding,  blow molding and compression molding.  You will often see PFA in lab equipment because of its outstanding chemical inertness and flexibility.

PFA resins are fully fluorinated polymers specifically designed for the high demanding applications of the semi-con industry.  The high purity composition of PFA addresses the requirement for minimum extractables while proving improved flex life and excellent chemical stress crack resistance.

PFA Properties

  • Chemically stable
  • Dielectric strength
  • Non-flammable
  • Chemical resistance
  • Anti-stick properties
  • Low friction
  • FDA approved
  • High purity
  • UV Resistant
  • Translucent
  • Low moisture absorption

PFA is one of the many advanced fluoropolymers Performance Plastics can mold within extremely tight tolerances.  For more information, please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of sales and 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.

Choosing the best technology for your application

Plastic injection molding and 3D printing are both viable technologies. 3D printing has given engineers the power to create designs and bring them to life in a matter of hours. Injection molding, on the other hand, is the proven technology for complexity, quality, and value. It is used to produce high-volume runs of complex plastic designs quickly and reliably. They are complimentary processes.

The use of 3D printing in innovative and experimental scenarios is a viable technology for its ability to create custom plastic part designs quickly.  The medical industry has embraced the use of the quick-turn technology to create custom items such as prosthetics, dental products, orthopedics, implants and more.  3D printing is the optimal choice during the design process, when low volume and design changes are necessary in refining the design process. However, the 3D process limits your material choices, as all materials are not a fit or even available in a form suitable for 3D printing.

3D printing is best used for:

  • Quick turnaround times
  • Low volume, slower production speeds
  • Parts in the design phase with frequent changes – prototyping, lower product quality
  • Smaller part sizes

Once a design has been finalized, plastic injection molding becomes the optimal process.  Most of today’s plastic parts are manufactured using plastic injection molding – it’s best for producing large quantities quickly and reliably in high volume runs. You have greater material options with plastic injection molding, and you can control material weight, cost, flexibility with endless combinations of materials.  It helps organizations control the cost and integrity of designs with complexities and tight tolerances.

Plastic Injection molding is best used for:

  • High volume
  • Finalized part design
  • Enhanced strength and durability
  • Complex, precision, detailed parts

At Performance Plastics we have been presented with many opportunities that were previously manufactured using 3D printing, only to discover that injection molding was the more appropriate technology.  As experts in FEP, PFA, PAI (Torlon), PEEK and Ultem resins we frequently work with mission critical applications.  We understand that 3D printing can be an essential component of the design process.  If you have a project that requires high volume (5,000+ parts per year), has high temperature resin requirements, tight tolerance with complex geometries, plastic injection molding is your solution.

If you don’t have a lot of time, need a lot of flexibility, and need a few parts right now, 3D printing may be your choice.  But, if you need to do large, repetitive product runs with complex geometries, tight tolerances, with high quality, consider plastic injection molding.

Plastic injection molding continues to become more and more sophisticated with part tolerances becoming tighter and tighter. Initially, tight tolerance was defined as +/-.002 inches and a very tight tolerance is +/-.001 inches. But today there are many factors that impact tight tolerance including part complexity and size, resin selection, tooling, and process conditions. So, getting the mold, part design, material selection and process correct is crucial when working with a product that requires tight tolerances.

Tight tolerances are essential when manufacturing complex parts, especially in the aerospace & defense, medical & life sciences, and diversified industrial sectors.  A few thousandths of an inch can be the difference between a component that fits and one that does not – if tight tolerances are not achieved properly the resulting products may underperform. So, it is critical that clients understand tight tolerances and their underlying objectives. Performance Plastics has parts in production that are +/-.0004 inches. Parts are measured in their Metrology lab with a CT Scanner.

 

Benefits of Tight Tolerances

There are many benefits to manufacturing parts with tight tolerances. It ensures that parts work together smoothly and fit as intended in their final form; parts mesh well and deliver enhanced functionality.   They produce lower failure rates and result in higher client satisfaction. Tight tolerances can also result in fewer post-molding processing requirements.  Additionally, tight tolerances allow for parts to be transitioned from metal to plastic, reducing overall weight and cost of the final product. This can be very advantageous in some industries, such as aerospace and defense.

Design for Tight Tolerances

Not every plastic injection molding project requires tight tolerances, and some organizations insist on tight tolerances for non-critical features.  Tight tolerance should only be required in instances where they are critical.  Many products require standard tolerancing because the consequences of failure are low.  As a general rule, designers should keep tolerances as large as possible while maintaining the desired functionality of the part.

Materials for Tight Tolerances

Additionally, material selection is a critical element in achieving tight tolerances.  Certain resins perform better under certain circumstances.  An experienced design engineer can guide a client in choosing the most affordable material that will deliver the best result.  So, it’s critical to bring in an experienced team early in the design process.

By engaging a production team during the design phase, part functionality, material selection and design can be discussed upfront, and the team can jointly develop a manufacturing process and correct materials that will produce high-precision components. It is crucial for organizations to partner with an experienced injection molder, who has expertise; the design and manufacturing teams should be integrated to allow manufacturability issues to be identified and addressed during the design process – thus saving significant time and unnecessary cost.

Establishing the right process and correct materials for each product and developing repeatability are key to manufacturing tight tolerance parts. While every application is different, there are some process and material conditions that impact tolerances. For example, quick cavity filling and uniform cooling at the desired temperature are conditions that are crucial to achieving repeatability, and thus, parts with tight tolerances.

Performance Plastics is highly skilled at designing and molding using high performance materials such as PEI-Ultem®, PAI-Torlon®, PEEK, and Fluoropolymers such as FEP, PFA, and PVDF.  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

 

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

Every project has its own needs and goals.  Complex geometries involving fine details or sharp corners often cannot be achieved by traditional plastic molding. Advanced plastic injection molding processes allow designers to combine numerous complex features into a single component, reducing the need for secondary machining or surface finishing operations.

Plastic Injection molding allows design freedom not easily matched by other traditional processes.  Performance Plastics’ augments the latest software tools including solid modeling, mold flow analysis and finite element analysis with an internally developed iterative tool design approach to deliver complex geometries and densities superior to most other operations.

Our tooling modification process results in best in class part tolerances, particularly useful in molding mission critical parts where dimensional attributes need to be extremely precise.  We use this approach to produce net shape molded parts of exceptional quality, eliminating or significantly reducing secondary matching operations resulting in material and process cost savings.

Performance Plastics, located in Cincinnati, OH has over 30 years’ experience in molding tight tolerance advanced plastics such as Fluoropolymers (FEP/PFA Torlon, Peek & Ultem) for many industries.  We have developed proprietary processes enabling injection molding of parts that are thin walled, with tight dimensional tolerances, and complex geometries.

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

UV-C light can be used to kill germs such as bacteria, viruses such as Covid-19, and spores. UV-C light disrupts the DNA of pathogens, eliminating their ability to replicate This technology works by the line of sight so the light must reach the surface in order for the bacteria or virus to be deactivated.

Historically, medical device manufacturers did not consider plastics to mold parts because plastic resins posed the possibility of cross contamination.  Today, medical device engineers are reconsidering plastics, specifically fluoropolymers that can be formulated to resist UV-C light degradation and reflectivity to leverage sterilization benefits and part manufacturing flexibility.

Fluoropolymers or Teflon®, are a group of high-performance plastics with excellent temperature and chemical resistance that are increasingly being injection molded in a variety of medical products today.  Unique characteristics such as UV-C light reflectivity, biocompatibility, low friction, chemical inertness, non-porosity, and compatibility with UV-C sterilization technologies, make them suitable for uses in many types of medical devices.

Fluoropolymers, such as FEP and PFA are resistant to higher transmission rates of UV light than glass, polyethylene, or polycarbonate allowing the full spectrum of solar light to pass through offering the benefits of sterilization.  These fluoropolymers are flexible and do not discolor, making them an ideal material to produce medical components to be UVC sterilized.

Performance Plastics, located in Cincinnati, OH  has over 30 years’ experience in molding tight tolerance advanced plastics such as Fluoropolymers (FEP & PFA) for the medical industry.  We have developed proprietary processes enabling injection molding of parts that are thin-walled, tight dimensional tolerances, and complex geometries.

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

Performance Plastic’s  Metrology Lab focuses on advancing measurement science through our ability to understand all aspects of your part.  Mechanical Engineer, Jordan Murray, dives into our industrial computed tomography (CT) Scanning process, explaining the benefits of CT Scanning and how it helps us to solve your problems.

To learn more about Performance Plastic’s CT Scanning process contact Rich Reed, our Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at (513) 321-8404 or RReed@performanceplastics.com.