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.

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.

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.