Category Archives: Engineering Plastics

Engineered Plastics Solutions – PEEK

When it comes to engineered plastics solutions PEEK is right near the top. In fact, at thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics we give PEEK stock shapes Super Hero Status because of it’s multiple “Super Powers” which include:

  • Excellent Impact Strength
  • Very high continuous working temperature, up to 482˚F
  • Great resistance to steam, perfect for autoclave
  • Good wear and abrasion resistance, can be enhanced with fillers
  • Able to absorb high doses of gamma radiation
  • Great upgrade from PTFE
  • Low smoke and toxic gas release  
  • Carries a UL94 V-O Rating

In addition to the many features and benefits of PEEK plastic, this material gets even better when you factor in the variations and grades of PEEK. Fillers aid in enhancing specific properties and grades can help meet specific requirements like FDA while a general grade may cost a little less. These can allow you to dial in and get the biggest bang for your dollar and ultimately have a part that truly fits the needs of your particular application.

  • PEEK Is Available In Grades to Fit Your Specific Needs
  • General Purpose Grade 
  • (Unfilled) Exhibits high purity, high toughness, and high elongation
  • FDA Compliant Grade
  • For high temperature food applications
  • Bearing Grade (HPV)
  • (Carbon Fiber Reinforced with Graphite and PTFE)
  • Life Science Grades
  • (Approved for USP and ISO 10993-1)
  • Semiconductor Grade
  • (SEMITRON® MP370) Use in Test Sockets and Wafer Cones
When you are looking to replace metal parts or improve the performance of a plastic part ask us if PEEK might be a good alternative. While its true that, as you move toward the top of the triangle, engineering plastics and high performance materials may have an initial higher cost, but upon closer analysis many customer have found the benefits far outweigh the cost and, in the long run they find savings and value through improved part life performance and more.

REACH Compliant ABS Plastic

The Case of the REACH Compliant ABS Plastic –

As the Quality & Compliance Manager for thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics, my department receives many requests from our engineering plastics customers for declarations of regulatory compliance to REACH, RoHS, Conflict Minerals etc. As we fulfill those requests we look for ways to improve our quality and service. We also believe it is important to share knowledge to help the growing audience of engineered plastics users. On one recent occasion during our due diligence process, for a requirement on General Purpose ABS our quality team found that all of the components used to produce GP ABS are not traceable; therefore the material manufacture was unable to provide a declaration of compliance for the product. However, the story for the ABS customer has a happy ending. As a distributor of engineering plastic stock shapes we work with numerous manufactures. As a result of those relationships we were able to provide a virgin grade ABS in which all elements of the product were traceable so the customer was able to get an ABS plastic that met the REACH and RoHS regulatory requirement.

If you research materials online you may not know if a plastic like ABS will meet specific requirements. The ABS listed may come from a variety of manufacturers and may or may not be a virgin grade. So if you know up front when REACH, RoHS, or other regulatory requirements must be met you can ask your distributor the question before you buy. In the ABS example, by confirming compliance requirements needed for our customers at the quoting stage we are able to ensure a virgin grade ABS is quoted and that the manufacturer could supply the declaration of compliance for the product because the components used to produce the Virgin grade product are traceable.

You may not always need a REACH compliant material, but when you do, having a working relationship with a distributor can be a valuable asset. As a distributor we have access to materials from many different manufacturers and with a long history in engineering plastics we understand the importance of meeting REACH and RoHS regulatory requirements.  We are happy to assist you in sourcing engineering plastics and making sure you get the specific requirements including REACH, RoHS, Conflict Minerals and many more that you need to be competitive in the global market.

More About REACH and RoHS

REACH is a regulation of EU, adopted to improve the protection of human health and environment from risks that can be posed by chemicals.  https://echa.europa.eu

RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances.  It is an EU Directive that restricts the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products.  There are currently 10 restricted substances on this list that include  lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and diisobutyl (DIBP).  http://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/european-standards/harmonised-standards/restriction-of-hazardous-substances/

Conflict Minerals Rule a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act: The aim of this act is to cut off funding sources for armed rebel groups in the DRC. It requires manufacturers producing products that contain certain minerals to conduct supply chain audits and disclose if those minerals originated in the DRC or adjoining companies.  https://www.sec.gov/spotlight/dodd-frank/speccorpdisclosure.shtml

http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/conflict-minerals-regulation/regulation-explained/

Debbie Shunk

Quality & Compliance Manager
Engineered Plastics
MX-ME-MNA

 

Are you interested in ABS Plastic? Learn more about ABS on our online catalog.

Machining Acetal Shapes

Highly precise acetal parts in a variety of sizes and complexities can be manufactured economically through machining. In the world of Engineering Plastics, Acetal (POM) stock shapes are considered to be some of the easiest to machine. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the easiest, many manufacturers place acetal at a 1, compared to a PBI which is often seen as a 10. In fact, machine shops that traditionally make metal parts find they can machine acetal using the same primary tools used for most of the metals they work with. As with any material, there are some good guidelines that can help ensure your success.

Best General Practices for Machining Parts from Acetal (POM) Engineering plastic and Potential Pitfalls of Machining Thermoplastic Shapes

We love engineering plastics! So we are always touting the many benefits of replacing plastics with metals. But this does not mean they are perfect in every way in every situation. There are some differences between plastics and metals that can trip you up when machining. But once you know the potential problems of machining acetal stock shapes machining them can become as easy as the metals machine shops are used to working with now.

Watch out for the heat! As a general rule keep in mind that, due to heat, thermoplastics expansion can be up to 10X greater than metals. Thermoplastics also hold heat longer than metals. Acetal is a thermoplastic material and has a lower thermal conductive aspect than most of the metals it is used to replace. Heat may not be an issue for metals but in the case of an engineering plastic shape from acetal heat build up from machining needs to be monitored and taken into account. Thermoplastics are more elastic than metals. So in general, heat buildup during the machining process can potentially lead to thermal expansion which can distort acetal parts.

If this leaves you concerned about machining plastics, not to worry! Plastics like acetal have numerous benefits that often outweigh the challenges of heat buildup and once you understand how to work with acetal you can easily machine consistently accurate, detailed high quality parts that your customers will be happy with. Be mindful of heat buildup, but also know that acetal does not typically require a coolant (except when drilling or threading). Sawing and machining can usually be set up to minimize heat buildup. (See the table below for Quadrant Engineering Plastics general recommendations for tools and speeds.)

  1. If cooling is used on acetal, compressed air is the standard method. The great thing is this has two benefits. The air cools the part and it keeps chips blown out of the way and keeps the heat built up in the chips off of the part or tools where it can add to any heat buildup. Other options include spray mists and non-aromatic, water soluble coolants.
  2. Sharper tools = Less friction = Less heat. To help reduce heat buildup use extremely sharp cutting tools.
  3. Chipping. Acetal creates chips when being machined so plan for removal of chips as you machine. Removing chips is very important in deep hole drilling. As the chips add to the heat, hole walls can heat to the melting point and clog the drill.
  4. Pieces may be flexible. Make sure the acetal is supported in a way that the material is not distorted, bent, twisted or allowed to deflect away from the tool.
  5. Make sure machining equipment is running as smoothly as possible, reduce any vibration to help aid in accuracy and part quality.
  6. Acetal shapes can be clamped but be aware of how tight.
  7. Choose the right blade for the job. Start by asking yourself what the end product is going to be.
    1. Band saws are good choice for a support groove and for cutting acetal rod and tube. Heat gets dissipated over the long blade.
    2. Circular saws are a good choice for cutting acetal sheet or blocks that have straight edges. Watch the feed speed (most acetal manufacturers have a recommendation).
  8. Choose the right tool for the job too
    1. Opt for positive tool geometries with ground peripheries
    2. For best tool life use carbide tools with ground top surfaces
  9. Is post machining annealing needed? See our previous blog post on this topic.
  10. Choose a machining cycle that will allow for evacuation of the chips from holes and cutting surfaces. For example, when drilling holes choose a cycle that allows drill to ‘peck’ or withdraw at certain points to draw chips back out of the hole.

The following tables are a good starting point for how to set up machining of acetal materials. The information comes two US manufacturers of acetal materials – Quadrant Engineering Plastics and Engineer Plastics provide guidelines for machining the acetal materials they produce. Depending on the manufacturer acetal materials may go through a stress relieving (annealing process) as part of their manufacturing. This helps to ensure the highest possible consistent quality of materials. Testing and consulting with your local tkEP representative on manufacturer recommendations is always a good way to help prevent machining problems. tkEP representatives not only have a broad range of industry experience, many have worked hands on in the industry, and all tkEP representatives attend manufacturer training so we stay on top of current products and how to work them.

 

As you can see each manufacturer has their own insights into how acetal should be sawn, milled, drilled, or turned. Their are also some pretty broad ranges when it comes to the numbers they provide. This is because these are truly general guidelines that cover the broad range of acetal shapes. Acetal shapes can be acetal homopolymers, acetal copolymer. In addition there are filled acetals and unfilled acetals. Add that to other variations including thickness and size plus environment and it is easy to see that testing for individual applications is necessary.

To read more about acetal plastic shapes check out our online catalog. We have product information as well as a full range of shapes, sizes, and grades of acetal. Read More… For more detailed information on machining from Quadrant EPP and Ensinger Engineering Plastics we’ve included links to pdf files of their machining guides. In these guides you’ll find data for acetals as well as a broad range of other machinable engineering plastics. Last but not least, don’t forget about your friendly local tkEP representative. We are always happy to assist you with finding the right engineered plastics solution for your application. Contact us today 877.246.7700. this one number will put you in contact with your local tkEP branch, or send us a note.

Quadrant Engineering Plastics Machinist Handbook

Ensinger Engineering Plastics Machinist Guide

Extraneous Detection and Thermoplastics – An Industry Experience of the Customer

 

Thanks to Brad Nelson, a Quality Manager in the Food Industry for sharing his experience on our blog. Recalls in the food industry can cause massive losses and even worse, cause harm if people, pets or livestock are directly affected before a food contamination issue is caught. In other industries lines can be shut down and safety can be an issue. As a distributor of engineering plastics we think there is often no better way to learn than by hearing the stories of those who are willing to share their experiences and what they learned so we truly appreciate Brad sharing his experience of engineered plastic solutions with us on our blog. Knowledge of materials is more than the question of how much, it’s a question of what is the right material for an application.

Food PartBrad’s Story –

ABOUT 5 Years ago, there were a series of events that transformed some of my thinking within the Food Manufacturing Industry.  While working as a Quality Manager within the industry, we had come to find that we were having premature failures of some hanger bearings in a variety of screw-type augers.  (See image) Unfortunately the mode of detection came from an employee who witnessed the plugging up of extruder die heads.   These, of course, had been running for several days by that point, and we had no idea when the thermoplastic ‘bearings’ had begun to melt, extract themselves from their metal housings, and become a potential food safety issue.  After a long and arduous investigation, there were several hundred thousand pounds of product that were on hold and subsequently destroyed.  As one would expect, senior management was extremely concerned about repeat issues.  Through several rounds of research, we determined that the primary failure mode was a maintenance practice issue, in that they were misaligning the screws creating a slight wobble that would wear the bearing faster than normal and then begin a spin that then would heat and melt the thermoplastic.  Round one of preventative action: let’s change our maintenance practices.  Worked great!

For a time… then we came to discovery number 2.  Again, we found ourselves in a similar predicament of product destruction and direct emails from executives to “figure this out”.  Not that that helped, but it certainly adds to the stress.  We approached our supplier of the hanger bearings about different materials to use – we discovered that they were experimenting with various metal impregnations at different levels.  We were very willing to be the guinea pig at that point, and gave them the green light to manufacture various levels of impregnated material into the resin. I was a skeptic, and a fairly harsh one at that.  I made the team run through a Probability of Detection trial on various detection devices (Metal Detectors & X-ray) to see what size, shape, and mass we could detect at 100%.  We then compared this data to our MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) data on the bearings.  We managed to find a happy medium of detectability and of life-length.

The rest of the story you ask?  Well, we found that fixing the screw alignment was only part of the failure mode for the assemblies, and found other mechanical changes necessary when it came to the longevity of the plastic components.  But, before we knew it, we discovered something else.  This time, it proved to be our metal detector on the end of the processing line.  A couple of shifts had gone by with Maintenance trying to ‘fix’ the problem of the continued rejections.  The report had surfaced in our daily production meeting.  I questioned it several times; only to receive the response back that “we didn’t find anything”.  I decided to go look for myself, and sure enough, I took some of the rejected material (> 200 lbs. worth) over to our off-line sensitized metal detector.  Shazam, I found this blueish powder in the reject bucket after just a few scoops.  Guess where that came from?  You guessed it, the hanger bearing assemblies further upstream.

Lessons learned: ‘detectable’ thermoplastics work, and they work great!  Design and Food Safety Planning are the keys to success.  Advising and training your plant floor on what to look for in failure modes is critical.  For the few pennies / dollars more per unit you pay upfront, you avoid many a headache in the future!

Guest Blogger
Brad Nelson
Quality Manager

We hope to bring more stories like this in the future. As more engineering plastics like the detectable materials Brad talked about are developed we need to understand how these can really work as part of the whole. How are engineering plastics affected by the materials around them, how can quality and maintenance teams quickly find potential part failures, and how these amazing materials can bring safer more reliable conditions. Keep up with us here on our blog and check out our online catalog at onlineplastics.com. On this site you can easily find items like Ultra Detectable materials, the latest in FDA compliant engineered plastics solutions for the food processing industry as well as many other well known plastics plus articles on industries and more.

 

Plastics and Industry – What Keeps You Up At Night?

In this blog post we are not going to tell you about the latest and greatest plastic innovation. We are not going to tell you what you should buy, or that this material is the best ever. We are going to ask you one question about your job – what keeps you up at night?

Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Does your machined plastic part have chipped edges or other defects?
  • Are your plastic parts not wearing as long as you think they should or could?
  • Are you new to machining plastics?
  • Do you have a part that is a complex shape?
  • Do you need to solve a quality issue at your facility?
  • Have you heard that plastic parts can reduce environmental noise and you are wondering which one to try?
  • Is the possibility of a food recall at your facility keeping you up at night?
  • Why do I get different results when I’m thermoforming the same kind of plastic in the same way?
  • Can I bond plastics with adhesives?

Chances are, someone on our team has seen one or even all of these questions during their years of working in sales, machine shops or manufacturing plants, and they would love to share their knowledge with you and your team. After all, our best success is when you, our customer succeeds. When an engineered plastic solution doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work for anyone…not us and not the supplier who makes the plastic.

At tkEP we know we don’t have all the answers, but we have people with relationships and resources and we are always looking to use those to improve our knowledge of engineered plastics solutions. We train with our suppliers, we train each other, and we provide training to you, our customer. We don’t think knowledge should be a secret, but rather something to share so we can all do better. So, even though we don’t have all the answers, we do have a dedicated team of people with decades of experience working in the plastics industry and we are passionate about our specialty, engineering plastics, and finding engineered plastics solutions.

This past year tkEP furthered their commitment to engineering plastics education when the company added a large training room as part of it’s new Auburn Hills facility. Since it opened in April the Auburn Hills branch has been host to employees, suppliers, customers, and students from places like the University of Toledo. The room features a large screen, wi-fi and ample space for everyone to gather and get hands on experience with engineered plastics, adhesives and more. But our other branch locations don’t let not having a large training room stop them. The tkEP Outside Sales teams enjoy hosting lunch and learn events and open houses for customers at facilities around the country. Lunch and learns are a  great forum for hands on learning with small to medium size groups of people. Customers can delve into topics like best practices for pouring casting urethanes so you can have a successful experience every time. At other times customers need to look at a particular topic like how to avoid food recalls. This was recently the case for Ann-Marie Neideigh (thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics Outside Sales) who teamed up with Karen DeBard (Ensinger Plastics, pictured below) to bring a Lunch and Learn to a group of food processing professionals who wanted to learn how they can reduce the potential of a food recall. As Ann-Marie noted, “Lunch and learn sessions are a time when we can tailer the training to your needs and bring along our manufacturing partners and together, discuss and answer your questions about those things on your job that keep you up at night!”

In an open forum Ann-Marie and Karen took questions from the customer’s team and discussed materials Ensinger has specifically designed to help reduce food recalls due to contamination during production as well as the basket of plastics available for use in different applications of the food industry. Ann-Marie noted, “the food industry has a lot of very different applications from the hot dry environment of bakeries to the wet harsh environment of processing fresh fruits, meats and more. We really feel one of the best ways we can help our customers sort out all the material options  is to make sure we are all educated on materials and the specifics of applications.  Sitting down and having a conversation over lunch is a great way to do that.” She went on to explain with so many materials available it’s a process to determine exactly what material is just right for an application. Knowing the application details, and what customers need to achieve is a good start. From there we look at all the concerns and find the right balance between performance and cost. There are websites you can search and some new apps that help to narrow down options that can be helpful. But, as a distributor we are able to look quickly across a large number of manufacturers and products, and take into account real life application experience before we settle one one particular answer.

So, what are the questions that keep you up at night? Let us know! We would be happy to set up a Lunch and Learn with your team to answer questions and see what engineered plastics solutions we can help you with,

For more information about engineering plastics visit our library.

To look for specific engineering plastics visit the tkEP online catalog at onlineplastics.com. We are steadily adding new products and plastics information every month.

What Are Polymers?

What Are Polymers? What Polymers Occur In Nature?

iStock_000064384687_Double-Rotated

POLYMER: a chemical compound that is made of small molecules that are arranged in a simple repeating structure to form a larger molecule.

DNA, genetic sign, elements and icons collection

DNA, genetic sign, elements and icons collection

Naturally Occurring Polymers

To know what a polymer structure looks like, think of a chain with many links connected together. In nature our own DNA is an excellent example. DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid)  is a molecule that carries the genetic instructions used in the growth, development, functioning and reproduction of all known living organisms. The diversity of how these chains link mean polymers exhibit a very broad range of properties making them an essential and vital piece in everyday life, no matter where we look.

How Are Polymers Created?

Polymers are created through chemical reactions known as polymerizations, and most polymers are made via just two basic reaction types.

Polymerization Type #1 – Condensation polymerization.

Condensation polymerizations occur when two monomers react to yield a repeat unit (a chain) and then along the way they lose small molecules as by-products such as water or methanol. In plastics one example of condensation polymerization is polyamide that comes from monomers with carboxylic acids and basic amines. A polyamide is a macromolecule with repeating units linked by amide bonds. In our business of engineered plastics we often think of DuPont Vespel®, a specialized engineered plastic. On the other end, naturally occurring polyamides are also the proteins that make up wool and silk.

polyamide_formula_v01

Synthetic Polyamides and the Birth of Nylon

Wallace Hume Carothers (April 27, 1896 – April 29, 1937) was an American chemist. He is most noted as the inventor of nylon, one of the most widely used and known plastics throughout the world because of is many forms and uses.

Carothers was the leader of organic chemistry at DuPont when he made the first nylon to be a synthetic replacement for silk. Most people also know this is where nylon stockings became popular as silk went into short supply, but nylon was so successful that it replaced many different products after silk became scarce during World War II. Most noted nylon was used in military applications such as parachutes and flak vests. After initial the commercialization of nylon as a fiber, applications in the form of shapes and films were also developed with demand.  Industries as diverse as packaging, electrical and electronics, consumer goods, appliances, and automotive are just a few of the areas that developed applications for nylon plastic in various forms.

Polymerization Type #2 – Chain-Growth Polymerization

Chain growth polymerization occurs when a monomer forms a molecule with an unpaired electron. The free radical reacts quickly with another monomer and causes a repeat unit with another free radical. A rapid chain reaction continues bringing about the polymerization, and the polymer chain continues to grow longer.

One example of a synthetic polymer made through a chain-growth polymerization is polystyrene, a polymer commonly found in disposable drinking cups. It is interesting to note that the original discovery of this polymer dates all the way back to 1839 by Eduard Simon.  As a traveling member of AIN Plastic Business Development I rely heavily on this synthetic polymerization… Since the discovery of this polymerization process, the advancements have been ever changing in the industry of materials like engineered plastics. For example, polystyrene itself comes in forms from clear and hard to a foam version invented by DOW in 1941. The end result simply depends on the particular catalyst and chemicals selected to create polymerization process.

Chemists have discovered new catalysts and developed new synthetic chains to join small molecules into long polymer chains with the right properties for almost any particular use….only time will tell what comes next, and I for one, can’t wait to see.

Montague-Sml-DSC_0304Kendall Montague
Industry Segment Manager, Oil and Gas

thyssenkrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division

M: +1 (314) 502-0813, : +1 (877) 246-7700, Kendall.Montague@thyssenkrupp.com

See our catalog online at www.onlineplastics.com

Kendall Montague is a veteran of the plastics industry with 16+ years experience working with OEM and MRO engineers assisting in developing thermoplastics material selection as well as custom design and fabrication using CNC equipment.

Active Member with the Energy & Polymer Group – Houston
linkedin-logo-Icon

Sources for this article:

Introduction to Polymers  R.J. Young Chapman

Market Studies- Ceresena

Meriam Webster-dictionary

wikipedia

Business Development Team – Adds Value to Buying Through Distribution

TKMNA AIN Plastics Business Development Team Is Dedicated to Providing Solutions to Your Engineered Plastic Needs.

As a Distributor of Engineered Plastics we serve many Industries.  We supply Fabrication Machine Shops as well as OEM Manufacturers.  We work with Design Engineers, Product Developers, Maintenance Specialists, and more. Serving so many industries provides many challenges, so how does AIN Plastics maintain a high level of customer service, satisfaction, good value, and keep up with the thousands of options available in engineered plastics? We have a team. That team includes the Inside and Outside Sales people everyone works with on a day to day basis. We also have 11 branches throughout the US operated by Branch Managers and Fulfillment teams. But we also have an additional team of Industry Segment Managers, (aka Business Development Team) who work across all AIN Plastics locations. This team is comprised of members that between them hold an incomparable amount of knowledge and passion in key industries we serve. Their goal is to assist both the AIN team and our customers by providing knowledgeable support. That support may include training and education, evaluation of applications for material selection and problem solving. In addition the Business Development team uses their depth of Engineered Plastics to find applications that may benefit from an Engineered Plastic solution over traditional materials like metals.

Each Industry Segment Manager focuses on one of the following industries:

  • Oil and Gas / Pump and Valve
  • Power Distribution
  • Medical and Life Sciences
  • Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P)
  • Transportation

In addition we have an Industry Segment Manager that focuses solely on the high performance DuPont™ Vespel® materials which are often specified by Design Engineers for applications in Aerospace, Plastics Processing, Semiconductor and other highly demanding industries.  By focusing on how we can assist people and educate others in the proper selection and use of engineered plastics we have found we can help customers find ways to improve or enhance applications, reduce costs, and improve efficiency and safety. The AIN Plastics Business Development team all have hands on experience within the plastics industry and in machined parts that provide a base of knowledge they each build on. Because we work with all the major manufacturers of engineered plastic materials, we have the widest selection of products to consider for solutions.  Our Industry Segment Managers also have the opportunity to constantly add training and knowledge to their skills directly from the manufacturers and then share it with customers. We see our job as a distributor as an opportunity to make your job easier and your business successful. In essence we see ourselves as a bridge between customers and suppliers and a partner who brings value.

Meet the Business Development Team

Oil and Gas / Pump and Valve –

Kendall Montague - Business Development Oil and Gas Industry Segment ManagerEmail: Kendall.Montague@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 314-502-0813

Kendall Montague is a veteran of the plastics industry with over 15 years of experience. He earned a degree in Economics from Southern Illinois University.  Previous to that Kendall enjoyed a 10 year career as a PGA Club Professional in the greater St. Lous area. After that he transitioned into the plastics industry. Through the IAPD, he has earned the Level 1 and 2 Professional Sales Certifications. Kendall was attracted to AIN Plastics after meeting thyssenkrupp Materials NA, AIN Plastics Division President John Shepherd during a national materials conference.  John’s enthusiasm and vision were shared with Kendall during a team building exercise, and Kendall was left with an impression of the organization that directly aligned with his value-added selling approach. Kendall focuses on working with OEM and MRO Engineers throughout the Oil and Gas industry assisting them with application specifics in thermoplastics material selection. He has also helped develop custom design fabrications that work well with specific CNC equipment. His fabrication experience, a skill learned early in life from his father and developed during his career, is also a valuable tool he brings.  His typical focus applications include bearing, valves, and pump components found in the Oil and Gas markets.

In his spare time Kendall loves being physically active, and especially enjoys biking, running half marathons, and hiking. His passion for running connected him with a fitness group called Road Runners Club of America (www.rrca.org) and he is now one of the over 4,600 members here in the USA, and 16 other countries. Team members can be distinguished by their signature purple camouflage apparel in races and club members range in age from 4 to 85. The group’s only requirement is that, “you have a true desire to maintain and improve your own fitness.” When he’s not participating in half marathons, Kendall enjoys spending time with his childhood sweetheart Jennie whom he met at the age of 13. Home base for Kendall is in the greater St. Louis area but he travels to customers throughout the US to provide hands on support.

Trevor Drake - Business Development - Power Distribution Industry Segment ManagerPower Distribution –

Email: Trevor.Drake@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 248-233-5600

Trevor Drake is AIN Plastics Industry Segment Manager for the Power Distribution Industry. Trevor has a well rounded background in business and industry. He is a Canada native who got his start as a plant supervisor in the automotive industry after graduating from the University of Windsor. After completing his MBA in Business Finance, Trevor joined thyssenkrupp Materials NA where he worked as part of the finance team before focusing on Sales and Marketing. Trevor has been with the AIN Plastics Division for over 10 years.

Through his diverse career, Trevor has developed key skills that are of great value.  His vision on Proficiency, the importance of urgency, and his entrepreneurial spirit serve him well. In addition he brings valuable insights from his time in manufacturing plants. Trevor spends his time in the Transportation and Power Generation sectors, focusing on Insulating materials like GPO, Phenolics, Polycarbonates, and other Engineering Plastics.

When Trevor is not working to create solutions for his customers, he enjoys watching his two sons and his daughter develop their talents in sports. He appreciates that he can continue to do what he loves while still enjoying the climate and atmosphere of Canada.

Dave Piperi - Business Development - Medical Life Science Industry Segment ManagerMedical / Life Sciences –

Email: Dave.Piperi@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 914-490-1438

Located in the New York, New Jersey area is Industry Segment Manager Dave Piperi.  Dave is an expert in the Life Sciences, Medical, and Analytical Instrumentation Markets.  Dave’s experience in our business is very deep.  Starting as an Inside Salesman gave him a strong education in Engineering Plastics.  Moving to Outside Sales, then Branch Management expanded his experience.  He was particularly interested in AIN Plastics because of its leading role in supplying High Performance Medical Grade Materials.

Dave has assisted customers and led AIN’s growth by developing applications for lab testing equipment used throughout the analytical and bio-pharma areas. Dave supports customers and design engineers by working with them and sorting through the many requirements (including specific industry certifications) and providing engineered plastic solutions. These solutions deliver real world benefits that help improve their products, increase service life and more.

Outside of his work at AIN, Dave enjoys time with his family, watching his son play sports, and relaxing on the beach.

Paul Hanson - Business Development - DuPont Vespel Industry Segment ManagerHigh Performance Materials / DuPont™ Vespel® –

Email: Paul.Hanson@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 770-362-9712

For high performance DuPont™ Vespel® Material, Paul Hanson is the go to person. Paul has been working in the Plastics Industry for over 23 years, with experience in the Manufacturing as well as Distribution fields. After earning his Bachelors Degree in Business Finance and his MBA in Business Administration, he moved from Minnesota to Georgia to enter the Plastics Business. Paul has held management positions in Manufacturing and Distribution, as well as Field Sales and Training, Paul has a unique depth of experience in the field.  He was attracted to AIN Plastics because of the company’s long history as a leader in Engineered Plastics.  As an Industry Segment Manager Paul uses his expertise to support the AIN Sales team and their customers in the selection of the right materials for specific applications, often replacing metals and other traditional materials with plastics.  Paul works closely with the DuPont™ Vespel®  organization and brings that experience to our customers, focusing on the Aerospace and Semicon Industries.

Outside of AIN, Paul enjoys spending time with his wife of 32 years, Sara.  They enjoy golfing, traveling, and spending time with their families.  On many weekends you can find him at his brother in law’s drag-strip in Middle Georgia.  His goal is to be racing there soon in a hot Camaro!

Scott Moore - Business Development O&P Industry Segment ManagerOrthotics and Prosthetics –

Email: Scott.Moore@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 813-215-8323

Scott Moore is a Florida native who leads our efforts in the Orthotics and Prosthetics Marketplace.  Scott studied Criminal Justice Standards at Polk State College, but soon found his way into the Plastics Industry.  His 20 year career started as an Inside Sales Representative for one of our strategic suppliers, Quadrant Engineering Plastics.  That experience led him to promotions at Quadrant including Inside Sales Manager, Territory Manager, and Team Leader for the Power Transmission Division.

He joined AIN Plastics Business Development Team in 2010 where he focused on DuPont™ Vespel® and Medical Grade Materials. Scott moved back to Florida as the Branch Manager for AIN Plastics Tampa, where he became heavily involved in the growing demand for Orthotics and Prosthetics materials. His materials experience was valuable in rapidly growing our position in this market.

Scott has developed special labeling for our O&P thermoforming products which is of great help to the industry.  He has also expanded our offerings to include adhesives, foams and cork, creating a full market basket. Most recently Scott introduced a unique clear unbreakable material that is ideal for  check / test sockets. As our Industry Segment Manager for O&P, Scott spends his time working in the Field with our Sales team as well as managing the relationships with our National Accounts.  Scott leads our efforts to bring AIN Plastics O&P Materials online as an OPIE Integrated Supplier.

At home, Scott enjoys spending time with Diep, his wife of 14 years, and their two daughters Kayla and Kara. He also finds time to continue his passion for playing the drums, a lifetime enjoyment. He also loves to fish and hunt, and most recently teaching one of his daughters to fish as well.

Thomas Price - Business Development, Transportation Industry Segment ManagerTransportation –

Email: Thomas.Price@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 678-230-7944

When it comes to materials for the Transportation Industry, Thomas Price is our resident expert and Industry Manager.  Thomas has over 20 years of Plastics Industry Experience, from Key Account Management to Branch Distribution Management. A graduate of West Virginia institute of Technology,  where he studied Design Engineering, Thomas brings great skills to AIN Plastics.  His primary focus has been on Engineered Plastics used in Aerospace, but also is an expert in Transit and other related Transportation fields.  The newest of the AIN Business Development team, Thomas joined in 2014.  He was attracted to AIN Plastics because of the professionalism displayed by the company, and his familiarity with the transportation industry.  Thomas prides himself on being able to relate to the issues of his customers, as well as the product manufacturers.  He takes an active role in problem solving throughout the supply chain, which makes him a valuable member of our team.

Thomas works out of the Charlotte, North Carolina area, but you can find him most anywhere in North America where Aircraft Interior components are designed, manufactured, and installed.

In his spare time he enjoys being a loving father to his three girls, participating in competitive target shooting, and many other outdoor activities.

In the world of engineered plastics finding the right material can seem like looking for a needle in a hay stack. As an Engineering Plastics Distributor we look to add value not just by carrying the most demanded products, from all of the Major Manufacturers, but also by being experts in the use and selection of these materials.  We can also help you in the Fabrication of these materials into parts … from prototype to full production runs.  Through our Business Development Team and Sales Team we live in the manufacturing plants of America, and we are happy to consult and teach what engineered plastics can do for you. Do you need to reduce noise? Do you need parts that last longer?  Would you like to eliminate the need for lubrication?  If you answered yes, then we can help. As your trusted partner in the distribution supply chain, we look not just at selling a piece of plastic but at providing Engineered Plastics Solutions that help you to get the right plastic material for your application.

 

Scott Petrowski Director of Supply Chain Management ThyssenKrupp Materials NA AIN Plastics DivisionScott Petrowski
Director of Supply Chain Management
ThyssenKrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division

 

Making a Better Check / Test Socket

To make a better test / check socket let’s first take a look at exactly what that is. A check socket (also known as a test socket) is a temporary prosthetic socket that is manufactured and used to diagnose an amputee’s dynamic alignment. They are typically made from a plaster casIMG_0938t of the area to be fitted. The prosthetist will then take that information and create a socket that provides optimal fit and function. This definitive socket is what patient’s will come into contact with every day. Why is all of this done instead of just building a prosthesis from a plaster mold? Because comfort is key! Just as a poor fitting pair of shoes can lead to problems, a poor fitting prosthesis can lead to serious issues including rubbing, sores, pinching that cuts off circulation and they can be so painful that patient’s sometimes do not use their prosthesis unless they absolutely must. Not to mention the hazards for diabetics or others where healing of wounds can be a potential life threatening issue.

A socket that does not have a comfortable fit or is not aligned properly can negatively impact the amputee’s stability and their ability to move naturally which can eventually lead to other physical issues. It may also leave the patient with an overall lack of confidence in their prosthesis. Ultimately poor fit and discomfort adds physical and mental stress and tension. This can also mean people are missing out on enjoying an active healthy lifestyle.

What all of this comes down to is one thing: The more accurate the check socket the quicker an amputee gains confidence and optimal mobility and is able to lead the healthy active style that is so important to a good quality of life.

Check Socket made from new Or-Pro Stiff

Check Socket made from new Or-Pro Stiff and using water to form instead of silicone

Photo---Or-Pro-Stiff-formed-w-Silicone

Using silicone adds cloudiness to plastic check socket materials

One of the things I enjoy most in my job at AIN Plastics is helping to solve problems, and as I listened to prosthetists in the field, I realized we could help solve a couple of check socket / test socket issues we heard about on a regular basis. Those issues were check socket clarity, and having a socket that could withstand testing on patients who fall into an above average weight range. The common test socket materials today have enough clarity to work, but they are subject to cracking or total failure if too much weight or pressure is put on them. I went back to my years of hands on work with plastics in other industries and began to research to find a material that would be both clear and tough. and I am happy to say we have now added Or-Pro Stiff to the AIN Plastics O&P Materials. I think you will like it too.

Or-Pro Stiff is an ultra-tough, clear plastic check socket material that resists cracking and breaking. Or-Pro Stiff thermoforms consistently and maintains outstanding clarity that allows the prosthetist to easily see and make adjustments where needed. It is also ideal for use with patients where they are above average weight.

Major Benefits of Or-Pro Stiff for Check / Test Sockets

  • Eliminates the fear of cracking or breaking
  • Excellent Clarity
  • High Stiffness
  • No Notch Sensitivity
  • No UV Sensitivity
  • No shrinkage
  • Pulls easily and uniformly
  • Eliminates the need to reinforce with fiberglass tape
  • Stocked in standard thicknesses: 10mm, 12mm and 15mm (others thicknesses available).

Our O&P Team knows your patients count on you to help them and we are here to help you by providing material solutions. There are thousands of plastic materials on the market, so if you have a specific need, we are happy to put our resources and plastics knowledge to use which saves you many hours of time and valuable resources so you can focus on what you enjoy most – providing great patient care.

If you are interested in learning more please contact me. I am happy to work with you and show you how this material can be pulled to maintain the beautiful clarity you see in the photos.

 

Dick Cubero and Scott Moore at the 2016 Hanger Charity Golf Outing

Dick Cubero and Scott Moore at the 2016 Hanger Charity Golf Outing

Scott Moore

Industry Segment Manager
Orthotics and Prosthetics

thyssenkrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division

Scott Moore is a Florida native with over 20 years of experience in the plastics industry. In addition to Inside and Outside sales, Scott has been and a Leader for the Power Transmission Division of Quadrant EPP. Scott has been a Branch Manager with AIN Plastics and is now enjoying a full-time focus on the Orthotics and Prosthetics business.

 

 

Learn more about our O&P Materials at The O&P Corner or on our website.

 

 

 

Machined Plastic Parts Provide Solutions for Noise Reduction

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The famous line from the 1993 Car-X commercial  “RATTLE RATTLE THUNDER CLATTER BOOM BOOM BOOM”** is a heads up for some people that improvements can be made to reduce noise. For engineers and operators these sounds on a manufacturing line or in a production environment are a trigger for to “investigate” the cause and dig into the field of tribology. In the field of engineered plastics, these noises can also be an opportunity to provide machined parts from thermoplastics as a solution for noise reduction and improved efficiency!

On the floor of production and manufacturing facility environments loud noises are an OSHA concern as they can be an issue for the health and safety of workers. In these situations, parts machined from thermoplastics can provide an design option that can greatly reduce noise levels and improve conditions. In addition, machined plastics can bring about increased efficiencies that reduce downtime.

“As with any occupational hazard, control technology should aim at reducing noise to acceptable levels by action on the work environment. Such action involves the implementation of any measure that will reduce noise being generated, and/or will reduce the noise transmission through the air or through the structure of the workplace. Such measures include modifications of the machinery”

Engineering Noise Control

Professor Colin H. Hansen & Dr Berenice I.F. Goelzer

Department of Mechanical Engineering – World Health Organization

(You can get a .pdf of their complete article on the topic of acoustics here)

Have you considered Thermoplastics, to reduce that noise and improve operational efficiency?

Key Characteristics of Plastic Components:

• Low weight – Easier handling, reduction in drive power required, improved lifting capacity

• Excellent price/performance ratio – Extended part life due to very high wear resistance

• Many are self-lubricating – Maintenance requirements can be reduced or eliminated

• Reduction of equipment noise and vibration

• Mating parts are not worn or damaged

• High mechanical strength, hardness and stiffness

• Impact strength even at low temperatures-cryogenic

• High mechanical dampening capacity

• Excellent fatigue resistance

• Good sliding and emergency running properties

• Outstanding abrasion resistance

• Dimensional stability and weather resistance

• Broad chemical resistance

• Will not corrode

IMG_0465 IMG_0496 UHMW-DSC_0056-2

Here are a few links to some other sources where you can learn more about the use of engineered plastics to help reduce noise and improve efficiency, plus a little link just for fun – in case you have never seen the 1993 commercial.

Connect with Vitrex on LinkedIn to see how a change to machined parts from PEEK helped to reduce noise caused by wind turbines.

Read more about tribology in one of an earlier AIN Plastics blog post by AIN Industry Segment Manager for DuPont™ Vespel® Paul Hanson.

If you don’t know the 1993 commercial we are referring to, no worries, you can find it on YouTube!

ASME (Americann Society of Mechanical Engineers) also has an excellent article that details the benefits many are finding as they replace metal parts with thermoplastic parts.

Finding the right thermoplastic for machined parts is not always a simple straight forward task of looking online or in a catalog. Today’s engineered plastics include thousands of options and many are specially designed with high wear applications in mind like bearing, bushings and more. As a provider of engineered plastic solutions we look to assist you in finding that just right plastic material that will meet the application specific needs and be the best possible value. In the end you may find benefits beyond noise reduction by changing from metal to plastic parts. If you have questions please contact me.

Montague-Sml-DSC_0304

Kendall Montague
Industry Segment Manager

thyssenkrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division

Kendall Montague is a veteran of the plastics industry with 16+ years experience working with OEM and MRO engineers assisting in developing thermoplastics material selection as well as custom design and fabrication using CNC equipment.

Active Member with the Energy & Polymer Group – Houston
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Designing with Thermoplastics in Pump & Valve Components

Why are thermoplastics (engineering plastics) replacing metals and becoming a popular option for machined parts? To answer this question we’ve got a few blog posts that look at different aspects of why people are saying yes to engineering plastics. Pumps and valves have been around for about as long as humans have been constructing things to make life easier. Today pumps and valves occupy places in nearly every industry from medical, laboratory and testing equipment, to oil and gas, agriculture, transportation, buildings and more.

Designing pump and valve components from thermoplastics has the benefit of being made from materials that are corrosion resistant. But, even plastics withstand varying physical elements in different ways so it’s important to understand how plastics can also be affected by the physical elements they will be exposed to. The chart below looks at some of the most common plastic resins and gives a general guideline for how they stand up to potential corrosive elements.

 

Chart of Chemical Resistance for Common Polymer Resins / Thermoplastics

 

CHEMICAL RESISTANCE POLYMER RESINSA Deeper Look at Corrosion and What it Is
Corrosion is the deterioration of a material and its physical properties, Corrosion of a material occurs because of an undesirable reaction with its surrounding environment. In valve applications chemicals may attack the exterior as well as the interior surfaces. As you can see from the chart above both acids and alkalis will attack some materials. Corrosion begins with pitting that is not even visible to the eye. But once it begins corrosion continues to grow and eventually it leads to part failure. But even before creating a leak, pits increase turbulence which affects performance.

Corrosion is caused by more than just hazardous chemicals. As you can see from the chart of common thermoplastics above, sometimes an apparently benign fluid can react, as when sea water flows over brass.

How Can Corrosion of Machined Parts Be Stopped?

The best and most cost-effective way of controlling corrosion is preventing it. Studies have shown that an overall cost savings of 40% can be achieved when corrosion is prevented rather than treated. Prevention entails selecting an engineering plastic that will work best with the media being transported through the device. Whether you are using metals or thermoplastics, all environmental factors should be considered, including cleaning agents and things that might not be thought of as highly corrosive. In some cases a sacrificial layer could be used but these will have a finite life, and as the name implies the sacrificial material needs to be closely monitored and it will still require downtime to apply a new sacrificial layer.

Many customers that replace metal valves and gaskets with engineered plastics often note a number of positive benefits even if the initial part costs more.

  • Reduced maintenance
  • Reduced Downtime 
  • Reduced incidence of part failure
  • Longer lasting parts
  • Overall cost savings
  • Smooth surfaces allow for increased velocity and precision control of flow

Customers with ultra-high purity such as medical device, food processing, or water treatment applications to name a few, require very smooth interior surfaces with absolutely no place for contamination to lurk and with no risk of particles breaking free and joining the fluid. Even microscopic pitting can be cause for parts to be replaced because the pitting can allow for bacteria contamination. Once pitting occurs it is virtually impossible to clean a valve or gasket to the high standards required for high purity applications.

The highly smooth surfaces that can be achieved with machined thermoplastic materials can also reduce turbulence in fluids being transported. This allows for fluids to flow at higher velocities and allows for precision control of pumps.

Beginning with careful material selection, research and talking to experienced plastic professionals can lead to designing pump and valve components that can improve performance and increase life from day-to-day to your most demanding applications.

Do you have questions about material selection for seals and valve gaskets like:

What are the lower cost and lighter weight options to metal-to-metal sealing?

We are having thermal degradation issues with plastics in valve components, can we improve this?

Our seals and gaskets have to withstand higher and higher operating pressure. What  materials have higher compressive capabilities and creep resistance?

These are all questions I am able to assist you with. Feel free to contact me at the information below.

 

 

Montague-Sml-DSC_0304Kendall Montague
Industry Segment Manager

thyssenkrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division

 

Kendall Montague is a veteran of the plastics industry with 16+ years experience working with OEM and MRO engineers assisting in developing thermoplastics material selection as well as custom design and fabrication using CNC equipment.

Active Member with the Energy & Polymer Group – Houston
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