Category Archives: Polycarbonate

Hurricane Potential Reminds Us to Prepare

The US has had a few quiet years in terms of hurricanes, but now that we have Erika causing damage and we look back at the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina it’s time to review. Are we ready for a hurricane, or even a tropical storm? Lots of resources are available and we wanted to share a few to help.

Of course, The Weather Channel is a great place, either on TV, their app, or They have a special section just for hurricane information.

If you have not visited lately. provides a whole series of great things from checklists to things like, how to talk to your children, how to plan and more like How to build a disaster preparedness kit. Even if a big hurricane does not hit this year, the peace of mind and the little time it takes up front is well worth it.

The Red Cross also has an easy to search library that is full of great tools to help you prepare for natural events such as hurricanes, snow storms (yes winter is on its way too), and much more. Plus, you can join in and help those affected by disasters by finding locations to donate blood or volunteer. We all want to help, but sometimes the best way is to join up with a long-time organization like The Red Cross who’s organized efforts have helped millions. Find out more by visiting their site.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) also has great information and an important reminder. In a disaster you may not have access to a computer, cell phone, tablet – all those things we’ve come to rely on heavily for fast access to information and storing information may not be availab le to you, so keep some old fashioned paper stuff on hand too.

Most importantly, start now. We’ve all seen the news reports of empty store shelves and people lining up to get gas, water, and plywood to board up windows and doors. Starting well ahead of time can save you time and reduce your stress level, knowing you won’t need to make that mad dash for supplies, or – what did you forget.

Lastly, take a look at your home and what you can do there to improve. Many residential homes and businesses use plywood to secure windows and doors, but AIN Plastics Florida has researched and found a better way that lets you put up hurricane protection on windows and doors ahead of time because it’s easy, reusable and it lets in the light! We call this material HurriGuard®

HurriGuard Panel


HurriGuard® has passed missile testing and is Miami Dade County approved for hurricane protection. (MIAMI DADE APPROVAL: 13-1126.21 FLORIDA APPROVAL: 16699) What is HurriGuard®? It’s actually a triple wall polycarbonate which makes it very strong and very lightweight. In fact, individuals can often install their own because it weighs about 1/4 what an average sheet of plywood weighs. The polycarbonate sheets come in sizes up to 4×8 and they can be cut to size. A channel system installed around the window allows for the panels to be installed within a short time and, unlike plywood they can be reused. Plywood soaks up water leaving it damaged and only good for a one-time use but HurriGuard® has a 10 year warranty against UV degredation. As a Florida business AIN Plastics Florida is happy to provide such a quality product. We have it in stock and ready to ship within Florida. If you have more questions please feel free to call us at 813-242-9162 or visit the HurriGuard® website.

In addition to windows and doors here are a few other things to check for:
Are rain/storm gutter clean and clear of debris?
If you currently have hurricane shutters are they in working order?
Be sure any loose objects are put away or secured
Remove any damaged or dead trees or shrubs
Check your roof and make sure shingles, tiles etc. are in good repair



Scott Moore

Branch Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials NA AIN Plastics Division

AIN Plastics Expands – New Branch in St. Louis, MO

After a year or more of research and hard work to expand, AIN Plastics is pleased to announce the opening of a new AIN Plastics Distributor Branch in the St. Louis Missouri area.

New Business Locations Don’t Happen Overnight

This week I had the opportunity to talk with Chris Urban, Branch Manager for AIN Plastics new St. Louis Area Distribution Facility. I asked him what it took to get a new branch opened up. Chris said they started with finding the right location, which turned out to be in the same building as the St. Louis area ThyssenKrupp Materials NA Facility (AIN Plastics parent company since 1993). Then came finding the right equipment which includes a brand new saw for custom cutting orders and finding just the right people with both customer service and previous plastics experience. Chris noted they wanted to hit the ground running from their first day of business. He went on to say:

“We have worked hard in preparation over the past year prior to our opening and we are very excited to see our hard work pay off. ThyssenKrupp Materials NA, AIN Plastics Division did a great deal of research regarding this project. St. Louis is an ideal location to further extend our distribution. From this branch we will be able to provide customer service and quick turn around on orders to Missouri and surrounding states.”

Chris also said he wanted to thank all the AIN people that came to St. Louis from other branches to support his team for the first few days. “Having the support of the entire AIN Plastics company has made starting the new branch a great experience for everyone. We feel truly supported and connected to everyone in the company.”

AIN Offers More than Materials – It’s about Value Added Services

I asked Chris about the services they will be offering. Chris says the new AIN Plastics distribution branch offers a comprehensive list of value added services including:

  • Close tolerance custom cutting of orders
  • Customized Inventory and stocking programs including just in time delivery solutions
  • A vast inventory of sheet and rod materials, some of them highly specialized
  • Professional team with years of plastics industry experience
  • ThyssenKrupp Nationwide Logistics for the best possible delivery

More Manufacturers are Choosing Plastic Due to it’s Many Benefits

Chris talked about how the selection of plastics is changing rapidly due to its value as a lightweight component in manufacturing, it’s ability to be reused and recycled, and it’s cost. Plastics are often an affordable material compared to more traditional resources such as metal, wood, or glass, and they often outlast and outperform those materials. Researchers are always developing even better plastics. “We have a team in place that can help customers sort through and not just find a plastic that will work, but rather the right plastic for their application.”

GPO, Materials for O&P, TeflonPlastics, Plastics, and More!

When it comes to what plastics the St. Louis AIN Plastics branch will stock, Chris gave me a short rundown and said this doesn’t come close to covering all the materials we have:

  • Industrial Plastics
  • High Pressure Laminates
  • Engineering Plastics including
    • ABS
    • Acetal
    • Cast Acrylic
    • Polycarbonate
    • Radel R
    • Semitron
    • Techtron
  • Composite Tooling products
    • RAMPF Styling, Modeling, and Tooling Boards
    • RAMPF Close Contour Paste and Casting Materials
    • Thermoform Materials
    • Epoxy Casting and Laminating Resins
    • Foundry and Pattern Materials
  • Plastic Tubing including Medical and Food Grade
  • FDA compliant plastics for medical and food service industries
  • Silicone
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • DuPont TM Vespel® (AIN Plastics is the Authorized Distributor)

Well, you get the idea, it’s a long list and that’s just the beginning. Chris says the best way to learn more is by visiting the website or better yet by giving them a call at 877.246.7700.
The AIN Plastics Distribution Facility is located next to the ThyssenKrupp Materials NA facility:

59 Interstate Drive
Wentzville, MO 63385

Hours of operation are Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

For more information regarding the new AIN Plastics St. Louis Area Branch

CONTACT: Christopher Urban

TEL: 877.246.7700

DIRECT: 636-698-6295

FAX: 636-327-4369


That’s it for this week’s news. Look for our other posts where we look not at ourselves, but at the world of plastics. What’s new, what works, why certain plastics are good in specific applications and more. IF you do want to learn more about AIN Plastics and our history check out the “About Us” page on our site.

See you in the blogosphere again soon!

Lisa Anderson

Marketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials, NA
AIN Plastics Division


Glass>Acrylic>Polycarbonate = Progression

Glass or Acrylic or Polycarbonate:
A Quick Guide on how to Select the Right Material for Your Application

Glass, Acrylic, or Polycarbonate? Which one is right?

Glass has been the obvious traditional choice when a clear material is needed. Glass is optically clear and, as we all know, it’s great in many applications.  The exception to that is when it comes to safety and weight considerations. In these cases Acrylic often becomes the material of choice. Like glass it has excellent clarity and, with coatings, it can have scratch resistance. It is also available in colors of all kinds.

Is Safety a Concern?

When safety is the primary concern polycarbonate is the logical choice.  Polycarbonate has come a long way over the years.  It comes in many colors. It is similar in clarity to Acrylic but it has the added safety and security of additional impact performance.

Coated or Uncoated Polycarbonate – There Is a Difference!

In order to get the impact performance that polycarbonate offers, something has to give; polycarbonate is softer than acrylic so it can scratch.  However, you can get polycarbonate material with a coating that is water clear and will extend the life of the product by increasing the hardness of the surface.  This is great for applications from machine guards to windscreens, to touch screens.  Consider coated polycarbonate material for added protection. If scratching isn’t an issue the uncoated polycarbonate can typically save you a little bit of cost.

So, as you can see, selection of clear materials is often a progression of going from glass to acrylic to polycarbonate based on the needs of your project.

 Scott Reed

ThyssenKrupp Materials, NA
AIN Plastics Division
Sales & Market Manager
Bayer Market Development

Phone: 214.548.0567


Join me for an introduction to the world of plastics!

Your Guide to Plastics Past, Present, and Future…

Lisa Anderson, Marketing Manager ThyssenKrupp Materials NA, AIN Plastics Division

It’s hard to believe it’s been over 6 months since I began working at AIN Plastics. Hard to believe because everyday is packed full of lots of projects and lots of things to learn about plastics. There have been new people to meet and old friends to reconnect with, and it’s all been really fun, so the time has truly flown by.

As I’ve gone through these months I developed a hunch. My guess is, when it come to plastics for manufacturing and specialty uses, a lot of you in many industries are in the same boat because there are so many material choices out there. So I’m inviting you to take the journey along with me to learn about plastics. What are plastics, what are the different types, why are they being used more and more, and what plastics will work for your applications. In fact, I hope you’ll share your applications and experiences as well.

While we are at it we’ll take a stroll through plastics history too. I’m a huge history buff so every time I hear about a plastic I like to dig in and find out how it all started. These days plastics seem to surround us, but it wasn’t that long ago we relied on other materials such as wood, metal, and glass for everything from IV ‘bottles’, to baby bottles, cooking utensils, sporting equipment. Hmmm – what were shower curtains before plastic? I’ll get back to you on that one, or if you know, please share! We love comments.

So let’s get started! Today I’d like to stay in the present and take a look at a helpful piece that came across my desk. As we all know there are literally thousands of types of plastic materials out there and more are hitting the market all the time, so anytime there is something that can help you to select the best one for the job we here at AIN will be sure to share it with you. After all, getting the right material helps everyone. The item that came across my desk is in regards to Materials for seals and gaskets.

So let’s start with a couple of questions –  
• Do you make seals or gaskets?
• Do you need your seals and gaskets to be Teflon®?
• Do you have a high temperature application?
• Do you need FDA compliant seal and gasket material?

The most common choices for seals and gaskets are UHMW – PE, Teflon, and PEEK. These are all great options, but another material called Fluorosint® has, until now been a little less known for seals and gaskets however, it is proving to give material specifiers another excellent option for certain higher temperature applications. Two Fluorosint® materials are FDA compliant giving you options for special applications in food or medical applications.

In selecting material for gaskets and seals temperature and pressure are the two biggest factors people generally consider. This chart easily shows where TIVAR® UHMW-PE, Teflon®, Ketron® PEEK, filled and unfilled PTFE, and Fluorosint® and Duratron® fit in as material options. Test results clearly show that Fluorosint® and Duratron® fit very well into a gap left for high temperature and high pressure applications. To make your selection even more exact, Quadrant (manufacturer of Fluorosint®) has developed several Fluorosint® materials (207, HPV, 500) and each was specifically developed with a certain application area in mind.

Below is a Material Selector Guide that covers all of these materials in two easy formats. One simply compares how a product does in relation to heat and pressure. The other compares Fluorosint® to Rulon®, another common material for seals and gaskets. You can also compare the FDA compliant materials.

Material Selector Guide for PTFE Seal and Gasket Material

From materials suitable for average heat and pressure to the highest, this chart will help you to easily cross reference common seal and gasket materials.


Chart comparing Rulon to Flurosint

Compare test results of Fluorosint and Rulon and see at a glance what material fits your application.

As we go forward I’ll be looking at each of these products on an individual basis. But, if you see something here you like and you want to know all the details right now, we do have more information available on our website: Fluorosint Product Information. You can also talk to one of people. We have a knowledgeable staff that can help with any questions you may have about seal and gasket materials. Just call 877.246.7700 and you will be connected with the AIN Plastics office nearest you.

If you are along for the journey that’s great!  If seals and gaskets aren’t your thing, no worries, I’ll be talking about all sorts of other materials as we go. In fact, you can sign up and get our posts in your mailbox so you don’t miss the latest.

I hope you find these charts helpful in your search for that just right seal or gasket material. We’ll see you in the blogosphere again very soon!

Lisa Anderson

Marketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials, NA
AIN Plastics Division

HurriGuard® Panels by Gallina are easy to install and weigh less than plywood

Transparent Product Replaces Plywood for Hurricane Protection

Storm Season Is Here! It’s here and it’s anyone’s guess what this year’s hurricane season will bring. What do you do for your home or business? Do you buy now, do you procrastinate in hopes that you won’t need to make that investment in plywood to board up glass windows and doors? Stress not my friends! AIN Plastics has a tried and true product that we think you will really appreciate as much as our guys in Florida do.

A Chat with Dick Cubero of AIN Plastics, Florida About Hurricane Season
Unlike myself, a life long Michigander, Dick Cubero of AIN Plastics lives and works in Florida and he really understands the stress and expense that hurricane season brings to everyone. So we sat down and talked about the issues and why he really likes the HurriGuard® product.

Dick says traditionally people have boarded up windows and doors with plywood which works, but it has its short comings. Mainly, it’s heavy, it can be very hard to come by once you know a hurricane is on its way, it is used only once and then it’s thrown away, and once it’s up you have a very, very dark home or business. It can also be very expensive.

Along came Gallina USA who saw the potential with a clear ultra strong engineering plastic called polycarbonate. This product is known for clarity as well as strength. In fact, AIN Plastics works with places that are manufacturing aircraft to supply polycarbonate for mirrors and windows. Polycarbonate’s strength, clarity, and the fact that they don’t shatter makes them ideal for aircraft, military vehicles, even storefront windows! It also hold up well under UV light.

Gallina USA has been in the business of making clear plastics for over 50 years and they have become a favorite of many architects with good reason. Their products are noted in structures around the world for the beauty and lasting strength they bring to commercial and private structures. Gallina took that global experience and created a multiple wall (that’s layers of polycarbonate), coextruded, clear polycarbonate sheet that is an ideal product for hurricane protection. When properly installed it can protect your windows and doors from hurricane-force winds, flying debris, and severe weather while still allowing light to enter. They have performed extensive testing and received approvals from Miami Dade County Florida for use in Hurricane protection. It’s just the kind of material that AIN Plastics in Florida wanted to provide to their customers.

I found a couple of pretty amazing videos showing the testing of their product. In these videos the folks at Gallina shot off missiles from an air cannon aimed directly at a sheet of HurriGuard® set up in a frame similar to what you would have in your home or business.


In addition to the missile testing Gallina exposed panels of HurriGuard® to high air pressure to simulate 170 mph winds. The HurriGuard® panels have passed all the tests and received the following approvals:

Miami Dade Approval 08-0213.02

 Florida Approval 10799

So other than the advantages of the product being clear and strong why would you choose HurriGuard® over traditional plywood? Well, Dick had a whole list of reasons to tell me about that made good sense:

  • A panel of HurriGuard® weighs about 1/4 of what the same size piece of plywood
    HurriGuard® Panels by Gallina are easy to install and weigh less than plywood

    Panels are easy to install and transparent

    would weigh (a 4×6 sheet of HurriGuard® weighs about 12 lbs.)

  • It’s easy to install with tools you probably already have around your house
  • It saves a whole lot of time, money and, according to Dick, his stress level has been greatly reduced because he knows he won’t be waiting in line trying to get plywood.
  • You can reuse it year after year
  • Since it lets light in you can install it well ahead of an emergency so you are ready
  • It’s stronger than plywood
  • It’s cost-effective
  • Fire Resistant
  • It also comes with a 10 year warranty
  • It’s available in many sizes

How do you get HurriGuard® for Your Home or Business?
It’s easy! Give Dick Cubero at AIN Plastics a call at 813.242.6400. You can also contact him via email:

Dick says they have HurriGuard® 16mm (5/8 inch thick) sheets in stock in the following sizes:

  • 4 x 8
  • 6 x 8
  • 6 x 10
  • 6 x 12
In addition to the panels AIN Plastics stocks H and U channel for installation. H Channels come in 10 ft. lengths and U Channels come in 12 ft. lengths.
For information about how to properly install HurriGuard® Panels download Gallina USA’s Installation Guide: Installation Guide – HurriGuard
You can also find out more about these products by visiting the AIN Plastics website:
For more about the Gallina, the manufacturer of HurriGuard® Panels you can visit their website as well.