Category Archives: thermoplastics

Detectable Materials: An Important Piece of the Food Recall Solution

There is no one magic thing that will stop food recalls from occurring.  Ultimately it involves every aspect of a food business from Safety and Quality teams to maintenance, to people working on the line. Every little bit helps. When it comes to equipment in food processing facilities, whether it’s a chute, a conveyor, an oven or mixer, more and more often quality, maintenance, and engineers are turning to detectable materials as another avenue to help reduce food recall incidents.

Detectable materials have been designed by top engineering plastics manufacturers and extruders including Ensinger and Quadrant Engineered Plastics specifically for the food industry. Each one is FDA compliant for direct contact with food so they can be used in numerous applications. Download Ensinger’s white paper and our Materials Guide for the Food Processing Industry for more information.

Breaking Down Detectable Materials for Application Use

There are four main types of detectable materials: Visible, Metal Detectable, X-Ray Detectable and Ultra Detectable (this combines all three methods). As an engineering plastics distributor thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics streamlines your selection process because we stock both Ensinger and Quadrant Engineered Plastics materials. In addition we train and work with our manufacturers on a regular basis and we work with customers like you everyday, helping you to solve your material selection challenges. Each detectable material has it’s own characteristics and properties, so its important to evaluate any potential plastic material on your equipment and in your environment to ensure it works as you need and expect it to. It can take time, but we can help to pare down the initial list of many materials to a few based on our experience and knowledge making the task easier for you. In addition we look not only at materials but, which is the best to balance performance and value for your application.

Free Downloads to get your started on plastics for food processing applications

Our materials guide is an excellent starting points if you want to learn more about these specialized materials, how they work, their compliance to FDA and other standards and more. Our guide also includes a comprehensive selection of materials for all sorts of food processing needs from cutting boards, clear plastics, materials for plant signage and more.

Along with Ensingers White Paper and our catalog onlineplastics.com is another excellent resource to materials for the food processing industry. It’s fast, easy and mobile friendly 24/7 access.

Most of all – give us a call at 877.246.7700. We are a team of real people with real hands on plastics experience and when it comes to pairing applications with materials that can sometimes be the best help of all. We know it isn’t about finding a plastic, it’s about finding the right engineered plastics solution for your application.

If you are interested in pricing, complete a request for quote here. Let us know which material, the size and quantity and we will get back to you with pricing and lead times.

Get the white paper now.
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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

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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.

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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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Thermoplastic Valve and Seal Materials

Table comparing the pros and cons of commonn thermoplastics used in valve and seal applicationsIn our last post on the topic of thermoplastic pumps and valves we looked at how corrosion occurs with thermoplastics. In this article we are looking at the specific materials of choice that are most often used when designing valves and seals with thermoplastics.

As with traditional materials like metal or even wood thermoplastics all have advantages and disadvantages. In my work here at AIN Plastics my job is often to help customers look at all the pros and cons and help determine the best engineering plastic for a particular application.

The task of selecting the right thermoplastic for a machined valve or seal can be detailed and sometimes daunting when you see all the thousands of options available in the market today. Throw in trade names for engineering plastic materials and it can become even more confusing. Many plastic materials exist in their basic form but there are also versions that have certain properties boosted by the addition of fillers like ceramic, graphite and more. Still others, like Dupont™ Vespel®, are made through a proprietary isostatic molding process making it the only one of it’s kind in the plastics industry.

Below is a table I’ve put together as a good starting point for detrmining what type of thermoplastic may be best suited to a job. This table explains the basic advantages and disadvantages of the most popular engineering plastics for pump and valve as well as many other machined part applications. Once the basic crietria are determined, the next step is often making the initial part and testing. From there designers may find a need to move to a material with a filler to, for example, enhance the heat resistance properties.

On the surface some of these engineering plastics appear costly. But, when material selection is done carefully it is often the case that customers are pleasantly surprised to find plastics end up costing less overall. This is due to reduced maintenance time because parts last longer, or they don’t need lubrication. It may also be because you don’t need the most expensive material. While a PAI might have all the properties you need and then some, we might find a less expensive material with a filler can do the job just as well because it fits all the criteria needed.

 

 

For more ways to look at the differences of engineering plastics see our related infographic.

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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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