Category Archives: TYGON

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


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

Why Should our Business buy Material Through Distributors?

Aren’t I better off Cutting the Middle man out and Going Direct?
In our pop-culture world today we are barraged with phrases like “buy factory direct” or “manufacturer direct cost savings to you”.  Are these cost saving statements even true, or just snazzy marketing terms meant to get ones attention?  Furthermore, is it relevant to your business decisions?  I think its worth a laugh to imagine people traveling miles to stand in line for a gallon of milk outside of a dairy farm.  We don’t really think about distributors on a day to day basis, but companies like Costco and Wal-mart helped make the term “just in time” (JIT) part of our common vocabulary and those organizations, by definition, are distributors. They build relationships with the dairy farmer, the bread baker, the shoe maker. They then buy in bulk and move product you need to places where it’s easy to buy them all in one place. (The one-stop shop.)

Let’s Apply Distribution to the Industrial Market
Let me illustrate these same principles of the use of distribution into the industrial marketplace.  As an example lets consider a sector of the healthcare market. Medical

Medical Plastic Rod Colors

grade plastic shapes are used in the manufacture of surgical instruments and devices, healthcare equipment and the like.  The raw material for medical grade plastics come in a variety of colors, sometimes its for ease of identification purposes between various sizes, sometimes colors may be valued for the aesthetics of an individual brand.  The real problem could begin when a desired color isn’t a common/standard color.  For example we can get a ‘flamingo pink’ produced but it will likely require both a lengthy lead time for the resin and a minimum quantity to extrude the shape.  The volume needed for such customization is usually out of most individual customers reach especially while their end product is still in the proto-type stage.  Now imagine this special color, along with other common ones, used by a large volume OEM and they perceive their best price is to buy direct from the mill.  Let’s also keep in mind the price of material may not really be the same as the cost.  So why might this company consider buying via a distributor instead of direct?

The ‘What-Ifs’ of What Could and Sometimes Does go Wrong

  • There is a resin shortage in the market – it happens! Aside from the pain of the long lead time there’s now no room for error; in quality or inspection, quantity changes to accommodate an increase in demand.
  • Outside forces affecting production or shipping and delivery – power outages, hurricanes or blizzards, fire or flood, etc.
  • The mill accepted the order for the flamingo pink previously, but then there’s a capacity or another manufacturing issue.  Now it’s a triage situation.  Consider what then may happen with the common colors that this same customer needs or for that matter the whole industry is wanting to purchase.

The Benefits of Buying Through a Distributor

  • Manufacturers produce material and they are experts at it!
  • Our manufacturing partners are, and should be, the innovators of new and better plastic materials to the market.
  • Most often manufacturers are single location facilities and many have a limited

    Customers can benefit from the large steady inventory distributors keep. It can mean low minimum orders and shorter lead time to receive your order.

    logistical reach.

  • Tying up space in their facility in order to stock huge amounts of material for customers limits areas they could use to expand operations.
  • The same great application and technical resources are still available to customers through an approved distributor. In fact, sales staff at distributors can also be a great resource for technical advice as they have relationships with multiple customers using the same product.
What Exactly Does a Distributor Do?
  • A distributor ‘supplies’ material so managing and inventing inventory solutions and moving product to customers is what we do – its who we are.
    • Multiple Locations Close to you. ThyssenKrupp AIN Plastics Division has multiple facilities and more people in a local area that can assist customers, and still helps them in meeting vendor reduction goals.

      Distributors often have many locations stocked with product while manufacturers often have a single location. Multiple locations can mean shorter lead time, and product you need in stock.

    • Large Inventory all the Time. We already buy in bulk from all the world’s best manufactures of plastics shapes thus providing the same quality of material.
    • Enjoy the Benefits of low Minimums and JIT. Combining volumes of special material may alleviate large minimums to any one customer.  Keeping material in our warehouse and not the customer’s allows for product to be received only when its needed.  This not only frees up space but inventory dollars that could be used for other business purposes.
    • Less Lead Time, Fewer Headaches. A good stocking distributors who focuses on your particular industry helps ensure a smooth flow of product thus becoming a buffer between the end-user and the bumps in the market such as issues of lead-time, volatile pricing etc.

It Is Called a ‘Supply Chain’ –Let us Be Your Strongest Link!

Lin Poulin
Telemarketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division


IAPD (international association of plastics distribution) “The Distribution Channel Value”, content provided from NAW (National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors) value

Know This, marketing tutorial  “Benefits Offered by Channel Members”

TexasA&MUniversity, Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution program,

Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Honors AIN Plastics with Distributor of the Year

Photo - Mike Farran with the TYGON Award

Mike Farran, AIN Plastics Corporate Buyer for TYGON® with the Distributor of the Year Award. Mike recently took over for Lydia Gonzalez who has moved to a new position within AIN. Mike says he plans to continue the success begun by Lydia and to bring home the award to AIN again this year!

AIN Plastics awarded 2011 TYGON® Elite Distributor of the Year by Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics

We carry a lot of different kinds of plastic products as well as ancillary items. But we don’t just toss things on our shelves and look for buyers. We really enjoy what we do and to that end we strive to be experts when it comes to the products we sell. We want to find the best products out there and deliver them at the best possible prices. We also want to be able to answer customer questions when they need help with products so that we offer the best product and service experience all the way around. This year we received a great honor from Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics for our support and sales of their TYGON® products. The Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, “Distributor of the Year” is awarded annually and is based on meeting the criteria of the TYGON® Elite Channel Partner Program sales and marketing objectives.

Mike Block, Channel Manager at Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics stated, “Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics is pleased to present our TYGON® Elite 2011 Distributor of the Year award to AIN Plastics, for their outstanding achievements in the promotion of the TYGON® brand over the past year.  As one of our “Elite” channel partners, AIN Plastics continues to remain a major contributor to the advancement of the TYGON® brand name. AIN Plastics continues to play an important role in our marketing efforts by providing technical expertise, new business development, comprehensive stocking programs and customer service support for TYGON® application specific tubing. We value the relationship, the motivation to achieve results, and the professionalism we enjoy in working with these fine people.”

“AIN Plastics is honored to be named Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Distributor of the Year,” stated John Shepherd, President at AIN Plastics. “Our partnership with Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics has provided many opportunities for both of our organizations over the years, and we are excited for the future growth we foresee with this quality solutions manufacturer.”

Saint-Gobain Performance Plastic’s partnership with AIN Plastics supports many business to business sales transactions in focus markets throughout North America. AIN Plastics, Division of ThyssenKrupp Materials NA is based in Madison Heights Michigan and has locations all across the United States. Our network of locations allows us to easily service customers throughout North America.

AIN Plastics, Division of ThyssenKrupp Materials NA and TYGON® Products
TYGON® is a brand of application specific tubing, manufactured by Saint-Gobain

Saint-Gobain Performance PlasticsPerformance Plastics. These products are used in Food and Beverage, Chemical, Industrial, Habitat, Micro Electronics, Document Processing, Pharmaceutical, Bio Technology and Medical applications for the worldwide market. For more information on TYGON® Products from AIN Plastics visit the TYGON® pages on our site or for more about AIN Plastics, Division of ThyssenKrupp Materials NA visit our website at www. 

About Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics
Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics manufactures standard and custom TYGON® tubing, engineered thermoplastics and flexible hoses worldwide for diverse markets, including chemical, industrial, food and beverage, habitat, and medical. The company is headquartered in Aurora, Ohio, and has manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, China and India.  For more information, visit us at