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AIN Plastics Acquires New Talent Through TKMNA Program

Like many companies ThyssenKrupp Materials NA, parent company to the AIN Plastics Division has started to look to internal programs to help existing talent grow within the company and to help new talent find their way to TKMNA and their Divisions.

In 2012 Heather Clark, SPHR, Employee Development Manager for ThyssenKrupp Materials NA, was approached by TKMNA’s president Hans Joseph Hoss about starting a program to help TKMNA attract and develop talent both inside and outside the company. The objective was to increase tools and programs to  support and develop employees, thereby strengthening the TKMNA workforce all around. Heather embraced the task and set out to

  • Develop Programs to attract entry level talent
  • Develop Current Employees especially in the areas of leadership development
  • Attract New Talent through establishing internship programs with universities

One program that is currently benefitting AIN Plastics is TKMNA Sales Talent Development Program and just two years after it’s November 2012 launch, Ms. Clark is happy to announce TKMNA has had their first graduates from the talent program, meanwhile the second class of recent college graduates began the program in June of 2014. This year AIN Plastics jumped in whole heartedly with President John Shepherd taking on the role of Senior Executive to the program. John took a hands on approach and attended career events at several universities across the U.S. including his own Alma Mater, University of Toledo. (Read more…) John worked with ThyssenKrupp Aerospace NA’s Talent Acquisition Manager, Scott Haas who also travels to events around the U.S. to spread the word about TKMNA and to search for talent.  ( Business Development Director, Richard Winter also took on a large part in the selection process for AIN Plastics Division. As a result of the TKMNA Talent Program, AIN Plastics Division brought in Rebecca (Becca) Reidy. Rebecca is a recent graduate of the University of Toledo, and like the others in the program, her interests lay in a sales based career.

Program Director, Heather Clark, noted we have many TKMNA employees move within the company throughout their careers. Two examples of current employees who have found success in growing within the TKMNA company are Shawn Lynam who began in sales, then took on the Business Development Director job for AIN Plastics. Shawn recently became the President of Richard Winter, who has held numerous roles in the AIN Plastics Division, including Branch Manager, is now Business Development Director for AIN. Additionally, TKIS current President, Brian Diephus began in 1985 at Copper and Brass Sales. (Read More…) and the list continues. The TKMNA Talent Program is unique in that it targets people who are interested in sales oriented careers and developing their sales and leadership abilities in TKMNA.  One unique feature of the program is that participants  need to be able to relocate up to four times in their first year before settling in at their full time location which is  determined at the conclusion of the 12 month program.

For example, AIN Plastics Talent Program employee Becca Reidy, is starting her first three months with AIN Plastics in Madison Heights, MI. From there she will spend two months at Copper and Brass Sales, Southfield, MI, two months with TKIS, then it’s onto TK Aerospace in Seattle, WA for two months. Once those are completed Becca will be placed at one of AIN Plastics thirteen locations. During her travels Becca will also complete a one year project for AIN Plastics to further her learning.

DSC_0002Becca said she found the program in a search at her college, University of Toledo. She applied and completed the process this spring. Richard Winter said Becca was chosen out of five finalists who came to Detroit for the TKMNA Talent Program selection process. When asked about why she wanted to work for AIN Plastics, Becca said there were several things that came down to the atmosphere at AIN Plastics and the people as well as how she feels AIN Plastics shares her personal values. She enjoyed how friendly and professional the team is. She also noted that AIN Plastics is a company that tries to always do the right thing, and they really put an emphasis on providing good solid customer service. The program also fit her interest in a sales, or sales related career path. Since her first days with AIN Plastics Becca has enjoyed the work as well as a couple of events and one of AIN Plastics favorite Programs – AINFit. Becca, along with Trevor Drake, John Shepherd, Katie Juneau and their families took part in the recent Mt. Hope Michigan Warrior Run. See more photos on AIN Plastics Facebook. She has also been able to spend time visiting AIN Plastics Suppliers and getting to know the business of plastics distribution.

Congratulations to Becca as she takes off on her first year journey to TKMNA Divisions across the country. For more information on ThyssenKrupp Materials NA, the talent programs offered, and all the Divisions please see the links below or contact Heather Clark at

See you in the blogosphere again soon!

Lisa Anderson

Marketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials, NA
AIN Plastics Division


_N1C1196-Edit-cropAbout Lisa Anderson
Ms. Anderson has been ThyssenKrupp Materials AIN Plastics Division for over 2 years. She brings 20+ years of advertising, award winning graphic design, social media and marketing. She has worked in book publishing, advertising agencies, printing, manufacturing, and the apartment industry. Ms. Anderson has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI.

TKMNA Talent Program Overview website offers information about all TKMNA Divisions and more.

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Info Graphic – Cast Vs. Extruded Nylon

Cultivating a Culture of Safety at AIN Plastics

Safety has always been important within AIN Plastics. As the leader for AIN Plastics safety initiatives I can name any number of clichés and catch phrases, but simply stated, our goal is that – “Every employee should go home in the same condition they arrived.”  Additionally, I hope when AIN employees go home at the end of their day they can say they learned something new as well, whether it is understanding a new product application, how to operate a machine safely and efficiently, or how to administer CPR to a co-worker in distress. Keeping all employees involved and engaged in safety can sometimes be challenging but it is also a highly rewarding experience. Safety not only protects employees, but employees who are happy and feel safe at their jobs are more productive.

Creating a Culture of Safety for AIN Plastics Employees and Guests

AIN has had a site self-auditing process in place, and this year the Executive Management Team at AIN will be added as a new level to our safety auditing process. This will keep Management involved in Safety, and also provides the individual facility being audited another perspective on safety. Having management’s support and involvement in growing a “Zero Injury Culture” at AIN Plastics is important to our employees and sets an example that is visible to customers, suppliers, and guests.

DSC_0003Updated Visitor Safety Protocol

We initiated a visitor safety orientation that must be reviewed by all visitors of an AIN Plastics facility. Our goal is to emphasize the importance of safety not only to our employees, but to all of our visitors and guests. We have added color coded areas of the plant so employees and visitors know if special training or PPE (Personal Protection  Equipment) is required to be in that area, and to help ensure that visitors stay within areas that are safest. Guests to AIN Plastics facilities can easily be seen because they wear a different color than regular employees helping everyone to know at a glance when we have visitors and to help us keep our visitors as safe as possible at all times.

In January I visited three ThyssenKrupp sites in California as part of ThyssenKrupp’s “Safety Advisory Council Meetings.” We audited the sites, reviewed opportunities for improvement and shared best practices as part of our quarterly meetings. In May we will tour six facilities in the Detroit/Toledo area with special guests from ThyssenKrupp AG (Germany): Dr. Neilinger (Head of Occupational Safety and Health) and Dr. Daume (Head of 6S) will be benchmarking and evaluating how we can share best safety practices. It is always exciting to have visitors from Germany to show off our North American sites and discuss the safety of our employees. I look forward to the meetings and the opportunity for dedicated Safety Time with our teams, and seeing what new things I can learn!


Photo---Theresa-GestewitzTheresa Gestewitz

Operations Director
ThyssenKrupp Materials NA AIN Plastics Division

About Theresa Gestewitz –
Ms. Gestewitz began her career with ThyssenKrupp Materials NA AIN Plastics Division 20 years ago. Her first role was Buyer at AIN Plastics Lancaster, PA facility. She has also held additional positions as Office Manager, Corporate Buyer, and Plant Manager. She assumed her Safety Leadership role in 2010.

What Is a “Tough Plastic”?

I need a “Tough Plastic”, what do you recommend?

In our post “How Sales Reps Help You Find the Right Plastic Material” we explored the need for probing questions when assisting a customer with a material request because there are as many different varieties and formulations of plastics as there are applications for them.  Some terms are standard to a market or industry; others may be subjective or open to interpretation.  Two people most certainly may describe the same thing in two different ways.

One of the best ways to identify the material a user is really seeking is by asking questions, in particular regarding the application.

By inquiring as to the intended use of the item (the application) a competent sales person can  direct the customer to a range of materials from which to choose.  A statement that often comes up by a customer is: “I need a tough plastic”.

Nerd SuperheroDefining Tough Plastic…

This can be a troublesome term depending on a person’s particular definition.
Is toughness how a material wears or the “Wear properties”? – one might consider a raw material as tough because of its ability to perform well in a high friction, high load bearing application, such as a bearing or roller.  Often various strength values and data are used to demonstrate toughness of this kind.
Is toughness how hard a material seems to be? One might also think of toughness as being related to the hardness of a product. Hardness is really a tested value of the chemistry of the material based on a scale, and does not indicate its performance, but rather gives a scale of comparison of one plastic to another.
broken phone in a female handIs toughness how well a material stands up to impact? Its common to think that a hard material is more impact resistant and therefore tougher. Impact resistance is actually measured by a notched Izod Impact test and some materials such as silicone or urethane used in luggage and cases are designed to absorb impact so being impact resistant doesn’t necessarily mean hard.
One of my favorite examples that I learned early in my career was that of Polycarbonate (under such common trade/brand names as Lexan®, Makrolon®).  This is the base material most often described in ‘bullet resistant glass.’  The impact resistance is great but I was surprised to find that the hardness value was lower than many other materials thus it’s actually softer.  Sure, it didn’t break when hit with a hammer because, being softer it absorbed impact, but it could easily be cut with a tool or saw making it very popular.

Determining what a term such as toughness means in the most accurate way possible is one more way in which the questions that a plastics sales rep asks can make the difference in whether or not you get the material best suited to your particular application. As you can see, a term that may be crystal clear to one person may ultimately have a different meaning to someone else.

A particular set of properties might be more or less crucial to a given application, we do not engineer applications but rather give you the best tools and guidance to do so!

Lin Poulin
Telemarketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division

International Association of Plastic Distributors. IAPD, Introduction to Plastics, a Training Manual
Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products. Design and Fabrication Reference Guide
Ensinger. Ensinger essentials, Technical know-how for plastic applications
AIN-Plastics Blog Post – Why Purchase Plastics Through a Distributor

The Nursery School Guide to Selecting a Distributor

GoldilocksGoldie Locks and the Three Distributors
There are many factors to consider when choosing a vendor or supplier that is right for you.  Ultimately everyone pretty much agrees, you want to work with sources who consistently offer the best products and services and whose sales people are well-trained and experienced to assist you.  The staff should have a helpful attitude toward you, the customer.  Like any relationship not every affiliation will be a good match.  Most importantly both the customer and distributor should be willing and eager to work together in order to grow both businesses.  I thought I’d take an ‘old-school’ approach with a bit of humor to illustrate some basic points.

The Nursery School Guide to Selecting a Distributor That Fits Your Needs:  Goldie Locks is in need of a supplier for materials and parts used in the production of her lumber and wood products (which explains the age old question of why she was wandering the woods!)  Ms. Locks is reviewing her options and comparing three distributors.
bears3First Goldie Locks called up each distributor to find out a little about them.

Too hot – The first burly company was huge, but it seemed most concerned with only offering higher-cost options to replace existing materials.  Common or usual products are often not available from stock due to a shortage in the market and they have no solution for handling these hot items.
Too cold – Goldie Locks had problems getting assistance from the next distributor.  This organization is showing no warmth to her concerns, and they don’t offer any new or improved product developments from the market.
Just right – The third supplier Goldie Locks called offered her a mix of the newest materials as well as inventory options for her business.  They also provided some value added services like cutting her order to a size she needs it. They aren’t the cheapest but Goldie Locks figures the other services this distributor offers will save her money in the long run. Last but not least, sales and management personnel were easily accessible, knowledgeable about their materials, and friendly.

FlorisCat-Sp11-lores.pdfNext, Goldie Locks looked at things like size, location and other company information. After all, getting the right materials is important and she doesn’t want to get all set with a distributor and then find out they are not a good fit leaving her to search all over again –

Too big – This distributor is a huge conglomerate with an impressive resume but they lack personal attention.  Goldie Locks fears she’ll get lost in their volume and be just another account.  Bigger isn’t always better says Ms. Locks!
Too small – This place has nice people but she is concerned about long term growth and sustainability.  Ms. Locks has big plans for the future and hopes to expand. This distributor’s limited locations also limit shipping options.  This small distributor would not have access to product lines from all the manufacturers she wants material from either.
Just right – This distributor combines the personal interaction and service of a small company but with the resources of a global titan. They carry a large inventory and they offer other services like just in time shipping so Goldie Locks doesn’t need as much storage at her business, but with their inventory she can trust she will always get her order fulfilled.

bears41Too hard – The biggest distributor generally lacks flexibility.  There are large minimum orders and rigid terms.  The contacts involved don’t have the direct authority to negotiate, sign a contract, or make other business decisions; but rather have to await some corporate approval or process.
Too soft – This company may just tell her what she wants to hear, Goldie Locks noticed a tendency to over promise and under deliver.  Plus, being a smaller operation this supplier would be unable to use their weight in dealing with manufacturers and they are hindered in developing new opportunities.
Just right – This organization has a wide selection of materials from numerous suppliers so they present options for her business, but ultimately they give her the facts and allow her to make the decision about what is best for her business without undue pressure tactics.

By the ens of her search Goldie Locks found her ideal supply partner is flexible, nimble, and easy to do business with.  They are large enough to have all the materials she needs in stock and ready to ship, and even though they aren’t the cheapest, they offer service that helps her to save money over the long term. She is happy in her choice knowing the time spent up front to find that just right distributor will allow her to grow her business with no worries about the materials she needs to keep on hand.

**Neither the author nor company asserts any ownership to Mother Goose, Cinderella or any other fairy-tale creatures


Lin Poulin (aka Mother Goose)
Telemarketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division

Entrepreneur magazine, April 2010, ‘Build a Good Relationship with Suppliers’ author Bob Reiss

Entrepreneur magazine, ‘How to Find and Work with Suppliers’
IAPD (international association of plastics distribution) “The Distribution Channel Value”, content provided from NAW (National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors) value

To learn more about ThyssenKrupp Materials NA, AIN Plastics Division please visit our website.

Congratulations AIN Plastics!

The entire staff at the AIN Plastics Division location in Yonkers, NY has been recommended for Unconditional Approval for certification/registration for their Quality Management System per the requirements of the ISO9001: 2008 Standard.   Not only the Yonkers, NY location but also in Kennesaw GA, the Plastics Machine center in GA, and to the Columbus, OH team!  These teams have successfully passed their Renewal Audits.  Each AIN Plastics Division worked hard towards an audit that resulted in a zero non-conformances identified or issued.

Once the SRI Registration Review Panel has completed the approvals, AIN Plastics will now be under their own certification/registration.  Every year there will be a surveillance activity by SRI at the locations, followed by the renewal audits.

AIN Plastics Quality Management System supports and enhances their position as a leading supplier of engineering plastic shapes to the medical and OEM communities.  The Division has been working hard to maintain their position as a leading supplier since originally founded.

The AIN Plastics was founded in 1970 and has continued to grow quickly as a distributer for several premier manufacturers of mechanical plastic mill shapes.  It wasn’t until 1996 that AIN Plastics joined the ThyssenKrupp Materials NA group, which positioned the company for even more success!

AIN Plastics Divisions are hard working and dedicated to their work.  The AIN Plastics Division is committed to a continually improving QMS that will assure process and product quality meets or exceeds for customer’s requirements.

Women in Plastics – Who do you Know?

Are you a woman looking at your career path? As was once recommended to Dustin Hoffman’s character in that classic line, “I just want to say one word to you, just one word, plastics. There’s a great future in plastics.”  Just looking at that movie clip and thinking about this post made me realize what a different business world we live in now, just a few decades later. The plastics industry is a place of great opportunity for women and men alike who want a career path that affords them opportunity for growth. The International Association of Plastics Distributors is looking to further the growth of women in the plastics industry with the start up of a new common interest group.
As I talked with Katie Juneau, Purchasing Director for AIN Plastics and her involvement of starting the new IAPD Women in Plastics Common Interest Group, I began to look around at all the women who work within AIN Plastics already and how many of them have had opportunities to grow within the company. This photo from AIN Plastics recent National Sales Meeting show just a few of the women working throughout AIN Plastics. Their roles run the gamut from inside and outside sales to purchasing, marketing, safety, ISO certification, and more.

Just a few of the women at AIN Plastics. Photo taken at AIN's National Sales Meeting.

Just a few of the women who have chosen a career at AIN Plastics. Photo taken at AIN Plastics 2013 National Sales Meeting.

Katie said the IAPD’s new group is working to further the growth and development of women in the plastics business by hosting a Common Interest Group (CIG) that will look at how companies can better promote women within the plastics industry as well as how to encourage more women to join this growing industry.
Katie went onto say the IAPD Women In Plastics Group was just launched at the recent IAPD National Conference that took place in early October 2013. “The group is just starting, but we are very excited to see what we can do as the future unfolds.”
The group can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also look for more developments to come on the IAPD website.


See you in the blogosphere again soon!

Lisa Anderson

Marketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials, NA
AIN Plastics Division

What Are High Performance Plastics

Lately it seems like everyone I come across that uses plastics in their business is talking about the ‘performance of plastics’ and how plastics compare to each other.  But, what are high performance plastics and what are the basic criteria for material selection? Do you really need high performance plastics in your application? The criteria for selecting plastic materials typically comes down to a combination of performance variables that best meet the needs of your application, or how the material will be used.  Once those needs are met there is most likely a range of materials to choose from and often the least expensive material can be the starting point for writing a specification.

What Are High Performance Plastics?

In looking at our trusty Plastics Triangle we can see the top two tiers are called out as High Performance Materials

Plastics-Triangle-High-PerformanceFrom the triangle we can also see these plastics all work under very high temperatures. If we look at factors such as wear resistance or the ability to take a lot of pressure, the crystalline side offers the absolute toughest materials for a job. At the very top the toughest materials of all don’t fall under either Amorphous or Crystalline categories, but rather a category all their own.

Why not Just Choose the Highest Performance?

If you purchase plastic materials you already know the answer to that question – PRICE! It can be very true that you get what you pay for and higher performance can mean more costly material. However, this is a careful balancing act, because a material that costs a bit Clip---downtime-graphicmore up front can be more economical in the long run. Buying a material that is right for a particular job can mean replacing parts less often, less maintenance, less downtime and more up time, and that improved efficiency can mean dollars in your pocket.

Why Are High Performance Materials Being Chosen More Often?

Clip---Limiting-PV-Compressive-StrengthManufacturing and industrial applications are increasing speeds, loads are increasing, and we are working in more extreme environments. Therefore the demands on materials increase too.  Materials that operate at relatively slow speeds (less than 50 feet / minute) with light loads (less than 5 psi) may work well with UHMW or Nylon.  But when the demands increase, we need to look to materials like Vespel SP-21 which can handle 350,000 PV unlubricated!
You may have also heard of ULTEM®, Radel®, Torlon®, or Techtron® PPS which are also  capable materials that fit into the high performance category.

How do you Select a High Performance Material?

Let’s start first by asking a question –

“Is your application a

bearing and / or wear application?”

The group of materials that perform best in bearing and wear applications are found in the Crystalline Family of Engineering Plastics.  When looking at these materials you will likely want to know two things:

1) What is the continuous running temperature of the application
2) What is the PV (pressure or force x velocity).

Knowing these two things can go a long way in figuring our which plastic material will give you all the performance you need for the best possible value.

I encourage you to find a good partner to work with you as you compare and contrast the different materials out there so that you can find the best material for your application.  That is ultimately the best way to find the best performance / value for your money.


Paul Hanson

Sales and Marketing Manager
DuPont Vespel®
ThyssenKrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division

AIN Plastics in the Community

Everyone that knows AIN Plastics knows we sell plastics. Engineering plastics, sheet and rod materials, high pressure laminates, plastic tubing, medical plastics…. The list goes on. But behind all that are AIN Plastic’s people. Although these people are full-time plastics professionals with many decades of experience, they are also people who get involved in their community. So, this week I thought we’d share one of the events AIN Plastics is doing in their community.

This week, we are looking at Yonkers, New York. On a side note, New York State is the birthplace of AIN Plastics so AIN has a long history here. (See our post on AIN Plastics Founder, Norman Drucker). Over its many decades the Yonkers team has enjoyed a great relationship and ties to the community so when the TKMNA (ThyssenKrupp Materials NA) Good Neighbor Contest began, Branch Manager John Colleluori and his team knew exactly what they wanted to do. They wanted to raise money for New York State’s only independent, specialty children’s hospital, Blythedale Children’s Hospital. Blythedale is one of only 19 pediatric specialty hospitals in the U.S. and it has been in business for over 120 years. They also have the largest pediatric therapy department in New York State. See more about the hospital, their stories and more at

The team at AIN knows it takes a lot of community support to keep this great institution growing so they held a raffle. Each team member sold raffle tickets to friends and family for $2.00 each. It was a close race but AIN Plastic’s George Coles sold the most tickets. The winner of the raffle was one of Yonkers landmarks, Angelina’s Restaurant. The owner, Lou Dinapoli won a night at the movies, donated AIN Plastics Yonkers.

John Colleluori stated, “Our team raised $1,185.00 which we donated to the hospital last week.” John went on to say, “We really appreciate everyone who took part in this community event and to Angelina’s for their generosity.” We had a great time and we are looking toward what we will do for our next event.

See you in the blogosphere again soon!

Lisa Anderson

Marketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials, NA
AIN Plastics Division


June 22 – International Helmet Awareness Day – Thank You Plastics!

Some people love them, some hate them, but like them or not in June we pay homage to the humble safety helmet because June 22 is International Helmet Awareness Day. Read more. We all think of football players, hockey players, and even baseball players and motorcycle riders when it comes to helmets. Although Michigan recently changed it’s motor cycle helmet laws, if you have ridden a motor cycle in Michigan in the recent past chances are have worn a helmet.

These days the headgear is becoming popular in sports where we traditionally didn’t think of them as necessary. The weekend casual bicycle rider, inline skaters, downhill skiers, and horseback riders now commonly wear protective helmets during their activity. When children go out to play it’s just as common for mom to say, “don’t forget your helmet” as it is to say, “put on a sweater.” The change to wearing safety helmets has been tougher in some groups than than it has been in others. In sports like dressage, a form of horseback riding, use of ASTM certified helmets picked up pace after a tragic accident left an Olympic level rider with a life altering traumatic brain injury just months before her journey to Beijing was to take place. In the past year organizations including USDF and USEF added rule to require ASTM certified helmets be worn, at least up to certain levels whenever riders are on horseback at a show. For more about helmet safety for riding and their activities see

How Have Plastic Materials Changed the Use of Helmets?

But would we be wearing these helmets of all shapes and sizes if it weren’t for plastic? I’ll be honest here. I ride dressage and the early helmets were less than flattering and certainly not a part of the tradition. They were plastic yes, but they were uncomfortable, hot, heavy, and well, huge! In fact, the term was bubble head. My how things have changed! Due to improved choices of plastic materials, increased demand, and testing of designs for better fit, and to achieve the most protection possible, helmets have come a long way. They are lighter, sleeker, they come in colors, cool designs, they are vented, and more. A look at helmets for bicycle riding shows the progression.

Image - Bike Helmet - Old style01Image - Bike Helmet - New style01





The first helmets date back to about 900 BC and the Assyrian army. (Read more here) Early helmets were combinations of leather, or leather and bronze or other metals. Later, knights in shining armor had many styles of helmets to protect them from lances and arrows. These heavy metal pieces and took a great deal of strength to wear and even to take on and off. Due to these factors and changes in weaponry it is said that helmet use went out in the 1600’s. In fact, up until football helmets materials didn’t change much. According to Wikipedia some of the early helmets were made by shoemakers or blacksmiths. These went from plain leather to leather with padding and with fabric straps that kept the head from touching the leather outer shell.

Plastics Enters the Sport Helmet Scene

The first plastic helmets for sports were developed for football in 1940 by John Riddell and his son. Riddell also developed the first chin strap to rest on the chin instead of the neck and the first plastic face mask. Helmet designers quickly started to realize the importance of shape and material selection. The first helmets were brittle, but after a shape and material change to a tear drop shape, football helmets took impact better. Later inventions included air being pumped in to aid impact absorption and to improve fit. For more in depth information on the history of football helmets see wikipedia’s article

Leatherhead Riddell Helmets






By the 1980’s the preferred material was rigid polycarbonate which is typically still the material of choice. Carbon fiber reinforcement was introduced into Tour De France bike helmets in the 1990’s and is also still widely used. Equestrian riding helmets typically have an outer shell of ABS, or carbon fiber. The hard outer shell serves to protect the head from being pierced by a sharp object, and to spread the energy of impact over a larger surface area thereby helping to lessen impact. Ski helmets are typically an outer shell of polycarbonate or, if it’s painted the outer shell may be acrylic. In motorcycle helmets, users will find helmets with plastic shells, fiberglass shells, or even woven Kevlar.

Helmet interiors of all kinds use a variety of foam plastics that help provide impact absorption comfort, and fit. Chin straps are added to ensure the helmet stays in place when it’s most needed and are typically made from nylon with plastic latches.

Using Today’s Plastic Helmets

We’ve come a long way since the days of the knights and their metal head gear. Flashy as those metal helmets adorned with jewels may have been, today’s protective helmets utilize plastics to provide maximum protection, durability, and yes – style. Just be sure to use them wisely, use them always, and if you have a fall, don’t think your helmet is OK just because it didn’t crack. Once your helmet has been through an impact it’s best to replace it. Also, be sure to get the right helmet for your sport. As you can see in the photos on this post there are many styles. Those styles are based on how you use them. A bike helmet doesn’t work for someone riding a horse or vice versa.

Most of all, celebrate National Helmet Safety month by getting out and doing the sports you love most, and maybe say a little thank you to world of plastics on your way.


See you in the blogosphere again soon!

Lisa Anderson

Marketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials, NA
AIN Plastics Division