Engineering Plastic Shapes Trade Names

 

Engineering Plastics Trade Names – The Searchable Guide

Trade Names for engineering plastics have been created by pretty much every manufacturer. While these trade names can be helpful because you know exactly who’s material you are getting, they can also be confusing.
Take Acetal for example. In our research we found 20 different names for acetal plastic shapes. Some of these names are for acetal homopolymers, some for copolymers and some are filled while others are unfilled.

Manufacturers often state that their specific material has a feature or characteristic that varies from other manufacturers. This might
be due to a process or particular version of resin they use in producing their plastic, among other things. For these reasons engineers and designers who have tested and researched might also specify a specific trade name or engineering plastic for their application. They are trusting this particular plastic to perform as they have planned for in their design and testing and use of the same type of material by a different manufacture may cause inconsistent results and lead to reduced part life or even failure.

To help all of us out with this huge list of names, we decided why not create a searchable table we can all refer to when we need to figure out exactly which engineering plastic goes by which name.

We consider this a living document so we will go back and update from time to time as we learn more trade names for engineering plastics. If you would like to download one to hang up next to your desk, we have also created a pdf you can download. Full disclosure – this is a 4 page document but it groups the engineering plastic trade names under the type of material and its color coded so it’s pretty easy to search quickly.

Engineering Plastics Trade Names – The Printable Guide

Common Engineering Plastic Trade Names 
ABS
ENSIDUR
LUSTRAN®BASF SAN Resin with ABS
ROYALITE®High Impact, Fire Rated
SPECTRUM®
Acetal
Acetron®Copolymer
Tecaform®Copolymer
Acetron GPUltraform Low Porosity Acetal
Acetron NSLubricant Filled
Celcon®Copolymer
Delrin®Homopolymer
Delrin® AFPTFE / Teflon Filled
HPV 13PTFE / Teflon Filled
Tecaform HPV 13PTFE-Filled
POMALUX®Copolymer
POMALUX® SDStatic Dissipative
POMALUX® SD-AAnti-Static, Copolymer Non-carbon alloy
POMALUX® CN-PCoductive Polypropylene Carbon Powder Filled
SEMITRON® ESD 225Static Dissipative
Tecaform® SDStatic Dissipative
SUSTARIN®Extruded
SUSTARIN® HUltraform Low Porosity Acetal
TURCITE® ATeflon Filled, turquoise color
TURCITE® XTeflon Filled, red color
Celcon® M25Medical Grade
Acrylic Sheet
Acriglas®Cast
Acrylite®
Acrylite ARAbrasive Resistant
Acrylite FFContinuously Manufactured
Acrylite GPCell Cast
AcrysteelCell Cast Medium Impact
Optix®
Chemcast®Cell cast
Crylex®High Impact
Deglas®Extruded
Duraplex ®High Impact
EXCELON®Tubes, Rods, Profiles
IMPLEX®High Impact
KYDEX®Extruded PVC/Acrylic Alloy
Lucite® LCast
Lucite® S-A-RCoated Cast
METACRIL®Cast
PARAGLAS®Cast
PERSPEX®
PLEXI-VIEW®Cast and Extruded Mirror
TK-ACMirror, Aircraft Grade
PLEXIGLASS®Cell Cast
POLY 76®Aerospace Qualified MIL-P-8184
POLY 84®Aerospace Qualified MIL-P-8184
POLY II®Aerospace Qualified MIL-P-8184
POLYCAST®Cell Cast
REPLEX®Mirror
SOLACRYL®Clear sheet for tanning shields
ECTFE (Ethylene-Chlorotrifluoroethylene)
HALAR®
Nylon 6/6
Celanese®
Elastalon®Rubber Modified
Tecamid® STSuper Tough
Tecast®
Tecast® 6PALOil Filled
HYDLAR® ZKevlar / Nylon 6/6
HYDLAR® ZMKevlar / Nylon 6/6
HYDLAR® ZTKevlar / PTFE / Nylon 6/6
MC901Heat Stabilized Light Blue
MC907Unfilled FDA, Natural
MINLONMineral / Glass Reinforced
MONOCAST®
NYCAST®
NYCAST XHAHeat Stabilized
NYCAST/612 VSCast Nylon 612
NYLOILOil Impregnated
Tecamid® MDS
Tecast 6PAMMD Filler
NYLATRON® GSMMD Filler
NYLATRON® GSM BlueMD Filler and Oil, Dark Blue
NYLATRON® NSExtruded with Fillers
Tecamid®Extruded with Fillers
STANYL®
SUSTAMID® 12Extruded Nylon 12
SUSTAMID® 6Cast Nylon 6
SUSTAMID® 6/6Extruded Nylon 6/6
Tecamid® 6/6
ZYTEL® STSuper Tough
PAI
Torlon®
Duratron®
PBI
Celazole®
PEEK
Tecapeek®
KETRON®
Sustappek®
DuraPeek®
PETG
Vivak®
ULTROS®
Spectar®
PET Polyethylene
TECAPET®/1400®FDA
TECAPET®FDA
SUSTODUR®Extruded PETP
ULTRA ETHYLUX®High Density
Ertalyte®PET-P
Phenolic
Bakelite
LAMITEX
PHENOLAB®Canvas and Linen Phenolics
PHENOLITE®
PHENOLKRAFTPaper Phenolics and Laminates
Polycarbonate
Makrolon®
Tecanet®
Calibre®
Cyrolon® ARAbrasion Resistant
Cryolon® ZX
Decarglas®Extruded
Palsun®
TECANET® GF2020% Glass Filled
EXCEL®
EXCELON® PCTube
HYDEX® 4301
HYDEX® 4320 BKBlack 20% Graphite Filled
LEXAN®
LEXGARD®Polycarbonate Composite
Makrolon® ARAbrasion Resistant
MARGARD®
POLY MIRMirror
POLYGAL®Structured Sheet
SUSTONAT®Extruded
Tecanat®
TUFFAK®
TUFFAK® A
TUFFAK® CM
TUFFAK® XLWeatherable
ZELUX®
ZELUX® SD-PV0Static Dissipative, Carbon Powder Filled
Trizod®
Polyester
HYDEX® 4101PBT Polybutylene Terephthalate
HYDEX® 4101LPBT Polybutylene Terephthalate Lubricant Filled
Polyethylene
HITECH®High Density
ALPOLIC®Polyethylene Core with Aluminum Reflective Surface
POLYSTONE®UHMW Polyethylene
SANALITE®Cutting Board Stock
SANATEC®
Tecapet®
Ertalyte®
Sustadur®
Polyimide (PI)
Duratron
Duratron 15015% Graphite Filled
Duratron 40040% Graphite Filled
Duratron HPhigh Purity Grade
Meldin®
Meldin 702115% Graphite Filled
Meldin 702240% Graphite Filled
Meldin® 7001Unfilled
Meldin® 721115% Graphite Filled / 10% PTFE
SINTIMID VVarious additives
SINTIMID® TPolyimide-imide
Tecator®Polyimide-imide
SINTIMID® VPolyimide-imide
Tecator® TI5013Polyimide-imide Solvay Resin
Tecator® TI5031Polyimide-imide, PAI Bearing Grade
Tecator® XP142TPolyimide-imide (PAI) 30% Glass Filled
Torlon®Polyimide-imide (PAI) Solvay Resin
Tecator®Polyimide-imide Solvay Resin
DuPont™ Vespel®DuPont
DuPont™ Vespel® SP-1Unfilled
DuPont™ Vespel® SP-2115% Graphite Filled
DuPont™ Vespel® SP-21115% Graphite Filled, 10% Teflon Filled
DuPont™ Vespel® SP-2240% Graphite Filled
DuPont™ Vespel® SP-315% Molybdenum Disulfide Filled
PPS (Polyphenylene Sulfide)
Tecatron®
Techtron®
Tecatron® GF40Glass Filled
Tecatron® PVXBearing Grade
Techron®
Sustaron®
Polypropylene
Tecafine®FDA, USDA
Proteus®
FORTILENE®
PROPYLUX® SD-AStatic Dissipative, Non-Carbon Alloy
PROPYLUX®
PROPYLUX® CN-FConductive Carbon Fiber Filled
PROPYLUX® CN-PConductive Carbon Powder Filled
PROTEC®
PROTEC® FR CP6Flame retardant, UL 94-VO/UL94-5VA
PROTEUS®
SOLIDUR®UHMW / Polypropylene
SPECTUM®
Tecafine®
VESCOLENE®
Polystone® P
Polyurethane
HYDEX®
HYDEX® 202Extruded Clear
HYDEX® 302Extruded Opaque
PLANTHANE®
PTFE
Flourosint
Teflon®
SEMITRON® ESD 500Static Dissipative
PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride)
Tecaflon®
KYNAR®
KYTEC®
PUR-FLO®High Purity Pipe, Valves, Fittings
PVDF CN-FConductive Kynar, Carbon Fiber Filled
SOLEF®PVDF / Fluoropolymer
SUSTATEC®Extruded
SYMALIT®
Teceflon®
Polystone®
Rigid PVC & CPVC
Boltaron®
Celtec®Expanded PVC
Clear-40Clear schedule 40 PVC Pipe
Corzan®CPVC
EXCELON R-2000Tube
EXCELON R-4000Schedule 40 Tube
KYDEX®Extruded PVC/Acrylic Alloy
Rulon
Tekslide®
J-Lon®
Sulfone
Tecason® SPolysulfone
RADEL APolyethersulfone
RADEL RPolyphenylsulfone
Thermalux®
ULTRASON® S
HYDEX 6201Polysulfone
UHMW
Ceram-PShatter-resistant ceramic alternative
Cleanstat®
TIVAR®Anti-Static FDA
DURAVAR®UHMW-PE
GAR-DUR®UHMW-PE
IMPAX®
LENNITE®
LENNITE CN-PConductive, Carbon Powder Filled
PENNLON®
POLYSLICK®
POLYSTEEL®Filled sheet for paper industry
POLYSTONE®UHMW Polyethylene
RAMEX®
SOLIDUR®UHMW / Polypropylene
ULTRA POLY ARCross-linked
ULTRA POLY ARSCross-linked lubricant filled
ULTRA POLY MPReprocessed
ULTRA POLY NNatural Virgin Grade
ULTRA-WEAR
ULTRATEC®
Ultem
SEMITRON® ESD 410Static Dissipative
Hydel PEI-7
Duratron® PEI
SustaPEI

 

Another great place to research plastics for machining, whether its replacing a traditional metal or finding that just right set of characteristics for a particular application is one at our catalog www.onlineplastics.com or call us toll free at 877.246.7700. tkEP has a dedicated staff of plastics professionals that can assist you with material selection.

 

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

Stress Relieving of Engineering Plastics

Stress relieving of engineering plastics, also known as annealing, can play an important role in the quality of machinable plastics and machined plastic parts. Many of the high quality materials including engineering plastics and high performance materials are run through a specific annealing process by the manufacturer to reduce internal stress in their plastic shapes that occurs naturally through the extrusion or molding process. Stress relieving of engineering plastics helps to provide machinists and fabricators with the best possible dimensional stability and ease of machining and fabricating.

What Causes Stress in Engineering Plastics?

The above photo shows the affect of stress from the manufacturing process.

Plastic rod that has not been stress relieved cut through the centerline

Plastics that are formed through extrusion into stock plastic shapes are pressed or pushed through a profile die to create the shape. The stress that is introduced into the material during extrusion is not relieved in this part of the process because the plastic resin sets up as soon as it comes out of the extruder. Instead the stress remains in the plastic. The tell tail signs of stress in plastics are:

  • Warping and distortion
  • Reduced physical properties
  • Cracking
  • Changes in finished part dimensions

However, plastics machinists can also do annealing as part of their machining process. Depending on the particular plastic material, a specific cycle of heating and cooling the plastic shape or the machined plastic part is done by using an annealing oven that allows for precise temperature and timing control.  When this process is done properly it can enhance the lifespan of machined plastic parts. The image to the right is an example of a stock shape that has not had any stress relieving (annealing) performed on it and what happens when it is cut down the centerline.

Machining Practices that can help Reduce Stress Build-Up

Internal Stress caused by machining a plastic shape into a part can also be an issue. It can harm the integrity of a part and lead to premature part failure and reduced performance of plastic parts. The best guide on this is the manufacturer instructions and guides for the type of material you are machining. For example acetal performs very differently from nylon etc. But there are a few general causes of stress created during the machining process that you can be on the lookout for:

  1. Be sure your tools are sharp, razor sharp
  2. Make sure the tool is designed for the job. Make sure it is the right angle, size type of material
  3. Watch feed and speed rates to ensure you aren’t allowing excessive heat to build up
  4. Coolants can be used, but be aware of how a coolant may affect a specific type of plastic. If you cannot use a liquid coolant, air cooling might be an option
  5. If you have highly critical dimensions your part must meet. Consider machining these final dimensions with a light cutting after annealing a rough shape
  6. Are you balancing? If machining multiple sides try to plan on balancing the machining of each side to be as equal as possible. Balancing the machining can help to prevent centerline warping

Annealing plastics can directly affect the quality of your finished plastic parts. You can optimize the integrity and dimensional stability of your machined plastics and reduce the potential expansion and/or shrinkage of the plastic. If and when you do an annealing process there are a couple of things to keep in mind for that as well:

  1. Do you have very thin or thick sections? This can alter the heating and holding time needed
  2. Fixture parts in the annealing oven to help prevent distortion
  3. Rod reacts in a radial fashion while sheet most often has curling or flatness issues
  4. Polycarbonate and polysulfone are very sensitive to stress cracking
  5. Do you have screw threads? The stress from the screw partnered with machining stress can add up to shortened part life. Reducing the stress from machining can help boost part life by eliminating the machining stress

Which Engineering Plastics can Benefit the Most From an Annealing Process?

While some plastics may not need stress relieving there are a few engineering plastics that nearly always benefit from a post-machining annealing process. These include:

  • Ultem®
  • PEI
  • Torlon®
  • PAI
  • Transparent materials post-machining annealing can help reduce or minimize stress crazing

Whether or not you opt to stress-relieve an engineering plastic involves any number of factors and a talk with your plastics expert at your distributor or manufacturer can go a long way in helping you to make the best from your engineering plastics.

To learn more about engineering plastics and engineered plastics solutions visit our online catalog at onlineplastics.com

For questions about engineering plastics or how to work with them please contact us.

 

Covestro News – Makrolon® SK Meets Miami-Dade Building Code

Covestro, a strategic supplier to thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics and a leading manufacturer of polycarbonate materials has announced that they received certification listings for their Makrolon® SK polycarbonate per the International Building Code (IBC) and Miami-Dade regulations. Miami-Dade is known for having one of the most stringent building codes in the nation. Materials meeting this code must undergo a series of tests to ensure the material can withstand the strong hurricane force winds and debris that come with those storms.

Makrolon® SK Skylight made from Makrolon SK

In a statement from Covestro, the manufacturer of Makrolon®, they stated, ICC-ES Report 2728 evaluated Makrolon SK’s material specifications against 2006, 2009 and 2012 building codes. Specifically, Makrolon® SK light transmission, surface burning characteristics and durability properties were assessed for code compliance.
Miami-Dade NOA 16.0124.01 states Makrolon® SK complies with the stringent requirements of the Florida Building Code including high velocity hurricane zone.
Note: this is a component approval and does not include an evaluation of structural performance in a system. 
Covestro has more details published on their site. For more details of regulatory compliance of Covestro products, please visit:  http://www.sheets.covestro.com/en/Technologies/Americas/Agency-and-Compliance.aspx or contact Tech Service at sfdinfo@covestro.com
Makrolon® SK sheet is optimized to diffuse and distribute light while maintaining high light transmission, making it the material of choice for daylighting applications by architects and building professionals everywhere. Makrolon® SK is available with a UV enhanced cap layer in both clear prismatic as well as HD smooth and prismatic.
Makrolon® SK can be drape formed or thermoformed for use in contoured applications such as domed skylights. In either flat or contoured geometries, it has higher impact resistance compared to acrylic or glass. Makrolon® SK has a Limited Product Warranty against breakage, yellowing, and loss of light transmission. The terms of the warranty are available upon request.
thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics is a stocking distributor of Makrolon® and other Covestro polycarbonate materials. With 11 branches in the US tkEP is able to provide Makrolon® materials and other engineering plastics efficiently to your location. We can also provide services including custom cutting and more. For information or to request a quote visit our online catalog at: onlineplastics.com or contact the tkEP branch nearest you by calling 877.246.7700.

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.

Differentiating Nylon Types

Among machinable plastics nylon is one of the oldest machinable plastics and one of the most widely used machinable plastics. Since it’s earliest days in the 1930’s nylon has found it’s way into virtually every industry. But there are different types of nylon so how, or why does it matter which one?

Properties of Nylon Materials

Nylon types or grades have varying properties so it can be important to look at what the differences are between each nylon material and to test it for your application before going into part production. Nylon 6 and 6/6 are the two most common grades, but there are filled versions of those and other grades including 6/4, and 12. The number refers to the number of methyl groups on each side of the nitrogen atoms (the amide groups). Nylon can also be known by its true name – polyamide.

The Nature of Nylon

Nylon falls onto the Crystalline side of the plastics pyramid. In general plastics that fall into the Crystalline side are:plastics-triangle-nylon

  • High Wear Resistance
  • Good Heat Resistance
  • Excellent Chemical Resistance
  • Easy to Machine
  • Noise Dampening
  • Filled Version Available to Enhance Properties*

This last point comes with a but wait!*…. Does this mean nylon is ONLY good in dry environments. No, there are a number of factors like fillers and the type of nylon. Some types of nylon do not have a high rate of moisture absorption, like Nylon 6/12 which is designed specifically to have a very low moisture absorption rate. But this comes with trade offs so comparing all the properties and asking yourself ‘what must this material do’ is essential in selecting a nylon that meets your particular application needs. Below is a general example of the differences between Nylon 6 and Nylon 6/12.

Nylon 6

Nylon 6/12

Can absorb moisture Very low water absorption
Excellent Strength Good Strength
Very High Stiffness Good Stiffness
Good Chemical Resistance Excellent Chemical Resistance
Very Good Temperature Resistance Good Temperature Resistance
FDA Compliant for food contact available FDA Compliant for food contact available
$$ $$$

What Are Nylon Shapes Used to Make?

Nylon is often chosen to replace bronze, brass, aluminum, or steel parts. As industrial environments look to improve quality and safety, many have replaced metal parts with nylon in order to reduce noise. Nylon also weighs approximately 1/8 an equal amount of bronze making the handling of large parts easier. It’s ability to withstand wear and to be self-lubricating can also reduce maintenance and replacement downtimes. Pair these features with nylon’s resistance to wear and nylon materials with properties that are enhanced with fillers or lubricants and you can have a powerful reason to look at changing from traditional metals to nylon parts.

Nylon is easily machined using the same tools used to machine metal parts. Nylon shapes are also available in a wide range of sizes, and some manufacturers will provide customized nylon materials in specific colors and sizes.

The food processing industry benefits from FDA compliant versions of nylon that are blue in color which aids in detecting plastic particles. This is helping to reduce food contamination and food recalls.

  • Bearings
  • Gears
  • Electrical Connectors
  • Guides
  • Wear Pads
  • Wheels
  • Sheaves
Common Trade Names for Nylon Shapes
  • Cast Nylons Limited
    • NYCAST®
    • NYLOIL®
  • Ensinger
    • Hydlar® Z
    • TECAMID®
    • TECAST®
  • Rochling Engineering Plastics
    • SUSTAMID®
    • SUSTAGLIDE®
  • Quadrant Plastics
    • NYLATRON®

Among these trade names are a number of nylon materials that include MoS2 filled, oil filled, and more. Each nylon material is available in sheet, rod or tube in many sizes and colors. The fillers will enhance specific properties so you can find a nylon that is a good balance of application performance and cost.

To learn more about nylon shapes we also have more information on our online catalog at onlineplastics.com and we have a handy infographic that looks at another aspect – Cast Nylon vs. Extruded Nylon.

 

Living Safety Is the Focus tkEP SHIELD Program

shieldThe SHIELD Safety program has been in place for all of 2016 with training, games, quizzes and contests to keep all thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics employees involved and engaged at work and at home. SHIELD stands for Safety and Health Initiatives for Employees to Live Daily and with that in mind Safety should not be something we think about when an accident happens, but a conscience change to think about life choices and the task at hand BEFORE we do it.

I recently asked the Safety leaders in each branch to summarize what SHIELD has meant to employees, their families and how they are looking at safety differently.

  • The team in Grand Prairie Texas said “We look out for one another to catch any slip, trip or fall hazards at work and we push each other to maintain a healthy lifestyle by joining the tkactive program, walking at lunch or participating in 5K runs on the weekends. We are thankful for this program to remind us how important it is to maintain a safe and healthy lifestyle and it motivates us to be better every day”.
  • The Yonkers New York group reported “The pre-shift safety meetings have allowed everyone to be involved in setting a positive tone for all the warehouse associates both at home and work. Everyone has a turn to choose a topic of the day and present it to the team. There was an occasion when our topic of the day directly impacted an occurrence at an employee’s home. The topic was fire extinguishers so the employee went home and discussed this with his family. The following day there was a fire alarm in his apartment building and his 8 year old son knew exactly what steps to take to ensure the safety of his family. This definitely highlights the fact that safety does not only apply to the workplace, safety is even more important at home”.
  • In Riverview Florida “Safety isn’t just wearing a hard hat or making sure your shoes are tied, we don’t only focus on being safe but making sure our surroundings are 100% safe. It doesn’t matter if we are in the office calling customers or in the warehouse building skids. SHIELD has taught us not only to be safe at work but also practice safety at home. ‘When you gamble with safety, you bet your life’”.
  • Auburn Hills Michigan responded “Our employees continue to search for anything that could injure someone and report and correct it as soon as possible. We have never had a recordable injury at this facility and we all want to go home daily with the same amount of blood, skin and bones we arrived with”.
  • Earth City Missouri says “SHIELD means having safety in the forefront at all times. At work we always stress safety and while training a new warehouse associate from another branch we told him to take his time and work within his limits and don’t let others try to influence him to go beyond, especially if unsafe. We recently updated our cut resistant gloves and signage for changing the saw blades. One employee states he recently got his motorcycle license after completing the safety course and he said the one thing stressed was All the Gear All the Time and being prepared for all riding conditions. This is good information for any situation at work or home.”
  • Columbus OH had input from everyone “SHIELD is a reminder at work that our Safety, whether it is wearing steel toe boots or sunscreen impacts everyone including our families. A safe and healthy personal life can work in conjunction with a safe and healthy professional life. This has impacted me by making smart decisions that will affect my future in a positive way. When you work for a company that stresses safety in the work environment it becomes an automatic thinking process when you are outside the work place. SHIELD is inspiration – inspiring us to find new and creative ways to stay healthy and stay safe. SHIELD is responsibility -learning from mistakes and embracing them. SHIELD has become part of our culture.”
  • Lancaster PA “has implemented the SHIELD process into the culture of our workplace. It has shaped how we see the warehouse that we work in enabling us to see potential safety risks and correct them before they become issues. For example when freight came into our facility damaged with no bands we immediately restacked it as we sorted the damaged material for the claim. When putting skids in the racks, if boards or planks are broken off or hanging we remove them at that time so they don’t become a problem in the future causing material to fall. At home whether cooking, enjoying nature or sports, cleaning or working in the garage this conscious thought process keeps family members safe and healthy. SHIELD is a transformative process that first changes ones conscious perspective and then changes one’s world, creating leaders in health and safety.”

As the Operations Manager I can give our employees tools and support but I can’t wave the magic want and change the culture. The real change to embrace Safety and Health as part of our culture is owned by the employees. SHIELD has become part of our daily lives at work and home based on the descriptive responses I received. If our employees are active and healthy and feel safe and confident at work the possibilities are endless!


Contest Winners! Team Yonkers got top honors and lunch for the entire team for their entry – “What SHIELD Means to Us and Our Families.” Congratulations and thank you for sharing your story of how the tkEP SHIELD program made a difference and showing us how we all win when we put safety first.

 

Photo-Gestewitz-T-DSC_0291Theresa Gestewitz

Operations Manager
thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics

About Theresa Gestewitz –
Ms. Gestewitz began her career with ThyssenKrupp Materials NA AIN Plastics Division 20 years ago. Her first role was Buyer for the 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.

We Are thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics

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AIN Plastics Changes Name to thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics

In the fall of 2015, AIN Plastics parent company, thyssenkrupp, introduced a refreshed logo and …engineering. tomorrow. together. On Monday, September 12, 2016, thyssenkrupp Materials NA, AIN Plastics Division changed their company name to thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics. President, John Shepherd stated, “We are excited about the new name as it more clearly identifies our business, our products and the valuable services we offer to our customers, as well as our place within the global industrial company, thyssenkrupp.”

The new thyssenkrupp logo and claim announced in October 2015 reflects thyssenkrupp’s brand strategy to unify its global businesses, while continuing to recognize unique business focuses and industries, like engineered plastics.  As a leading supplier of engineered plastic materials and fabrication services for machinable plastics, the change from AIN Plastics to thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics solidifies the company’s position in this dynamic and ever-changing industry.  AIN Plastics has been the plastics division of tkMNA since 1996. While many people know the business as AIN Plastics from their long and proud history as a plastics distribution company that began in New York with the team of Alex, Irving and Norman, people have also come to know the company as a part of the thyssenkrupp group. With the recent global branding change, the timing is perfect for AIN Plastics to make the change to thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics.

Simplicity is key

The change to thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics not only simplifies the name, it also clarifies who we are as a company and a team. Not only has thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics been a leading distributor of engineered plastic shapes for many decades, they are a team comprised of professionals that, combined, bring many decades of plastics machining, purchasing, and engineering knowledge to the table. Of course, you can go to a website and buy a piece of plastic with the push of a couple of buttons. But, where can you go when you need to really research and choose the right plastic for a particular application, or to figure out why a part isn’t machining the way you think it should, or to find that plastic that an engineer has specified? That is when a solution provider like thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics becomes a partner assisting you at every level of the material selection process.

Here To Provide You With Engineered Plastics Solutions

Our Business Development team, comprised of a group that encompasses decades of plastics industry experience, is always on the road seeking out new and better ways to use engineered plastic shapes. Paul Hanson is diligently working with DuPont and our DuPont Vespel® customers, Trevor Drake with Power Distribution businesses, Kendall Montague is focusing on Oil and Gas applications, Thomas Price is working throughout the transportation sector, Dave Piperi in Medical Device and related areas and Scott Moore in Orthotics and Prosthetics. Our Outside and Inside Sales teams are always on hand for you as well. To further assist customers in their search for plastics information and materials research thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics also has a catalog website www.onlineplastics.com. This site contains products as well as information on applications and more and makes requests for quotes an easy process.

As you can see, if you know these people, the names have not and will not be changing. That’s because the company is changing in name only. We look forward to continuing to work with all of you, just as we have. If you haven’t talked with us in a while or you are not familiar with us, we hope you will be contacting us soon.

 

To stay up on everything from news about the plastics industry, plastics applications, and our company join us on your favorite social media.

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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
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Sources for this article:

Introduction to Polymers  R.J. Young Chapman

Market Studies- Ceresena

Meriam Webster-dictionary

wikipedia