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
  • Quadrant Plastics

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


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.




What Are Polymers?

What Are Polymers? What Polymers Occur In Nature?


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.


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

Sources for this article:

Introduction to Polymers  R.J. Young Chapman

Market Studies- Ceresena

Meriam Webster-dictionary


Interns Go To Chicago Regional Headquarters

The view from the top at thyssenkrupp Regional Headquarters in Chicago

The view from the top at thyssenkrupp Regional Headquarters in Chicago

AIN Plastics’ interns got the incredible opportunity to visit Chicago and tour the Regional Headquarters for thyssenkrupp. We began our day at Regional HQ with a tour and meeting a number of thyssenkrupp executives. The executives introduced themselves to us and we learned a lot about how they got to where they are today. Almost every executive told us how they started their careers out of school in one direction, but slowly over time shifted to another direction. Each of them laughed when they said they weren’t entirely doing what they had studied in college. As interns we found this inspirational since our careers are just beginning in a year or less, and we have no idea what the future holds quite yet.

Matt Schaubroeck presented on who thyssenkrupp is and how each division plays a role in this huge company. He communicated how all of the divisions come together to make up thyssenkrupp and the ways they can work together when selling their products in the form of cross-selling.

Will McFarland, AIN Plastics Supply Chain Intern, sat near Pete Murphy of thyssenkrupp Regional Headquarters during both the meeting and lunch. Will thoroughly enjoyed getting the chance to talk with Pete. Will said Pete was funny and full of great stories, but what stood out to him most was what Pete told him: “Tell everyone your ambitions.” Will was impressed with this statement and was appreciative of the great advice.

Meanwhile I had the opportunity to discuss the rebranding process and just how complicated it can be with Jonathan Evans. He explained how difficult it is to unite thyssenkrupp’s divisions under one brand when the divisions were originally their own companies with their own identities. To combine so many divisions under one corporation takes a lot of time, patience, organization, and planning. Jonathan’s team is working on that this very minute but says, even with lots of hard work, things take longer because of the shear size of thyssenkrupp.

AIN Plastics and new Inside Sales Representative Aaron enjoy a little time in downtown Chicago

AIN Plastics and new Inside Sales Representative Aaron enjoy a little time in downtown Chicago

Kevin Backus told us about his position as General Counsel for tkNA. Our finance intern, Kelsey Duggan, sat next to him at lunch and was surprised by all of the variables Kevin’s job consists of. She learned that as General Counsel of an international company he has to remember the different employment laws and ethics for each country that he is working with. She was fascinated with how much his job varies as General Counsel.

Our newest Inside Sales Representative, Aaron DeGiulio, was also able to join the interns for the trip to RHQ. He was interested in the conversation regarding the rebranding that I had mentioned earlier and he used that to pose a question himself. He asked the executive team how the rebranding could help

the company grow and develop from a sales standpoint, and Nihar Satapathy was happy to respond. Nihar responded by saying there is tremendous opportunity and it can be executed if the right amounts of communication happen within the different divisions. He also said that the rebranding will allow the customer to see a consistent company line and will allow them the ease and comfort to use more of our materials.

After a hard day at RHQ the AIN team headed out to the ballpark to take in a game.

After a hard day at RHQ the AIN team headed out to the ballpark to take in a game.

We were all extremely grateful for such an eye-opening trip to thyssenkrupp’s RHQ. We learned a lot about the various roles it takes to organize and run such a large company with so many different kinds of divisions. We thoroughly enjoyed our chance to see RHQ and we hope it isn’t our last!

Alyssa Warner

Marketing Department Intern
thyssenkrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division

DSC_0138About Alyssa Warner

Alyssa Warner will be a senior at Judson University this fall. She is studying Graphic Design and has completed three internships in her field of study. Alyssa has interned at Kensington Church, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and thyssenkrupp Materials NA AIN Plastics Division.

Learn more about AIN Plastics and the family of thyssenkrupp Materials North America on our website. www.ainplastics.com

For a catalog of the engineered plastics and other products we sell please visit onlineplastics.com or join us on social media for the latest in plastics news and more.

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AIN Plastics Tampa Takes Part in Habitat for Humanity

Everyone at AIN Plastics prides themselves on being hard workers. We are up early, out on the road, in the office, wherever we need to be to do our part in keeping shelves stocked and getting engineered plastics delivered to our customers. But, something we also enjoy doing is taking time outside of work to get together not only the team, but their family and friends. As a team we also enjoy participating in events and volunteering time in our communities. Recently AIN Plastics Tampa signed on for a day at a Habitat for Humanity Project.

Stuart Gornall, Branch Manager for AIN Tampa shared with us what it’s like to do a day on a Habitat for Humanity project.

Stuart said, much like a weekday morning at AIN, the team arrived at 7:00am Saturday morning for a safety meeting.  After the meeting everyone was put to work doing different tasks that were to be accomplished that day.  On this day the AIN team was put in charge of painting and installing doors throughout the house.  Outside Sale Representative, Dick Cubero, Stephanie (Dick’s daughter), Steven Sheridan (Tampa’s newest addition to the Inside Sales team), and Amanda (Steven’s girlfriend) were assigned to painting.  In the meantime Stuart Gornall, Vince LaLima (Inside Sales), and Pablo (Fulfillment) were assigned to installing all the doors throughout the home.  Stuart noted that “Dominique, the woman who will actually be getting the home was right next to us painting the entire time too.  It was really great for the whole team to meet the person we donated our time to.”

Around 11:30 Stuart’s wife Erin brought sandwiches and the team took some time to discuss what they learned in the first half of the day before heading back to painting and hanging the remainder of the doors. Stuart explained that Habitat for Humanity schedules work time for each day from 7:00 am -1:30 pm because of the heat…so after lunch the team had enough time to finish up and head to some air conditioning to cool off. Stuart said, “As you can see from the pictures we had our work cut out for us because it was very hot out.”

The home will be finished and dedicated on July 11th at 9:00 am and Stuart says a few of the team are going to leave the office for a couple hours on Monday morning to attend the dedication ceremony of the home in Clearwater, Florida.  In addition to the team from AIN Plastics, local businesses that donated to fund the home, the mayor of Clearwater, other representatives from the state of Florida, and many staff and volunteers will be there in attendance to see Dominique receive her keys.

Stuart wanted his team to be able to take part in the whole experience. He noted, “since everyone got a chance to meet and work alongside Dominique, it would be nice to see the full circle of the project and the moment when she gets the keys to her home.

All and all, great experience and everyone is already talking about the next home build we will be a part of.”

Thanks to Stuart and the AIN Plastics Tampa team for sharing their time and their story and the photos of their day. If you’d like to learn more about Habitat for Humanity check out their site.

See you in the blogosphere again soon

Lisa Anderson

Marketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials, NA
AIN Plastics Division

lisa_anderson_001CroppedAbout Lisa Anderson

Ms. Anderson has been ThyssenKrupp Materials AIN Plastics Division for over 4 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.

Business Development Team – Adds Value to Buying Through Distribution

TKMNA AIN Plastics Business Development Team Is Dedicated to Providing Solutions to Your Engineered Plastic Needs.

As a Distributor of Engineered Plastics we serve many Industries.  We supply Fabrication Machine Shops as well as OEM Manufacturers.  We work with Design Engineers, Product Developers, Maintenance Specialists, and more. Serving so many industries provides many challenges, so how does AIN Plastics maintain a high level of customer service, satisfaction, good value, and keep up with the thousands of options available in engineered plastics? We have a team. That team includes the Inside and Outside Sales people everyone works with on a day to day basis. We also have 11 branches throughout the US operated by Branch Managers and Fulfillment teams. But we also have an additional team of Industry Segment Managers, (aka Business Development Team) who work across all AIN Plastics locations. This team is comprised of members that between them hold an incomparable amount of knowledge and passion in key industries we serve. Their goal is to assist both the AIN team and our customers by providing knowledgeable support. That support may include training and education, evaluation of applications for material selection and problem solving. In addition the Business Development team uses their depth of Engineered Plastics to find applications that may benefit from an Engineered Plastic solution over traditional materials like metals.

Each Industry Segment Manager focuses on one of the following industries:

  • Oil and Gas / Pump and Valve
  • Power Distribution
  • Medical and Life Sciences
  • Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P)
  • Transportation

In addition we have an Industry Segment Manager that focuses solely on the high performance DuPont™ Vespel® materials which are often specified by Design Engineers for applications in Aerospace, Plastics Processing, Semiconductor and other highly demanding industries.  By focusing on how we can assist people and educate others in the proper selection and use of engineered plastics we have found we can help customers find ways to improve or enhance applications, reduce costs, and improve efficiency and safety. The AIN Plastics Business Development team all have hands on experience within the plastics industry and in machined parts that provide a base of knowledge they each build on. Because we work with all the major manufacturers of engineered plastic materials, we have the widest selection of products to consider for solutions.  Our Industry Segment Managers also have the opportunity to constantly add training and knowledge to their skills directly from the manufacturers and then share it with customers. We see our job as a distributor as an opportunity to make your job easier and your business successful. In essence we see ourselves as a bridge between customers and suppliers and a partner who brings value.

Meet the Business Development Team

Oil and Gas / Pump and Valve –

Kendall Montague - Business Development Oil and Gas Industry Segment ManagerEmail: Kendall.Montague@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 314-502-0813

Kendall Montague is a veteran of the plastics industry with over 15 years of experience. He earned a degree in Economics from Southern Illinois University.  Previous to that Kendall enjoyed a 10 year career as a PGA Club Professional in the greater St. Lous area. After that he transitioned into the plastics industry. Through the IAPD, he has earned the Level 1 and 2 Professional Sales Certifications. Kendall was attracted to AIN Plastics after meeting thyssenkrupp Materials NA, AIN Plastics Division President John Shepherd during a national materials conference.  John’s enthusiasm and vision were shared with Kendall during a team building exercise, and Kendall was left with an impression of the organization that directly aligned with his value-added selling approach. Kendall focuses on working with OEM and MRO Engineers throughout the Oil and Gas industry assisting them with application specifics in thermoplastics material selection. He has also helped develop custom design fabrications that work well with specific CNC equipment. His fabrication experience, a skill learned early in life from his father and developed during his career, is also a valuable tool he brings.  His typical focus applications include bearing, valves, and pump components found in the Oil and Gas markets.

In his spare time Kendall loves being physically active, and especially enjoys biking, running half marathons, and hiking. His passion for running connected him with a fitness group called Road Runners Club of America (www.rrca.org) and he is now one of the over 4,600 members here in the USA, and 16 other countries. Team members can be distinguished by their signature purple camouflage apparel in races and club members range in age from 4 to 85. The group’s only requirement is that, “you have a true desire to maintain and improve your own fitness.” When he’s not participating in half marathons, Kendall enjoys spending time with his childhood sweetheart Jennie whom he met at the age of 13. Home base for Kendall is in the greater St. Louis area but he travels to customers throughout the US to provide hands on support.

Trevor Drake - Business Development - Power Distribution Industry Segment ManagerPower Distribution –

Email: Trevor.Drake@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 248-233-5600

Trevor Drake is AIN Plastics Industry Segment Manager for the Power Distribution Industry. Trevor has a well rounded background in business and industry. He is a Canada native who got his start as a plant supervisor in the automotive industry after graduating from the University of Windsor. After completing his MBA in Business Finance, Trevor joined thyssenkrupp Materials NA where he worked as part of the finance team before focusing on Sales and Marketing. Trevor has been with the AIN Plastics Division for over 10 years.

Through his diverse career, Trevor has developed key skills that are of great value.  His vision on Proficiency, the importance of urgency, and his entrepreneurial spirit serve him well. In addition he brings valuable insights from his time in manufacturing plants. Trevor spends his time in the Transportation and Power Generation sectors, focusing on Insulating materials like GPO, Phenolics, Polycarbonates, and other Engineering Plastics.

When Trevor is not working to create solutions for his customers, he enjoys watching his two sons and his daughter develop their talents in sports. He appreciates that he can continue to do what he loves while still enjoying the climate and atmosphere of Canada.

Dave Piperi - Business Development - Medical Life Science Industry Segment ManagerMedical / Life Sciences –

Email: Dave.Piperi@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 914-490-1438

Located in the New York, New Jersey area is Industry Segment Manager Dave Piperi.  Dave is an expert in the Life Sciences, Medical, and Analytical Instrumentation Markets.  Dave’s experience in our business is very deep.  Starting as an Inside Salesman gave him a strong education in Engineering Plastics.  Moving to Outside Sales, then Branch Management expanded his experience.  He was particularly interested in AIN Plastics because of its leading role in supplying High Performance Medical Grade Materials.

Dave has assisted customers and led AIN’s growth by developing applications for lab testing equipment used throughout the analytical and bio-pharma areas. Dave supports customers and design engineers by working with them and sorting through the many requirements (including specific industry certifications) and providing engineered plastic solutions. These solutions deliver real world benefits that help improve their products, increase service life and more.

Outside of his work at AIN, Dave enjoys time with his family, watching his son play sports, and relaxing on the beach.

Paul Hanson - Business Development - DuPont Vespel Industry Segment ManagerHigh Performance Materials / DuPont™ Vespel® –

Email: Paul.Hanson@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 770-362-9712

For high performance DuPont™ Vespel® Material, Paul Hanson is the go to person. Paul has been working in the Plastics Industry for over 23 years, with experience in the Manufacturing as well as Distribution fields. After earning his Bachelors Degree in Business Finance and his MBA in Business Administration, he moved from Minnesota to Georgia to enter the Plastics Business. Paul has held management positions in Manufacturing and Distribution, as well as Field Sales and Training, Paul has a unique depth of experience in the field.  He was attracted to AIN Plastics because of the company’s long history as a leader in Engineered Plastics.  As an Industry Segment Manager Paul uses his expertise to support the AIN Sales team and their customers in the selection of the right materials for specific applications, often replacing metals and other traditional materials with plastics.  Paul works closely with the DuPont™ Vespel®  organization and brings that experience to our customers, focusing on the Aerospace and Semicon Industries.

Outside of AIN, Paul enjoys spending time with his wife of 32 years, Sara.  They enjoy golfing, traveling, and spending time with their families.  On many weekends you can find him at his brother in law’s drag-strip in Middle Georgia.  His goal is to be racing there soon in a hot Camaro!

Scott Moore - Business Development O&P Industry Segment ManagerOrthotics and Prosthetics –

Email: Scott.Moore@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 813-215-8323

Scott Moore is a Florida native who leads our efforts in the Orthotics and Prosthetics Marketplace.  Scott studied Criminal Justice Standards at Polk State College, but soon found his way into the Plastics Industry.  His 20 year career started as an Inside Sales Representative for one of our strategic suppliers, Quadrant Engineering Plastics.  That experience led him to promotions at Quadrant including Inside Sales Manager, Territory Manager, and Team Leader for the Power Transmission Division.

He joined AIN Plastics Business Development Team in 2010 where he focused on DuPont™ Vespel® and Medical Grade Materials. Scott moved back to Florida as the Branch Manager for AIN Plastics Tampa, where he became heavily involved in the growing demand for Orthotics and Prosthetics materials. His materials experience was valuable in rapidly growing our position in this market.

Scott has developed special labeling for our O&P thermoforming products which is of great help to the industry.  He has also expanded our offerings to include adhesives, foams and cork, creating a full market basket. Most recently Scott introduced a unique clear unbreakable material that is ideal for  check / test sockets. As our Industry Segment Manager for O&P, Scott spends his time working in the Field with our Sales team as well as managing the relationships with our National Accounts.  Scott leads our efforts to bring AIN Plastics O&P Materials online as an OPIE Integrated Supplier.

At home, Scott enjoys spending time with Diep, his wife of 14 years, and their two daughters Kayla and Kara. He also finds time to continue his passion for playing the drums, a lifetime enjoyment. He also loves to fish and hunt, and most recently teaching one of his daughters to fish as well.

Thomas Price - Business Development, Transportation Industry Segment ManagerTransportation –

Email: Thomas.Price@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 678-230-7944

When it comes to materials for the Transportation Industry, Thomas Price is our resident expert and Industry Manager.  Thomas has over 20 years of Plastics Industry Experience, from Key Account Management to Branch Distribution Management. A graduate of West Virginia institute of Technology,  where he studied Design Engineering, Thomas brings great skills to AIN Plastics.  His primary focus has been on Engineered Plastics used in Aerospace, but also is an expert in Transit and other related Transportation fields.  The newest of the AIN Business Development team, Thomas joined in 2014.  He was attracted to AIN Plastics because of the professionalism displayed by the company, and his familiarity with the transportation industry.  Thomas prides himself on being able to relate to the issues of his customers, as well as the product manufacturers.  He takes an active role in problem solving throughout the supply chain, which makes him a valuable member of our team.

Thomas works out of the Charlotte, North Carolina area, but you can find him most anywhere in North America where Aircraft Interior components are designed, manufactured, and installed.

In his spare time he enjoys being a loving father to his three girls, participating in competitive target shooting, and many other outdoor activities.

In the world of engineered plastics finding the right material can seem like looking for a needle in a hay stack. As an Engineering Plastics Distributor we look to add value not just by carrying the most demanded products, from all of the Major Manufacturers, but also by being experts in the use and selection of these materials.  We can also help you in the Fabrication of these materials into parts … from prototype to full production runs.  Through our Business Development Team and Sales Team we live in the manufacturing plants of America, and we are happy to consult and teach what engineered plastics can do for you. Do you need to reduce noise? Do you need parts that last longer?  Would you like to eliminate the need for lubrication?  If you answered yes, then we can help. As your trusted partner in the distribution supply chain, we look not just at selling a piece of plastic but at providing Engineered Plastics Solutions that help you to get the right plastic material for your application.


Scott Petrowski Director of Supply Chain Management ThyssenKrupp Materials NA AIN Plastics DivisionScott Petrowski
Director of Supply Chain Management
ThyssenKrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division


Making a Better Check / Test Socket

To make a better test / check socket let’s first take a look at exactly what that is. A check socket (also known as a test socket) is a temporary prosthetic socket that is manufactured and used to diagnose an amputee’s dynamic alignment. They are typically made from a plaster casIMG_0938t of the area to be fitted. The prosthetist will then take that information and create a socket that provides optimal fit and function. This definitive socket is what patient’s will come into contact with every day. Why is all of this done instead of just building a prosthesis from a plaster mold? Because comfort is key! Just as a poor fitting pair of shoes can lead to problems, a poor fitting prosthesis can lead to serious issues including rubbing, sores, pinching that cuts off circulation and they can be so painful that patient’s sometimes do not use their prosthesis unless they absolutely must. Not to mention the hazards for diabetics or others where healing of wounds can be a potential life threatening issue.

A socket that does not have a comfortable fit or is not aligned properly can negatively impact the amputee’s stability and their ability to move naturally which can eventually lead to other physical issues. It may also leave the patient with an overall lack of confidence in their prosthesis. Ultimately poor fit and discomfort adds physical and mental stress and tension. This can also mean people are missing out on enjoying an active healthy lifestyle.

What all of this comes down to is one thing: The more accurate the check socket the quicker an amputee gains confidence and optimal mobility and is able to lead the healthy active style that is so important to a good quality of life.

Check Socket made from new Or-Pro Stiff

Check Socket made from new Or-Pro Stiff and using water to form instead of silicone


Using silicone adds cloudiness to plastic check socket materials

One of the things I enjoy most in my job at AIN Plastics is helping to solve problems, and as I listened to prosthetists in the field, I realized we could help solve a couple of check socket / test socket issues we heard about on a regular basis. Those issues were check socket clarity, and having a socket that could withstand testing on patients who fall into an above average weight range. The common test socket materials today have enough clarity to work, but they are subject to cracking or total failure if too much weight or pressure is put on them. I went back to my years of hands on work with plastics in other industries and began to research to find a material that would be both clear and tough. and I am happy to say we have now added Or-Pro Stiff to the AIN Plastics O&P Materials. I think you will like it too.

Or-Pro Stiff is an ultra-tough, clear plastic check socket material that resists cracking and breaking. Or-Pro Stiff thermoforms consistently and maintains outstanding clarity that allows the prosthetist to easily see and make adjustments where needed. It is also ideal for use with patients where they are above average weight.

Major Benefits of Or-Pro Stiff for Check / Test Sockets

  • Eliminates the fear of cracking or breaking
  • Excellent Clarity
  • High Stiffness
  • No Notch Sensitivity
  • No UV Sensitivity
  • No shrinkage
  • Pulls easily and uniformly
  • Eliminates the need to reinforce with fiberglass tape
  • Stocked in standard thicknesses: 10mm, 12mm and 15mm (others thicknesses available).

Our O&P Team knows your patients count on you to help them and we are here to help you by providing material solutions. There are thousands of plastic materials on the market, so if you have a specific need, we are happy to put our resources and plastics knowledge to use which saves you many hours of time and valuable resources so you can focus on what you enjoy most – providing great patient care.

If you are interested in learning more please contact me. I am happy to work with you and show you how this material can be pulled to maintain the beautiful clarity you see in the photos.


Dick Cubero and Scott Moore at the 2016 Hanger Charity Golf Outing

Dick Cubero and Scott Moore at the 2016 Hanger Charity Golf Outing

Scott Moore

Industry Segment Manager
Orthotics and Prosthetics

thyssenkrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division

Scott Moore is a Florida native with over 20 years of experience in the plastics industry. In addition to Inside and Outside sales, Scott has been and a Leader for the Power Transmission Division of Quadrant EPP. Scott has been a Branch Manager with AIN Plastics and is now enjoying a full-time focus on the Orthotics and Prosthetics business.



Learn more about our O&P Materials at The O&P Corner or on our website.




The History of Cellophane

iStock_000041386120_FullMany of the types of plastics we use each day have surprisingly interesting histories and stories of creation. As consumers we often don’t think about the type of plastic we are using or how it came to be. Was it created intentionally or by accident? Is it still used today for its original purpose? What is its effect on us? These are the kinds of questions we don’t typically think to ask, and we are actually missing out on fascinating history because of it.

wine spill 1Take cellophane for example. Cellophane has come a long way since its original creation in 1908 by Swiss chemist Jacques E. Brandenberger. The material was actually created as a result of a failed experiment by Brandenberger when he was originally trying to create a waterproof tablecloth. The story goes that Brandenberger was eating at a restaurant when he watched someone spill a glass of wine onto the nice tablecloth at their table. After seeing all the work and time this one spilled glass caused, it inspired him to create something that would repel liquids instead of absorb them. He set out to create this new type of tablecloth but was dismayed when he realized using viscose to spray a waterproof coating on fabric was too stiff.

But, with this failure came a realization: although the coated fabric was too stiff, it produced a clear film which easily separated from the backing cloth. He began exploring new possibilities with this great discovery. After ten years of research and experimenting, Brandenberger was able to create the waterproof material that was eventually named “cellophane.” “Cello” comes from the material used to create cellophane, cellulose, and “phane” comes from the French word for transparent, “diaphane.” With this creation Brandenburger also invented a machine that could manufacture cellophane in 1912. This marked the beginning of cellophane’s great potential and did not go unnoticed for long.

Cellophane was first used in the U.S. by Whitman’s Candy Company in 1912, shortly after the creation of Brandberger’s manufacturing machine. Whitman’s used the plastic for candy wrappers, and was the largest user of imported cellophane from France until 1924. It was in 1924 that cellophane received even greater attention by one of America’s leading plastics companies, DuPont.wine spill 2

DuPont saw the potential in cellophane and acquired U.S. patent rights in 1923 to begin production in Buffalo, New York. Although cellophane was waterproof it was not vapor-proof, meaning it was impossible to use for food packaging since moisture could still collect inside the cellophane. DuPont hired chemist William Hale Charch to solve this problem, and four years later, he did. Now that cellophane was both waterproof and moisture-proof it could be used for food packaging, which is exactly what it was used for then and still is today.

With the invention of moisture-proof cellophane came great benefits for DuPont, including a tripling in the material’s sales between 1928 and 1930. In 1938 cellophane accounted for ten percent of DuPont’s sales and twenty-five percent of its profits, making it one of their best selling products.

DuPont is well known for many other materials and products besides cellophane. Materials we use every day come from DuPont, such as nylon, artificial leather, ammonia, and rayon. Then there are the materials used in very specific applications that also come from DuPont, like Kevlar, the bulletproof material used in police vests. Another material used in specific applications is DuPont Vespel, a polyamide with a unique combination of properties that makes it ideal for aerospace and other highly specialized uses.

DuPont’s products are even more interesting when their history is known. Because of this, DuPont created several pages on their website dedicated to telling the stories of their various products, going all the way back to 1802, the very beginning of DuPont. To learn more about the history of DuPont’s products, check out http://www.dupont.com/corporate-functions/our-company/dupont-history.html.

For more on DuPont Vespel, visit their website.

For more on Jaques E. Brandenburger visit this site.


DSC_0138About Alyssa Warner

Alyssa Warner will be a senior at Judson University this fall. She is studying Graphic Design and has completed three internships in her field of study. Alyssa has interned at Kensington Church, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and thyssenkrupp Materials NA AIN Plastics Division.

Learn more about AIN Plastics and the family of thyssenkrupp Materials North America on our website. www.ainplastics.com and for a catalog of the engineered plastics and other products thyssenkrupp Materials NA AIN Plastics sells please visit onlineplastics.com or join us on social media for the latest in plastics news and more.

Machined Plastic Parts Provide Solutions for Noise Reduction


The famous line from the 1993 Car-X commercial  “RATTLE RATTLE THUNDER CLATTER BOOM BOOM BOOM”** is a heads up for some people that improvements can be made to reduce noise. For engineers and operators these sounds on a manufacturing line or in a production environment are a trigger for to “investigate” the cause and dig into the field of tribology. In the field of engineered plastics, these noises can also be an opportunity to provide machined parts from thermoplastics as a solution for noise reduction and improved efficiency!

On the floor of production and manufacturing facility environments loud noises are an OSHA concern as they can be an issue for the health and safety of workers. In these situations, parts machined from thermoplastics can provide an design option that can greatly reduce noise levels and improve conditions. In addition, machined plastics can bring about increased efficiencies that reduce downtime.

“As with any occupational hazard, control technology should aim at reducing noise to acceptable levels by action on the work environment. Such action involves the implementation of any measure that will reduce noise being generated, and/or will reduce the noise transmission through the air or through the structure of the workplace. Such measures include modifications of the machinery”

Engineering Noise Control

Professor Colin H. Hansen & Dr Berenice I.F. Goelzer

Department of Mechanical Engineering – World Health Organization

(You can get a .pdf of their complete article on the topic of acoustics here)

Have you considered Thermoplastics, to reduce that noise and improve operational efficiency?

Key Characteristics of Plastic Components:

• Low weight – Easier handling, reduction in drive power required, improved lifting capacity

• Excellent price/performance ratio – Extended part life due to very high wear resistance

• Many are self-lubricating – Maintenance requirements can be reduced or eliminated

• Reduction of equipment noise and vibration

• Mating parts are not worn or damaged

• High mechanical strength, hardness and stiffness

• Impact strength even at low temperatures-cryogenic

• High mechanical dampening capacity

• Excellent fatigue resistance

• Good sliding and emergency running properties

• Outstanding abrasion resistance

• Dimensional stability and weather resistance

• Broad chemical resistance

• Will not corrode

IMG_0465 IMG_0496 UHMW-DSC_0056-2

Here are a few links to some other sources where you can learn more about the use of engineered plastics to help reduce noise and improve efficiency, plus a little link just for fun – in case you have never seen the 1993 commercial.

Connect with Vitrex on LinkedIn to see how a change to machined parts from PEEK helped to reduce noise caused by wind turbines.

Read more about tribology in one of an earlier AIN Plastics blog post by AIN Industry Segment Manager for DuPont™ Vespel® Paul Hanson.

If you don’t know the 1993 commercial we are referring to, no worries, you can find it on YouTube!

ASME (Americann Society of Mechanical Engineers) also has an excellent article that details the benefits many are finding as they replace metal parts with thermoplastic parts.

Finding the right thermoplastic for machined parts is not always a simple straight forward task of looking online or in a catalog. Today’s engineered plastics include thousands of options and many are specially designed with high wear applications in mind like bearing, bushings and more. As a provider of engineered plastic solutions we look to assist you in finding that just right plastic material that will meet the application specific needs and be the best possible value. In the end you may find benefits beyond noise reduction by changing from metal to plastic parts. If you have questions please contact me.


Kendall Montague
Industry Segment Manager

thyssenkrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division

Kendall Montague is a veteran of the plastics industry with 16+ years experience working with OEM and MRO engineers assisting in developing thermoplastics material selection as well as custom design and fabrication using CNC equipment.

Active Member with the Energy & Polymer Group – Houston