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Craftech's Plastic Fastener Bulletin

A Special Highlight on Basalt and Aramid Fiber Reinforced Plastic

Posted by Barbara Gerard on Mon, Oct 13,2014 @ 12:13 PM

Fiber reinforced plastic is a mixture of reinforcing fillers and plastic resins called matrixes.  This technique increases the tensile strength and flexural modulus of the composite.  These fillers also increase the heat deflection temperature of a material as well as cause it to resist shrinkage and warping. The extent to which these attributes are enhanced depends on the mechanical properties of the fiber and the matrix, their volume relative to each other and the length and orientation of the fiber within the matrix.  Many organic and inorganic fillers are used to create fiber reinforced plastics.  You may have heard of carbon fiber as it is being used increasingly in the automotive industry right now and is often in the news.  But there are plenty of other useful fiber reinforced polymers!  In this post we focus on the fibrous mineral filler Basalt and man-made aramid fibers such as Kevlar.TM  

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Topics: fiber reinforced plastic, plastic fillers

How Do Scientists Define Clear Plastic?

Posted by Katie Gerard on Tue, Oct 07,2014 @ 04:40 PM

So I wanted to do an article for our readers on the most optically clear plastics available.  But then I got so caught up in researching what “transparency” really means that I decided this topic really deserves two articles. 

Here’s a rundown of two of the major ways of measuring transparency in plastics (and other materials)-the refractive index and optical clarity.  Keep your eye out for a second post listing highly transparent plastics in the next few weeks.

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An Introduction to Anti-Static, Dissipative, and Conductive Plastics

Posted by Barbara Gerard on Mon, Sep 29,2014 @ 02:19 PM

Wait!  Aren’t all plastics conductive?  Aren’t plastics the ultimate insulators?  You’re right-plastics are used extensively in many industries, including electronics, as insulators.  But plastics are not just naturally dissipative; most of them are made that way using additives.  Let’s examine how anti-static, conductive, and dissipative plastics are produced and classified.

In order to understand how this works, let’s take a second to examine the phenomenon of electrostatic charge and conductivity.  An electrostatic charge is one that occurs when two objects touch each another.  One object becomes positively charged and the other becomes negatively charged.  Electro static dissipation (ESD) can destroy sensitive electronic components, erase or alter magnetic media, and even set off fires or explosions.  Conductive, antistatic and dissipative plastics materials are used to minimize this risk.   

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Don't Sweat It! These 4 High Temp Plastics Can Take the Heat

Posted by Katie Gerard on Mon, Sep 22,2014 @ 03:09 PM

When choosing a heat resistant plastic, it is important to pick the best material for the job required in order to avoid costly damages. More and more, these high temperature plastics are taking the stage because they are light, versatile alternatives to metal, ceramics and older-generation polymers. Some plastics have permanent operating temperatures of more than 150° C and often use special reinforcing materials, such as glass fiber, glass beads or carbon fiber, to increase heat distortion resistance and rigidity. Adding PTFE, graphite and aramid fibers considerably improves sliding friction characteristics while the addition of metal fibers and carbon provides improved electrical conductivity. 

But how do these high temp plastics compare to other types of materials? Ceramics are extremely strong, showing considerable stiffness under compression and bending. One of the strongest ceramics has a bend strength similar to steel and can retain strength up to 900° C. However, these materials are brittle and may break when dropped or undergo sudden temperature changes. Ceramics are also resistant to corrosion in harsh environments but have lower electrical and thermal conductivity. Metals also have high mechanical strength and better electrical and thermal conductivity than ceramics. Metals can also be deformed or cut into new shapes without breaking, but they are vulnerable to corrosion.   

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How to Sell Plastic Screws to a Skeptic

Posted by Katie Gerard on Tue, Sep 16,2014 @ 04:00 PM

Plastic screws, you say?  Why do you need those?  Why buy plastic screws or plastic hardware in general, when metal has always served you so well?  Or maybe you already think plastic components are where it’s at but you need to convince your boss?  Well, I’ll tell you why you should buy them.  So go ahead, take this information and wow all the skeptics in your life. 

Tell them:

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Craftech’s Plastic Fasteners Hit the Road! Trade Show Schedule

Posted by Katie Gerard on Wed, Sep 10,2014 @ 11:02 AM

I’m pleased to announce that Craftech is scheduled to exhibit its plastic fasteners at three trade shows here in the US in the next six months.  These shows are your chance to see our plastic hardware in person, pick up some cool free swag, and ask us as many questions as you like! 

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Topics: plastic fasteners, trade shows

The 5 Most Common Mistakes People Make with Plastic Fasteners

Posted by Katie Gerard on Fri, Sep 05,2014 @ 10:47 AM

There’s nothing more frustrating than purchasing plastic fasteners and having them fail after you install them in your application.  Plastic can fail in a multitude of ways, from cracking, creeping and deforming to fading.  Different kinds of plastics are vulnerable to a wide array of elements, including UV rays, processing chemicals, water and saltwater, and more.  Unlike metal, which bends before breaking, giving the user a warning that the part needs to be replaced, plastic fasteners will snap if they are put under too much pressure.

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Topics: plastic fasteners

An Introduction to the Ultrasonic Welding of Plastics

Posted by Katie Gerard on Thu, Aug 28,2014 @ 12:37 PM

Ultrasonic welding is a method of bonding together two parts made of the same or chemically compatible materials using high frequency ultrasonic vibrations that create a solid state weld between them. The advantage of using this technique with plastics is that within seconds a high strength, gas and water tight bond is formed without screws, glue, threads, solder or any other type of bonding material.  Parts that have been welded do not need to be left in a jig for curing, making them immediately useable in an automation line.   The ultrasonic welding of plastics is an eco-friendly process that consumes very little energy while producing a cost effective, permanent, and clean weld.  The process is used in the electrical, computer, automotive, aerospace, medical, and packaging industries, to name a few. 

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Topics: ultrasonic welding

Top 3 Commercial Uses for Nylon

Posted by Katie Gerard on Thu, Aug 21,2014 @ 03:21 PM

One of the most popular plastics available today, Nylon was first patented in 1935 by Wallace Carruthers, a scientist working for Dupont®.  Nylon is a thermoplastic made from petrochemicals. It is a semi-crystalline plastic, that it has both amorphous (unstructured) as well as crystalline (structured) regions.  When heat is applied it does not begin to slowly melt like amorphous resins, rather it stays firm until it reaches its melting point and then melts all at once.  Nylon has a relatively high melting temperature of 256°C/450°F.

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Topics: nylon, nylon fasteners

The Best Plastic Materials for High Friction Applications

Posted by Katie Gerard on Tue, Aug 12,2014 @ 02:20 PM

“The world is wide, and I will not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.”-Frances E. Willard

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Topics: plastic materials, friction resistance

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