Metal Detectable Plastics in the Food Industry

Posted by Barbara Gerard on 10.10.2016

You are eating a hot dog or digging into a carton of your favorite ice cream. You don’t even think there could be a piece of plastic or metal or just small particles of these materials in there- broken or worn off from the machinery and tools used to get your favorite foods to your grocers’ shelves. But many of the food processing machines and tools used to provide food products have plastic parts in them or are made of plastics. For example, foods like melons, peaches, carrots, strawberries or apples can pick up plastic particulates from plastic tote bins or containers that are damaged or worn. Such foods as olives in a vat can mix with tiny particles from a plastic shovel or scraper as they wear. Metal parts from machinery can break off or wear and enter the food supply. So how can food processers know if there are plastics, metals or other foreign bodies in the foods they sell?

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Three Innovative Plastic Designs in Agriculture

Posted by Guest on 09.22.2016

Innovations in the agricultural industry are important for future generations and are enabling communities all over the world to meet the demand for food. Both in novel and technical ways, plastic designs are helping lead the way in agricultural innovation. Examples include rotomolded beehives beehives, injection molded spray nozzles, and plastic reservoir systems.

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Announcement: Craftech is Now PPAP Levels 1-5 Capable

Posted by Linda Jablanski on 09.10.2016

Craftech Industries, Inc. is pleased and proud to announce the added capability of quoting and producing parts with customer specified PPAP Level I, II, III, IV, and V paperwork.

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Plastic Materials Close Up: Polyoxymethylene (POM), Acetal, Delrin®, and Celcon®

Posted by Barbara Gerard on 08.30.2016

Polyoxymethylene (POM) is a thermoplastic materialalso known as acetal.  It is a molecule containing the functional group of carbon bonded to two –OR groups. POM was first discovered by German chemist Hermann Staudinger who won the 1953 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He had studied it in the 1920s but found it to be thermally unstable. DuPont synthesized a version and filed for patent protection of the homopolymer crediting R.N. MacDonald as the inventor. This material had the same problem as Staudinger’s POM, in that it was also thermally unstable and therefore not useful commercially. A heat-stable POM homopolymer was finally discovered by Dal Nagore. He realized that by reacting the hemiacetal ends with acetic anhydride he could readily depolymerize hemiacetal into a thermally stable and melt processable thermoplastic. In 1960, Du Pont built a manufacturing plant to produce Delrin®, its version of the POM homopolymer, while in the same year Celanese completed its study of the copolymer and in 1962 started production of Celcon®. Other manufacturers followed with their own versions of these materials.

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Rubik’s Cube: How It’s Made and Solution Clues

Posted by Barbara Gerard on 08.22.2016

Emo Rubik, a professor at the University of Budapest in Hungary, designed the now famous Rubik’s Cube in the mid-1970’s. It is made up of 26 smaller cubes and has six faces, each made up of nine different colors: red, yellow, blue, white, green and orange. His intention in designing it was to demonstrate to his students three-dimensional relationships. When he showed the prototype to his students, it was an instant hit not so much as a teaching tool but as a game.

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How to Identify a Plastic Material Using the Burn Test

Posted by Barbara Gerard on 08.05.2016

So you have a plastic part and you need to know what it is made of but you have no idea what plastic it is. This can be a challenging task. Many plastics look and feel alike but we will take a closer look here at some of the ways using a burn test. Please note, this test should be done in an industrial setting and not at home since proper safety protocol must be observed. Burning plastics can give off toxic fumes and plastic drips are very hot.

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A Technical Look at Polymer Synthesis and Additives

Posted by Barbara Gerard on 07.25.2016

Originally, plastic resins were made from vegetable matter including cellulose from cotton, furfural from oat hulls, oils from seeds and various starch derivatives. Bakelite (phenol formaldehyde resin), one of the first plastics made from synthetic components, was developed by Belgian born chemist Leo Backeland in New York in 1907. Bakelite is made through an elimination reaction of phenol with formaldehyde. It was originally lused for its electrical non-conductivity and heat-resistant properties in electrical insulators, radio and telephone casings. As it has a pleasing appearance, it was also used to make consumer products such as jewelry. Today, however, most plastics are made from petrochemicals including natural gas.

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How Is Nylon Made?

Posted by Barbara Gerard on 07.11.2016

For centuries, inventors tried to create a “synthetic silk.” In the early 1880’s, Sir Joseph Swan experimented with forming threads by dissolving the inner bark of mulberry trees. Although Swan did realize that fabric could be woven from this material, he never pursued this application as he was mainly interested in finding a filament for Thomas Edison’s light bulbs. It was not until 1889 that the French chemist Count Hilaire de Chardonnet developed rayon or “artificial silk,” which he introduced at the Paris Exhibition. He is known as the “father of the rayon industry.”

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5 Common Tamper-Resistant Screw Drives

Posted by Katie Gerard on 06.24.2016

Screw drives that require special tools to torque into place or to unfasten are considered to be tamper resistant. They also tend to be fairly rarely used. These drives are ideal for applications ranging from aerospace technology to video game consoles, because they inhibit tampering or unsupervised repairs. Each of the five drives listed below are considered tamper resistant, but not tamper proof, given the availability of screw driver bits on the market.  For a tamper proof screw installation, custom drives and tools can be created.

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Design Benefits of Thermoplastics in Pump and Valve Components

Posted by Katie Gerard on 06.15.2016

Thermoplastic components strengthen pumps and valves through resistance to corrosion, lower repair costs and extended service lives, which is why operators are choosing plastics over metal parts. There are many more advantages to using plastics, including decreased vibration and higher temperature thresholds that enhance operational efficiency. Ultimately, all of the thermoplastic design benefits equate to cost-savings and greater reliability in the field.

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