The Pros and Cons of Biodegradable Plastic

Posted by Katie Gerard on 12.31.2015

Biodegradable plastics have become more appealing in recent years as traditional consumer plastic products continue to choke landfills, negatively impacting the surrounding environment. Biodegradable plastics take between three and six months to decompose, which is a significant improvement over the hundreds of years most traditional plastics need. Biodegradable plastics are still in development and the current commercially available grades are far from perfect. Despite any drawbacks, scientists continue to develop and refine bioplastics because the potential benefits are hard to deny. These benefits include include a reduction in oil consumption, cleaner communities and an increase in plastic exports.

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Categories: plastic materials, biodegradable plastic, biodegradable plastics, bioplastics

How Have Plastic Materials Advanced Space Exploration?

Posted by Guest on 12.17.2015

High-tech rockets, expensive propellants and billions of dollars in research aren’t the only things that have advanced space exploration. Plastic materials have played a vital role throughout the history of spaceflight, allowing astronauts to view their surroundings, breathe oxygen and travel comfortably in orbit around the earth, or on the way to the moon. Without plastics, space exploration would not be where it is today.

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Types of Plastic Burrs and Deburring Processes

Posted by Barbara Gerard on 12.07.2015

A burr (also known as a “flash”) is an unwanted raised edge or small piece of material left after a part has been worked in a manufacturing process. It can be metal, rubber, plastic or really any other material used in manufacturing. Machining operations such as grinding, drilling, milling, turning, tapping, slotting etc. cause burrs in machining operations. As you can see in the picture on the right, burrs give plastic a messy, unfinished appearance.  But with a little elbow grease, those same parts will be crisp-looking and ready for use!

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Could Plant-Based Packaging Replace Plastic Bottles?

Posted by Katie Gerard on 11.30.2015

Working at a plastic manufacturing company, I’m familiar with the concerns many people have about the impact of plastic materials on the environment. The vast majority of polluting plastics are single-use, consumer products like takeout containers, plastic utensils, and plastic bottles. While plastic recycling rates continue to improve in the United States (by 4.3% in 2014), some companies are already looking for new methods of creating sustainability through the development of plant-based polymers.

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PEEK: Description and Uses

Posted by Barbara Gerard on 11.07.2015

Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is a high performance, semicrystalline, high temperature resistant, engineering thermoplastic. It is one of the most popular materials we manufacture here at Craftech, with a strong following in the aerospace industry. In this article, we will describe some of the excellent mechanical properties that make this plastic material so popular.

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What is Rotational Molding?

Posted by Katie Gerard on 10.27.2015

Rotational molding, also called rotomolding or rotocast, is a manufacturing process used in the plastics industry that has tremendous upside potential, yielding products with a wide range of consumer and industrial applications. Plastic components produced in this manner are used for sporting goods, toys and even in the transport of nuclear materials. The manufacturing process has evolved over the years into a highly efficient, cost-effective method for producing plastic-based goods.

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Cryogenic Deflashing and Deburring

Posted by Barbara Gerard on 10.09.2015

Cryogenic deflashing and deburring is a process that employs cryogenic temperatures to remove flash on manufactured workpieces made of a wide range of plastics (and other materials) both thermoset and thermoplastic. Some examples of materials used include nylon, Tefzel®, HD-PE, PPS, PET, polycarbonate, polypropylene, polyurethane, liquid crystal polymer, ABS, PEEK, and Acetal. Manufactured parts that have been successfully deburred include those made through injection molding, compression molding and extrusion molding.

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Plastic Products: Improving Safety in the Workplace

Posted by Katie Gerard on 10.02.2015

Plastic products are changing multiple facets of people’s lives, including safety in the workplace. From enhanced construction products and athletic equipment to safer auto parts and tabletops in hospitals, plastics are making a substantive change in workplace safety. Innovations in these arenas and others are expanding the applications of plastics and their contribution to sustainability.

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Which Plastic Materials Are Used in Barbie Dolls?

Posted by Barbara Gerard on 09.22.2015

Most people know that Barbie dolls are made of plastic. The dolls are in fact made of many plastic materials. Initially, Mattel™, the company who produces the doll, wanted to make the Barbie doll of soft vinyl. However, the vinyl that was injected did not always fill all the cavities of the mold causing what’s called “short shots,” i.e. incomplete dolls. To prevent this and to ensure that all the dolls had fingers and toes, Mattel “rotation molded” the arms and legs. In other words they were turned slowly in molds while the vinyl hardened. Roto-molding, or rotational casting, is a type of thermo molding method that uses high and low temperatures to shape and form PVC. This is one of the fastest growing plastic processing methods today. Rotational molding is used to make hollow and seamless products of all possible sizes and shapes with even and uniform wall thickness.

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An Introduction to Biodegradable Plastics

Posted by Barbara Gerard on 09.18.2015

It is widely believed that plastics do not biodegrade, but this is in fact not the case. The concept of biodegradable plastics and polymers was first introduced in the 1980s. Bacteria that could break down plastic were developed as early as 1975, when team of Japanese scientists discovered a strain of Flavobacterium living in pools containing waste water from a nylon factory. At that time, two strains of bacteria were developed to breakdown nylon. Flavobasgteria and pseudomonas were found to possess enzymes (nylonase) capable of breaking nylon down. These two types of bacteria were not known to have existed before the invention of nylon in 1935.

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