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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3 Top Plastic Bearing Materials:  Vespel®, Torlon® and Flourosint®

Posted by Barbara Gerard on 05.31.2016

Here at Craftech, we make plastic bearings in a wide variety of materials, some of which perform better than others. For a high performance bearing, three of the best materials to use are Vespel®, Torlon and Flourosint®, mica filled PTFE. Let’s take a closer look at these three to see what makes them ideal bearing materials.

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6 Popular Applications of Plastic Materials in Home Building

Posted by Katie Gerard on 05.23.2016

Plastic materials are used heavily in the home building process in everything from flooring to insulation, making plastics an indispensable part of the home building industry. The applications of plastics are both practical and aesthetic, with uses so wide ranging they’re hard to categorize. Some of the most important applications impact not only the utility of homes, but also their resale value.

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Plastic Component Standards: A Beginner's Guide

Posted by Linda Jablanski on 05.16.2016

When sourcing a plastic component, it doesn’t matter whether you are an engineer developing a prototype for a special project or a purchasing agent given a part to source last minute. Either way, you need to make sure you have asked and answered all the questions related to your item to ensure you receive what is needed.

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Injection Molding Tutorial: Videos

Posted by Dean West on 05.11.2016


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Categories: injection molding, plastic injection molding

Acetal, Delrin AF and PTFE: Plastic Bearing Materials

Posted by Barbara Gerard on 04.19.2016

Three of the most useful plastics for making bearings are Acetal, Delrin AF® and PTFE.  Acetal and Delrin AF® are both thermoplastics; meaning that these materials can be heated into a liquid form and then cooled into a solid retaining the shape of either the extrusion nozzle or the mold used to shape it. PTFE has the lowest friction constant of any plastic material. It is not a thermoplastic but it can be extruded. These materials are ideal for use in applications where the sliding action of the parts is needed for things such as plain bearings, gears, and slide plates.

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Special Plastic Material Highlight: TPU

Posted by Barbara Gerard on 03.23.2016

Thermoplastic polyurethane* is a fully thermoplastic elastomer. It is elastic and melt-processable. TPU can be extruded, injection molded, and compression molded. Because TPU is a linear segmented block copolymer made up of hard and soft segments, it allows for a considerable number of physical property combinations. This diversity makes TPU an extremely flexible material, adaptable to dozens of uses. For even greater utility, the molecular weight, ratio, and chemical type of the hard and soft segments can be varied. The hard segment is either aromatic or aliphatic. Aromatic segments can be made up of organic compounds containing aromatic rings with six carbons as their backbones. Isocyanates are built in such a way as to have toluene, benzene or other aromatic solvents as some of their possible precursors. The precursors are used to produce MDI—(MDI is a blend of 2,2’, 2,4’ and 4,4’ methylene diphenyl diisocyanates) which is one of thermoplastic’s key constituents. They also have to have at least two linear OH functionals. Such compounds are typified by benzene and its derivatives and are based on isocyanates. Wet environments generally require a polyether based TPU. Generally speaking, thermoplastic TPU remains stable when it comes into contact with greases, lubricants and test oils even at high temperatures up to 100°c and over a period of several weeks. However, some oil-based fluids may damage TPU, so compatibility testing is recommended. For example, oil and hydrocarbons resistance often demands a polyester-based TPU.

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Categories: TPU

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