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

WHAT IS INJECTION MOLDING?

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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

Most Common Types of Screw Drives

Posted by Barbara Gerard on 03.08.2016

There are literally hundreds of screw drives. In this article, we will take a look at a few of the most popular kinds. A screw drive is part of the design of a screw that allows it to be turned into place using a mating tool like a screwdriver or Allen wrench. Most screw heads come in a range of styles, including a Phillips fillister head or a slotted flat head, as well as in various sizes.

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Manufacturing Trends in 2016: Robotics, Quality and Efficiency

Posted by Katie Gerard on 02.19.2016

The never-ending pursuit of higher levels of efficiency in manufacturing is leading to major advancements in production facilities all around the world. In 2016, expect to see further automation in manufacturing operations, more analytics, higher product quality and cleaner production floors. These trends are being driven by globalization, enhanced competition and rapidly advancing computer and robotic technology.

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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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