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  1. What is Nylon?

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    Nylon is a versatile synthetic plastic fiber used in everything from stockings to toothbrush bristles to industrial wear components. Introduced as an alternative to silk in the 1930s, the plastic is a long, heavy chain of repeating polymer patterns—including diamine acid and dicarboxylic acid—known for its easy combination with other materials. Depending on which material a manufacturer chooses to mix it with, nylon can take on a broad range of properties and textures. This capability makes nylon well-suited for creating durable engineering plastics.

    Properties & Benefits of Nylon

    While the specific properties of any nylon depend heavily on the other materials involved, there are a few key properties and benefits that the inclusion of nylon imparts to the plastic material. Some of the most common properties include: 

    • Strength and toughness. Nylon boasts incredible strength and material toughness, which brings a host of benefits to applications in a variety of industries. For example, nylons are regularly used to reinforce rubber vehicle tires or to make rope. 
    • Dyeable. Nylon is easily dyed, making it ideal when an engineering plastic needs to match a particular brand or aesthetic. 
    • Abrasion resistance. High resistance to abrasion makes nylon a popular choice for producing moving mechanical parts, such as gears, machine screws, or sheaves. 

    Common Applications for Nylon Plastics

    With such a diverse, comprehensive set of features and benefits, nylon is the perfect fit for many potential applications. In addition to consumer-facing applications such as clothing, nylon is also an essential material for many industrial use cases. Some of these include:

    Moving Machine Parts

    With a low coefficient of friction, nylon is an excellent addition to products that slide or rotate. The material can handle motion without dampening its force or requiring more energy to keep the process going. It’s high wear resistance also enables it to provide a long service life in these scenarios. Specific examples of this principle include:

    • Sheaves
    • Wear Pads
    • Gears
    • Wheels
    • Rollers

    Sealing, Structural, and Protective Components

    Nylon is lightweight, yet durable and stiff. This combination provides a good solution for an expansive range of components, ranging from sealing solutions to building components. Examples include: 

    • Wear pads
    • Seals and gaskets
    • Bearings and bushings

    Sensitive Machinery Parts

    Nylon’s resistance to corrosive elements ensures favorable performance in sensitive applications where machinery must handle organic, perishable, or otherwise fragile components. Relevant industries include:


    • Packaging machinery parts
    • Food processing machinery parts

    WS Hampshire: Your Customer Fabricator/Supplier of Nylon & Other Nonmetallic Materials

    Nylon offers a broad range of material properties that make it suitable for use across numerous industries. Crafting the best possible nylon plastic solution for your particular application requires careful planning and material selection. If you’re looking to take advantage of the durability, resistances, and strength that make nylon an ideal fit for industrial and consumer-facing products, partner with WS Hampshire’s team of experts to get the job done right. We offer custom bearing, bushing, and wear solutions that will help improve the functionality and lifespan of your products. 


    To see how we can help, please contact us today. 

  2. What is FR4 Material?

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    FR4 is a multipurpose glass epoxy laminate that features flame-retardant properties, as indicated by the letters “FR” in its name. It is often the substrate material of choice for electrical insulation, recognizable by its signature green color. The material’s low coefficient of thermal expansion allows it to resist contraction and expansion under exposure to fluctuating operating temperatures, making it ideal for high-temperature applications. FR4’s exceptional dielectric properties also contribute to its capability as an insulator.

    FR4 has no moisture absorbing properties, so it will not expand or contract when humidity changes and is not affected by direct exposure to water, making it excellent for marine components.

    Properties of FR4

    Flame Retardant 4 is a glass epoxy laminate and a defined standard by National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). It complies with UL94V-0 standards for flame-retardant plastic material. Insulators and structural components made from FR4 with the UL standard marking are guaranteed to prevent fire propagation and extinguish the fire quickly.

    The glass transition (Tg) for Flame Retardant 4 lies between 115°C and 200°C, depending on the manufacturing method and resin material. The material gains its fire-resistant properties from the presence of the halogen chemical element bromine. FR4 also features a high strength-to-weight ratio and high hardness, ensuring the material will not break easily under load or during machining.

    Common Applications for FR4

    While Flame Retardant 4 is well-known for fabricating PCBs, it also provides an ideal material for:

    • Industrial Wear Applications
    • Electrical Insulation
    • Screw Terminal Strips
    • Transformers
    • Arc Shields
    • Washers
    • Busbars
    • Standoffs
    • Switches
    • Relays

    WS Hampshire: Your Custom Fabricator/Supplier for FR4 & Nonmetallic Materials

    FR4 is a flame-retardant material used for various components in electronics and industrial or marine applications. Flame Retardant 4 is known for its good dielectric properties and acts as a good insulator for electronics. It withstands high temperatures, temperature fluctuations, and humidity and moisture exposure without expanding or contracting. Flame Retardant 4 can also be machined, making it ideal for use in mass production.

    At WS Hampshire, we fabricate and supply FR4 for use in electronics, marine applications, and more. Our CNC machines provide high-precision components with fast turnarounds in any production volume. We can custom-fabricate a range of nonmetallic materials and provide wear solutions, bearings, bushings, plastic forming, and paper and film fabrication. 

    Contact us today to learn more about our FR4 fabrication capabilities.