Failure Analysis of Thermoplastic Parts

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“The part failed!” All plastic parts suppliers have received this frantic call and while you want an explanation and immediate solution, it’s critical to find out exactly what went wrong before beginning to determine how to address the problem. First, it’s important to know that most failures are due to a series of events. The […]

ANNEALING OF THERMOPLASTICS – WHAT IS IT, WHY DO IT?

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  ANNEALING OF THERMOPLASTICS – WHAT IS IT, WHY DO IT? Thermoplastic stock shapes and parts are produced by several methods – all create some level of stress in the material, which needs to be reduced for several reasons. The process most of these shapes undergo is called “annealing”. The process is straightforward but isn’t […]

Acetal- Why Two Types?

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Acetal, an extremely popular engineering thermoplastic also known as POM (polyoxymethylene), comes in two basic types: homopolymer (POM-H) and copolymer (POM-C). While either one will work in over 95% of the applications, it’s important to know the differences. Historically, homopolymer (widely known by its DuPont tradename “Delrin®) was the preferred type in North America; in […]

PEEK – The ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of Plastics

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Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is an engineering thermoplastic with an unusual combination of properties- high mechanical strength, fatigue and creep resistance, excellent chemical resistance, and the ability to perform in high temperatures. It is so robust and does so many things well, it is the most utilitarian ‘Swiss Army Knife’ in the high performance material thermoplastic group. […]

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 […]

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 […]

How to use a Technical Data Sheet.

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COMPOSITE MATERIAL TECHNICAL DATA SHEETS – WHAT THEY ARE, WHAT THEY AREN’T & HOW TO USE THEM One of the most frequent request we get is to provide a Technical Data Sheet (TDS) for a given material. But do you know what you are getting, and how to use it? First – a list of […]

Material Temperature Ratings- What do they Mean?

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Material data sheets usually list several temperature values – what do they mean, and how do you use them to help select the best material for your application? These values are different for thermoplastics (defined as materials which can be remelted) and thermosets (materials which are crosslinked and therefore cannot be remelted). Today, we deal […]

Sourcing Solutions for Composite Materials

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You have been tasked with finding new sources for non-metallic components – where to go? There is always a web search, but that will only get you a list prioritized by how well each company can work the search algorithm. Are they qualified to produce my parts? Can they answer my questions? Will they offer […]

Positive Environmental Impacts of Plastic

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Materials touted as “all natural alternatives” to plastic were often actually replaced by plastic decades ago because it was better for the environment. Plastics have been saving the planet since long before there was Earth Day, an annual event supporting environmental conservation.  Despite the massive amount of single use plastic waste that irresponsibly enters our […]