Plastics are synthetic or semi-synthetic polymer and other composite materials containing plasticizers, stabilizers, fillers, and other additives that enhance their processing and performance characteristics. The exact formulation of a plastic determines the properties it exhibits, with each plastic formula typically resulting in distinct qualities that make it suitable for specific use cases.
WS Hampshire, Inc. is a full-service fabricator and supplier of non-metallic materials, including plastics. Our 135,000-square foot facility allows us to stock and process a wide range of plastic materials for use in industrial and commercial applications, including the following:
Phenolic plastics—also referred to as industrial laminates—consist of alternating layers of resin and material, all of which are exposed to high heat and pressure to form a solid plastic form. Depending on the type of phenolic plastic, the resin employed can be epoxies, melamines, polyesters, or silicones, and the material can be cloth, glass-based fabric, or paper. These composite materials are available in many forms, including sheet and convolute wound tube, and find use in a wide range of industrial applications, due to their machinability, corrosion resistance, and electrical insulation properties.
At W.S. Hampshire, we offer the following phenolic plastics:
- Ryertex®. Ryertex® is a high-performance thermoset laminate composite material often used as an alternative to metal for industrial and commercial applications involving high heat, load, and/or speed. It can withstand temperatures of 250° F to 572° F. We offer availability in 16 grades for specific applications:
- Trespa®. Trespa is a high-pressure laminate plate of fibers or Kraft paper. It is coated with phenolic resin for use as interior or exterior cladding and decorative surfaces. We provide the following types:
- Arboron® sheet. Arboron® is a paper-based composite imbued with a phenolic thermosetting resin and topped with an outer layer of melamine. The sheets are uniform and have good resistance to abrasion, chemicals, and electrical creep.
- Resiten® sheet. Resiten® is a paper-grade laminate that manufacturers often use for laser engraved signage, applications that carry electrical voltage, and more. We offer these sheets in a wide range of grades, sizes, and thicknesses.
Thermoplastics are plastic composite materials that become soft and pliable when exposed to sufficiently high temperatures. In contrast to thermosets, they can be melted, formed, and recycled several times over.
At WS Hampshire, we offer the following thermoplastics:
- Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). ABS is a rigid and durable plastic that resists damage from abrasion, creep, impact, and moisture. We offer it in sheet and tube form with options for custom finishes and colors.
- Acetal. Acetal offers dimensional stability in wet and humid environments. It is available in hexagon, plate, rectangle, round, and sheet form.
- Acrylic. Acrylic is highly transparent and demonstrates excellent chemical and weather resistance, dimensional stability, and machinability. It is available in cast and extruded variations in sheet, rod, or tube form.
- High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE is a rigid and dense plastic that offers good impact and abrasion resistance in temperatures up to 180° F. It comes in rod, sheet, and custom forms and is available in food-grade varieties that are approved by the NSF, USDA, and FDA.
- High-Impact Polystyrene (HIPS). HIPS offers high material stiffness, impact strength, and formability. It is a low-cost, versatile material available in sheet form and suitable for use in a wide range of manufacturing operations, such as drilling, sawing, and thermoforming.
- Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE). LDPE demonstrates greater flexibility than HDPE. It’s lightweight, resistant to corrosion and chemicals, and won’t absorb moisture. We offer it in sheet form.
- Nylon. Nylon is a versatile plastic known for its excellent material hardness, tensile strength, and low friction coefficient. It’s ideal for parts that need to handle a lot of strain or weight but which won’t be exposed to sunlight, organic solvents, or acids. It comes in Type 6 cast, Type 6/6, and extruded variations in rod, sheet, or tube form.
- Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). PET is often used as an alternative to acetal for parts that need excellent dimensionality after machining. The material has a low water absorption rate, is very hard and stiff, and complies with FDA standards. We offer it in plate, round, and sheet form.
- Polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a tough transparent plastic that resists heat, flames, damage from greases and acids, and more. It is considered virtually unbreakable, making it suitable for use in a wide range of industrial applications (except for those involving laser processing). It is available in plate, sheet, or tube form with clear or smoke tint transparency.
- Polypropylene. Polypropylene is the lightest commercial plastic available. It offers excellent abrasive and chemical resistance and can handle temperatures up to 140° F. We offer it in rod, sheet, and custom forms.
- Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). PTFE is ideal for industrial applications due to its low coefficient of friction, excellent resistance to wear, and suitability for temperature up to 500° F. It comes in rod, sheet, and tube form.
- Polyurethane. Polyurethane offers exceptional toughness and resistance to abrasion, impact, oils/gas, solvents, and more, making it ideal for use in heavy-duty applications. It is available in rod, roller, sheet, and wheel form, as well as custom fabricated parts.
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). PVC is a low-cost, rigid plastic that can resist weathering, sunlight, and chemicals. It’s ideal for applications in environments under 150° F. We supply the material in a variety of forms, including angles, rods, sheets, shapes, and tubes.
- Ultra-High Molecular Weight (UHMW) Polyethylene. UHMW is a tough and abrasion-resistant plastic with excellent machinability, high dielectric strength, and moderate compression strength. It is suitable for use in temperatures up to 160° F and doesn’t break under IZOD impact testing. It can be formed into sheets, shapes, rods, and more.
Fiberglass-reinforced plastics are composite materials that have been reinforced with glass fibers. They can offer strength comparable to that of metal and flexibility comparable to that of carbon fiber. These qualities, combined with their resistance to water damage, make them suitable for heavy-duty applications that are outdoors or regularly exposed to water.
At WS Hampshire, we offer the following fiberglass-reinforced plastic materials:
- Extren™. Extren is a low-maintenance material available in a variety of forms, including rounds, square/rectangles, tubes, and beams.
- GPO. GPO is a thermoset polyester sheet reinforced with fiberglass and filler material suitable for use as an electrical insulator. It is available in three grades: GPO-1, GPO-2, and GPO-3.
- Grating. We offer Duradek® pultruded grating and Duragrid® molded grating.
- Wesliner. Wesliner is a thermoset composite sheet material that has excellent chemical, physical, and thermal resistance. It’s also UL certified with a flame spread of 25.
Electrical insulators are materials with high electrical resistivity, meaning they resist the flow of electrical charges. When used alongside electrical conductors, this quality makes them ideal for use as protection against electricity-related issues, such as electrocution, short-circuiting and arcing.
At WS Hampshire, we offer the following electrical insulation materials:
- Mylar®. Mylar is a strong and durable all-purpose polyester film that demonstrates chemical inertness and accommodates high temperatures. It is available in a variety of grades—from clear to hazy—and comes in sizes ranging from 36–54 inches in width and 2–5 mil in thickness.
- Dacron Mylar Dacron (DMD). DMD is a durable electrical-grade polyester that demonstrates excellent mechanical properties and temperature resistance. It is available in coated and uncoated varieties for added heat resistance.
- Nomex®. Nomex is a 2- or 3-ply polyester film that offers excellent electrical, mechanical, and thermal characteristics. We carry DuPont™ Type410 NOMEX®, the original dielectric paper material, and DuPont™ Type418 NOMEX®, which can handle high-voltage applications.
- GPO. GPO is a thermoset polyester sheet reinforced with fiberglass and filler material. We offer it in three grades: GPO-1, GPO-2, and GPO-3.
- Mica. Mica is a naturally occurring mineral that serves as an alternative to asbestos. It offers thermal and electrical insulation properties and is suitable for use in machining and high-voltage applications. We offer it in sheet and tube form.
- Kraft Paper. Kraft paper is made from virgin wood pulp fibers without the use of additives or adhesives and is coated with polyester film laminates to add stiffness and damage resistance. It is available in 2 and 3 ply variations with standard thicknesses.
- Cequin. Cequin is an inorganic material consisting of glass fibers, fillers, and microfibers. 10% or less of the material is organic, giving it excellent thermal conductivity. It can easily absorb varnish and has a low moisture absorption rate. We offer Cequin I and Cequin II variations in standard 36-inch rolls.
- COPACO. COPACO is a denim-based insulating paper that exhibits excellent abrasion, burst, tear, and tensile resistance. It is available in 2 and 3 ply variations in thicknesses ranging between 3 to 30 mils.
- Tufquin™. Tufquin is a strong, flexible, and tear-resistant paper with good dielectric qualities and thermal conductivity. We offer it in standard 36-inch rolls with standard thicknesses.
Lighting equipment and systems, such as LED light fixtures, require the use of specialized plastic sheet and film to reflect and diffuse light to achieve proper lighting levels. Establishing and maintaining adequate lighting is critical to safe operation in sensitive and highly trafficked environments, such as train stations, aerospace facilities, and retail spaces.
LED FILMS FROM WS HAMPSHIRE
At WS Hampshire, we offer the following LED films:
- Melinex®. DuPont’s Melinex is a UL-registered white polyester film that has excellent reflective properties. It is available in 600 gauge sheets and finds use in applications ranging from display board reflectors to billboard lighting.
- WhiteOptics. WhiteOptics materials offer high diffuse rates and high reflectance to make ultra-efficient LED setups. They allow designers to create LED light configurations that use fewer LEDs while maintaining the same light output.
- Sarafil. Polyplex’s Sarafil film is flexible, strong, lightweight, and transparent. It can be used in a variety of industrial, electrical, and packaging applications.
- Clarifoil®. Clarifoil is a cellulose diacetate film available in colored, pigmented, and functional variations with glossy, matte, or semi-matte finishes. They are strong, UV stable, and resistant to wear damage.
Thermally insulative composite materials can absorb and disrupt the transfer of heat energy from one object to another. Thermal insulating materials can protect complex configurations from heat buildup and excessive heat from electrical malfunctions.
At WS Hampshire, we offer the following thermal insulation materials:
- CS85. This calcium silicate board offers excellent electrical resistance and resists shrinking in temperatures up to 1800° F.
- Glastherm. This insulative sheeting material comes in a range of thicknesses and grades. Grade S materials can be used in environments with continuous temperatures up to 425° F, while Grade HT200 accommodates temperatures up to 500° F.
- Marinite®. This calcium silicate board is easy to machine, has good thermal shock resistance, and stays strong, even in high temperatures. It is available in 4 feet by 8 feet sheets in standard thicknesses up to 3 inches.
- Mica. Mica is a naturally occurring mineral with excellent electrical and thermal insulating properties. It is available in sheet and tube form and accommodates machining to tight tolerances.
- Transite®. Transite is another variety of calcium silicate board. We offer Transite® HT and Transite® 1000, which are suitable for use in temperatures up to 450° F and 600–1000° F, respectively.
QUALITY PLASTIC MATERIALS FROM W.S. HAMPSHIRE
The plastic you choose can significantly affect the success of your project. However, with so many options available, finding the one that meets your needs can be daunting. If you need help selecting and/or sourcing a plastic, WS Hampshire can help.