Ryertex is a family of fiber reinforced plastic composites used as electrical insulation or to replace metal in wear applications where high speed, load, and temperatures are involved, or where there tends to be a loss of lubrication. Ryertex is used in industrial applications including wear plates and fiber bearings in steel and aluminum mills, copper processing, paper and lumber mills, oil and gas, mining, military, aerospace, rail/locomotive, off-road and construction equipment.
The Ryertex line includes all NEMA grades with common substrate/resin combinations including glass epoxy, glass phenolic, and multiple combinations of canvas phenolic. Other substrates include paper, linen and aramid fiber while melamine and silicone can also be used for the resin systems. One of the most common grades that we see includes the fiberglass composite FR4 due to its high strength and thermal properties. Ryertex C is known in many places by the generic name “Micarta” and may be the most common wear material used in industrial settings.
While Ryertex is a globally recognized brand name, there are a number of other names in the marketplace that are also thermoset laminate composites. These include: Micarta, Bakelite, “Phenolic”, Resiten, Garolite, Acculam, Lamitex, Gatke, Scan Pac, Spauldite, Phenolex, Textolite, Tufnol, Laminex, Schwartz, Current, and Synthane. WS Hampshire can cross reference your requirements to the corresponding Ryertex offering.
Thermoset laminates were first developed by Leo Baekeland in 1907 when he introduced Bakelite, a non-flammable thermoset utilizing phenolic resin with a paper substrate. This material has been used in everything from engine parts to jewelry to electronics. Products that were originally made from Bakelite include telephone mouth and ear pieces, buttons, and frying pan handles.
Ryertex was first introduced in the 1930’s as a metal replacement. Demand grew shortly thereafter as World War II put a strain on the nation’s metal supply and Ryertex was quickly seen as a viable option in a wide variety of industrial applications.
Today, Ryertex is a trade name of WS Hampshire who has built an outstanding reputation for producing high quality, custom fabricated parts for use in many industrial applications including bearings, bushings, and other wear parts.