In addition to the commodity plastics, such as Polypropylene, there is a group of Mechanical Plastics (sometimes called Engineering Plastics) known for better mechanical and/or thermal properties. These plastics are more expensive and are produced in lower volumes for smaller items and low-volume applications such as mechanical devices instead of containers and packaging. Over the past few decades Mechanical Plastics have increasingly replaced metals as their strength-to-weight ratios and resistance to wear have surpassed aluminum and steel, respectively. In addition, others are used for their excellent machinability, low friction and electrical properties.
Plas-Tech Fabrications uses some of these plastics quite often and these have been listed separately already, including:
- Polycarbonate (PC)
- Acetals (Delrin)
In addition to these, there are other less commonly used Mechanical Plastics that we have gained significant expertise with over the past two decades. These are listed with some brief descriptions and applications as below:
Nylon is a synthetic thermoplastic polymer that lends itself to extrusion and injection moulding. We have used it for machine and equipment parts such as gears, wheels, guides and blocks.
PEEK or Polyether Ether Ketone is an organic thermoplastic polymer that retains its mechanical and chemical resistance properties at high temperatures with a melting point at 343°C. It finds uses in bearings, pumps, engines and industrial equipment handling heated materials such as oils and plastics.
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic fluoropolymer often known by its Dupont® tradename Teflon®. It has the 3rd lowest coefficient of friction of all known materials and resists chemical and corrosive agents up to high temperatures, with a melting point of 327°C. It finds uses in wear strips, guides, rings and seals.
PET or Polyethyleneterephthalate is a thermoplastic polyester that has great dimensional stability coupled with wear resistance and strength. Its low moisture absorption enables its mechanical and electrical properties to remain unchanged under exposure to water. Ertalyte® is a PET supplied by Quadrant that is often used by Plas-Tech for applications such as manifolds, food processing items and other precision-machined components.
Polyamide-imides (PAI’s) such as Torlon® are high strength plastics that retain the highest strength and stiffness of any thermoplastic up to 275°C. They have outstanding resistance to wear, creep, and chemicals and are ideally suited for severe service environments. Plas-Tech has used Torlon® in applications used in semiconductor manufacturing and aerospace.