Best Tools To Assist In Your Plastic Sheet Search

Use the best available tools to narrow down the best plastic sheet material for your application.

What are the best methods to pick the proper plastic sheet material?
Use the tools that the professionals use to find the best plastic material for your application.

Where To Begin

The process of picking the proper plastic material starts with determining the ‘must have’ physical properties needed for your application. Designing a part with the minimum performance factors in mind will help to eliminate an overly
expensive part.

Critical factors to consider are:

  • Temperature requirements (short term and long term)
  • Chemical or Environmental Requirements
  • UV resistance (Will it be in direct sunlight)
  • Color or Transparency
  • Strengths (Impact and Compression)
  • Compliance Issues (Certification for FDA, NSF, Dairy, etc.)

Review The Plastic Property Comparison Guide

The first tool suggested is a chart produced by the IAPD (International Association of Plastic Distribution – http://iapd.org/) linked in picture below, and listed on this chart are the most common plastic sheet and plastic rod materials that are commonly available. In addition, the chart compares the physical properties of these common plastic materials. Click on picture to access chart.

IAPD Plastic Selection Rectangle Chart
Included in this chart is a relative cost comparison, which will assist in limiting the materials to proper plastics for a application without over-designing and using an expensive ‘over kill’ material. Some common plastic sheet materials can be very expensive. Materials like PEEK (Polyetheretherketone) can be in the $100 per pound range or more.

Start Search With Temperature Resistance

After looking over the IAPD Physical Properties Chart, now it is time to evaluate specifics for your application. The critical factors listed above are ranked by most important to least important. If your part needs to handle a continuous temperature of 300 degrees F, this is a critical physical property. Picking a material that softens at 250 degrees is a
recipe for disaster. Pick a material that can handle the temperature first.

Will Part Have Chemical Exposure

Next, look at environmental requirements. Parts exposed to chemicals are important to research. Find the chemical make up and the concentration of the chemical to insure the material you pick can handle this solution. Many plastics have excellent chemical resistance as evidenced by evaluating the container the chemicals are stored in already. A common plastic that is chemical resistant is Polypropylene, the same material used for automotive batteries. While Polypropylene and HDPE sheets are excellent in chemical resistance, their temperature range is quite limited. Also, these two plastics can not be easily bonded or glued, and would require heat welding for assembly.

Does Your Part Live In The Sun

Most plastics do not handle long exposure to direct sunlight without an additional UV additive. The one exception is Acrylic, which is the most UV resistant plastic sheet available. Some plastics handle UV well if they have a carbon black additive, or a extra UV package added at time of production.

How Critical Is The Color

The most common colors in many plastic sheets are Natural (white to tan) and Black. While other colors are available with a special run, this may require a large minimum order. Some plastics, like HDPE are available in many colors and textures for use in marine, playground and food processing applications. In many plastic applications, a machined part is being made, and the color is the least important factor. If it is an internal part of a machine, no one really cares about the color of the part. Some clients look for materials in a specific color to help ‘brand’ their parts for easy replacement and identification.

How Much Stress Will The Part See

Strength is a wide range of physical properties covering many stresses a part may be exposed to. From impact to compression, expansion to tensile strength, all of these can be critical in designing a plastic part. There are other factors in the ‘Strength’ realm, like Notched Izod and Stress Can Cause Your Plastic Part to Bow, Twist and Crackwater absorption. If your part will be exposed to crushing pressure, pulling apart force or impact, these are critical things to consider prior to picking your plastic part.

PTFE is a soft and slippery plastic, but will ‘cold flow’ under high pressure, and High Pressure Laminates like G-10 FR 4 sheet can withstand some of the highest pressures. The Notched Izod tests for materials that break easily if a scored mark has been made in the surface. Acrylics break very easily if scored, but UHMW will not break at all under the same test.

What Agency Approval May Be Required

In many applications a part may require approval or testing to meet a third party certification. One such common application is for materials in food processing applications. Common requests included UL ratings, Fire Ratings, Military specifications and many more. Food contact is a popular request, coving material that is either FDA (Food and Drug Administration) or NSF (National UL Ratings for Plastic MaterialsSanitation Foundation) approved. These agencies insure that materials are rigorously tested and comply with their requirements for safety. Some common materials used in food processing that meet the FDA certification are Delrin – Acetal, HDPE, UHMW and Nylon, plus many others.
Once these steps have been completed, several materials should present themselves as meeting your criteria and physical property requirement. Unfortunately there is no one perfect plastic that works in all applications. However, for almost every application, there is a material that will work, and work better than most other substrates.

Cool Online Tool

There is also an additional tool that can be used to help identify some of these properties quickly, the Gehr Plastic Selector online application.

If you are still in need of assistance in identifying an appropriate plastic material, contact an experienced Plasticologist at Industrial Plastic Supply, Inc. – call 866-832-9315

Also see the article, New Methods To Pick Proper Plastic Sheet Materials, for additional information on this subject.

Google+ Author – Hayden Hess
Topic: Best Tools to Assist In Your Plastic Sheet Search

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Why Plastic Materials Are Unfairly Blamed

Plastics have been around for over a century now, and are used in almost every industry and application. The problem is that society has made the plastics industry the poster child for waste, trash and pollution. This is unfair, and factually incorrect.

Plastic materials are lighter, cost less to produce, use less electrical power to produce, and are safer for use. It is not new phenomenon that a material or product, once used, gets thrown away. This is the normal life cycle of many materials. Some inexpensive plastic materials used in consumer goods are made to throw away once the item has been purchased. Things like the indestructible packing we fight on kids toys, the cheap plastic sporks from restaurants, the prolific plastic water bottles and of course, the plastic grocery bags. All of these materials are 100% recyclable, the hitch is that it requires a little effort to recycle.

Are Plastic Materials The Cause?

On the positive side, the products that plastic currently replaces are much larger, heavier and generally cost more to produce, and use more energy to produce. This means, that the large amount of plastics that are not being properly disposed of, are replacing much larger quantities of materials that would not be recycled. I still remember times when I was a kid, and seeing tin cans in the lakes and rivers when out fishing. People polluting with their trash is not a new thing, now it is just a different group of materials.

Thermoplastic plastic materials are recyclable, and can be used over and over again. Generally, the recycled product would not be for a Food or Medical application. A common use of recycled plastic is with the collected milk jugs and detergent bottles, both HDPE, can be ground and turned into plastic lumber. The plastic lumber can be used to replace standard wood products for decks and outdoor furniture, and it will last for 15 – 20 years with no maintenance or painting. The cost savings and reduced use of natural resources for this one product can be staggering. The color doesn’t fade, it wood won’t split or crack, and it continues to look good for up to two decades.

Our recent article, “Plastic Material Bad Reputation – How did we get here?“, we discuss the factors that have lead to the ‘throw away’ society that we have become. Much of this bad reputation is for products that are designed as one use and then designed to be thrown away. So, if we are to change the bad reputation, companies need to change this design flaw, and start using materials for applications that can be reused easily.

If we can minimize the use of throw away plastics, and recycle the plastic material once we are done with it, we can help to limit plastic in land fills.plastic materials don't pollute, people pollute.

The blame for plastic pollution should be placed…on people. The plastic is not the cause of the problem, it is the litter-bug and irresponsible individuals that trash our planet. How do the plastic bottles and grocery bags end up in the ocean. They certainly don’t throw themselves in to the ocean, it is lack of responsibility and negligent behavior.

It really only takes a couple of seconds to throw something into a recycle bin. Even better would be to reuse the plastic bottles or plastic bags. Plastic materials are not the problem, empathetic people are the problem.

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Topic: Plastic Materials Get Bad Reputation Unfairly

Plastic Mentor – Focusing on Plastic Sheet Material Education

We have been working very hard over the last few months to bring you new, informative, and hopefully interesting articles on plastics.  However, even though we focused on writing articles pertaining to plastic—we have also covered other topics as well, like protecting yourselves from hackers, B2B Live Online Chats, Domain Names Available, The Next Innovation in Sound Technology and even an online prank!

The purpose of the Plastic Mentor blog is to educate all those people that are interested and willing to learn something new. Curious ones that don’t stereotype plastic under one category and are intrigued to know about what they are buying.

Why Choose Plastic Sheet?

The truth about plastic in general is that it is versatile and efficient. It can cut the cost of production and in most cases produces less green house emissions than paper, metal or glass.  

Choosing the proper plastics can be accomplished by narrowing down some basic properties. For example, is the application going to be used for indoor or outdoor use?  What temperature will this plastic be required to resist? Is the plastic clear or colored? Are you looking for sheet, slab, rod or tubing? What are the dimensions of your part? And finally, how many pieces are you looking to get?  These might seem like tedious questions, but they are essential to get you the best plastic for your application.

Our Newest Addition Asks A Great Question

When a recent new employee started working at Industrial Plastic Supply, they asked the General Manager, “Which material is the best plastic?” 

At first the GM just chuckled politely, but then graciously gave a good analogy.  He said, “Asking what the best plastic out there is like asking a car salesman what is the best car on the market?  It certainly depends…a fast 2 seat sports car is probably not the right transportation for someone looking for a new family vehicle.”

This is very insightful, and most people never think about plastic in this way!

Plastic Sheet and Rod Questions Welcomed…

When you come to Industrial Plastic Supply, please ask questions…it helps us just as it helps you to get you. Please contact us for help in identifying your next plastic material.

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Topic: Choosing the right plastic sheet materials, Plastic Mentor can help

More recycled plastic sheet is needed to fill demand

The plastic industry struggles with bad press over greater amounts of plastic in the land fills and oceans. This is understandable when the quantity of plastic products has skyrocketed. One of the biggest offender is the common shopping grocery sack. Most plastic materials are recyclable, and the demand has grown much faster than the supply, as industrial manufacturers are searching for recycled materials to use in their products.

Here is a recent article discussing the problem of plastic bag bans in more detail, “Manage waste right, don’t penalize small vendors“. Here is another article discussing the problem isn’t the plastics, “It’s Not About The Plastics, It’s About The People”.

What else is being done to ease this supply line shortage and the increase of recycling? Read more here…

Recycled resin demand drives support for EPR

By Mike Verespej| PLASTICS NEWS STAFF

Listing of recycled plastic sheet materials

Posted May 22, 2012

WASHINGTON (May 22, 10:35 a.m. ET) — With demand for recycled resins continuing to outstrip supply, the voices are getting louder — and more organized — for creating some sort of extended producer responsibility program to increase the recycling of packaging materials, plastics and otherwise.

In the past two months, an alliance of more than 30 public interest groups and other supporting organizations formed the Cradle² coalition to push for public policy changes that would make manufacturers responsible for collecting and recycling the products and packaging they make.

“The broad implementation of EPR is still a long way off,” said Scott Mouw, recycling director for the state of North Carolina. “But these new advocacy groups for EPR are all reacting to the same thing. …(read more here)

The entire plastic supply chain has been affected. We receive calls regularly for our plastic materials, but clients want to know if they can get a recycled plastic sheet version. Most plastics we carry can be recycled, but most don’t make it back into sheets or rods due to FDA and NSF requirements. The most popular plastic we carry that are available as a recycled product are Reprocessed UHMW Sheets and Rods and Repro HDPE. The HDPE is available as post consumer content from milk jugs and laundry soap containers. PTFE sheet is also available as a reprocessed product for applications where the high purity is not critical, just the heat or wear resistance would remain. 

Contact us for more information on the recycled plastic materials you may need.

Additional Information About Plastic Recycling and The Real Cause of Pollution Here.


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Topic: Recycled plastic sheet, repro

Big Differences Between Plastic Suppliers

While you can purchase a piece of plastic from many different suppliers, there are some significant differences between these suppliers. Some of the main differences are in the manufacturers and the materials that you get supplied. plastic sheet suppliers, plastic suppliers, Greatly stressed plastic sheet - nylon with large warp

We see a wide range of materials and some drastically inferior grades of materials being sold to clients. Some materials have been produced too quickly or cooled too quickly causing a very high stressed plastic piece. These high stressed materials will warp, twist or crack when they get heated or during cutting. This material on the right is a piece of highly stressed Nylon. While cutting the material, our new customer had to stop the saw due to the severe warping and binding of the saw by this material. This new client brought this 24″ long part, and asked if we would cut it for him. We bought this part from him as an excellent example of a high stress plastic. (We did cut a quality piece of material to solve his problem). Other things you should consider when choosing a quality plastic supplier:

Quality of Materials

Origin of MaterialsOur real building. Industrial Plastic Supply, Anaheim, CA - Orange County, Quality Plastic Sheet Supplier

Expert Support

In Stock Materials

Cutting – Converting Services

Longevity – How Long Have They Been In Business (We started in 1975)

 

Product Knowledge and Experience Equals Quality Plastic Suppliers

We believe that providing quality products is only part of our duty to you. You have intrusted us to help with your requirements, and we believe we should be good stewards of this trust, all part of being a quality plastic supplier. A plastic sheet supplier should advise you if the material you are looking for is the ‘wrong’ material. Acrylic does not do well at 450 degrees. Styrene does not make a good chemical tank. HDPE and PTFE do not bond. These and many more ‘land mines’ are things we help our clients with everyday. We have an experienced client support team (plastic experts), and we value the opportunity to assist our clients with this experience. Go ahead, ask us a question – that is why we have a “Ask A Plasticologist” page on our website.

If you need help, from what are the properties of Acetal, to temperature range on Ultem, please contact us. We look forward to assisting you and all our clients. Feel free to contact us with any questions, concerns or requests – call us at 866-832-9315 or e-mail us here.

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Topic: Plastic Suppliers, Plastic Sheet Suppliers

Polypropylene Sheet and Sheets come in Natural and WhitePolypro sheets welded into tank

Let’s start by clarifying what Natural and White means. The natural color of Polypropylene is a translucent straw color, not yellow – not white, more of a very lite translucent – almost transparent beige. The white color is a bright white with a slight blue tint, or blue white. This white color is opaque, and is a white color that blends well with other materials. Polypropylene sheet is also available in the color Black.

Polypropylene sheet materials are available in an opaque black color as well. There is also a grade of Polypropylene sheets that carries a FR – UL 94 V-0 rating. When fabricating a ‘wet bench’ for the electronic industry, the new requirement is FM4910. This new specification is from Factory Mutual Insurance, and the requirements are very stringent. The purpose of this specification is that the FM4910 means it won’t burn, and will put off no toxic fumes or excessive smoke.

This rigid plastic sheet can be cut with standard cutting tools, drilled, routed, machined and processed easily. Clean and sharp tools will provide a clean cut, and occasionally will produce stringy burrs that are easy to remove with standard deburring tools. It fabricates very much like HDPE (High Density Polyethylene Sheet), and has many similar properties. The chemical resistance of Polypropylene approaches the excellent resistance of Dupont PTFE Sheet.

Polypropylene sheet materials have excellent chemical resistance

The main claim to fame for polypropylene in sheet is the excellent chemical resistance. This material is used extensively in the manufacture of chemical tanks. This chemical resistance means also that it can not be bonded together (glues and cements peel right off!), and thus it must be ‘welded’ together for fabrication. The preferred method of welding is a hot air welder – which supplies a fine stream of very hot air on the exact area that you may wish to weld together. This weld, when done properly will yield a very strong bond, and will enable a water tight tank or box to be fabricated.

This great building block material can be used in numerous industrial and chemical type applications. The list of great properties is extensive, here are a few of the highlights: Welded Polypropylene sheet - Electronic manufacturers wet bench

  • Self Lubricating and Low Co-Efficient of Friction
  • High Chemical Resistance
  • Abrasion, Moisture and Electrical Resistance
  • Stiffness, Rigidity, or Cut Resistance
  • Low Specific Gravity (Floats in Water)

Polypropylene sheet and sheeting provide years of use, and can be cleaned with most chemical cleaners. Sheets are available in thicknesses ranging from .032″ – 2.0+ thick, and standard sheet sizes are 48″ X 96″ and 48″ X 120″, plus other sizes can be special run.

Contact us for availability of your Polypropylene sheets, rod and yes, even tubes. We are waiting your e-mail inquiry or call us at: 866-832-9315.
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Topic: Polypropylene Sheet Fabrication

Which Plastic Sheet or Rod Material is right for me?

This not an easy question to answer. Several different factors come into play when choosing the right plastic for your application. Temperature, strength, exposure to the elements and even time spent at elevated temperatures are just a few factors to consider when choosing the right plastic for a particular project or job.Researching the best plastic sheet and rod materials

Picking the right plastic for your application is critical for its success and longevity and needed to insure that the material doesn’t fail in critical situations. From the onset it may take a bit of time to choose the right plastic material, but will ultimately pay off in the long run. Simply choosing the cheapest plastic sheet or rod may spell disaster for your project.

Many plastics are resistant to chemical attacks. Some plastics however are not. Two examples of plastic that have low resistance to chemicals are Acetal or Delrin (Dupont Brand Name) and Nylon. Acetal and Nylon are both a great machining plastics with excellent wear resistance and impact strength. However, when exposed to chlorine or alkaline they tend to become brittle which can cause failure and if used in such instances as plumbing, can lead to major problems such as flooding. Nylon does have good resistance to many chemicals but will degrade when exposed to acids especially sulfuric. A plastic that would work better for applications involving the use of chlorine or acids is UHMW. UHMW has some of the same properties as Acetal such as wear resistance, ease of machining and are both self lubricating. UHMW often is an alternative for Acetal and Nylon, especially when it comes to chemical attacks.Are you searching for the right plastic material for your project

Many plastic sheet and rod materials to choose from

Another plastic that can fail if used in the wrong application is Acrylic. Acrylic is a great plastic for displays and decorative purposes and is a natural replacement for window glass. However, it is brittle and has very low impact strength as opposed to Polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a great plastic for impact strength, probably the best in the plastic family. It is 25 times stronger than Acrylic and this makes it ideal for bullet resistant glass and riot shields, while Acrylic would be useless for those critical jobs. However, Acrylic has better U.V. resistance than Polycarbonate Plastic Sheet which makes it better for use outdoors over longer periods of time because it is invisible to sunlight. Another plastic that cannot handle U.V. rays is Polypropylene. Polypropylene unlike Acetal has excellent chemical and moisture resistance. However, unlike Acrylic, it becomes brittle in sunlight and starts to craze or crack when exposed over a period of time while Acrylic would last many years longer. Even though Polypropylene is a very rigid and stiff material, with good impact and crack resistance, if exposed to the elements for a period of time, it will not retain its properties and a chemical chain reaction will cause the material to eventually fail. Polypropylene is great at handling chemicals and food applications which neither Acrylic nor Polycarbonate Sheet are well suited because for this application, because they don’t have good chemical resistance and the standard grades are not approved for handling food.

So many Plastic Sheet and Rod Choices

Because there are so many options, we invite you to do further research. One are would be the blog post ‘Pick The Proper Plastic Material‘, or even use the online tool ‘Gehr Plastic Selection Tool‘. There are over 60 standard plastic sheet materials that we stock, with many additional material that are available from our factories, contact us for help with your application.

These are just some examples of the differences between plastic resins and it is important to note that just because one plastic works for one application, it may not work for another. All factors must be considered and taken into account, maybe even some trial and error. This will insure that your project will go smoothly and will be able to last through many years of use, saving time, money and patience.

Contact us for more examples of materials and the differences between specific items. Also, we have a great tool to help you in choosing the proper plastic material for your application, check out our free Plastic Material Selector Guide. We would also welcome your email inquiries or call us at: 866-832-9315.
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Which Plastic Sheet or Plastic Sheets?

A wide variety of plastics are available in sheet form.

The term: ‘Plastic Sheet‘ or ‘Plastic Sheets’ is more of a general statement covering over a hundred types of plastic materials and plastic products. Some of the most popular plastic materials made as a sheet are:

Wide range of plastic materials in sheet

In addition to the wide range of plastic materials available as plastic sheet, most of these materials are also available as: thin gauge or film, strip, plate, block, slab and plastic panels. The thin gauge or film materials are frequently available with or without a pressure sensitive adhesive also called ‘tape’. Sheet in some materials is available over 4.0″ thick and perhaps as thick as 8.0″ thick in a few materials. The standard sheet size on most of our plastic sheets is either 24″ X 48″ or the larger 48″ X 96″ sheet size; although some materials are available as: 48″ X 120″, 60″ X 96″ or 72″ X 96″. Contact us with with questions on your required piece sizes, we are happy to provide plastic sheets cut to size.

While there are lots and lots of different materials available as plastic sheet, there may only be one or two materials that are right for your application. We want to assist with your search. If you need help choosing the proper plastic material for your application, check out our free Plastic Material Selector Guide. Also, feel free to contact us for further assistance. As a leading plastic sheet distributor since 1975, we feel that we are your best choice as your new plastic sheet and sheets supplier. Give us a call at 866-832-9315.
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Topic: Various Plastic Sheet Materials Available



Stress In Plastic Sheet, Rod, Tube Man stressed due to getting bad plastics from questionable plastic material supplier

You know how bad it is when you get stressed out, with all the day to day challenges and issues? Well, plastics get stressed too.

The process of producing plastics into sheet, rod and tube is a stressful manufacturing process.

Stress free plastic manufacturing

  • The process to make a plastic sheet, plastic rod or plastic tube requires the plastic resin to be heated to temperatures of 350° – 500º to get the resin to flow through the machines.
  • The material is then pushed through a die at high pressure.
  • This heat and pressure cause many stresses to affect the plastic material.
  • The cooling of the plastic shape is critical
  • If the plastic cools to quickly, the surface cools and the center is still very hot, this is a major cause of internal stress.
  • Processed to quickly and voids or cold spots cause poor quality sections.
  • Processed to slowly and materials burn in the die and visible burn spots appear on the surfaces – bad material
  • Proper speed provides homogeneous material that has cooled at a uniform rate through the sheet yields a very low stress sheet

The stresses from this production can be very significant and can ruin your parts. One common prevention method is to anneal or stress relieve the raw material prior to machining, and may require stress relieving during machining if large amounts of material are being removed. The stress relieving process is a slow heat and cool process, contact us for details on your material or project.Greatly stressed plastic sheet - nylon with large warp

Here is an example of a highly stressed plastic sheet, it is 1.250″ thick glass filled nylon sheet. The manufacturer sent us this sample to show the ‘quality’ of their material. We attempted to cut off a strip to do some testing, and you can see the results. This material warped so much it stopped our saw! We never did buy anything from this supplier.

Compression Molded Plastic Sheet and Brownies…

Yes, you read that right, brownies. I still remember the wonderful smell of my Grandma’s house when she was baking her special 2″ thick brownies. The smell was great, but I also remember the critical timing in the oven. She would open the oven and peek in, and close it quickly so as not to let the heat out. Then, when they looked about right she would open the oven and slip a toothpick into the center of the pan and pull it out again slowly. I can remember asking, “Grandma, why do you put in the toothpick into the brownie?”. The answer was, that the outside cooks quicker than the inside, and it takes a while to get the brownies to cook all the way to the center.Then, when they were all cooked, I would have to wait while they cooled. And, sometimes, if I didn’t wait quite long enough, when I would take a bit the center would burn my tongue. Ouch!Stress caused br plastic sheet cooling too quickly

The interesting thing is, that plastics are about the same. Most plastics have a very low co-efficient of thermal conductivity (that is sure a mouth-full), which means that heat and cold don’t travel through the plastics well. This means that it takes a while to ‘cook’ the plastic all the way through, and not just the surfaces. And, just like my brownie story, the plastics take a long time to cool. If the outside of the plastic cools much faster than the inside, then large amounts of stress develop.

The process of compression molding of the plastic sheets is ideal for eliminating stress. The sheets cook slowly, so the entire sheet, including the center, is heated to a uniform temperature. The temperature is held at temperature to insure a fully cooked sheet (you can’t use a toothpick here). Then, over several hours, the temperature of the sheet and the entire compression molding press is lowered very s-l-o-w-l-y. This allows the center of the sheet to cool at the same rate as the external surfaces, and this yields a very stress free sheet. The premier manufacturer of this high quality compression molded sheet is Westlake Plastics. We have been a master supplier of the Westlake Plastic materials for over 35 years.

What should you do to eliminate stress?

If you are experiencing problems with your plastic materials, such as twisting, warping, ‘potato chipping’ or any other sign of stress, contact us. It is probably not your fault. There are dozens of manufacturers that produce engineering and mechanical plastic shapes, they are not all the same. During the production of materials, the process should include a secondary annealing step to remove stress from the newly product.  By removing all stress from the sheet or rod you are insured of a ‘clean slat’ before you start machining or finishing. We only provide materials from top rated manufacturers, we truly care about the materials you receive from us.

If you have been experiencing problems with the materials you are getting from other suppliers, let us know, we can help eliminate your stress problems. E-mail us or call us at: 866-832-9315

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How to choose your PTFE Sheet Suppliers

Choosing a PTFE – TFE Sheet Supplier can be difficult, confusing and potentially costly. There are many industries and applications where PTFE – TFE Sheet materials are used, and many providers that want to fill this need. However, it can be difficult to find a supplier that meets all of your business’ PTFE – TFE Sheet needs. To help you choose the supplier that is right for your business, we have compiled this list of 7 things you must know when picking PTFE – TFE Sheet Suppliers.

1. PTFE – TFE is available in many shapes and sizesVirgin PTFE Gasket 7 Things You Must Know When Choosing Your PTFE Sheet Suppliers

Polytetraflouroethylene (PTFE) can be ordered in many different forms, including rods, sheets, blocks, strips, slabs and tubes. As your business grows, you may need access to one or more additional configurations – or perhaps your business is already using multiple configurations. Choose the proper PTFE Sheet Supplier that can meet not only your current needs, but future needs as well. You can view further information about the shapes and sizes as well as and resin properties on our PTFE – TFE information page here.

2. There are a variety of PTFE – TFE Sheet thicknesses to choose from

It is important to have access to multiple sheet thicknesses, and convenient and cost effective to access them all from one Sheet Supplier. That’s why Industrial Plastic Supply offers sheet thicknesses ranging from .005″ to 3.0″, and rod diameters from .125″ to 6.0″. Film is also available. As with in stock availability, your PTFE Sheet Supplier should also be able to meet all of your Sheet thickness needs. Standard sheet sizes are 48” X 48”, and films generally are stocked in 12” wide rolls.

3. Not all PTFE materials are created equal

Some PTFE – TFE Sheet Suppliers order materials from ‘who ever they can get it from’ on an as-needed basis. This brings the question of quality and consistency to mind. There are many manufacturers, including some from China and Russia with questionable quality ratings and machinability. Before committing to a quality PTFE Sheet Supplier, make sure that the supplier is using a reputable manufacturer, and that the quality of material meets your needs. Getting stuck with a poor quality, difficult or impossible to machine block of PTFE can be time consuming and costly.

4. Minimum material order amounts matter

Large Sheet Suppliers and other plastic suppliers often have high minimum order requirements. This makes sense for high volume applications, but for small businesses, or any business in the clutch, it may be necessary to request a smaller total order. Rather than work with multiple PTFE or Plastic Sheet Suppliers based on order size, choose a supplier that can service any order whether large or small. Industrial Plastic Supply has a low minimum material order of $20.

5. Many suppliers do not keep inventory in stockPTFE sheet and PTFE rods 7 Things You Must Know When Choosing Your PTFE Sheet Suppliers

Just like Grandpa used to say, “You can’t sell from an empty cart”.

Buying your materials from a plastic ‘broker’, means you may have to wait while they try to find the materials to fulfill your requirements. It may also mean that you get the quality of material that they can find quickly. While this may be acceptable for materials that are rarely ordered, your PTFE Sheet Supplier should have your business’ most commonly used materials on hand. This avoids delays and ensures the quickest possible turnaround times on your important orders, and materials from stock means a quality product for your parts.

6. Industry knowledge is critical

You want a Sheet Supplier that not only can deliver your materials, but answer any questions you may have, including the tough ones – whenever they arise. Finding a quality PTFE Sheet Supplier with expert knowledge and great availability will save your business headaches in the long run. Industrial Plastic Supply’s highly trained staff has an average of nineteen and a half years of experience in the plastic industry, and are only a phone call or e-mail away.

7. Choose a supplier with focus

A focus on industrial grade plastic supplies ensures that a supplier is specialized and knowledgeable enough to be your PTFE Sheet Supplier. By focusing on plastics, such a supplier will be dedicated to your mechanical plastic Sheets, Rods, Tube and other shape needs, no matter the application, and no matter how your business changes. Your important orders will be processed timely and efficiently. Since 1975, Industrial Plastic Supply has focused on the mechanical and machinable plastics market, and nothing else. For more information on PTFE Sheets or other plastic materials, contact Industrial Plastic Supply, 866-832-9315. We will work to earn your business. Also, compare PTFE with UHMW or read our post UHMW Sheet versus PTFE Sheets; or read our post How to use PTFE Rod for ideas.

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Topic: PTFE Sheet Suppliers

Nylon Tube and Tubing can be made from Nylon 6 or 6/6

Nylon is one of the most popular and widely used plastic materials. From the carpet in your home to the yellow Nylon rope you have in your garage, Nylon is a tough and very wear resistant material. This self lubricating mechanical plastic material is very stiff and extremely durable. This material can be machined easily, and is a key industrial plastic resin.

Nylon 6 and Nylon 6/6 Tubing

While Nylon is a common plastic material, in the extrusion and cast grades, it is not a normal stock item for many factories. Nylon can be produced in a huge range of sizes. The cast process enables the range of sizes of a Cast Nylon Tube (Type 6) to be almost unlimited. The extrusion process is a bit more restrictive, which can produce very small sizes to larger sizes of Extruded Nylon Type 6/6 Tubing up to about 2.0″ OD. The properties of these materials are similar, and are listed here. Also, in the case of the Cast Type 6 Nylon Tube, many additives can be mixed into the casting Nylon MD - Polyamide Plastic Material On Metal - Steel Coremixture to increase many critical properties. Examples of these additives can yield: Glass Filled Nylon Tube, FDA Approved Oil Filled Cast Nylon Tubing, Cast Nylon MD Tube (molybdenum disulphide), Solid Lubricant Filled Cast Nylon Tube, and a few additional variations. These same filled items are also available in Cast Nylon Rod, Cast Nylon Sheets and Cast Nylon Plates (all made from the same Cast Nylon Type 6 resin). This casting process allows for a wide range of sizes and configurations, from round rod, cast sheet, tubular bar to near net shapes and covers on metal rollers and gears.

Why use Tubular Nylon (Nylon Tubular Bar)

There are numerous reasons to use a Nylon Tubular shaped material. 1. Vast range of sizes to fit most requirements 2. Large reduction of waste due to near net shape 3. Great reduction of machining time due to matching size to finished needs12" OD Large Cast Nylon Tube 4. Lower cost due to reduced material and reduced machining time

The difference between Nylon 6 Tubing and Nylon 6/6 Tube

The main differences are the base resin. The Nylon 6 tubing is a cast resin, and the Nylon 6/6 tube is an extrusion grade resin. Both materials are still Nylon, just a different grade of resin. The properties are also very similar, look here for specific Nylon resin properties. The other difference is that the Cast Type 6 Nylon is normally in larger sizes. This is because the cast version is poured as a liquid into molds or rigid tooling, and is done one at a time. This process, while it makes a very high quality part, is a more expensive manufacturing method, and is not cost effective in small or thin cross sections. The extrusion grade of Nylon, the Type 6/6 Nylon is heat processed in large batches. This process requires set up and large runs, and is very cost effective in these large production runs. In addition, the cross sections for the heat processed Nylon 6/6 can not be excessively large. The extruded Nylon 6/6 is therefor done sizes up to about 3″, as larger pieces are more expensive and require extra stress relieving to prevent warping.

Cast Nylon Versatility

The Cast Nylon manufacturing in the USA is very advanced. The production facilities can produce amazing and diverse sizes and shapes in the grades listed above. One of the unique versions of Cast Nylon is in the Glass FilledLarge Cast Nylon Sheaves Nylon Tube, Glass Filled Nylon Rod and Glass Filled Nylon Sheet range. The percentage of glass fill can be custom blended to meet your specific needs, and can also contain additional fillers like MD, Oil or pigments. Many grades of Nylon are also available for very specific applications, like: bearings, sheaves, pulleys, wear plates, food processing applications, FDA approved grades, color matched for identification and many more. Other plastic materials used in these same applications include: Acetal / Delrin, PET (Polyester), PTFE and more. Contact us today for additional information on this or any other plastic sheet, rod or tube material. E-mail us here, or call us toll free at 866-832-9315, or visit our main web page at: iPlasticSupply.com

Google+ – Hayden Hess

How to use Virgin PTFE Rod

PTFE Rod is a remarkable product. PTFE – Polytetrafluoroethylene was discovered on April 6, 1938 by Dr. Roy Plunkett at the DuPont research laboratories. And this original PTFE was further developed by Dupont, and was released as a product in 1945.

This product is extremely chemical resistant, and can handle temperatures above 500 degrees. One of the first household uses for PTFE is the ‘PTFE Coated Frying Pan’. While this pan works very well, it is a different process than the PTFE Rod and Sheet we supply. It is a sprayed on coating that is almost black in color, where the pure PTFE Rod and Sheet is bright white in PTFE Round Rod Steam Valve Packingcolor.

What are some of the uses for PTFE TFE Rod?

Because PTFE exhibits high temperature and chemical resistance, it is commonly used in valve applications. From simple steam / hot water valves to high heat, caustic chemical valves in the fluid handling industries. This material is a semi-rigid to rigid plastic, and can be machined very easily – one of the easiest plastics to work with. The PTFE rod can be machined to very close tolerance, and in most small diameter rod it is supplied with a +.002″/-.00″ on the diameter (check for tolerance on your requested size). The chemical resistance is one of the key properties associated with the material. In sheet or thin sheet (film) PTFE is used as gasket material for similar high heat and chemical resistant flange and seals.

PTFE RodPTFE sheet and film - used as gasket material

Since 1945 Dupont has been the world leader in producing PTFE resins. Over the last couple of years, with the global shortage of Fluorspar (a key ingredient in producing all Fluoropolymer Plastics) Dupont has made some changes to their product offerings. Included in this change is a discontinuation of the production of one of most common granular molding powder (resin) used in the production of PTFE Rod and Sheet. This has the industry in a panic, the remaining global suppliers of PTFE resin are scrabbling to fill the void left by this decision. What does this mean to you? If you are used to purchasing PTFE rod or sheet, you may find the base materials may not be from Dupont. Our suppliers have small amounts of the Dupont resin, but mostly are replacing their raw materials with molding powder from other manufacturers. It may be, in the very near future, that all PTFE rod and PTFE sheet may not be made from Dupont brand resin.

Click here for current pricing on PTFE Rod.

UHMW rod is also a very slippery plastic material, but it does not take the high heat the PTFE rod does.

If you are one of the many clients that need this material, please contact us for clarification, information, supply chain news and possible changes in sources of supply. Call us at 866-832-9315 or email us here.

Thank you,

Industrial Plastic Supply

Before You Choose, read 7 Things You Must Know When Choosing Your PTFE Sheet Suppliers.

Google+ – Hayden Hess


Can we get colored Acetal – Delrin Rod?

We get this question frequently. The easy answer is yes, however, the most common available colors are Black and Natural (white in color). But to continue the thought, we have several manufacturers that run ‘Medical’ grades of Acetal – Delrin in several colors. Colored Acetal - Delrin Rod - Pomalux These materials are special run, but can frequently purchase by the standard length without a custom run. The biggest factor may be the price. The colored Acetal – Delrin materials are dramatically more expensive.

Colored Acetal – Delrin Rod

While price is a factor, the benefits may out weigh the cost. Many of our clients use these colored rods to help differentiate their product from their competition. With colors that can come close to a logo color or match a machine, these advantages are clearly visible. Having a special color available to machine small to medium runs of your product can save you thousands over molding a new part for trials. What colors can I get in Acetal – Delrin Rod? The range is a bit limited, but does include: brown, dark blue, dark green, gray, light blue, light green, red, rust and yellow (and of course Natural and Black). For details on the properties of these materials click here: Acetal – Delrin. For specifics on your requirement, please contact us for availability and pricing. Email or call 866-832-9315

Looking for the differences between Acetal and Delrin materials, click here.

Google+ – Hayden Hess


Plastics In Natural Disasters

The world is an ever changing and frequently hostile environment. Damage can be caused by a range of factors: from storms, floods and tornados to fires, hurricanes and earthquakes – all natural disasters.

This is certainly evident in the recent earthquakes and tsunami that ravaged Japan and Haiti. In addition, we have man made disasters. The nuclear concerns in Japan have captivated people’s attention throughout the globe. The Gulf Oil Spill is an example of another environmental disaster. Plastic materials are the perfect choice in prevention, preparedness and clean up from natural disasters.

 

Plastics in disaster preparedness.

Many plastic materials are used in the prevention, control and repair management – whenever and wherever a natural disaster may occur.

Polycarbonate Window Screen - Protecting against Natural Disasters

One of the most visible plastics is the Polycarbonate used in hurricane window covers / shutters. Polycarbonate is a clear rigid plastic that has extremely high impact strength, and is the material most commonly known as ‘Bullet Resistant Glazing’. It is used in safety glasses, riot shields and bank theft prevention glazing. The Polycarbonate protects windows and inhabitants from flying debris and breaking glass caused by the high winds, hurricanes and tornados. Use of the Polycarbonate window coverings saves homes from damage, and helps reduce insurance premiums.

Hillsides are affected by storms and heavy rains, causing mud slides. The standard and most popular solution is to cover hillsides with Polyethylene film. This helps to prevent the rains from saturating the ground and causing the ground to move or shift. The Poly film is normally .004” – .010” thick in widths up to 20 feet and lengths of 100 feet (the same material used as painters tarps from home improvement centers). This film is then attached to the hill with spikes, stakes or sand bags; and this material sheds the water rather than letting it soak in. It can be applied with folds and used like rain gutters to direct water flow away from specific areas. Also, the current sand bags used are not the old cotton fabric bags used years ago; they are now a high strength and tear resistant woven polypropylene ‘fabric’ bag.

 

The recent critical issues with nuclear leaks bring up an interesting use of a plastic material. As you may recall, after the earthquake and tsunami, the Japanese energy experts were pumping water and boron into the reactors to help control the amount of nuclear energy released. Boron Filled Polyethylene Helps Protect Against Radiation DisastersThe nuclear industry uses a plastic material, High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) that has been filled with the natural mineral boron. This boron filled (typically a 5% boron fill) is used to shield neutrons and nuclear energy in many applications; nuclear submarines, nuclear power plants, hospital radiation, dental x-ray shielding and industrial radiation applications. It is normally produced in sheet, and can then be mounted in and around the radiation source as shielding. The benefit to using this boron filled HDPE is this sheet weighs significantly less than traditional lead shielding, and is therefore much easier to install.

 

Plastic used in clean up from disasters

It is much more difficult to clean up after natural disasters occur. Many of the methods used in the preparation limit the amount of clean up caused by natural disasters.

Depending on the severity of the natural disaster, the uses of plastics in the aftermath are almost limitless. In the cleanup and rebuild after major Earthquakes, shelter is a key component. One of the quick shelters brought in are simple wooden frames with twin-wall plastic sheets made from either Polypropylene or Polycarbonate stapled or nailed to the framework. This provides an inexpensive, easily movable and effective shelter for short term housing. The twin-wall design provides excellent insulation and energy savings. This style shelter is foldable, easy to transport and very easy to set up. Several versions can be made from small huts to larger family areas, to separate sanitary latrine units. These extruded twin-wall materials work well to protect against rain and excessive exposure to the elements. These can be used as assembled, or with a sand bag reinforced perimeter. In Haiti, there were reports of residents filling used one gallon water bottles with mud, and building shelters with these mud building blocks.

The gulf oil spill brought plastics to the front line in disaster cleanup again. Materials used to collect and dispose of excess oil from the waters were rushed to the area. Polyethylene bags are used to collect the oil covered and saturated cleaning rags and clothes, preventing additional dispersion. Many varieties of machinery were brought in to clean the waters. One style machine uses 8” UHMW rod as a squeegee roller that grabs the oil from the water surface and then collects it for later use. Oil booms and rotary wheels are common systems for collecting oil from spills. Because plastics have great surface tension, the oil ‘sticks’ to the plastic surface during the cleaning process. Then the plastic surfaces are wiped clean for reuse and capturing the oil. Plastic tubes and hoses are used to move the oil after collection.

A significant use of plastics would be in the aftermath of natural disasters, specifically in the sanitation and clean water areas. First is sanitation; plastics are used in keeping items clean and dry. Polyethylene film covers items such as medical supplies, shelters, clothing and food cartons. This film keeps the items protected during shipment and ready for use.

Water is the second area of concern. Clean water is critical during the clean up and resettling after a natural disaster. Individual use water bottles are the quick and easy way to deliver water. Larger rotationally molded tanks are brought in with the ability to store large amounts of water in the areas affected. Reverse osmosis equipment (many components are made from plastic) is brought in to convert contaminated water in the clean potable water on site.

In all of these examples, plastic is lighter in weight than the alternatives, normally less expensive that the alternatives, it lasts longer and the plastics are recyclable.

Plastics are excellent choices for material to use in natural disasters.

Google+ – Hayden Hess