News

The Use of Plastic in Semiconductor and Electrical Applications

Semiconductors are what have made most of today’s technological advances possible, from the internet to smartphones, they have enabled engineering breakthrough products.

Typically, silicon has been used as the ‘go-to’ material in all things electronic due to its excellent semi-conductivity.

However, as a result of an increasingly competitive market, the need for a better, faster, stronger material has arisen. As plastics are typically insulators, they seem an unlikely candidate for use in semiconductor / electrical applications. However, in recent years, the composition of some plastic materials has been adapted to make these plastic materials behave as conductors or semi-conductors as opposed to insulators.

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An Insight into Antistatics

Ai Engineering Plastics and Laminates has an exclusive partnership with SciCron Technologies, spanning over 15 years, which enables us to supply SciCron antistatic (ESD) sheets and films to the UK market. 

Here at Ai Engineering Plastics and Laminates we sell SciCron’s antistatic acrylic AC-300™, polycarbonate PC-350™ and antistatic film products.

 

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You've Heard of PTFE, But Have You Heard of Fluorosint®?

You may have heard of PTFE, but have you heard of Fluorosint®, Quadrant’s “PTFE with Muscles”?

Fluorosint® is a range of enhanced PTFE materials developed by Quadrant EPP to fill the performance gaps where unfilled and low-tech, filled PTFE based polymers underperform. Each Fluorosint® material was specifically developed to excel in demanding bearing and seal applications.

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An Insight into Industrial Laminates

Ai Engineering Plastics and Laminates have distributed industrial laminates since 1980. Following our rebranding, we are continuing to invest in our stocks of both industrial laminates and engineering plastics.

Industrial laminates are different to engineering plastics as they are thermosets as opposed to thermoplastics. This means that during production they experience a chemical change and become set, hard solids that cannot be melted or remoulded once they have been cured, unlike thermoplastics which can be melted and remoulded repeatedly.

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The ATEX Directive and Static Dissipative Plastics

In the European Union, organisations must follow directives which ensure that employees are protected from explosion risk in areas with an explosive atmosphere. The ATEX Directive, which was first implemented in 2003, and updated in 2014, was created for this reason and consists of two EU directives that describe what equipment and work space is permitted in an environment with an explosive atmosphere.

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Polyethylene - An Overview

The polyethylene family of plastics consist of several grades, named according to their density / molecular weight. The 3 standard grades we supply at Ai Engineering Plastics and Laminates are: PE1000 (UHMW-PE), PE500 (HMW-PE) and  PE300 (HDPE).

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Acetal or Delrin® - Which One Should I Choose?

Acetal and Delrin® are both engineering plastics more properly known as polyoxymethylene (POM) and are members of the thermoplastics family. POM is available in 2 different resins: Acetal Copolymer (POM-C / Ertacetal C®) and Acetal Homopolymer (POM-H / Ertacetal H®). The latter is commonly referred to as Delrin®.  

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Nylon 6 or Nylon 66 - Which One Should I Choose?

Nylon (PA) 6 & 66 are both synthetic polymers called polyamides, with the numbers describing the type and quantity of polymer chains in their chemical structure. Most nylons, including 6 & 66, are semi-crystalline and possess good strength and durability for demanding applications.  

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Nylon 66: Specialist Grades

Nylon 66 is a semi-crystalline polyamide (PA) with good rigidity, hardness, abrasion resistance and thermal dimensional stability. It also shows outstanding wear resistance and low frictional properties. Compared with Nylon 6, Nylon 66 has a higher mechanical strength, stiffness, creep resistance and heat and wear resistance, but its impact strength and mechanical damping ability are reduced.

Whilst these properties make Nylon 66 a great choice for an engineering plastic, Quadrant have created a range of specialist Nylon 66 materials with added ingredients to provide enhanced properties compared to standard grade Nylon 66. Many of these specialist Nylon 66 materials have been developed with specific applications in mind.  

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The Benefits of Custom Casting

Nylon custom cast parts are made by a process in which liquid monomer is directly polymerised into nylon polymer in a mould. Custom casting can produce parts of virtually unlimited size and thickness whilst retaining internal soundness. Custom casting offers a manufacturing alternative that bridges the plastic fabrication methods of machining from stock shapes and injection moulding of thermoplastic parts. It is an ideal manufacturing method for small and medium quantity productions on parts that are either too large or too expensive to injection mould.

 

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