News

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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Nylon 6: Specialist Grades

Nylon 6 is a semi-crystalline polyamide (PA) with high mechanical strength, stiffness, hardness and toughness. In addition to this, it also has excellent wear resistance as well as good fatigue resistance, sliding properties and machinability. Whilst these properties make Nylon 6 a great all-round engineering thermoplastic, Quadrant EPP have developed a range of specialist Nylon 6 products, which are an improvement on the standard grade of Nylon 6.

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Food and Beverage Applications: The advantages of Using Plastic

Due to stringent regulations surrounding the food and beverage production and packaging sector, the need for specific materials and solutions has arisen. In recent years, the efficiency in production and the quality of products in the food industry has improved significantly, with newly developed high-performance engineering plastics contributing significantly to this. In modern food production systems, plastic products support essential process steps such as processing, handling, conserving, packing and storing. Consumers already benefit from these improved processes and rightfully expect the highest possible safety standards in the production of food and beverage products.

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Quadrant: An Insight into Casting, RAM Extrusion and Compression Moulding

Ai Engineering Plastics and Laminates, as part of the Vink Group, have an established partnership with Quadrant EPP, a leading global manufacturer of high-performance thermoplastic materials.

As one of their chosen UK distributors, we recently had the opportunity to visit their manufacturing plants in Holland and Germany, where we were able to see first-hand the processes of casting, RAM extrusion, and compression moulding in the production of polyamide (Nylatron® and Ertalon®) and polyethylene (Tivar®).

The opportunity to visit Quadrant’s manufacturing plants and witness these manufacturing processes first-hand has given our teams a real insight into how various plastics are made and has armed us with knowledge we can pass on to our customers!

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