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Industry Articles

Thermoplastics

Jan 30, 2019
Plastic

Thermoplastics are polymers, which soften (becomes pliable and plastic) and melt when heated. In the melted conditions thermoplastics may be formed by various methods (injection molding, extrusion, Thermoforming). No new cross-links form (no chemical curing) when a thermoplastic cools and harden. Thermoplastics may be reprocessed (re-melt) many times. Molecules of most of thermoplastics combine long polymer chains alternating with monomer units. Thermoplastic materials may contain filler materials in form of powder or fibers, providing improvement of specific material properties (strength, stiffness, lubricity, color etc.). Thermoplastic groups: Polyolefines: Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polypropylene (PP). Styrenics: Polysterene (PS), Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS), Styrene-Acrylonitrile (SAN), Styrene/Acrylic (S/A), Styrene-Maleic Anhydride (SMA). Vinyls: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Chlorinated Polyvinyl... Read More

Three Essential Items You Need Before You Can Injection Mold Manufacture Anything

Jan 23, 2019
Three Essential Items You Need Before You Can Injection Mold Manufacture Anything

Many of the prospective clients we speak with have an incomplete understanding of what exactly is required to produce a product at scale. There’s a lot that goes into an injection molded prototype or final product but the big three are absolutely essential. Here’s the big picture: What is Required For Injection Molding A computer design (CAD software file) of your part. Creative Mechanisms specializes in creating novel designs from “napkin-sketch” concepts and then turning these ideas into physical prototypes. An injection mold tool designed to produce the CAD part. Mold tools vary depending on what stage in the production process you are in.... Read More

The Benefits of Aluminum Mold Tools For Injection Molding

Jan 14, 2019
plastic-mold

Once we have designed your initial prototype you need to think about the next step in the production process: creating a pre-production prototype. If you’re unsure as to the difference between “initial” and “pre-production” prototypes, it’s relatively simple: Initial prototypes are typically created using CNC machines and/or 3D printers. They are simpler, cheaper, and faster to produce. The most difficult part of initial prototype production is getting the design (CAD) correct. Generally speaking, initial prototypes are made from ABS plastic (something other than the final production material). Pre-production prototypes are typically created using injection mold machines. This requires the designer to use the CAD... Read More

Thermoplastic Polyurethane

Dec 03, 2018
Plastic

Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is an elastomer that is fully thermoplastic. Like all thermoplastic elastomers, TPU is elastic and melt-processable. Further, it can be processed on extrusion as well as injection, blow and compression molding equipment. It can be vacuum-formed or solution-coated and is well suited for a wide variety of fabrication methodologies. TPU can even be colored through a number of processes. But more so than any other thermoplastic elastomer, TPU can provide a considerable number of physical property combinations making it an extremely flexible material adaptable to dozens of uses. This is partly because TPU is a linear segmented... Read More

Injection-Molded Plastic Allows More Creativity than Ever Before

Nov 20, 2018
plastic-mold

Design teams are always trying to come up with something better—better shapes and designs, better performance, better materials, and most importantly, a better cost. If there's a way to give their product an edge over the competition, the design team will do everything they can to incorporate it into their process and product. Cost, of course, is a huge factor. After all, there is only so much you can do to reduce costs when you follow Lean practices and/or consistently use the same set of materials, designs and processes. Often it's just a one-percent gain here, a one-percent reduction there.... Read More

3 Tips for Choosing Better Wheelchair Wheels

Nov 07, 2018
Businessman in wheelchair

When configuring your wheelchair, it’s important to consider,  what wheels you need.  The choice you make will depend on your primary use, be it indoor or outdoor, plus the terrain and the activity involved. And making the right choice can be crucial. Someone with a pain condition really doesn’t need a lot of vibration, and other users may value speed as part of their sense of independence. Here’s the information you need to choose wisely: The smoothness of the ride, speed, maneuverability, and control are all related to the wheelchair wheels, tires and casters. Choosing these components is not a straightforward task.... Read More

Rubber Versus Pneumatic Wheels

Oct 30, 2018
Rubber Versus Pneumatic Wheels

Most tires are constructed from some form of rubber. But, "rubber tires" usually refers to tires made entirely from solid rubber. Pneumatic tires are the typical tires we are use to having on our cars and bicycles. They have a solid rubber surface, but the inside is inflated with air. Advantages Solid rubber tires cannot go flat. They can get damaged, but it is unlikely that one incident will render a solid rubber tire inoperable, as can happen to a pneumatic tire. Pneumatic tires offer better shock absorption for a smoother ride and are much lighter than solid rubber tires.... Read More

Everything you Need to Know About The World's Most Useful Plastic (PET and Polyester)

Oct 23, 2018
What is Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE or PET), and What is it Used For

What is Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE or PET), and What is it Used For? Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE or PET) is the most commonly used thermoplastic polymer in the world and is better known in the textile industry by the trade name “polyester.” It is a naturally transparent and semi-crystalline plastic widely used as a fiber for clothing, as an effective moisture barrier with wide applicability in bottling and packaging (known in these cases as PET or “PET resin”), and as an engineering plastic when it is combined with other materials like glass fiber or carbon nanotubes to significantly increase the material’s strength. It is... Read More

Thermoset Plastics - Polyurethane

Oct 19, 2018
Plastics

Polyurethane -- Polyurethanes are widely used in flexible and rigid foams, durable elastomers and high performance adhesives and sealants, fibers, seals, gaskets, condoms, carpet underlayment, and hard plastic parts. Polyurethane products are often called "urethanes". Uses - Over three quarters of the consumption of polyurethane products is in the form of foams, with flexible and rigid types being roughly equal in market size. Polyurethane materials are also used in coatings and varnishes used in furniture manufacture, carpentry or woodworking. Polyurethane is also used as an adhesive, especially as a woodworking glue. Its main advantage over more traditional wood glues is its... Read More

Materials: Plastics

Oct 12, 2018
polymer

Introduction Humans have taken advantage of the versatility of polymers for centuries in the form of oils, tars, resins, and gums. However, it was not until the industrial revolution that the modern polymer industry began to develop. In the late 1830s, Charles Goodyear succeeded in producing a useful form of natural rubber through a process known as "vulcanization." Some 40 years later, Celluloid (a hard plastic formed from nitrocellulose) was successfully commercialized. Despite these advances, progress in polymer science was slow until the 1930s, when materials such as vinyl, neoprene, polystyrene, and nylon were developed. The introduction of these revolutionary... Read More

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