How Have Plastic Materials Advanced Space Exploration?

High-tech rockets, expensive propellants and billions of dollars in research aren’t the only things that have advanced space exploration. Plastic materials have played a vital role throughout the history of spaceflight, allowing astronauts to view their surroundings, breathe oxygen and travel comfortably in orbit around the earth, or on the way to the moon. Without plastics, space exploration would not be where it is today.
 
Stronger Helmets & Visors
When you think of the first astronauts to visit the moon, … Read more

Types of Plastic Burrs and Deburring Processes

A burr (also known as a “flash”) is an unwanted raised edge or small piece of material left after a part has been worked in a manufacturing process. It can be metal, rubber, plastic or really any other material used in manufacturing. Machining operations such as grinding, drilling, milling, turning, tapping, slotting etc. cause burrs in machining operations. As you can see in the picture on the right, burrs give plastic a messy, unfinished appearance. … Read more

Could Plant-Based Packaging Replace Plastic Bottles?

Working at a plastic manufacturing company, I’m familiar with the concerns many people have about the impact of plastic materials on the environment. The vast majority of polluting plastics are single-use, consumer products like takeout containers, plastic utensils, and plastic bottles. While plastic recycling rates continue to improve in the United States (by 4.3% in 2014), some companies are already looking for new methods of creating sustainability through the development of plant-based polymers. … Read more

PEEK: Description and Uses

Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is a high performance, semicrystalline, high temperature resistant, engineering thermoplastic. It is one of the most popular materials we manufacture here at Craftech, with a strong following in the aerospace industry. In this article, we will describe some of the excellent mechanical properties that make this plastic material so popular.
 
The processing conditions used to mold PEEK can influence its crystallinity and mechanical properties. The Young’s modulus is 3.6 GPa and its tensile strength is 90 to 100 Mpa.  Read more

Cryogenic Deflashing and Deburring

Cryogenic deflashing and deburring is a process that employs cryogenic temperatures to remove flash on manufactured workpieces made of a wide range of plastics (and other materials) both thermoset and thermoplastic. Some examples of materials used include nylon, Tefzel®, HD-PE, PPS, PET, polycarbonate, polypropylene, polyurethane, liquid crystal polymer, ABS, PEEK, and Acetal. Manufactured parts that have been successfully deburred include those made through injection molding, compression molding and extrusion molding. … Read more