Please note that we only supply polymer in granular form for Injection Moulding or Extrusion applications. We do not supply polymer in rod, sheet or block form.

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    What do Liquid Crystalline Polymers have to offer?

    When liquid crystalline polymers (LCP) first appeared in the 1980s it looked like the dawn of a major new class of thermoplastics.  Thermotropic LCPs, mostly aromatic polyesters, have the interesting feature of retaining a degree of order in the melt phase, hence the name.  This leads to low melt viscosity, quick set up on cooling and impressive mechanical properties, up to and over 300oC.  Dimensional stability, favourable fire performance and notable chemical resistance are other attractive properties of the fibre filled grades.

    LCPs are at their most competitive in thin walled mouldings (0.2 mm), such as edge connectors, and coping with soldering.  They compete well with ceramics and thermosets, while replacement for stainless steel, in medical devices, is a promising area.   An interesting diversification is cookware and, away from moulding, LCPs make excellent barrier layers in co-extruded film.

    Melt-spun LCP fibres have high tenacity and low creep. This, along with heat and chemical resistance, make them candidates for technical textiles.  LCPs act as excellent processing aids when blended with a range of engineering thermoplastics

    With all these outstanding properties and potential markets, one might have expected LCPs to be more common. Is that due to processors having difficulty in coming to terms with the weld line peculiarities of LCPs and their anisotropic properties, associated with the significantly different shrinkages in flow and transverse directions?  Or is it simply price?

    Trade names: ‘Vectra’,  ‘Zenite’

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    Coping with weld lines

    In injection moulding, weld lines (knit lines) form when two melt fronts meet. If the melt fronts do not coalesce completely, at best there will be a cosmetic flaw. At worst there will be a mechanical weak-spot, with strengths of the order of 10 - 90 % of the material potential.

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    What determines friction between thermoplastic components?

    Friction is an important property for thermoplastics in bearings and gears but also has a part to play in assembly of plastic parts (snap-fit and interference-fit) and ejection during moulding.

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    Polypropylene: the Workhorse of the Plastics Industry

    Polypropylene. Little did Karl Zeigler or Giulio Natta realise, 60 years ago, when they were developing a catalyst system to produce a useful thermoplastic from the inexpensive monomer, propylene, that their work would have such far reaching consequences.

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    What makes medical grade plastics so special?

    Toughness and transparency are important properties for the constituents of intravenous lines.

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    The Long and the Short of Fibre Reinforcement of Thermoplastics

    Fibre Reinforcement. The advantages of adding glass fibre to thermoplastics to increase stiffness (modulus), strength, heat distortion resistance and dimensional stability are well known.

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    What causes mouldings (and moulders) to be off-colour?

    When mouldings are not the intended colour, the first thing to check is the raw material, particularly the dosing rate, if you are using masterbatch, and the quality of regrind.

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    Transparent ABS can be a clear winner

    Transparent ABS. Mentioning transparency in the context of ABS moulding materials can raise a few eyebrows. This is because ABS is normally taken to be opaque and indeed the vast majority of grades of ABS are opaque.

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    Where are Engineering Thermoplastics Blends going ?

    The timeline of appearance of materials for the plastics industry can be viewed as several overlapping phases.

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    Understanding the difference between SBS & SEBS thermoplastic elastomers?

    The difference between SBS and SEBS thermoplastic elastomers explained.

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    Is MFR really much help to moulders these days ?

    Often a moulder has to change material grades. One of the first properties to be consulted on the new data sheet is usually the MFR. This is to establish if the new grade has the same melt viscosity performance.

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