Critical Applications Demand Top-End Performance
The term ‘plastic’ is ubiquitous and used to describe materials used for products seen in every facet of modern life. It covers materials ranging from those used for everyday and mundane items, such as grocery store bags, to those used in the construction of cutting-edge aircraft. But while plastic products are typically recognized as those with limited durability or life cycles (including limited-use items like bags and drinking straws), there is also a specialized subset of high performance plastic solutions for technically demanding applications that power essential industries across the globe.
While standard plastics are common and plentiful due to their low cost, they also come with weaker mechanical properties — consider for a moment just how easily an empty water bottle can be crumpled. On the other side of the spectrum, there are also high-performance thermoplastics, which are used for products that demand long-term, repeated use or for parts that require tight tolerances and can handle extreme conditions.
Furthermore, thermoplastics are generally categorized into three ranges. At Ensinger Precision Components these classifications include:
General Industrial: These standard or commodity plastics are generally used for the most common applications and are typically used for applications that include temperatures less than 185°F.
Engineering: Engineering thermoplastics provide chemical and wear resistance and can be used with applications that reach up to 150°C, or temperature ranges between 185-300°F.
High Performance: These thermoplastics can maintain their integrity in high temperatures and are classified as those seeing use in applications where temperatures exceed 300°F. Upper-temperature ranges extend to 500°F (260°C).
High-performance thermoplastics are capable of meeting the most demanding performance requirements, making them the ideal choice for high performance plastic solutions in critical applications for aerospace and defense, medical, and industrial sectors. Highly specialized and designed for high-value applications, high-performance thermoplastics represent approximately just 1% of plastics manufactured worldwide.
Designed to better stand up to physical, thermal, and chemical stress than their general industrial and engineering counterparts, high-performance thermoplastics can supplant other materials — such as composites, ceramics, and metals — in specific applications. For parts that face extreme conditions and require tight tolerances, high performance plastic solutions meet expectations, accommodating specific industry requirements.
Wide Range of Plastic Materials: Get a look at all of the plastics Ensinger Precision Components offers, from general industrial to high-performance thermoplastics. Learn more here.
What Sets High-Performance Plastics Apart?
At Ensinger Precision Components, our high-performance thermoplastics are grouped separately from the engineering thermoplastics because they have extraordinary properties that deliver the performance needed when failure is not an option:
- High strength
- Temperature resistance
- Impact toughness
- Dimensional stability
- Chemical resistance
- Fatigue Resistance
- Low Flammability
Imbued with these characteristics, our high-performance thermoplastics are often used to replace metal components in demanding industries like oil & gas, or semiconductors. They’re able to deliver high performance plastic solutions because they provide comparable strength at a reduced weight — all the while adding additional resistance to factors like chemicals, corrosion, and sliding friction.
Due to their thermal resistance — if you recall the top-end temperatures mentioned earlier — high-performance thermoplastics won’t deform or degrade in high-temperature applications and maintain their superior mechanical properties.
The superior qualities of high-performance thermoplastics often make them difficult to process, however, and sometimes this necessitates the use of specialized machinery. For example, high-performance thermoplastic resin is often mixed with other materials — like glass or carbon fiber — to enhance the resin’s structural properties. These are referred to as filled thermoplastics and add another layer of complexity.
When seeking parts or components produced from high-performance thermoplastics, you’ll want to work with a partner experienced, equipped, and well-versed in the process. Not every plastic injection molding company will have the expertise to assist you at every step — from part and assembly design to manufacturing — in making the most of your investment in these specialized materials, ensuring the quality of your end products, and adding versatility along the way.
When Failure is Not an Option: Dial in on specific high-performance thermoplastic materials, from PEEK to PEI. Learn more here.
Turn to Ensinger Precision Components for High Performance Plastic Solutions
Our team uses high-performance thermoplastics to design and manufacture solutions — whether injection molded, machined, stamped, fabricated, or assembled — that exceed the demands of your specific applications so you can focus on product and market development.
Ensinger Precision Components has more than 80 years of experience offering injection molding and plastic part manufacturing and also offers PEEK Tubes, Stock Shapes, and the Plastock® line of mechanical drive and conveyor components. As a North America division of Ensinger — a global leader of high-performance polymers offering multiple fabrication solutions throughout the world — we tap into the capabilities of 35 worldwide locations to tackle any plastic engineering demand including injection molding, compounds and composites, industrial profiles & tubes, machined parts, sintered plastics, filaments, and more.
Armed with expert engineering experience and value-adding manufacturing capabilities, Ensinger Precision Components works with you to design ideal high performance plastic solutions, from material selection to evaluating every variable that can affect your cost, quality, and performance.