Plastic Fabrication in the Manufacturing World Part 4: PFA

This is the fourth and final part of our blog series covering the plastics our engineers and technicians work with in the MultiSource Manufacturing LLC network. Parts 1-3 cover CPVC, PVC, and polypropylene. In this final section, we’ll talk about perfluoroalkoxy alkane (PFA), including its properties and uses in the industrial world.

Plastic fabrication is a heavily used process for a broad range of industries, and our manufacturing technicians are capable of performing multiple operations, including welding, bending, and forming. Quality plastic fabrication results require skill and precision because the process often involves a high level of understanding of the chemical reactions that happen when heat and pressure are applied to any given type of plastic. At MultiSource Manufacturing, our plastic fabrication processes are high quality, precise, and utilize comprehensive operational capabilities.

As one of the primary plastics we use in fabrication processes, PFA is a hardy polymer. Because of its extremely high resistance to harsh chemicals, PFA is an ideal plastic to use in a broad range of industrial and commercial settings.

Properties: PFA has a smaller chain length on a molecular level than many other fluoropolymers. This, in addition to an oxygen atom at its branches, make it more translucent with greater thermal stability (effective in a range of -200ºC to 260ºC). Because of this, PFA is resistant to thermal, chemical, and physical stresses. With strong stability at high temperatures, PFA has crack and stress resistance with a low coefficient of friction. PFA is also UV resistant, has antistick properties, and is molecularly stable, even when exposed to almost all other chemicals. PFA is a strong plastic that resists chemical exposure, temperature changes, and repeated bending better than almost any other fluoropolymer.

Uses: Because of its resistance to chemicals, temperature changes, and physical stresses, PFA is typically used in piping, tubing, and as the lining in vessels that will carry caustic chemicals. Medical and laboratory-grade tubing is commonly made with PFA. PFA is also key in fabricating various fittings and lining in components used in corrosive settings such as heat exchangers, valve liners, baskets for semiconductors, nozzles, insulator brushes, pumps, and electrical insulation. PFA is often used in fabricating gas scrubbers and reactors, as well as many areas in crude gas, coal, nuclear, and other types of industrial power plants. On geochemical or environmental analytical chemistry field sites, PFA is often used in sampling equipment as an inert material to help avoid trace levels of metallic ion contamination. MultiSource technicians use PFA in a broad range of applications, from the manufacturing of medical devices to semiconductor components.

To learn more about our uses of PFA, CPVC, PVC, and polypropylene in plastic fabrication processes, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500. Request more information, or request a quote to get started with us today.

Plastic Fabrication in the Manufacturing World Part 3: CPVC

This blog is the third part of a four-part series covering the plastics and polymers we work with at MultiSource Manufacturing LLC. The first two parts of this series covered polypropylene and PVC (polyvinyl chloride). While we briefly touched on chlorinated polyvinyl (CPVC) in the blog covering PVC, there is still a lot to understand about its properties and applications.

 

All the plastics we use to fabricate a broad range of components, parts, and full assemblies are sourced from quality providers so the MultiSource network can manufacture exactly what original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other customers need. Our expert engineers and technicians are highly experienced in a range of plastic fabrication processes, such as welding, forming, and bending, that include using CPVC in projects for multiple industries.

 

CPVC is a thermoplastic produced from chlorinating PVC resin. CPVC is very similar to PVC at a molecular level, but has many key differences that make it ideal for certain plastic fabrication processes.

 

Properties: CPVC is much more workable than its PVC counterpart. It can be easily machined, formed, and welded. Additionally, CPVC is highly resistant to corrosion at high temperatures up to 200°F. It’s a reliable plastic to use in the construction of self-supporting components that will be exposed to elevated temperatures. CPVC also holds up to corrosive temperatures in water that would damage other plastics. Like PVC, CPVC is resistant to fire, while also providing better insulation in piping than copper or other metals. In addition to being a better insulator, thermoplastic CPVC maintains water temperature without condensation on exterior piping. CPVC is more ductile than PVC, but has the same maximum pound per square inch (PSI) working pressure, making it ideal for high-stress, corrosive environments.

 

Applications: CPVC has many uses in plumbing and other pipe systems. Because of its resistance to corrosion, CPVC is a critical plastic in many sewage systems and chemical processing settings. It’s also a safe plastic to use in the food processing industry. CPVC piping is heavily implemented in drinking water treatment plants as well as the dairy and beverage industries. Residential, commercial, and industrial plumbing systems widely utilize CPVC piping. Plus, because it is durable, flexible, and corrosion resistant, it’s an ideal plastic for processing industrial and hazardous waste products. At MultiSource Manufacturing, we use CPVC in many parts and full assemblies, from piping and tubes in medical devices to sanitary food packaging equipment.

 

The use of CPVC has been consistent since the 1960s when Geneva Products developed the process for chlorinating PVC to use in distributing hot and cold water throughout its Michigan facilities.

 

To learn more about our plastic fabrication capabilities and applications, call MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500. You can also request more information or a quote to get started with us today.

Plastic Fabrication in the Manufacturing World Part 2: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

In Part 1 of this blog series, we covered the use of polypropylene in the manufacturing world, including its properties and implementation at MultiSource Manufacturing LLC. Part 2 of this series focuses on polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics, including its history, properties, and our use of PVC components as a contract manufacturer. PVC is a common type of polymer used extensively throughout many industries. It is also a versatile type of plastic used in many applications throughout the MultiSource network. As experts in plastic fabrication and in the use of plastic in contract manufacturing, our engineers and technicians implement PVC in several circumstances.

 

History: PVC is one of the older plastics used on an industrial scale. The first PVC was created in 1872 in Germany by Eugen Baumann. By 1926, the B.F. Goodrich Company developed a method to plasticize the otherwise brittle PVC. Thanks to this plasticizing method, the industrial use of PVC skyrocketed throughout the world during the 1900s, and today, approximately 40 million tons of PVC are produced each year.

 

Properties: PVC is the third most commonly produced plastic worldwide. Depending on the type of PVC, rigidity and flexibility can vary. However, PVC is generally harder and more brittle than other types of plastic. Because of its durability, PVC can be used in the fabrication of mechanical components. It has a low heat stability that can be remedied with a chemical stabilizer. If treated with a stabilizer, PVC can be used in electrical insulation. Additionally, PVC is resistant to acids, alkalides, salts, fats, and alcohol. Chlorinated PVC is also used in many manufacturing settings because it is less likely to corrode and better stands up to hot environments.

 

Uses: As most people know, PVC’s resistance to many chemicals makes it ideal for plumbing and other pipe applications. In addition to piping, PVC is used in the plastic fabrication of bottles and other packaging, electrical cable insulation, and wire coating. Because PVC is strong and light, it is also used in some building and large construction applications such as weatherproofing, siding, and insulation. Signage, vinyl films, labels, and many other uses of thin PVC are also common in the manufacturing world. In the medical device industry, PVC is used in a broad variety of components as well as single-use items, mechanical pump systems, catheters, valves, and sample containers. At MultiSource, we use PVC in prototype production, medical device manufacturing, semiconductor component fabrication, financial processing equipment, aerospace and defense production, and many other precision-based industrial manufacturing.

 

To learn more about our plastic fabrication capabilities and use of PVC in various applications, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500. You may also request more information or request a quote to start with us today.

When to Choose Quality Plastic Fabrication for Your Custom Manufacturing Project

Plastics may only boast a relatively recent use in industrial fabrication and manufacturing, but they’ve solidified their role as a viable material for strong, long-lasting parts and components. The development of advanced polymers has opened doors in a wide range of plastic fabrication applications from aerospace engineering to electronic technology. While the increasingly versatile plastic materials available to these industries provide new levels of malleability, complex dimensions, and overall production efficiency for a variety of components and assembled parts, the engineering process for polymers can be much more difficult to approach than that of other materials.

The MultiSource Manufacturing network has worked to constantly improve our abilities for high-quality plastic fabrication, and our experience as a contract manufacturer allows our team of engineers to continually break boundaries in the field of plastics.

Metal manufacturing plays a critical role in the majority of production industries, but in many cases, plastics may be a viable material to utilize in the making of custom parts for several reasons.

 

  1. Efficiency: The engineering approach to plastics is different from that of metal because of the way these materials react to stresses during and after fabrication, but the use of plastics over metal for specific parts can still offer a more efficient production process. Not only do plastics have a lower melting point and higher malleability than most metals—providing a quicker path to forming a part—but the use of plastics in part production also reduces the need for finishing operations. The coloration, treatment, and other finishing processes that would be applied at the end of a machining process for metal parts are applied during the process of plastics fabrication eliminating the need for an extra step and streamlining the efficiency of full part production.
  2. Speed: With the increased efficiency that plastic fabrication provides in the manufacturing of a component or fully assembled part, increased speed in production follows. With MultiSource engineer’s expertise in plastics forming, bending, and welding, your project can be completed from start to finish quickly and efficiently.
  3. Weight: Some metals may fit the description of “lightweight” in comparison to heavier metals (aluminum in comparison to steel, for example) but nothing beats plastics when it comes to weight. The “feather-weight” of plastics means MultiSource customers save money on shipping and can use lighter parts for a greater range of functions. Additionally, the weight and malleability of plastics allows for the production of structurally-sound, extremely complex parts.
  4. Long-lasting: Plastics are resistant to the majority of chemical damages including oxidation and other forms of corrosion where metals are not. This resistance means plastics last longer in certain conditions where any metal part might quickly corrode.

 

The use of plastics may not be fitting for the production of every component or assembled part, but it’s a highly effective and reliable material for a wide range of circumstances. No matter the part you need, the MultiSource network provides the right materials manufacturing services for full design, fabrication, and assembly.

To learn more about our custom metal machining and plastic fabrication submit a request a quote, or request more information today.