Technology & Development

Product development which saves time and money

Plastex’s extensive experience, expertise and capacity in the field of Technology & Development maintains an obvious focus on our customers: our primary task is to develop products which meet and indeed surpass your needs and requirements, products which give you clear advantages over your competitors and help you to save time and money and avoid expensive mistakes. This is our end product to you.

Experienced R&D

Expertise with breadth and depth forms the basis for Plastex* design and product solutions. Outstanding technical expertise among all our staff – sales, project management, design – allows us to get to the point quickly when new profiles are to be put into production. Our development department has a number of test lines and modern aids such as flow applications. Besides this, we also have experience of almost 1 500 different tools. All to reduce lead times from design to finished product.

Profiles to suit every function

Plastic is an extraordinarily innovation-friendly material. Here are some examples of various design and product solution types that we can develop.

15-profilen

1. Fixation/Guiding – ensures excellent fixation between different components.
2. Screw pocket – with this function, you always get good fastening possibilities for the profile.
3. Spring function – with the right materials and thickness selection, spring functions can be achieved. Can be both rigid and softened.
4. Bracing – these can be added to give the profile better section modulus.
5. Co-extruding – this can be used to achieve other characteristics in some parts of the profile, such as higher friction.
6. Cover panel trays – perfect if you want to conceal cables by snapping shut a cover panel.
7. Sliding function – if two profiles are to run in each other in a certain position. Here, materials with a low friction coefficient are used.
8. Fastener – used to join with other details.
9. Decoration – examples of how patterns can be made in the profile’s surface.
10. Cavities – used, for instance, for saving materials, bracing and to prevent heat or cold conduction.
11. Hinges – by adding a softened material in e.g. one corner, a hinge function is achieved.
12. Snap function – good locking without the use of glue or screw joints.
13. Soft lip – often used to seal between two surfaces.
14. Embedment/Reinforcement – this can be the solution to meet demands for different characteristics in the same product. Examples of embedding include wire and steel bands.
15. Hinges – an example of how to obtain a hinge function.

Prototypes

Prototype manufacture need not be expensive or time consuming. With the help of prototyping technology, your concept can become a physical reality within just a few days, and you can change and further develop components in multiple stages at a fraction of what traditional prototypes already cost by the time you invest in production tools. Test your concept today. With Plastex, you can easily and cost-effectively create your own profile in plastic.

Testing

Plastex has extensive experience of testing operations, both continuous quality testing and spot checks in production. We also develop specific testing solutions that meet the customer’s special requirements with regard to:
Fire
Compression/spring-back
Breaking strength
Resistance measurement
Hardness

Contact us for more detailed information and if you have any questions on customer-specific test requests.

Materials

The development of materials means that plastic is increasingly challenging conventional solutions: where materials such as aluminium were a given before, today many plastic solutions can reduce both weight and cost without compromising on finish or overall quality. There are a number of new plastic alternatives for applications where rubber strips were the only alternative for many years. New plastic materials and various combinations with fibre glass, metal and cord offer an abundance of smart alternatives. Not to mention the opportunities that open up through co-extruded profiles with multiple characteristics in a single solution (hard AND soft, sealing AND fastening, etc.). A single strip can replace several other subcomponents, shorten the production chain and facilitate assembly. See our list of the most common materials here.

 

 

 

ABS, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene

In general, ABS has good impact strength, hardness and relatively good chemical durability. However, it is not durable outdoors. ABS has a softening point at between 85ºC and 110ºC depending on quality. ABS can be reinforced with fibre glass, giving it 2-3 times more rigidity (E module). ABS can be electroplated (chromed).

Read more

ADVANTAGES:
Good combination of mechanical and chemical characteristics at a relatively low price
High impact strength, surface hardness and surface finish
Low formwork drying shrinkage
Good low-temperature characteristics
Available in various levels of quality
Reinforced with fibre glass, it is 2-3 times more rigid
Upon expansion, a cell structure is achieved
Can be electroplated and chromed
Easy to glue and weld

LIMITATIONS:
Limited weather durability (yellows, ages and becomes brittle)
Low resistance to certain solvents
Sensitive to oxidising agents

ABBREVIATION:
ABS

COLOURING OPTIONS:
Unlimited

COMMON APPLICATIONS:
Telephone hoods, vacuum hoods, kitchen appliances, instrument panels, toys, furniture, car grills, office machines, car bodies, industrial parts, etc.

 

PA, polyamide

Polyamide plastics have good mechanical characteristics. They are tough with good fatigue and creep characteristics, have a low friction coefficient and are resistant to wear. They are resistant to many solvents, including chlorinated hydrocarbons, alcohols and esters. They are also resistant to most bases. However, PA cannot handle strong acids and strong oxidising agents, such as chlorine and aromatic alcohols. Polyamide plastics take up water. It acts as a softening agent and changes the material’s dimensions and characteristics. Among other aspects, the electrical characteristics are affected, which is why their use as electrical insulators is not recommended. Destabilising qualities of PA are sensitive to UV light and heat. With fibre glass, greater tensile strength and rigidity can be achieved. The dimension stability also increases and moisture uptake decreases.

Read more

ADVANTAGES:
Good combination of mechanical and chemical characteristics.
Good wear resistance
Withstands relatively high temperatures
Can be steam sterilised
Good chemical resistance
Some characteristics can be improved with the help of fillers

LIMITATIONS:
All polyamides absorb or emit moisture, which changes the material’s characteristics.
Linear expansion varies with temperature and moisture content.
UV radiation makes polyamides brittle.
Corroded by strong mineral acids and acetic acid, dissolved by phenols. Some types are corroded by formic acid.

ABBREVIATION:
PA

COLOURING OPTIONS:
Almost unlimited

COMMON APPLICATIONS:
Gear wheels, screws, bearings, propellers, machine hoods, etc. Note: Available in many variants, e.g. PA 6, 6.6, 6.10, 12, etc.

 

PE, polyethylene

Polyethylene is a white, colourless thermoplastic that is available in a few variants with different characteristics, the most common of which are:
LD (low density)-polyethylene: Density 0.910 – 0.940 g/cubic centimetre.
HD (high density)-polyethylene: Density 0.940 – 0.965 g/cubic centimetre.
HD polyethylene is more rigid and has a harder surface than LD polyethylene.
Polyethylene is relatively resistant to chemicals (with the exception of strong oxidizing acids and some organic solvents), has low water absorption and can be used together with food. It is also light weight and has good impact strength and a relatively low price. However, PE burns easily and has poor weather durability in its unpigmented form and limited heat resistance. It is also very difficult to glue and difficult to print on. PE has a high linear heat expansion coefficient and low resistance to creeping. The mechanical characteristics are also strongly temperature dependent.

Read more

ADVANTAGES:
Very good impact strength across a wide temperature range
Low water absorption
Resistant to most chemicals
Can be used in contact with food
Is available in multiple variants with varying melting indexes and molecular weights from very weak to semi-rigid material
Rendered more rigid with fillers or fibre glass
Low price

LIMITATIONS:
Very high linear expansion coefficient
Low resistance to creeping upon loading
Worse fatigue strength than polypropylene
Burns rapidly
High formwork drying shrinkage
Sensitive to stress corrosion
Poor weather durability (if not dyed black)
Poor scratch resistance
Mechanical characteristics are strongly temperature dependent

ABBREVIATION:
PE

COLOURING OPTIONS:
Unlimited

COMMON APPLICATIONS:
Household items, toys, bottles, pipes, buckets, accumulator containers, cable insulation, petrol tanks, packaging film, containers, linings, sealing rings, etc. Note: Also available in a mid-density (MD) variant, which is not very common, however.

 

PC, polycarbonate

Polycarbonate plastic is a hard and rigid, but very impact resistant thermoplastic. Polycarbonate plastic has very high impact strength, which is retains even at low temperatures down to -40ºC. However, it is sensitive to incipient fractures and microfissures, as well as scratches. PC has good electrical characteristics and good dimension stability. Untreated, the plastic is clear and colourless. Moisture uptake is low and weather durability is good. However, elevated temperatures (60-70ºC or higher) combined with moisture can cause some brittleness. It has relatively good chemical resistance, although it is corroded by strong acids and bases, aromatic and chlorinated hydrocarbons and methanol. Compounds of PC and ABS are available as polymer alloys.

Read more

ADVANTAGES:
Extremely high impact strength, even at low temperatures
Can be obtained glass clear
Dimension-stable material
Can be reinforced (e.g. with fibre glass)
Resistant to weak acids, aliphatic hydrocarbons, paraffin, alcohols (except methanol), animal and vegetable oils and fats
Good outdoor durability

LIMITATIONS:
Cannot be used in warm water over 60ºC (continuously)
Poor scratch resistance
Corroded by oxidizing acids, bases, ammoniac, methanol, aromatic and chlorinated hydrocarbons
Sensitive to incipient fractures and microfissure formation

ABBREVIATION:
Unlimited

COLOURING OPTIONS:
Pump wheel, propellers, protective helmets, vandal-proofing window panes and glass for outdoor fixtures, protective glass for tail lights on cars, film cassettes, magnet valves, high voltage fixtures, hair dryers, contact lenses, relays, etc.

 

PP, polypropylene

Polypropylene, without additives is white to colourless, similar to polyethylene but more rigid. Good mechanical characteristics even at high temperatures. High fatigue strength, low density 0.90 g/cubic centimetre, good electrical characteristics, good chemical resistance and good mechanical characteristics make propylene plastic usable in a number of different contexts, especially were high demands are set on temperature resistance and mechanical stability. Propylene plastic is often in copolymers with ethylene, which results in better low-temperature characteristics (especially impact strength). The same effect is achieved by mixing in small amounts of rubber, e.g. EPDM in the homopolymer. PP is readily broken down by UV radiation and must be stabilised for outdoor use.

Read more

ADVANTAGES:
High fatigue strength
More rigid than HDPE. There are filled and reinforced qualities with e.g. chalk, talc and fibre glass that compete with ABS
Maintains its mechanical characteristics better at high temperatures than HDPE
Low density 900-910 kg/m3
Chemical resistance similar to that of polyethylene, but not the same tendency to stress crack formation
Mechanical and electrical characteristics are also retained in water

LIMITATIONS:
Becomes brittle below -20ºC
Broken down by UV radiation if it is not stabilised
Is attacked by oxidizing acids
Heat stability is reduced in contact with copper
Easier to glue together with other materials, such as wood and aluminium than with itself

ABBREVIATION:
PP

COLOURING OPTIONS:
Unlimited

COMMON APPLICATIONS:
Fan propellers, car grills, instrument panels, chassis, bottles, containers, pipes, wheels, door handles, casings for kitchen appliances and hairdryers, rope, medicine and cosmetics packaging, electrical insulation details, toolboxes, etc.

COMMENT:
Available as homopolymers and copolymers. The copolymer PP-PE has better impact strength in cold than the homopolymer PP. PP is suitable for injection moulding, thermoforming, blow moulding and extrusion and can be stamped, welded, foiled and vacuum-metallised.

 

PS, polystyrene

Polystyrene is a clear, colourless, hard and rigid thermoplastic. Polystyrene softens at 100ºC and has a density of 1.05 g/cubic centimetre. The benefits of polystyrene plastic include hardness and rigidity, low shape shrinkage, low water absorption, good insulating characteristics and a relatively low price. However, it is brittle and sensitive to UV light, has poor chemical durability and has a somewhat low softening temperature. PS also has a low resistance to oils and solvents.

Read more

ADVANTAGES:
Hard and rigid material
Unlimited dyeing potential
Available in various levels of quality
Low water absorption
Good electrical insulation characteristics
Low formwork drying shrinkage
Low price

LIMITATIONS:
Brittle
Low softening temperature
Tendency to form micro-stress fissures
Low resistance to oils and solvents
Yellows and becomes brittle outdoors (UV radiation)

ABBREVIATION:
PS

COLOURING OPTIONS:
Unlimited

COMMON APPLICATIONS:
Packaging, disposables (cups, spoons, etc.), household items, cellular plastic, etc.

 

PVC, polyvinyl chloride

Polyvinyl chloride in its pure form is a colourless polymer with a softening temperature of around 80ºC and a density of 1.4 g/cubic centimetres. Polyvinyl chloride plastic is usually mixed with various additives such as softeners, fillers, lubricants and stabilisers, which means that there are a large number of qualities with widely varying characteristics. The characteristics’ variation is highly dependent on the additives, but in purely general terms, polyvinyl chloride plastic has good chemical durability. They have a low softening point, however.

Read more

ADVANTAGES:
By mixing in softeners, everything from a soft to a rigid thermoplastic can be obtained.
High chemical resistance
Rigid PVC has good dimension stability
Low price

LIMITATIONS:
Relatively low softening temperature
Rigid and brittle at low temperatures
Relatively high density relative to other thermoplastic materials
Is corroded by ketones. Some qualities are exaggerated or degraded by chlorinated or aromatic hydrocarbons, esters, some aromatic esters or amines and nitro compounds.

ABBREVIATION:
PVC

COLOURING OPTIONS:
Almost unlimited

COMMON APPLICATIONS:
Pipes (even chemically resistant), building panels, corrugated sheets, casements, door posts, profiles, insulation material (or wire and the like), shrink hoses, bottles and containers (oil, shampoo, etc.), imitation leather (clothes and luggage), wallpaper, rigid cellular plastic (sandwich elements, insulation), soft cellular plastic (shoe soles, toys, synthetic leather), etc.

 

TPE, thermoplastic elastomer

Thermoplastic elastomers are available in hardnesses from 35º Shore A to 80º Shore D. They can be used as a replacement for vulcanized rubber, as well as softened PVC. The greatest advantage of TPE materials compared to vulcanized rubber is that they can be shaped in an easy way, such as by extrusion and injection moulding. Moreover, waste can be recycled. There are a number of variants of TPE with various substances as “carriers”, and there are characteristic differences between these.

Read more

ADVANTAGES:
Broad hardness interval
Good flexibility at low temperatures
An environmentally friendly alternative in many cases
Waste can be recycled
Can replace softened PVC or rubber
High friction can be achieved at low shore values
Can be enamelled with the right pre-treatment

LIMITATIONS:
Relatively expensive material
Some qualities have limited chemical resistance
Risk for settlement after compression

ABBREVIATION:
TPE

COLOURING OPTIONS:
Almost unlimited

COMMON APPLICATIONS:
Shoe soles, toothbrushes, bumpers, spoilers, buckles, ice skates, toys, etc.