Fabricating Nylon and Acetal Through "Thick and Thin"
Nearly everyone in the plastics industry knows that
Nylon has been around longer than most of us and
Acetal nearly as long. As the work horses of the
mechanicals, both materials are well known for their use in
a wide range of applications – machined from extruded,
compression molded or cast rods, slabs, sheets and tubes.
Nylon and Acetal fabrication from shapes has evolved
from basic lathe machining and table saw fabrication to
sophisticated CNC machining centers and automated CNC
and laser cutting.
It’s no exaggeration to say that machined Nylon and
Acetal components virtually revolutionized countless
O.E.M. and M.R.O. applications – providing the well
known benefits of mechanical strength, weight reduction,
enhanced wear resistance, sound dampening, resistance
to hydrolysis and, in many cases, significant cost savings.
Perhaps less well known are the thousands of applications
fabricated from thin gauge extruded (calendared) Nylon and
Acetal sheets, strips and coils. By far the majority of these
applications are serviced through die cutting and punching.
In addition, we see many new applications machined from
flat sheets – using standard “mechanical” and increasingly,
automated CNC routing or laser cutting saws.
Fabricated thin gauge Nylon and Acetal components are
widely used in automotive, appliance, aircraft, off highway,
marine, printing equipment, farm and garden machinery,
hand tools, electrical/electronics, medical and literally
countless O.E.M. and M.R.O. applications.
Indeed, if we were to remove fabricated thin gauge Nylon
and Acetal components from automobiles, trucks, buses,
trains, boats and off highway equipment, we literally wouldn’t
get very far! Likewise many everyday appliances would
not operate long (if at all) without the washers, gaskets and
many other thin Nylon and Acetal parts widely used.
Typical applications for thin gauge Nylon and Acetal
include: washers, dryers, refrigerators, ovens, business
machines, guitar picks, “doctor blades”, strapping, sleeve
bearing liners, hand held tools, automotive seat belt
assemblies, fishing rods and reels, box and paper manufacturing
machinery, wear strips, cams, small gears, spacers,
washers for numerous fastener applications and, well,
you get the picture.
And there’s more. Recently, thermoformable grades of
glass-reinforced, thin gauge Nylon sheets have been introduced.
These materials have created many new applications
requiring formability, high service temperature,
resistance to under-hood fluids and enhanced mechanical
properties. Typical applications include engine radiators
shrouds, air dams, covers, cowlings and ducts.
So, while most formulations of thin gauge Nylons and
Acetal materials have been around awhile, we continue to
see new opportunities - across a wide spectrum of industrial,
mechanical, O.E.M and M.R.O. applications. Nylons
and Acetals continue to be the engineering plastic materials
of choice - through “thick and thin.”
Written by Dave Pincin, National Sales Manager,
Ensinger/PennFibre Plastics Co. Ensinger/PennFibre manufactures
nylon, Acetal, polyolefins and a wide range of
engineering plastic materials in sheets strips coils,
punched parts and cut to size.
For more information, contact Ensinger/PennFibre,
2434 Bristol Road, Bensalem, PA 19020, 800-662-7366/215-702-9551, Fax: 215-702-9552, E-mail:
email@example.com, Web: www.pennfibre.com.