plastic machining

Five Plastics that Can Take the Heat and How Controlled Fluidics Uses them in Projects

A successfully completed high-performance plastic machined part or manifold performs consistently well under even the most stressful of conditions. While final success depends on many factors falling into place, selecting the right material for the job is essential to get you on the right track. At Controlled Fluidics, our engineers are well-versed in the many extreme environments in which our plastic machined parts and manifolds will need to perform. We’ve found that of the most common environmental factors our components need to overcome is extreme heat, and have certain materials that we recommend time and time again. Below are five materials our engineers regularly use to handle even the most extreme temperatures, and some examples of how Controlled Fluidics has used them in projects.

COC/COP

COC/COP is an amorphous polymer known for its high heat resistance, exceptional transparency, low birefringence, and a high Abbe number. These qualities, specifically COC/COP’s chemical resistance, and clarity,  make COC/COP a great choice for microfluidics projects. Specifically, the Controlled Fluidics engineers select COC/COP for life science diagnostic equipment – including cell counters – that require a combination of heat resistance, high clarity, and low fluorescence.

Peek

Peek, a high-performance semi-crystalline thermoplastic is a fantastic choice for plastic machined parts that need to operate in extremely high temperatures, including environments with steam or hot water. Able to operate continuously up to 480F, Peek is frequently used in the aerospace industry. Specific applications include bushings, wear rings, seals, and bearings. Keeping its unique qualities in mind, the engineers at Controlled Fluidics specifically recommend Peek for all high-temperature aggressive fluid handling applications.

Radel

Radel-machined parts offer an unmatched combination of high-performance characteristics, including heat deflection to temperatures up to 400F. Radel’s superior heat deflection properties, along with outstanding toughness and environmental stress cracking resistance allow it to withstand unlimited steam sterilization cycles. As a result, Radel machined parts are commonly found in the medical or research industries: a reality that is supported by the types of projects that find Controlled Fluidics recommending Radel. We utilize Radel for any project that requires repeated steam sterilization, including surgical instruments.

Teflon

A versatile material with a wide range of applications, Teflon machined components can continuously operate in temperatures up to 500F. It’s high heat resistance combined with excellent chemical and electrical properties make Teflon an ideal choice for projects geared towards both industrial and commercial applications. Although perhaps best known for being everybody’s favorite nonstick cookware, Teflon machined parts are particularly valuable in the medical and research industries. At Controlled Fluidics, we’ve successfully utilized Teflon for projects requiring high purity gas chromatography applications.

Torlon

Torlon machined components perform exceptionally well in temperatures up to 500F. Although difficult to machine, Torlon’s dimensional stability, low creep, and high impact and compressive strength make for a wide variety of useful applications. Torlon is found in two varieties – Torlon 4203 and Torlon 4301. Of the two, Torlon 4301 is most commonly used for projects that require resistance to wear at high temperatures. Torlon machined parts are frequently used in the aerospace and medical industries, and at Controlled Fluidics we’ve used Torlon for projects requiring high PV bearing applications in demanding conditions.

Although all of the above materials perform excellently under extreme heat conditions, their other unique qualities help direct the specific types of projects that they are recommended for. Controlled Fluidics engineers will consider every aspect of a project before making material recommendations, and our customers can count on receiving a durable component that will perform consistently well in its environment. These are just a small sampling of the materials we find ourselves returning to again and again when machining parts that require extreme heat resistance.  But, you might go with other options. So, what materials are your go-to when a project needs to operate in extreme heat? I’m looking forward to hearing what materials make up your A-list.