Ensinger Inc.'s Penn Fibre division is adding stock shapes of a super-strong polymer to its lineup.
The Bensalem, Pa., firm said it has limited quantities of Tecamax SRP, a relatively new polymer with flexural modulus of more than 1.2 million pounds per square inch, making it the strongest unreinforced plastic commercially available. Penn Fibre also claims the material is inherently flame-resistant, highly chemical-resistant and has high-performance strength. As well, it is dimensionally stable and machines like aluminum.
Tecamax originated from research first conducted by chemical companies and defense agencies in the 1960s to find new, high-strength polymers. Most of the new materials had limited use because they could not be processed readily. Subsequent research led to a class of polyphenylenes that combine high strength with processability. These materials, called Parmax, are being made by Mississippi Polymer Technologies Inc. of Bay St. Louis, Miss. Penn Fibre is using Parmax in its new Tecamax line.
With a price tag in the $100 per-pound range, Tecamax is best-suited to ultrahigh-performance uses. Aerospace and defense, medical and semiconductor processing are some markets where potential customers are testing the product.
Penn Fibre is running trials to make Tecamax sheet that it hopes will be thermoformable. Such sheet could be available within a few months.
In more conventional materials, Penn Fibre has expanded its thermoforming sheet offerings and will feature them at the upcoming SPE Thermoforming Conference in Milwaukee in September.
Pennite 4515FR is a flame-retardant nylon sheet with a UL94-V0 rating. It complements 4512, a 12 percent glass-reinforced nylon sheet launched earlier this year.
In the fall, Penn Fibre will begin offering polybutylene terephthalate sheet, including neat and 15 percent and 30 percent glass-reinforced grades. The company said several flame-retardant versions also are imminent. It envisions industrial and transportation applications for these new products.
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