Using our up to date specialist machinery for producing components in ferrous and non ferrous metals, thermo-plastics, industrial laminates and composites and with our experience in these materials over the years, we can offer advice to your design engineers on the most appropriate material for a given requirement. From a small batch quantities to mass produced components our service is second to none.
Since the first man-made plastic in 1856, the proliferation of new plastics with distinct properties has driven the progression of numerous and diverse applications on which the world depends today.The range of materials components are manufactured from includes a host of highly-developed materials such as PTFE, PEEK and Acetyl’s, and with the continual development in the manufacture of plastics, more and more materials are being developed which outperform the more common engineering plastics. Some products manufactured are for electrical insulation, fitted to electrical switchgear equipment, including drive links, housings, arc splitter boxes, coil formers, dropper cards, pads, pins and general bushings.
For cost effectiveness and “whole-of-life” performance, we incorporate the use of high strength and high performance materials and specialist machining. By taking an advisory role in the design stage and recommending both material and appropriate manufacturing processes, we can assist our clients to arrive at innovative, yet cost effective solutions. Our technical knowledge is matched by long-term industry experience and an open minded approach has led to the use of novel manufacturing methods in many of our projects.
Tough, hard and rigid, ABS is easy to machine and can be solvent cemented. Grades can be electroplated. Major engineering use as fittings in waste and ventilation systems.
Acetal sheet and rod are among the stiffest and strongest of all thermoplastics, characterised by excellent fatigue life, good creep resistance, low sensitivity to moisture, good electrical properties and high resistance to chemicals and solvents. Derlin®, a trade name of the DuPont® Company, is a semi-crystalline engineering plastic that is very well suited to CNC machining to close tolerances, and whilst Acetal POM-C and Derlin® POM-H are very similar with many shared characteristics, there are some differences, e.g. Derlin® POM-H has higher mechanical values, better wear resistance and is better for use in friction and wear applications whilst Acetal POM-C has better chemical resistance. Machined Acetal parts include bearings, bushes, rollers pumps and valves.
Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) is a colourless engineering thermoplastic with excellent mechanical strength, impact resistance, dimensional stability, low friction characteristics and is highly resistant to harsh chemicals. It is widely used in challenging environments such as oil and gas, chemical, nuclear and energy sectors. PEEK has one of the highest possible fire ratings of V-0, passing flame tests beyond most other plastics, retaining its core properties at high temperatures, it is also resistant to hot water, steam and sea water as a result it is used in seals, bearings, rollers, pump and valve components.
Acrylic is a transparent thermoplastic similar to polycarbonate in that it can be used as an alternative to glass and is one of the most transparent plastics available. It has great surface hardness making it scratch resistant, with an abrasive resistance similar to Aluminium along with good electrical insulating properties and is resistant to UV light and weathering. It is available in sheet or round stock in a variety of colours or clear and is half the weight of glass and will chip rather than shatter if dropped. Acrylic is used in a wide variety of applications ranging from precision engineered components to commercial and domestic products.
Polycarbonates, discovered in 1898, are one of the fastest growing engineering thermoplastics, they are strong, stiff, hard, tough, with high dimensional stability and they are thermally resistant as well as a natural UV filter. Although they are commercially available in a variety of colours the raw material is transparent and polycarbonates are available in cylinder, rod and sheet format, in various grades, dependant on the application and processing method. Where impact resistance, flame retardancy, dielectric properties and optical clarity are priorities, polycarbonate is the ideal material. It is easy to paint and it bonds well using solvents and adhesives, it also has a high impact strength over a vast temperature range.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) has a high mechanical and tensile strength and an exceptional corrosion resistance, but only at temperatures -20c to + 65c. PVC is used throughout the world as its strength, transparency, colour and rigidity lends itself to many applications, it is the 3rd most widely produced plastic polymer in the world. It has extensive European food contact and medical approvals along with a relatively small carbon footprint. It is a material that requires little maintenance and is fully recyclable.
Polyethylene is resistant to oils, greases and chemicals, it absorbs very little water and is a dimensionally stable plastic. it is available in white, black or natural.
HDPE- high density polyethylene is the workhorse of all polyethylene's as it has excellent temperature and chemical resistance as well as high tensile strength. It is non-toxic and is ideal for parts such as wear strips in the food processing industry.
LDPE-low density polyethylene that is used where corrosion and erosion resistance are required, often used for guide rails, impact plates and washers and gaskets.
HMWPE - this is used extensively for wear or abrasion resistant components on conveyors, tension bars and liners.
UHMWPE- the toughest of all the polyolefins, with excellent abrasion and wear properties, along with low temperature impact and tensile strength. Applications include liners, wear strips and conveyor belts.
This is a rigid, light-weight and tough plastic which can withstand high impact and is chemically resistant as well as fire retardant. Various grades are available, including anti-static varieties. Within engineering it is mainly used for pumps, valves and actuators for fluid handling and chemical containment. It is also used for lining tanks and pickling baths. On the downside it has high creep and little resistance to UV light.
PTFE is tough, has moderate tensile strength and has great stability over a large temperature range making it an ideal material for sealing at extremes of temperature. It has high electrical resistance and is chemically inert, offering a low flammability and a non-stick, low friction efficiency. It is resistant to weathering and aging and is food compliant, it does not make good bearings as its ability to bear load is limited. It is available in plain or "filled" grades such as Glass fibre, Graphite, Mica, Bronze and Carbon, the fillers increase the wear and compression properties.
Fluorinoid® FL 161 is a bronze and graphite filled PTFE used in dynamic sealing and bearing applications where the bronze filler gives improved wear resistance and compressive strength and the graphite improved frictional properties. The electrical properties and chemical resistance are reduced.
Nylon, due to its excellent CNC machining properties, is one of the most well known engineering plastics, available in sheet, rod, tube and plate format and components can be produced to high tolerances because of its low coefficient of friction. Nylon is regularly used to replace metal bearings, bushings, rollers and wheels and can dispense with the need for external lubrication, other advantages include reduction in wear on opposite parts, noise and weight reduction. Nylon is available in various types including Extruded and Cast, Nylon 6 (Ertalon®), 66 (Nylatron®), 11, 12 and Molybdenum Disulphide filled.
Additives to nylon such as glass and carbon fibre are primarily to increase strength and rigidity, especially at high temperatures, and improved dimensional stability and tighter tolerances can be achieved.
Oil Filled Nylon: Ertalon® LFX®, this internally lubricated cast oil filled nylon 6 is self lubricating, has improved wear resistance and was especially developed for slow moving, high load un-lubricated parts.
PAI stands for Polyamide-Imide, a polymer that gives the highest strength and stiffness of any commercial thermoplastic at extremely high temperatures and stresses. It is often used for critical mechanical and structural components where mechanical performance and dimensional stability are essential. As it has outstanding resistance to wear, creep and chemicals, it ideally suited to severe environments, such as cryogenic temperatures, however it has a relatively high moisture absorption rate so parts produced to high tolerances should be kept dry prior to installation. It is available in various grades and can have other compounds added such as glass fibre or graphite to enhance its properties.
Industrial laminates and composites have many advantages compared with traditional materials, such as improved machine-ability, increased performances, lower weight and a finer finish. The engineering applications are almost limitless, with components such as bearings, supports and wear pads being stronger, more effective and longer lasting. We supply local and multinational organisations in the rail, defence and chemical sectors with industrial laminate and composite components manufactured from brands such as Tufnol and Railko.
Industrial laminate is made by applying heat and pressure to layers of fabric, canvas, linen or glass cloth, impregnated with synthetic thermosetting resins. These materials are called “Thermosets.” A variety of resin types and cloth materials can be used to manufacture thermoset laminates with a range of mechanical, thermal and electrical properties.
P1, P2 and P3 (Kite Brand) are versatile electrical high voltage insulation materials, also known by the brand name Tufnol, they are manufactured using fine layers of phenolic paper and exhibit high strength and excellent electrical insulation properties along with low moisture absorption. There is a choice of grades dependant upon voltage or other insulation or water absorption criteria. P grades are used in low temperature and electrical applications where rigid non-metallic insulation is required. Typical components manufactured from P grade are sleeves, bushes, busbar supports, mounting and terminal plates.
F1, F2 and F3 are multi-purpose insulation materials manufactured using fine, medium and course weave phenolic cottons. They have excellent wear resistance, and very good strength characteristics. The fine weave is used when a higher definition machined finish is required whilst the course and medium grades are used for larger components. The fine weave offers higher strength in lower thickness as well as good dimensional stability. Typical components manufactured from F grade are Cams, Wear Plates, Gears and Actuating Arms.
F1, (Carp Brand) F2 (Whale Brand) and F3, also known by the brand name Tufnol are multi-purpose insulation materials manufactured using fine, medium and course weave phenolic cottons. They have excellent wear resistance, and very good strength characteristics. The fine weave is used when a higher definition machined finish is required, with F6 achieving high tolerances when machined, whilst the course and medium grades are used for larger components. The fine weave offers higher strength in lower thickness as well as good dimensional stability. Typical components manufactured from F grade are Cams, Wear Plates, Gears and Actuating Arms.
The SRBGF group of laminates has wide ranging properties, mostly based on the type of resin used to bond the laminations, which can be epoxy, phenolic, silicone or polyimide resins. These SRBGF materials are generally characterised by good temperature resistance, strong dimensional stability and high strength properties, and they are often used in technically demanding applications, or for more specialised purposes such as where higher temperature capabilities are required.
Epoxy Grades-The mechanical and electrical properties are mainly similar at normal temperature. Grade B38 is flame retardant, G10 has high mechanical properties at temperatures up to 130c.
Phenolic Glass-such as grade B30 is highly flame retardant and its low smoke, low toxic emissions make it ideal for closed situations such as aircraft or underground.
Glass reinforced laminate material is suitable for electro-mechanical components, washers, gaskets, bearings, bushes and pulleys as well as a vast array of precision machined parts.
Silicone Glass-have low dielectric loss and are suitable for applications microwaves as well as harsh environments like furnaces.
Polyimide-resins show great mechanical strength and good temperature resistance.
GP03 is a "Class F" laminate material manufactured from alkali-free E-glass mat and polyester resin, available in red, grey and white colours, the sheets are formed under extremely high pressure. GP03 is fire retardant, has good electrical insulation, high temperature insulation, low moisture absorption, and good flexural strength and therefore it is ideal for use in most electrical applications.
Delmat Epoxy 68660 is a high performance laminate for electrical and mechanical "Class H" applications. It has excellent thermal resistance, good resilience to solvents, oils, chloric and dielectric liquids as well as low water absorption, good dimensional stability and it is easy to machine.
Sindanyo® H91 and L21 are Portland cement based insulation materials that have been created to provide long-lasting components in demanding electrical and thermal applications, where high strength in machined components is required. Both products are non-combustible, have good insulation properties, a low thermal conductivity and are asbestos free. Components have good compressive and mechanical strength and they are dimensionally stable when operating at their top service temperatures. The material can be easily machined, threaded or tapped to make intricate parts with good impact resistance and toughness.
EM42 is a filled epoxide resin composite with woven and non-woven glass reinforcement, with excellent machining characteristics. It is highly flame retardant, halogen free, low smoke and low toxicity and as a result is approved by London Underground for use with all rolling stock as it meets UL94V0 fire rating. It exhibits both excellent reaction to fire and fire resistance, it will act as a barrier to the passage of fire, and is suitable for electrical/mechanical applications, specifically where there is a need for fire or arc performance.
Feroform F21 is a composite material made from woven fibre bonded with resin with a friction modifier. it has strength, durability, dimensional stability, low friction, and excellent wear properties. It is particularly useful in the dirty and dusty railway environment, where Side Bearer Liners, Vestibule Buffers and Tread Plates are manufactured from Feroform F21. It is available for machining from sheet, tube and rod.
Traffolyte is made from 3 to 5 layers of permanently bonded different coloured opaque laminate sheets. The perfect material for producing signs, labels and ID tags as it is available with a high gloss or matt surface, it is robust, easy to maintain, as well as being resistant to chemicals and solvents. It gives a professional high quality durable finish, along with being fire resistant, naturally hardwearing and resistant to both oxidisation and water, so no further surface protection is required. It is available in a range of colours for example yellow, black, yellow commonly used for Caution signs.
Mica comes in two basic forms, Phlogopite grades which operate up to 700c and Muscovite grades operating at a maximum temperature of 500c. Mica based material components demonstrate excellent thermal insulation properties, low moisture absorption, high strength and good electrical insulation properties. Typically used in Thermal barriers, coil insulation and isolators.
In 1957 Railko began producing self-lubricating components made from advanced engineering composite materials of high quality, the marine and rail industries were prime users of these bearings and wear parts.
NF21 and NF22 grades have a resin bonded composite structure with added friction modifers to give a controlled friction. They have the same formula with NF21 being for flat components and NF22 is for cylindrical components. It has been developed as a high performing wearing and bearing material for many industrial applications and provides low friction and wear rates. NF21 and NF22 is widely used for railway and pump marine components.
Railko PV80 has been around since 1974, it is an oil-impregnated material with an acetal polymer base and in many instances can ensure lubrication for the life of the component. As it is self-lubricating it resolves issues of noise, friction and maintenance that occur with traditional materials. Bearings made from PV80 can cope with high degrees of shock, heavy loading and misalignment as a result it is widely used in the rail and automotive industries for bushes and gear shifts. Other items engineered from PV80 include wear and tread plates and suspension and linkage bushes.