Heat treatment of plastics
Acrylic BlockHeat treatment of plastics
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When machining high value materials such as Ultem (PEI), the correct heat treatment processes are essential to ensure the finished manifolds carry the minimum material stress.
Ultem ManifoldWhen machining high value materials such as Ultem (PEI), the correct heat treatment processes are essential to ensure the finished manifolds carry the minimum material stress.
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All plastic components produced by Carville are put through a series of heat treatment processes to ensure thay are fully normalised, annealed and free from material stress.
Micro Fluidic ChipAll plastic components produced by Carville are put through a series of heat treatment processes to ensure thay are fully normalised, annealed and free from material stress.
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When machining high value materials such as PEEK, the correct heat treatment processes are essential to ensure the finished component parts remain flat and carry minimum post machine stress.
PEEK RingWhen machining high value materials such as PEEK, the correct heat treatment processes are essential to ensure the finished component parts remain flat and carry minimum post machine stress.
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Heat Treatment of Plastics

Heat Treating Plastics

 

The correct heat treatments of the initial plastic materials along with the finished machined components are essential to ensure a long and reliable component life and performance.

 

Why Heat Treat Plastics?

The most cost effective way to produce materials such as Acrylic, PEEK or Ultem is to use either a casting or extrusion process. Although cost effective, cast acrylic or extruded engineering grade materials such as PEEK or Ultem can be highly stressed and have a surface skin which can pull and distort components during and after the manufacturing processes.

To ensure stable dimensions and a long life for precision machined component parts, it is essential that materials are correctly heat treated to remove internal stress. Carville source material oversize, skim to break the surface skin and then heat treat to remove the internal material stress. Carville will not manufacture machined plastic component parts without fully heat treating the base material at the pre-production stage.

 

What is the Impact of Heat Treatment?

On plastic materials such as acrylic (PMMA), the initial heat treatment, or normalisation processes, can result in material shrinkage of between 2% and 4%. This movement is a result of the material relaxing and releasing the internal stresses that have developed during the casting or extrusion processes.

 

Does Carville Heat Treat All Parts?

All plastic materials used by Carville are normalised using controlled heat treatment processes before any machining operations take place.

During the production process, all components are stage annealed to remove any stresses which may have been induced due to the machining operations.

Material normalisation and inter stage annealing ensures that acrylic and plastic components produced by Carville will have minimal material stress and will offer a long and reliable performance.

 

How Long Does Material Heat Treatment Require?

Subject to the component size, and the volume of material removed, the heat treatment processes may be performed several times during manufacturing operations. These heat treatment processes can add several days to the component manufacturing process which is why Carville’s lead-times are quoted in weeks rather than days.