MATERIALS: Stable Machining Grades of Polyolefin Stock Shapes

Quadrant launches first product in ambitious new series.

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Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products (Quadrant EPP; qplas.com), Reading, Penn., has embarked on an ambitious program to develop an entire new family of Stable Machining Grade (SMG) materials that will improve the performance and productivity of parts made from polyolefin base materials. The new materials will be launched over a two year period; each to hit the market with inventory already-in-place. According to product marketing manager Doug Mahler, each of these materials reportedly stretches the boundaries that may have existed for machinable shapes manufactured from PP and PE. There are no additives or reinforcements, per se that contribute to the performance of these formulations; rather the key is in the company’s proprietary processing method. Typical manufacturing of these types of polymer stock shapes results in a buildup of stored energy so when people or machines cut into them, energy is released in the form of movement. Quadrant claims that it has developed a process that removes that energy from the material.

The first product launch is Proteus LF PP (Lay Flat Polypropylene). It is a proprietary SMG formulated homopolymer sheet that exhibits superior dimensional stability and flatness after aggressive fabrication. It boasts excellent chemical- and- moisture resistance and is FDA and USDA compliant. Proteus LF PP is targeted to applications where standard PP plate and sheet products cannot hold dimensional stability tolerances specified. It is said to allow for faster cycle times, increase unmanned machine hours and eliminate costly secondary part finishing operations, ultimately resulting in lower part cost. Its ease of fabrication makes it suited for such markets as metal plating, chemical processing, semiconductor, electronics, and even medical and food processing thanks to its resistance to aggressive cleaners.