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Finding a Quality Performance Plastic Sheet Supplier

Finding a Quality Performance Plastic Sheet Supplier

Best Methods for Choosing a Quality Performance Plastic Sheet and Rod Supplier

Finding a plastic sheet supplier might seem like a monumental task with all the different suppliers out there – but there are a few ways that you can narrow down your choices.

Here are five key factors to consider when you’re looking for a quality supplier of plastic sheets.

1) Where do they source their plastic materials?

With many dozen manufacturers through out North America, and many more in far off lands, it is important to know who makes your material. Material sources from North America has been considered the premier quality in Performance Plastic materials. Not only is the quality of extruded or molded sheets and rods important, but also the long process of secondary annealing. This removes residual stress from the material, and this will produce a better finished part with reduced warp and twist and even center-line cracking. Not only should the materials look good, they must machine well without cracking. Quality matters.

2) Do they carry what you need?

This might seem straightforward, but it is one of the most important things to keep in mind, especially if you’re looking for large-scale products or highly specialized resins. Often, different plastic suppliers will specialize in resins with similar end uses as well, so it’s important that you find one that understands the requirements of your particular industry. Many suppliers are actually ‘brokers’ and don’t really have a warehouse with material ‘in stock’. Look for a supplier that has a wide variety of quality performance plastics in stock and ready for you to pick up.

3) Do they meet your quality standards?

Many plastic suppliers have to meet particular certifications and regulatory compliance standards, especially if they want to maintain a professional and accurate business. The bare minimum for a quality plastic sheet supplier is an updated ISO 9001 quality management system and ITAR compliance, but there are several other standards and material certifications available as well, such as ANSI and RoHS compliance, which ensure that the supplier does not sell or consume unethical products in the course of their business. Are the customer service staff members certified by an outside agency?

4) Don’t forget communication and customer service

Good communication is important in any supplier-customer relationship. A quality plastic sheet supplier will communicate professionally and quickly with you, and they will be transparent about their products, quality certifications and compliance, and their capabilities. Many suppliers have reviews or testimonials on their websites that you can read to get a better idea of their service–or you can contact them directly as well. The best customer service companies have trained staff, in the plastic industry one of the keys to a trained staff would be are they IAPD (International Association of Plastic Distribution) certified?

5) Balance quality and price

Huge in stock inventory of Performance Plastic Rod

With all of the plastic suppliers out there, it’s important to find one that not only meets your standards of quality, but also offers you competitive pricing. Balancing the quality of the material you receive with the budget set out for it is an important task when choosing a plastic supplier. Sourcing all High Performance Plastic materials from North American manufactures helps to insure quality products, and at a competitive price. While not the cheapest, the quality of North American Performance Plastic is second to none!

Choose Industrial Plastic Supply, Inc. for your Performance Plastic needs

If you are looking for a quality plastic sheet supplier, then you should consider Industrial Plastic Supply, Inc.  We have been in the business since 1975 and maintain a vast and varied inventory of performance plastic materials, all sourced from North American Manufacturers, and are proud of our trained customer service staff – all IAPD certified.

Industrial Plastic Supply, Inc. also Check out our website to learn more.  

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Supplying only Quality Plastic Sheet and
Rod from American Sources for over 45 years.
Call Your Friends In The Plastic Business at 866-832-9315

We are not a plastic material broker. We are a full-line stocking distributor with many materials in stock and on the floor. Some specialty or infrequently ordered materials may need to be special ordered. Our shipping prices for FedEx Ground and UPS are for the United States Only. We prefer to use FedEx shipping services because we have almost zero issues with them, but UPS is also available. Contact us, your local plastic supplier today!

We stock a complete line of plastic materials in basic shapes:

ISO Certified by KSQA Quality Management System

Plastic sheets and plates are available in over 80 different materials in a huge thickness range (from .125” – 6.0” or more in most materials).

Our plastic rods and plastic profiles are also available in over 80 different plastic materials in a huge range of diameters (from .125”– 8.0” or more in most materials).

Industrial Plastic Supply has been an industry leader in Commercial Plastics, Mechanical Plastics and Industrial Plastics since 1975, contact us today. We have the answers to all your plastic questions.

We Care About And
Support The Journey
To Sustainability

Member of IAPD Since 1979

Your Trusted Business
Partner Since 1975

Industrial Plastic
Supply, Inc.

Supplying Only American
Made Plastic Materials

Reviews from some of our many satisfield clients

Ian Volker

1/11/2021

Called and spoke to Jasmine and she was very helpful! Had just left another local plastics supplier annoyed with the help and quote they had just given me. She was MUCH nicer to deal with, and gave me a MUCH better price and a less than 2 day turnaround compared to 2 weeks from the other guys…Looks like IPS will be my new go to for all my plastic related projects!
Ian Volker

1/11/2021

Called and spoke to Jasmine and she was very helpful! Had just left another local plastics supplier annoyed with the help and quote they had just given me. She was MUCH nicer to deal with, and gave me a MUCH better price and a less than 2 day turnaround compared to 2 weeks from the other guys…Looks like IPS will be my new go to for all my plastic related projects!
Ian Volker

1/11/2021

Called and spoke to Jasmine and she was very helpful! Had just left another local plastics supplier annoyed with the help and quote they had just given me. She was MUCH nicer to deal with, and gave me a MUCH better price and a less than 2 day turnaround compared to 2 weeks from the other guys…Looks like IPS will be my new go to for all my plastic related projects!

Plastic doesn’t pollute… People do!
Please reuse, reduce and recycle!

 

News About Plastics

Got Milk… jugs? Now made from HDPE

Why Food Safe HDPE plastic replaced glass as the go-to milk container. Many of you, should you be older than 60, may remember the “Milk Man”. This delivery service from decades ago, was a most common way of transporting milk to the consumer. Back then, suppliers used glass bottles, delivered by this milk man…

Performance Plastic Vs Single Use Plastic

Performance plastics are a wide range of materials that are designed for use in mechanical, engineering, aerospace, food processing, and  many other applications. These performance plastic materials generally have superior physical properties, and frequently are used to replace other materials like metals, wood and glass…

Industrial Plastic Supply, Inc. Newsletter

 

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New Performance Plastics Making Metals Obsolete

New Performance Plastics Making Metals Obsolete

Metals have been around for a very long time

The history of metals is thought to have begun with the use of copper about 11,000 years ago. Gold, silver, iron, lead, and even some brass began to be used before the first known appearance of bronze in the 5th millennium BCE High Quality Performance Plastics are replacing Metals

Artifacts made of smelted iron have been found dating from about 3000 BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia. In those times, iron was a ceremonial metal; it was far too expensive to be used in everyday life. Metals are commonly very stiff, tough and strong. However, they are also generally quite heavy. Also, the cost to heat metal to production temperatures is extremely high, over 5 times that of Performance Plastic materials. When metals corrode they get smaller, and many can decompose to yield rust.

In comparison, plastics only were first made in the early 1900’s. The world’s first known fully synthetic plastic was bakelite (now days considered Phenolic), and was invented in New York in 1907 by Leo Baekeland who coined the term ‘plastics’. Since this date, thousands of chemists and material scientists have synthesized dozens of plastic base materials. Plastic materials are currently available in over 80 types, and each of these are molded or processed at slightly different temperatures. The wide range of performance plastic materials will allow you to choose the perfect material for your next application.

Some of The Advantages of New Performance Plastic Materials

New Higher Temperature Performance Plastic Materials

New Performance Plastic materials like Victrex 450g PEEK and Sabic Ultem 1000 have much higher use temperatures over previous performance plastic materials. The Ultem 1000 unfilled has a continual use temperature above 400 degrees F, while the newer Victrex 450g PEEK materials work well at 480 degrees F on a continuous basis. In addition to the higher temperatures, they are still food grade materials.

Most plastic materials can typically be molded in a temperature range of 400 to 600 degree F. While steel starts to melt at 2,500 degrees F. This is five times the temperature, meaning it takes 5 times the energy to convert steel instead of plastic. Lower temperatures equates to lower costs of production.

New Lower Weight Materials

The average plastic weighs just 20% of the average metal product. Many plastics have exceptional weight to strength ratios, meaning that for the weight of the product they are very strong. This low weight means much less raw materials and less impact on the environment if using plastics over metals. This results in lower cost to manufacture parts from plastics over metal.

For instance, new UV grades of HDPE or High Density Polyethylene are very light, with a density of just .96, so light it floats in water. And yet, this new UV grade of HDPE is a workhorse in the plastic market, and is used to replace wood and metals in outdoor furniture.

New Detectable Materials For Food Contact Approved

Most Performance Plastic materials were engineered to be food contact compliant, and in most cases FDA approved for food contact. With the increase in food recalls, finding the proper materials to ensure that our foods are safe is imperative. Materials like Acetal Copolymer, Acetal Homopolymer, Nylon, Ultem 1000 and Victrex 450g PEEK are all FDA approved for direct food contact.

Which Performance Plastic Will Work The Best

Here are some new performance plastic material grades that include additives to make these materials detectable during food processing. These newly released detectable products include Tecaform AH UD (copolymer acetal base), Tecapeek UD Blue (PEEK based) and Hydex 4101 UD Blue PBT – Polyester base). Each of these new performance plastic materials comes in Blue color to be detected by color sensors during food processing. The “UD” portion allows these materials to be detected by X-Ray and Metal Detection scanners in food processing production lines. Using these new detectable performance plastic materials in food processing plants can help to eliminate food contamination issues and massive food recalls.

Recent Rising Costs Of Transportation

Changes in transportation rules and regulations since 2018 have made shipping raw materials significantly more expensive. Weight, size restrictions and surcharges for longer packages have more than doubled in the last year.

This has made one of the most expensive components of materials reaching the marketplace is transportation costs, and over the last several years the costs of moving materials across the country has skyrocketed. Metals are heavy, and this weight makes many items very expensive to transport.

Each step in the production of a finished good generally involves shipping to the next step. Raw material converted into base material, then base material converted into usable shape. Later this shape is turned into a component or part. Each time there is a conversion, there normally is shipping to the next processor. Metal weight can limit the amount of metal that can be moved at one time, where plastics can ship up to five times more product per truckload.

With performance plastics, often the conversion in small factories that can be located near final assembly of components limits the amount of shipping of plastic parts. Also, due to the light weight of plastics, trucks can hold up to five times the amount of plastic over metals for shipping. Many plastic parts are made very close to where they will be consumed, cutting logistics fees. This five times the weight also translates to five times higher cost to ship metals. This reduction of transportation costs moves more profit to the bottom line.

New Performance Plastic Materials Eliminate Need For Lubrication

Often, on large metal parts or assemblies, grease ports are added to make lubricating the metal parts easy. Metal on metal parts will wear out very quickly, and therefore require regular service and lubrication.

Newly released performance plastic materials have made lubrication obsolete. One such material is a new compounded Nylon material, called Nylatech PVM has FDA approved oil additives. This new Cast Nylon material runs well for extended periods without external lubrication. This material runs quieter and smoother than previously used metal parts due to a much lower coefficient of friction, and requires no regular maintenance.

Another new grade of Performance Plastic material that is rated as ‘self-lubricating’, and have excellent wear resistance is Lub-X UHMW, which now makes curves in bottling plants move smoother, quieter and require no lubrication. These long wearing and high strength materials outperform most other substrate for low cost, high performance, low weight and self lubrication.

Each of these plastic advantages yield cost savings and long product life. Along with these new areas of advantage, Performance Plastics are 100% recyclable, and can be reprocessed into high strength parts again and again. The plastic recycling industry is still in its infancy, and as it becomes more adept at recycling and reusing valuable plastic materials, our planet and our pocket books will benefit.

Blue Metal Detectable Plastic Helps Reduce Food Recalls

Blue Metal Detectable Plastic Helps Reduce Food Recalls

Food Recalls On The Rise?

During the last year, the number and size of food recalls has been staggering. With several major food processors, specifically in the poultry market, recalling massive amounts of product due to contamination, perhaps a change in material is in order, simply changing to a Metal or X-ray detectable plastic material may end recalls for contamination. The cost to change to a metal detectable plastic or x-ray detectable plastic is extremely small in comparison to the cost of these recalls.

What is a detectable Plastic

There are numerous quality high performance plastic materials that are available in Blue, X-ray and Metal detectable versions. These materials are designed with food safety in mind. These materials can assist the food industry and the food processing supply chain in keeping our foods safe. Identifying contaminates in the processing of foods can be made significantly easier with these detectable materials. Food safety should be the priority within the food processing industry. By changing to metal detectable plastic and X-ray detectable plastics, this can become a reality.

Metal Detectable Plastic and X-Ray Detectable Plastics

Here is a recent Press Release detailing the recalls and a rather straight forward and easy solution using detectable plastic.

(Newswire.net — October 10, 2016) Anaheim, CA – Can ‘Blue’ fix food recalls?The year 2016 has seen some staggering food recalls by large food processors. Massive recalls of chicken specifically seem to have happened multiple times. The part that is the most amazing is that the root cause of many of these kinds of recalls is preventable. The specific recalls listed below are all for possible plastic contamination in the food product.

These large food processors should be aware of some simple steps that can totally eliminate these kinds of contaminates from getting into their food products.Metal Detectable Plastic and X-Ray Detectable Plastics. Blue Acetal, Blue UHMW, Blue Nylon and Blue Hydex 4101 UD Blue Plastic Rod

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

Keeping Food Processing Safe

While using FDA approved plastic materials for conveyor parts and moving components is a standard practice in most food processing plants, many processors use the cheapest available approved materials. This means that many producers are using a natural (white) HDPE, Acetal or other white approved plastic material. While it is safe to use these plastics, occasionally one of these parts gets jammed, breaks or wears to the point where parts can crack and pieces can get into the food processing line.

It Is Plain To See

The first easy step would be to use the same quality FDA approved material, but to buy the Blue metal detectable plastic version of the same approved material. This minor color change in the material makes any contaminates very easy to see with the naked eye. Since there are no food products in these bright blue colors, as long as there are employees looking at the food line, these broken pieces are easy to detect.

I Can See You

Speaking of detect, the big step up for detection of contaminates is to use a FDA approved plastic that is detectable by the X-ray or metal detection equipment already installed in these food processing lines. While these ‘metal detectable plastics’ cost more, they certainly cost less than one recent 4.5 million pound poultry recall.

The goal here is not to point the finger or call any company a ‘bad processor’, but rather to encourage these great food processors to use the ‘best practice’ types of materials to eliminate these monster food recalls.

In September 2016, Tyson Foods recalled 130,000 pounds of chicken nuggets for foreign materials in the product.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/27/health/tyson-chicken-nugget-plastic-recall/

“According to Tyson Foods, the plastic material ranged in size from 21mm in length and 6.5mm in diameter and may have come from a round, hard plastic rod used to connect a plastic transfer belt. The firm said the products pass through a metal detector, but the plastic is not detectable to this technology,” the USDA recall announcement said.

Have You Considered Detectable Blue?

Blue Metal Detectable Plastic Materials

Blue Metal Detectable Plastics From Ensinger

Perhaps they could consider using a metal detectable plastic that is detectable by a standard metal detector. Industrial Plastic Supply has supplied this FDA approved Metal Detectable UHMW rod since early 2010. Currently, there are several FDA approved materials that are available in Blue; UHMW, Acetal, Nylon, Polyester and now PEEK. Some of these materials are also available in a ‘triple detection’ version, where it is detectable because of the vivid Blue color, and it is also Metal detectable and X-Ray detectable. One of these new versions is the Ultra-Detectable Polyester rod made by Ensinger® Plastics called Hydex® 4101 UD Blue (FDA Grade Polyester).

In April and May of 2016, Pilgrim’s Pride had a recall totaling 5,550,904 pounds (yes 5.5 million pounds) of poultry do to possible foreign matter contamination.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2016/recall-027-2016-release-exp3

What is the cost of these huge food recalls?

The cost is staggering. To recall this quantity of food takes a small army of people to identify the possibly contaminated batches of food. Then notification is spread to all the possible distribution and wholesalers. The USDA is normally notified as one more step to notify the public.

Simple method to protect the safety of our food chain using detectable plastic materials

What is the cost to change to a more metal detectable plastic?

This depends on the type of plastic, and the detection method.

Let’s assume that the currently used material is an FDA approved grade of 1″ diameter Natural Acetal rod (a popular performance plastic used in food processing). And let’s assume this material would sell for approximately $2.00 – $2.50 per linear foot.

Changing to a Bright Blue FDA approved grade of Acetal Rod would cost about $3.50 – $4.00 per foot.

Upgrading to a Metal and X-ray detectable plastic that is FDA grade and Blue Acetal plastic rod would cost in the range of $8.25 – $9.00 per foot.

A recall of 100,000 pounds of poultry is, of course, significantly more expensive than upgrading the plastic materials in the food processing plant. Consider the upgrade an inexpensive insurance policy against these kinds of monster recalls, with a simple change to metal detectable plastic materials.

Metal Detectable Plastic and X-Ray Detectable Plastics Actually Saves Money

Reference Articles:

Tyson Recalls

Oct 15, 2016 – 1,148 pounds:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2016/recall-096-2016-release

Sept 27, 2016 – 130,000 pounds:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/27/health/tyson-chicken-nugget-plastic-recall/

Pilgrim’s Pride

May 13, 2016 – 5,550,904 pounds: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2016/recall-027-2016-release-exp3

Michigan Turkey Producers

Oct 15, 2016 – 54,011 pounds:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2016/recall-097-2016-release

ThomasNet

625 Food Recalls in 2018 – Over 125 million pounds discarded:

https://www.thomasnet.com/insights/how-can-food-industry-improve-food-processing-purity/

Press Release Source: Massive Food Recalls For Contamination Making You Blue

Contact us for more information on these Metal Detectable Plastic and X-Ray detectable plastic products. Blue Sheet and Rod are available in Acetal, Delrin®, Nylon, PBT – Polyester, and more. The special ‘triple detectable’ grades are currently produced in Acetal (Tecaform® UD Blue) and PBT – Polyester (Hydex® 4101 UD Blue). More materials are in final stages of development. Contact us for your special requirements.

Best Methods To Pick The Proper Plastic Sheet Materials

Best Methods To Pick The Proper Plastic Sheet Materials

Best Tools To Assist In Your Plastic Sheet Search

Use the best available tools to narrow down the best plastic sheet material for your application.

What are the best methods to pick the proper plastic sheet material?
Use the tools that the professionals use to find the best plastic material for your application.

Where To Begin

The process of picking the proper plastic material starts with determining the ‘must have’ physical properties needed for your application. Designing a part with the minimum performance factors in mind will help to eliminate an overly
expensive part.

Critical factors to consider are:

  • Temperature requirements (short term and long term)
  • Chemical or Environmental Requirements
  • UV resistance (Will it be in direct sunlight)
  • Color or Transparency
  • Strengths (Impact and Compression)
  • Compliance Issues (Certification for FDA, NSF, Dairy, etc.)

Review The Plastic Property Comparison Guide

The first tool suggested is a chart produced by the IAPD (International Association of Plastic Distribution – http://iapd.org/) linked in picture below, and listed on this chart are the most common plastic sheet and plastic rod materials that are commonly available. In addition, the chart compares the physical properties of these common plastic materials. Click on picture to access chart.IAPD Plastic Selection Rectangle Chart
Included in this chart is a relative cost comparison, which will assist in limiting the materials to proper plastics for a application without over-designing and using an expensive ‘over kill’ material. Some common plastic sheet materials can be very expensive. Materials like PEEK (PolyEtherEtherKetone) can be in the $100 per pound range or more.

Start Search With Temperature Resistance

After looking over the IAPD (International Association of Plastic Distribution) Physical Properties Chart above, now it is time to evaluate specifics for your application. The critical factors listed above are ranked by most important to least important. If your part needs to handle a continuous temperature of 300 degrees F, this is a critical physical property. Picking a material that softens at 250 degrees is a
recipe for disaster. Pick a material that can handle the temperature first.

Will Part Have Chemical Exposure

Next, look at environmental requirements. Parts exposed to chemicals are important to research. Find the chemical make up and the concentration of the chemical to insure the material you pick can handle this solution. Many plastics have excellent chemical resistance as evidenced by evaluating the container the chemicals are stored in already. A common plastic that is chemical resistant is Polypropylene, the same material used for automotive batteries. While Polypropylene and HDPE sheets are excellent in chemical resistance, their temperature range is quite limited. Also, these two plastics can not be easily bonded or glued, and would require heat welding for assembly.

Does Your Part Live In The Sun

Most plastics do not handle long exposure to direct sunlight without an additional UV additive. The one exception is Acrylic, which is the most UV resistant plastic sheet available. Some plastics handle UV well if they have a carbon black additive, or a extra UV package added at time of production.

How Critical Is The Color

The most common colors in many plastic sheets are Natural (white to tan) and Black. While other colors are available with a special run, this may require a large minimum order. Some plastics, like HDPE are available in many colors and textures for use in marine, playground and food processing applications. In many plastic applications, a machined part is being made, and the color is the least important factor. If it is an internal part of a machine, no one really cares about the color of the part. Some clients look for materials in a specific color to help ‘brand’ their parts for easy replacement and identification.

Nylon with huge amount of stress, cooled too quickly

Nylon with huge amount of stress, cooled too quickly.

How Much Stress Will The Part See

Strength is a wide range of physical properties covering many stresses a part may be exposed to. From impact to compression, expansion to tensile strength, all of these can be critical in designing a plastic part. There are other factors in the ‘Strength’ realm, like Notched Izod and water absorption. If your part will be exposed to crushing pressure, pulling apart force or impact, these are critical things to consider prior to picking your plastic part.

PTFE is a soft and slippery plastic, but will ‘cold flow’ under high pressure, and High Pressure Laminates like G-10 FR 4 sheet can withstand some of the highest pressures. The Notched Izod tests for materials that break easily if a scored mark has been made in the surface. Acrylics break very easily if scored, but UHMW will not break at all under the same test.

What Agency Approval May Be Required

In many applications a part may require approval or testing to meet a third party certification. One such common application is for materials in food processing applications. Common requests included UL ratings, Fire Ratings, Military specifications and many more. Food contact is a popular request, covering material that is either FDA (Food and Drug Administration) or NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) approved. These agencies insure that materials are rigorously tested and comply with their requirements for safety. Some common materials used in food processing that meet the FDA certification are Acetal Copolymer – Acetal Homopolymer, HDPE, UHMW and Nylon, plus many others.
Once these steps have been completed, several materials should present themselves as meeting your criteria and physical property requirement. Unfortunately there is no one perfect plastic that works in all applications. However, for almost every application, there is a material that will work, and work better than most other substrates.

Cool Online Tool

There is also an additional tool that can be used to help identify some of these properties quickly, the Gehr Plastic Selector online application.

If you are still in need of assistance in identifying an appropriate plastic material, contact an experienced Plasticologist at Industrial Plastic Supply, Inc. – call 866-832-9315

Also see the article, New Methods To Pick Proper Plastic Sheet Materials, for additional information on this subject.