Quality Materials, Expert Precision Machining
At Challenge Machine, we understand that producing quality components requires selecting the ideal materials for an application and having highly-skilled staff and cutting-edge equipment. We can source the best exotic and engineered plastics and metal available, and our staff has extensive experience using our state-of-the-art equipment to meet and exceed each customer’s requirements. The precision machining results we are able to achieve will stand up to the most demanding, exacting applications.
The ULTEM Resin family of amorphous thermoplastic polyetherimide (PEI) resins offers outstanding elevated thermal resistance, high strength and stiffness and broad chemical resistance. ULTEM is available in transparent and opaque custom colors, as well as glass filled grades. Plus, ULTEM copolymers are available for even higher heat, chemical and elasticity needs. ULTEM resins uniquely balance both mechanical properties and processability, offering design engineers exceptional flexibility and freedom.
Vespel is a range of durable, high-performance, polyimide-based plastics manufactured by DuPont. It is a high performance polymer that is mostly used in aerospace, semiconductor and transportation technology. It combines heat resistance, lubricity, dimensional stability, chemical resistance, and creep resistance, to be used in hostile and extreme environmental conditions. Unlike most plastics, it does not produce significant outgassing even at high temperatures, which makes it useful for lightweight heat shields and crucible support. It also performs well in vacuum applications, down to extremely low cryogenic temperatures. However, Vespel tends to absorb a small amount of water, resulting in longer pump time while placed in a vacuum. Although there are polymers surpassing polyimide in all of these properties, the combination of them is the main advantage of Vespel.
Torlon is a very unique, high performance thermoplastic composite material designed to handle the toughest applications that require reliable performance and strength at high temperatures. Torlon resin is a unique chemical combination that outperforms all but the most exotic composites and polymers. Torlon polymer provides advantages such as strength comparable with metal across an extraordinary temperature range, toughness and modulus far greater than most polymers. When a combination of these properties is critical, Torlon polyamide-imide outperforms polyethersulfone, polyetherimide, polyphenylene sulfide, and polyetheretherketone.
Delrin resin is specified by the engineering industry for high load mechanical applications, such as gears, safety restraints, door systems, conveyor belts, healthcare delivery devices and components across a diverse range of products and industries. It combines low friction and high wear resistance with the stiffness and strength needed in parts designed to replace metal. It provides a wide operating temperature range (-40°C to 120°C), good colorability and good mating with metal and other polymers, as well as dimensional stability in high precision molding.
- Semitron® ESd 225: Semitron® ESd 225 is a static dissipative acetal. This material has the same general properties as unfilled acetal, but with static dissipative properties. Its resistive range is 1010 to 1012. Semitron® ESd 225 can be used up to temperatures of 225°F without degradation, and it has broad chemical resistance and good wear resistance.
- Semitron® ESd 410C: Semitron® ESd 410C is a static dissipative Polyetherimide (Ultem®). This material has the same general properties as unfilled Ultem, but with static dissipative properties. Its resistive range is 104 to 106. Semitron® ESd 410C can be used up to temperatures of 410°F without degradation, and it has low stress for tighter tolerances during machining.
- Semitron® ESd 420: Semitron® ESd 420 is a static dissipative Polyetherimide. This material has the same general properties as PEI, but with static dissipative properties. Its resistive range is 106 to 109. Semitron® ESd 420 is thermally stable to temperatures of 420°F without degradation.
- Semitron® ESd 500HR: Semitron® ESd 500HR is a static dissipative reinforced PTFE (PolyTetraFluoroEthylene). This material has the same general properties as unfilled PTFE, but with static dissipative properties. Its resistive range is 1010 to 1012. Semitron® ESd 500HR is thermally stable to temperatures of 500°F without degradation, and it has a high thermal insulation and a low coefficient of friction.
- Semitron® ESd 520HR: Semitron® ESd 520HR is a static dissipative reinforced Polyamide-Imide (Torlon ®). This material has the same general properties as Torlon ® 5530, but with static dissipative properties. Its resistive range of 1010 to 1012. Semitron® ESd 520HR is thermally stable to temperatures of 520°F without degradation and it has high structural strength and stiffness combined with excellent dimensional stability. Semitron® ESd 520HR is ideal for making nests, sockets, and contactors for test equipment and other electronic device handling components. It maintains its dielectric performance at high voltages (>100V), while maintaining its mechanical properties. Most other carbon-fiber-enhanced products become irreversibly more conductive when exposed to moderate voltage.
Semitron MDS 100 has a remarkable combination of strength, stiffness and stability. It is made for applications such as test sockets for semiconductor test and package equipment, fixtures for electronics testing, mounting points for precision diagnostic equipment and positioning platforms for miniature motion control devices. It was developed to be used in uncontrolled application environments or where a high level of precision is required. It is an ideal choice for semiconductor test sockets, nests and fixtures in test and package equipment.
PEEK or POlyether Ether Ketone is used in demanding engineering applications including bearings, piston parts, pumps, HPLC columns, compressor plate valves, and cable insulation. PEEK is considered one of the few plastics compatible with ultra-high vacuum applications and as an advanced biomaterial used in medical implants. It is finding increased use in spinal fusion devices and reinforcing rods. It is extensively used in the aerospace, automotive, and chemical process industries.
Polyphenylene sulfide is an engineering plastic, commonly used today as a high-performance thermoplastic. PPS can be molded, extruded, or machined to high tolerances. In its pure solid form, it may be opaque white to light tan in color.
Liquid-crystal polymers (LCPs) are a class of aromatic polymers that are extremely unreactive and inert and are highly resistant to fire. Because of their various properties, LCPs are useful for applications requiring chemical inertness and high strength. LCP is particularly good for microwave frequency electronics due to low relative dielectric constants, low dissipation factors, and commercial availability of laminates.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. One of the most important mechanical properties of ABS are impact resistance and toughness. A variety of modifications can be made to improve impact resistance, toughness, and heat resistance. ABS is easily machined. Common machining techniques include turning, drilling, milling, sawing, die-cutting and shearing and can be chemically affixed to itself and other like-plastics.
Polycarbonates (PC) are a group of thermoplastic polymers used in engineering and are strong, tough materials, and some grades are optically transparent. They are easily machined, worked, molded, and thermoformed. Because of these properties, polycarbonates find many applications. Being a good electrical insulator and having heat-resistant and flame-retardant properties, it is used in various products associated with electrical and telecommunications hardware.
Plexiglas, Acrylite, Lucite, Perspex Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), also known as acrylic or acrylic glass is a transparent thermoplastic often used in sheet form as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. It is available in sheet stock and round stock, making it a good candidate for subtractive machining processes on a mill or lathe. A wide variety of colors are usually available. Parts that are machined from clear stock usually require finish sanding and/or polishing to remove tool marks and to completely restore the transparent nature of the material.Parts made from multiple pieces of Acrylic are usually joined together using solvents that melt each surface and result in a barely visible joint.
Teflon polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic fluoropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene that has numerous applications. It is a very useful material because it has a unique combination of properties. PTFE is chemically inert, weatherable, excellent electrical insulation, high temperature resistance, a low coefficient of friction and non-adhesive properties. Shrinkable tubing is also used as roll covers and to protect electrical parts or components. Teflon® is a familiar trade name for polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) made by DuPont.
Quadrant PPSU is an amorphous high performance thermoplastic offering better impact strength and chemical resistance than polysulfone and polyetherimide. Quadrant PPSU also has superior hydrolysis resistance.
Polyvinylidene fluoride, or polyvinylidene difluoride, (PVDF) is a highly non-reactive thermoplastic fluoropolymer produced by the polymerization of vinylidene difluoride. PVDF is a specialty plastic used in applications requiring the highest purity, as well as resistance to solvents, acids and bases. Polyvinylidene Fluoride is a highly non-reactive thermoplastic used in applications requiring the highest purity, as well as resistance to solvents, acids and bases.
Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW), is a high performance polyethylene with a much higher molecular weight than standard polyethylene. This accounts for the increased wear resistance, chemical inertness and low coefficient of friction. Typical applications includes any other applications that require abrasion resistance. Advantages include excellent dielectric properties, moisture resistant, very good chemical resistance and is available in food grades.
Quadrant’s Proteus® LSG HS PP (heat-stabilized Polypropylene) exhibits a heat deflection temperature that allows the material to be used in repeated steam and autoclave sterilization cycles. It is highly resistant to cleaning agents, disinfectants and various solvents. Applications for this include caddies and instrument components. The production process includes a special heat-treatment phase that allows for the higher heat deflection temperature and, thus, improved machinability and dimensional stability.
Borotron HD050 HDPE with 5% elemental boron is used as a medical and industrial shielding material to attenuate and absorb neutron radiation. This easily fabricated polymer material also offers designers greater durability and function over a wider range of temperatures than traditional materials.
Nylatron® GS is molybdenum disulphide filled nylon that offers improved strength and rigidity with a lower coefficient of linear thermal expansion than Nylon 101, and these parts maintain better fit and clearances by having less tendency to seize as bearings. It has better load bearing capabilities while maintaining the impact resistance inherent to nylon. It is the most commonly used grade for gears, sheaves, sprockets and custom parts.
Tungsten/copper composites are extremely strong and durable but very easy to work with. Tungsten/Copper alloys contain from 2% to 45% copper by weight. The addition of copper increases the thermal conductivity of the alloy while reducing the hardness and modulus of rupture. Tungsten composite’s low-thermal expansion and the resistance to breakage and chipping allow you to achieve very close tolerances and fine finishes.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is an engineering thermoplastic available as semi-crystalline opaque and amorphous fully transparent. In general it has good resistance to mineral oils, solvents and acids, but not to bases. It has superb gas barrier properties, particularly against oxygen and carbon dioxide, which helps to explain its use in bottles for carbonated drinks. It also has very good machining characteristics and its food compatibility makes it ideal for use in food processing equipment. It offers good gas barrier properties, good chemical resistance, low moisture absorption and is food compatible
PBI (polybenzimidazole) is the highest performance engineering thermoplastic available and offers the highest heat resistance and mechanical property retention of over 400° F of any unfilled plastic. It has better load carrying capabilities at extreme temperatures than any other reinforced or unreinforced wear resistance and ced engineering plastic. As an unreinforced material it is very “clean” in terms of ionic impurity, and it does not outgas (except water). Thus making it highly attractive to semiconductor manufacturers for vacuum chamber applications.It also has excellent ultrasonic transparency, making it an ideal choice for parts such as probe-tip lenses in ultrasonic measuring equipment.
Low-Density Polyethylene has good chemical resistance and electrical properties, but it has a high thermal expansion and tends to fail under mechanical and thermal stress. Glass reinforcement improves its thermal expansion, strength, rigidity and temperature resistance. As with most other polymer systems, the increase in flexural modulus is related to the glass fiber content. Tensile strength is increased with glass reinforcement, as is flexural strength.
Stainless steels are generally harder to machine than carbon steels. Here it is very important to use tools and inserts designed for the particular kind of stainless steel. Machines used to work these metals should be free of excessive vibrations and powerful enough to work at the rated speed to avoid surface hardening.
Aluminum is one of the easiest metals to machine and comes in many different shapes and grades. All Aluminum grades are not similar. For example, if weldability is most important to your project, but strength is not, it may make sense to choose Alloy 1100, as this aluminum grade has excellent Weldability, but is not typically used for high-strength or high-pressure applications. This goes for other factors such as corrosion resistance, heat treating, machining, formability and end applications such as aerospace, food and chemical, marine and others.
Titanium is one of the fastest growing materials used in aerospace applications. It is used to make aircraft structural components, and could could require 90 percent of the material to be milled away before the part is complete. Many valuable techniques for machining titanium effectively are not difficult to employ, but few shops use all of the techniques that are available for milling this metal productively. Most titanium alloys are poor thermal conductors. Heat generated during cutting doesn’t dissipate through the part and machine structure, but concentrates in the cutting area. Titanium is well suited for the medical industry because it is not poisonous and is not likely to be rejected by the body, so it is used in a variety of surgical implants and tools.
Generally, steel is malleable, strong, and versatile enough to be used in various end product or system applications; however, different grades demonstrate different machinability characteristics. John Prosock Machine can recommend the best steel based on your job requirements. There are essentially two types of steel, carbon and alloy.
Made from a combination of copper and zinc, brass has excellent machining qualities. As a high-density material, brass is ideal for heavy industrial parts. Brass is valued for it’s polished finish, but often disregarded as it can oxidize when it comes in contact with certain elements. When small amounts of lead are added, however, the properties of brass significantly improve. Its hardness and workability make brass one of the most versatile machining materials available
- Strength, conductivity, corrosion resistance, machinability, and ductility make copper one of the most versatile materials for a broad range of applications. With consumption rising to over 18 million tons per year, copper has become the material of choice for many manufacturers. Variations in composition as well as manufacturing and machining methods contribute to why copper is well suited in a variety of finished products and systems.
- Electrical – Superior electrical conductivity makes copper a good choice in electrical equipment. Industries where copper proves useful as a conductor of electricity includes automotive, medical equipment such as scalpels, computer chips, and more.
- Engineering – Corrosion resistance and high thermal conductivity properties are what compels manufacturers of heat exchange systems to select copper for their end products. Valve, pumps, radiators, refrigeration units, hydraulic tubing, and bolting are a few good examples of where copper is considered a valuable resource.
- Environment – Ductility, malleability, and corrosion-resistant properties enable copper to perform well under the most demanding environmental conditions. Whether in tanks, vessels, oil platforms, coastal power stations, or in any piping or plumbing systems, copper continually maintains its integrity.
Precious Metals like Silver are some of the hardest metals to machine and always present critical challenges. soft and gummy
- The metal Platinum is usually considered to be a ductile and workable metal. It is readily fabricated by all the usual methods but the machining of platinum by conventional techniques results in rapid and extensive tool wear, with consequent deterioration of the surface finish imparted to the platinum.
- Todays advanced medical procedures use instruments that are made from platinum because it will not corrode inside the human body, and is rarely allergy causing. It is also highly conductive,which makes it a good choice for implantable sensors.
The main property of pure molybdenum which has influence on its machinability is its grain structure. In the “as sintered” condition, it can be machined relatively easily, but it is somewhat more difficult to machine after working. While it is possible to machine molybdenum with high speed steel tools, tungsten carbide tools are generally recommended for better tool life. Most molybdenum is used to make alloys. It is used in steel alloys to increase strength, hardness, electrical conductivity and resistance to corrosion and wear. These ‘moly steel’ alloys are used in parts of engines. Other alloys are used in heating elements, drills and saw blades.