Tag Archive: Polymers

  1. Tips for Selecting the Right Polymer Material for Your Application

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    Selecting the proper polymer material for your application is a critical aspect of the product design process. CGR MaterialsEnsuring that gaskets form a proper seal means that your product will perform properly in your customer’s application and not cost their business money through downtime and malfunctions.

    Determining the operating temperatures of your applications allows you to select polymer material that will withstand both the normal operating temperature, along with the maximum temperature that your application requires. The ability to withstand heat or cold prevents damage to the material during the normal life of your equipment.

    Similarly, cost is also an issue. Using a very expensive material when it is not necessary can mean trouble for the bottom line. On the other hand, using inexpensive material that can’t withstand the rigors of the application can mean more lost money in repairs than was saved by using cheaper material.


    Silicone is a commonly used material for a number of reasons. Properties of the material include:

    • Resistance to temperature extremes, with an approximate range of -150°F to +500°F
    • UV resistance
    • Ozone resistance
    • Resilience with regards to mechanical fatigue
    • Excellent resistance to creep and compression-set

    Although silicone is one of the materials that is higher in cost, it is offset by its temperature resistance and other properties that make it an excellent selection for various applications. With the somewhat higher cost, manufacturers can be assured that the material will last longer and be more resistant to temperature extremes and other factors which may be present in the application.

    Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR)

    SBR is the material with the lowest relative cost. For applications which do not require a material as robust as most others, SBR may be the choice for your application. Some of its properties include:

    • Temperature resistance between -65°F and +180°F
    • Excellent abrasion resistance
    • Solid adhesion to rigid metals
    • Excellent resistance to impact

    While SBR rubber does offer low cost, its chemical resistance is poor. Engineers should take careful note of what chemicals are present in the intended application and decide if SBR is the right material for the job.


    Relatively, the most expensive material used in applications is fluorosilicone. While it does not provide the range of temperature resistance of other materials, it has excellent resistance to fuel and is commonly used in aerospace applications for fuel or lubricant systems. Some of its properties include:

    • Temperature resistance from -85°F up to +350°F
    • Resistance to fuel, oil and solvents
    • Good compression set and resilience
    • Suitable for exposure to air, ozone, sunlight, chlorinated and aromatic hydrocarbons

    There are many other polymer materials available for use in various applications, and CGR Product can help you select the material that will best suit your needs. Visit our Materials page to see the full selection of available materials. We also offer guides with cost and temperature information on some of the most commonly used polymers.
    Find the Temperature Range & Cost of Your Polymer Material
    Whatever your application needs, contact CGR today and let us show you how we can assist you.

  2. IBM’s “Indestructible” Thermosetting Polymer: Polyhexahydrotriazine (PHA)

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    Jeannette “Jamie” Garcia is the researcher credited with discovering a virtually indestructible, recyclable, Nitrogen-based polymer known as “polyhexahydrotriazine” (PHT); though behind its existence, lies an accident. As the by-product of ambitious experimentation, PHT made its appearance when a reagent was left out of a beaker that held the ingredients for observing a random polymeric reaction.

    A show of its resilience and robustness was evident early on as the container had to be smashed to extricate the hardened lump. Even then, the researchers were unable to harm the solidified PHT specimen.

    Once thoroughly investigated, this preliminary form of the thermoset polymer was taken to IBM where the power of its supercomputers was leveraged in conjunction with lab experiments to adopt a ‘back to the source’ approach. During these trials, several thousand polymeric combinations and reactions were simulated to replicate the thermoset materials and structures found in polyhexahydrotriazine.

    An estimate of the scope of PHT use in industries has already been pegged at billions of dollars. Until now, scientists were unsure how to recycle polymers and other thermoset plastics.

    What is a Thermoset Polymer?

    Thermosetting polymers (or plastics) are prepolymer materials that cure irreversibly. Polyhexahydrotriazine differs from other members of its family due to the following capabilities:

    • Tolerating high stress– When mixed with carbon fillers it can resist repeated onslaughts of duress thus providing the transportation industry with a class of plastics worth investing in.
    • Forming spontaneous bonds between polymeric links– Combining PHT with Polyhemiaminal (PHA) creates an incredibly strong bond which can be used in various adhesive applications.
    • Reverting to viscous state when dipped in sulphuric acid– As a result, pliability is regained and damaged or discarded parts can be remolded into useful products.

    PHT Uses

    Polyhexahydrotriazine (PHT) offers an array of commercial and industrial uses due to its strength, weight, and ability to be recycled.

    The automotive industry could see benefits from utilizing this lightweight and durable composite in manufacturing panels for cars and trucks. Lighter weight means higher performance, speed, and cost-efficiency,

    Aerospace divisions are intrigued by the material and may soon develop wings and other body parts for aircraft use. Using PHT in combination with PHA could form high strength bonds for adhering parts that incur harsh environmental conditions.

    Semiconductors comprised of PHT can take advantage of its recyclability. Defective or broken chips could be tweaked and reworked rather than trashed and wasted. This would also amount to cost and waste reduction.


    1. 1. http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/182583-ibm-discovers-new-class-of-ultra-tough-self-healing-recyclable-plastics-that-could-redefine-almost-every-industry
    2. 2. http://asmarterplanet.com/blog/2014/05/ibm-researchs-jamie-garcia-fantastic-plastic.html
    3. 3. https://twitter.com/ibmresearch/status/467823179843792896