The metal processing industry demands a great deal from its tools and equipment, and few materials are up to the task. Torlon is one of those materials, though, and is used in applications where thermal resistance, pressure resistance, resiliency and finishing capabilities are required. As the world’s highest performing thermoplastic that can be melt processed, Torlon is the kind of polymer that can be counted on to withstand the most punishing environments. And because Torlon is available in many sizes and shapes it can quickly resolve many maintenance challenges, minimizing repair time while increasing subsequent machinery uptime.
Torlon in the Metal Processing Industry
Two versions of Torlon are reserved for use in metal processing applications, the 4203 and 5030. Both offer high levels of thermal and pressure resistance, making them ideal for use in finishing and cutting tools. Specifically, this is what both versions can do in metal processing functions:
- Torlon 4203 – Torlon 4203 is considered the general purpose variety of Torlon, as it offers across the board resistance to both static and cyclic loads. Parts machined from Torlon 4203 extruded shapes are made with the highest possible viscosity resin, which gives 4203 parts maximum toughness and resistance to both impact and fatigue. In fact, Torlon 4203 is more resistant to impact forces than any other version of the polymer, so it can be used in a variety of shaping and tooling machines. More importantly, it provides unmatched thermal and electrical resistance, which is why it is often found attached to plasma cutting tools as a thermal insulator. Torlon 4203 is capable of retaining its shape at temperatures beyond 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Torlon 4203 truly shines in the metal processing industry is in the form of spinning disks, used in CNC machines. Torlon spinning disks are excellent at burnishing, and can produce unparalleled results in aluminum reflectors and other components that require a precise finish. Torlon 4203 disks can also be re-dressed several times before they need to be replaced, keeping maintenance costs to a minimum.
- Torlon 5030 – Torlon 5030 is an extremely strong polymer, even standing out from other versions of Torlon due to its high stiffness and low CLTE . Torlon 5030 is reinforced with 30 percent glass fibers, which gives it high thermal resistance, like the Torlon 4203 without the conductivity of carbon fibers. Also like the 4203, it is a strong electrical insulator. Where the 5030 differs is its thermal resiliency, creep resistance and modulus. Torlon 5030 has the second highest modulus among all varieties of Torlon and half the thermal expansion rate of the 4203 version. This, coupled with its creep resistance (which is similar to that of aluminum’s), it will hold its shape even when put under intense stress. All of these qualities make it an ideal choice for thermal insulators and electrical isolators, plus sliding surfaces contacting hot finished shapes.
In addition to these impressive properties, Torlon 4203 and 5030 can be built into custom shapes, so they are not limited to just insulators and spinning disks. Drake Plastics can work with clients to help bring any of their component designs to life, giving them the ability to integrate the extensive capabilities of Torlon into any of their operations.