WEBINAR: Advanced Materials Selection for Injection Molding

WEBINAR: Advanced Materials Selection for Injection Molding

This comprehensive webinar is aimed at equipping you with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the intricate landscape of advanced materials selection for injection molding. Designed as a materials crash course, it delves into the multifaceted considerations involved in evaluating material options, encompassing mechanical and environmental properties, manufacturability, and cost-effectiveness.

With a primary focus on advanced or engineered thermoplastics, we explore the pivotal role of material selection in achieving optimal outcomes for diverse applications. Throughout the session, we spotlight HX5, a cutting-edge material, and examine its unique characteristics alongside other advanced thermoplastics.

Highlighting the practical application of our insights, we present a compelling case study featuring the selection dilemma between HX5 and PEEK for a critical aircraft component. Watch below and gain valuable insights, strategic approaches, and best practices to enhance your proficiency in material selection and drive innovation in your projects.




Aaron Headshot


Aaron Daniel

Director of Engineering

Alpine Advanced Materials



Jeremy Headshot


Jeremy Smith

Business Development Manager

Alpine Advanced Materials






All right. While we're allowing the last few to trickle in, I'm going to launch a poll for all of our viewers just to get a sense of you are familiar with the materials that we're going to cover today. Right. Thanks to everyone who answered the introductory poll. There will be a another poll pushed out through in the middle of the presentation and a final to see if you learned anything.

So thank you for joining us today. I see a few repeat attendees and a few new attendees. Welcome to both those who been with us before and those who are here to learn for the first time. Our topic today is advanced materials selection for injection molding and we hope that you guys learn a little bit about what Alpine can do or what you can do through this process.

So before we get started, I'm going to have the housekeeping items. This webinar is being recorded and will be sent out to all attendees and registrants and there will be options for a Q&A session at the end. You can type your questions in at any time during the presentation and we will address them at the end of the discussion.

So today's presenters are myself, I'm Jeremy Smith, a Business Development Manager here at Alpine. And joining me again is our favorite guest, Aaron Daniel, the Director of Engineering at Alpine. How you doing, Aaron?


I'm good. How are you doing?


I'm doing great. Excited to talk about our topic. Before we get into the main topic, I'm just going to give you a high level overview about who Alpine is.

We are a strategic full-service turnkey provider in the advanced materials and injection molding space. Our typical applications involve either conversion from metallic components to high performance Thermoplastics for improving performance, whether that's weight savings, environmental resistance, Manufacturability any of those aspects that come with us to advance material selection for injection molding. We have a great high fidelity design team, Aaron and his team are well versed in not only designing for plastics but going through the analytical steps to confirm and validate a design before we begin to prototype or produce.

And the beauty of injection molding is its scalability. So our talk is going to center around advanced materials for injection molding, and the process of injection molding has some advantages against other options for manufacturing, considering machining and additive as the main two competitors to injection molding, it's more scalable, more repeatable and at high rate, more economical than either of those alternatives.

You see that scale on the right. It's obviously a little more qualitative than quantitative, but injection molding, depending on the part size and geometry, has the ability to produce hundreds to potentially a thousand parts per day, whereas other processes would require larger capital expenditure advantage or installations or just longer in the time dimension. When you're considering injection molding, the things that you want to pay mind to are the nonrecurring costs and the tooling lead time.

There is an investment of both time and money to establish injection molding. That's true of any manufacturing process, but injection molding has a bit longer lead time to get tooled up to be ready for production. We have ways of mitigating that and building bridges to meet that those lead times. But compared to machining a part, it is going to take a longer process as you have to machine out the negative cavity that you are using for your repeatable tool.

Once you have that repeatability of part is cycle times in seconds and higher repeatability of tolerances on parts. The other considerations that we take are the interchangeability of a part. I mentioned that we do a lot of metallics to nonmetallic conversions, so there is a process difference in how you design a part to be machined or additively manufactured versus injection molding.

You'll need to do some minor geometric tweaks to optimize it for this manufacturing process. But all things that are manageable and also just the cost management that upfront costs with that recurring cost. Typically your recurring costs are going to be lower. So it's an evaluation of how much lower does it need to be to justify the investment in that production tool.

So when you're considering injection molding, you're no doubt considering a thermoplastic. So I'm actually going to turn it over to our engineering director here to kind of give you an idea of what is a thermoplastic.


Thanks, Jeremy. So, yeah, basically thermoplastic is the long word for the plastics that we see on a daily basis, everything from kid's toys to parts in a car to parts on an airplane are all made out of thermoplastics and other materials.

Really, what classifies something as a thermoplastic is it's a polymer that it's flexible and moldable at elevated temperatures. So basically you melted down or you get into a soft state, form it to whatever shape you want through whatever manufacturing method you're looking at, whether it's extrusion, thermoforming or injection molding. And then as you're cooling it down, it retains that shape.

There are a couple of different classifications of thermoplastics. They are semi crystalline, and amorphous. Amorphous are what are going to be more common commodity materials. They're going to be your polycarbonate. So your ABSs, most of your nylons and the semi crystallines are going to be more of your advanced materials. They're going to be more crystalline in structure.

They are going to have they're also going to have some amorphous capabilities, though, too, but they are usually higher temperature, higher stiffness, higher strength.


Thank you. And for everyone who's watching this on a screen, which, you know, have to be, you're looking at thermoplastic parts right in front of you. We're going to focus on the higher performance parts.

But I want to give you an overview of what the thermoplastic pyramid looks like. This is kind of an organization of the not only the temperature ranges, but the performance capabilities of each part. And as Aaron mentioned, is that kind of classification of any more of this material versus a crystalline material. And tiers of this are really kind of set out by the temperature performance, the parts.

So, Aaron, can you walk us through the tiers here and how their temperature performance kind of classifies them into that tier?


Sure. Absolutely. So the bottom two levels are kind of in the same category. They are low temperature materials. They can be easily formed. They don't take an extreme level of manufacturing capability to be able to do them.

Some of them, if you've got the right equipment in your garage, you could probably do some forming and melting and reforming of some of those materials. As you move up to the high performance materials, those are going to be harder to process. They're going to take higher temperatures to get to. They're going to take higher pressures to manufacture.

They're not as viscous as the lower commodity materials in general. So they take quite a bit more pressure to get them into their final consideration to their final shape. And then at the very top, those are some specialized materials. They are usually approved, operable at up to 500 and in some cases over 500 degrees F And some of them have special things where they're called imodized.

HX5 is not an imodized material, but it still sits at the top of the pyramid. And what that's really meaning is it starts more as a thermoplastic and then as it is melted, cooled, formed, it actually starts to take more of the properties of a thermosetting material, which is probably another webinar that we may touch base on later.

But one of the big things to think about with these materials are glass transition temperature and heat deflection temperature. So heat deflection is the really the maximum temperature you really ever want to use your material at. It's going to be really unusable beyond this temperature and glass transition is kind of somewhere in the middle. And what this means is at this stage, at this temperature, the the material actually starts to break down a little bit more.

Your amorphous materials, this is where it would actually considerably start to sag just under basically the load of gravity and semi crystalline materials as they do start to do that as well. But they don't do it to the level that amorphous materials did. So really, you want to from an operational standpoint, you want to stay under. TG but in certain cases you can go above T to HDT.

When we're starting to look at Thermoplastics, the resin system is the primary carrier mechanism. There's only so much you can do with that because it's basically a a chemical construct of what it is to improve the capabilities of the materials. You can add fillers. Two of the more common fillers are carbon and glass, but there is also other minerals and other fillers that are continuously being developed and tested in industry.

But these are going to be the two that you see more often. The biggest benefit for these is they're going to add mechanical strength to your parts. Carbon is going to have higher mechanical performance in glass. Glass is going to have higher impact performance than carbon. And there's a bunch of pros and cons for each one of them.

What you really do have, though, is a material that is going to be stronger. It's going to be stiffer, but it's going to cost a little bit more because you are adding some extra material to it. And then when you start to get to some of the other cons, when you do add strength and stiffness to a part, usually you're going to decrease its ductility, which is going to make it more brittle.

So both of these are both of these additives are going to introduce more brittleness to your resin system, but you're also going to have a much higher load carrying capability. So there is a little bit of tradeoff there, and it's really up to the engineers and the design teams to evaluate what direction they want to go.


So when you're considering a selection of your material, it's really about understanding the requirements of a given part in its application space and then choosing whether or not you need reinforcements to start. And if you do need reinforcements, which of these is best to suit the application based on the tradeoffs that you're getting from those inputs?


Absolutely. And another thing to consider with these is when you're adding these, depending on the length of them and the quantity, you are going to be creating an isotropic material condition. So being able to evaluate that anisotropy is going to be pretty important for your team to be able to create an analytical model that has a high fidelity with the part that you're going to be testing without using knockdown factors or thoughts of choppy assumptions or isotropic assumptions that are just going to basically limit the capability of your analysis.


You answered my question before I could ask it, well done, and so I'll ask a different question now. Do you have a favorite filler?


Carbon. It's just higher performance than glass. And usually most of the cases that we do deal with don't really have the need for whether it's pigmentation or intuitive properties. So we're really looking for that highest, the highest strength, the highest performance capability.

And if you look across thermoplastics, like the composite panels, the highest majority of them are also carbon filled because they are looking for that top level strength. They're trying to compete with your 7000 series aluminum, your stainless steel, your titanium, because really, especially in aerospace independence, they're trying to decrease the weight of the overall part and being able to maintain strength while decreasing weight is the ultimate objection objective.


So here's just another look at the plastics pyramid with some more details to what these specific breakdowns include. That breaks it down by tier and then by resin classification. So on the left side, you're going to see more of those impact modified or milled process of all materials in that amorphous state. On the right side, you're going to see a more structural base of materials and then the resin chemistries obviously lighter towards crystal entity.

And at least on those higher levels of the tiers, that's where you start adding carbon fiber, glass, etc. to increase the performance for the given application space. What Alpine has that's unique in the advanced materials world is the HX5 material that is our flagship product and that is what we most commonly use. That it's not the only one we use because it has a lot of unique problems.

It is a carbon fiber reinforced material and that may be why Aaron prefers carbon fiber, but it's anti-corrosion and easily coated, which is unique from the plastic standpoint. Typically you'll get anti corrosive resin on the right side of the pyramid and that crystalline structure. But those are tougher to bond a surface to, because they don't have that and because they're chemically inert, they don't necessarily bond.

Well with whether it's adhesives or coatings, platings as well, they tend to require plasmid deposition or TVC operations to apply that coating with good adhesion. Whereas on the left side it's easier to apply coatings, apply pleadings or bond with other adhesives. However, they're little more susceptible to chemical corrosion. HX5 is also a high heat deflection material. Heat deflection, as you see in the table, is about 500 F, which is on the apex of thermoplastics.

As I mentioned, HX5 has the ability to be coated and there are thermal selection coatings like zero or others that are either graphene based or ceramic based that will increase the resistance to be solid. Aaron Can you give any more flavor on to what you can do from a coatings perspective that enhances performance of a material like hx5?


Yeah, so there's a lot of different options. Again, what you're using a coating for is to augment the underlying capability of your material, whether it's a thermoplastic, whether it's an aluminum, whether it's a steel or titanium. All of these materials get a coating from some company or some end user to augment them to beyond beyond what they're currently capable of doing.

Aluminum strong, susceptible to the environment. So and and icing is popular there. You start looking at titanium's in canals when you're looking at hypersonics or propulsion, and they put on ablative coatings and ceramic coatings to be able to withstand the thermal shock and the thermal environment that they're operating in. And some of them are more functional as well.

Metallic coatings. So HX5 is, as Jeremy mentioned, is great, except in coatings. We can put on a layer of copper layer of nickel to protect the copper because again, copper is susceptible to the environment and that gives us highly conductive properties. It increases the EMI capability of HX5. And these are just some of the things that are capable when your material is receptive to coatings.


Thank you. And I realize now that I moved the pyramid slightly and covered up the the word date in that final line. But that full sentence says that HX5 is highly characterized compared to other materials. It's been tested over 100 times for different applications. That includes testing mechanical performance from low temperatures around -40 C all the way up to under 200 C characterization upon those that we have done testing beyond that, because the application space does reach up to about 500 F and includes plating characterization and includes hydrogen testing.

So testing a number of things that we've had to validate prior to doing and we are building a part for an application. But what's unique about it is it allows us to increase our high fidelity design, knowing what that material, how it will perform the rest of these materials that we do work with. And we're typically working with materials in that white blue or that means tier of the pyramid.

While there are multiple formulations of them and there is base level characterization of them, but most of them do not have the full, you know, preemptive testing requiring you to go through and do that testing again. So the precursor characterization of HX5 allows us to jump through certification hoops quicker than when we use other materials. So another reason it's what we tend to use.

So when you're considering what thermoplastic to be used, there are some basic considerations and there are some of the advanced considerations, the basic considerations are going to be the substance. What are the mechanical requirements in this application? Does it have defined load cases, doesn't see vibration, isn't required to withstand a certain impact. Some components require, whether it's a projectile or otherwise impact vibrations can be, you know, very high and very considerable for any material.

So understanding what that mechanical performance is allows you to d select any materials that wouldn't be in what is the thermal range of the application. Remember the tiers of that pyramid, Each tier you go up higher thermal range is achievable. What are the electrical conductivity requirements? If you remember when Aaron was discussing the fillers, if you're filling your resin system with carbonate, it's going to have a conductive nature to it.

Although it's a low level conductor, it's still what? Conductor current. And that could be a positive, that could be a negative for your application. Same for glass fillers or just based resins. Those are typically going to be intuitive and not very accurate, which again can be positive for the application can be a detriment to the application. And then also, what's the environment of the material?

Is it going to be exposed to specific chemicals? Is it going to be exposed to the environment? We don't necessarily think about it often, but just in, you know, here on the surface of the earth, the radiation from the sun can be significantly degrade, sorry, detrimental to materials and thermoplastics are no different. They do have susceptibility to environmental radiation.

And then when you go out on space, obviously radiation becomes a lot stronger when you get past those basic characterizations and you've got a set of, you know, thermoplastics that are candidates for your application. You can take it a step further and do some advanced considerations. Geometric complexity is always one that you're going to need to consider. And we'll have a case study later that shows how we manage the viscosity of materials to be a very same component.

As Aaron mentioned, the more you add to it and the higher temperature those resins are, the viscosity can become a challenge requiring either more pressure to fill a given volume or given than volume, or not being able to fill it at all. Another consideration is just the overall. What size of a part are you trying to do? Again, viscosity plays a role into that.

Another unique feature, which is resin based, is the tolerance of your PA. If you're looking to do a replace machine to a metallic component, which we typically do, the tolerances can be down to one thousandths. It's important to understand the shrink rate of these materials, and I'm actually going to have Aaron detail a little bit of what shrinkage is within a tool and how that can affect the tolerances of a outside.


Yeah, absolutely. So shrinkage is basically what it sounds like. As you heat something up, it gets bigger. As you cool something down, it gets smaller and an in-water. So when you are injecting your material into these cavities, you have to take into account cooling. So if you designed something that is going to be the exact size of the part that you want and you inject a material into it and it has 10% shrinkage, well, when that part cools an easy ejected from that part, it's going to be 10% smaller than the cavity that you designed it for.

So being able to take that into account. And then also most materials have a shrinkage range on them. So this can vary based on the environmental conditions, whether the factory that it's being manufactured in is temperature controlled, whether it's humidity controlled, Things being manufactured in the open in Arizona are going to be different shapes and have different levels of shrinkage depending on the material than something that's manufactured up in Maine or in Louisiana based on different humidity and thermal environments.

So when you're looking for high tolerance materials, you really need to be looking for things that have extremely low shrinkage. So this is on the order of 1% or less. HX5 just happens to have a half percent shrinkage. You start looking at your pieces, your abs, and they can be three 4% and your nylons can be anywhere from 5 to 8%.


Yeah. So for those tight tolerance operations, you're going to want to understand how your material selection will play into the output of that arm. And most of these materials are machineable to a degree. Again, the higher up you go on that pyramid and more with carbon steel, you get a more sustainable material which you can do post process operations to get those tighter tolerances in there.

But it's a it's a, you know, understanding of what material you're using, how it will shrink out of a tool, what that range of shrink is. And then if you need to do those post process operations to achieve your geometrically desired design for the application. So at this point, I'm actually going to publish our next quiz, which is kind of a blind study.

You look on the left side, there's three given requirements for an application. It needs a fairly high mechanical performance. It has to have tight tolerances and it needs to be electrically conductive. So I'm going to actually ask the team here which of these materials on the right with their filler added, do you think you would use for this application?

Give it another 15 seconds here or almost all the way there. All right. So we got some good responses, and I'm going to give Aaron some good credit for his discussion so far, because I think he's educated some everyone on at least one aspect of the thermoplastic realm and what the output would be. So most of you did select the correct answer, which was a carbon filled crystal.

And I'm happy to report that no one selected a glass filled material, which the third caveat in their requirements eliminates glass filled materials from at least a raw based resin system. Like Aaron said, you can do a coating to increase conductivity with metalization. However, that was not a bad option, secret option in this box. But yes, most of you did correctly answer sorry that the carbon filled cement crystalline would be the material for this, and that's because it did require a high mechanical performance, tight tolerances, and have an electrically conductive resistance system.

So now I want to walk through a couple application examples of how we approached designing a part that was originally manufactured out of a different process and a different material and convert it to a thermoplastic for, you know, to meet the application needs and save weight, increase environmental resistance, or increase the manufacturing. Our first application example is an electrical connector shop.

So this specifically is ARINC 600 Size 2 is a very common aerospace used electrical connector. They go on the back of avionics racks and there are 560 pairs of this specific unit on an A321, which is a narrow body aircraft. So if you think larger B777s or A350s, they're even more on they currently weigh in.

The aluminum version are about 0.5lbs each. And when we looked at beginning the conversion of this moving about thermoplastic could save upwards of 100 lbs per aircraft. And you can imagine for an operator that has multiple aircraft that operate for thousands of hours a year, that fuel savings is incredible. So the material options that we looked at, given the nature of the mechanical requirements for this part, they needed to be comparative to aluminum, but it also needed to have a viscosity able to meet the type meeting tolerances as it is a nested fit.

And then the third caveat being electrically conductive. It must have an actual electric electric conductive plating to meet the conductive admission requirements. And that part is important because the the carbon of building materials, while they do have a current carrying capacity, it was not enough to meet the conductive requirements of this specific application. So when we went to review the two materials that we had out there, the assessment came down to those three three items.

And Aaron, I want to have you put your input to the mechanical comparison of the HX5 and the carbon-filled PEEK.


Sure. So the mechanical capability for this one, while certain 30% carbon filled PEEKs, can approach the nominal mechanical strength of HX5, the biggest difference is the viscosity. The way HX5 is compounded gives it a very low viscosity while PEEK is sitting up quite a bit higher, in some cases two, three or four times the viscosity.

So what that means is it's going to be very hard to build very thin walls or very long or large parts without creating an extremely large amount of pressure and having a high tonnage machine that's going to be able to manufacture this. So when you are doing that, what you actually have to do is have a very large screw that is injecting the material into the part.

The screws actually waste for most materials, because especially from the aerospace and defense market, because they can't use anything that's been shot at any point in time ever. So that piece, basically, it just gets scratched. And if you're looking at an expensive material like a PEEK or anything else in the higher echelon of that pyramid that Jeremy showed, then that's a considerable amount of waste for each part that still gets accounted for in the part price.

And when you're talking about thousands of parts a year or even tens of thousands of parts a year, that can add up very quickly and also increase the amount of time it takes to mold each part. So it might be a 90 second build versus 120 second build, which is doesn't sound like much, but if you mold a million parts a year now, you're saving 30 seconds on each one.

That adds up quite a bit.


From the environmental requirements, both of these materials met the chemical resistance requirements. This is an aerospace application and those typically have to be resistant to jet fuels. Coca-Cola, believe it or not. But a number of chemicals that could potentially be exposed to. both these materials pass that requirement. But the last caveat was another discrepancy between the two materials, and that's the conductive emissions requirement.

So again, these are carbon filled materials that do carry a current, however, not enough to meet the conducted emission requirements. So the difference here is what can be plated. Well, and again, Aaron, I'm going to ask you to add some color in to how the difference between HX5 and PEEK allowed us to say that HX5 is better with this requirement.


Sure. Again, HX5 was specifically compounded to be able to accept coats specifically from the aerospace environment where coatings can make or break apart. I think low observability, coatings, radar, deflected coatings, things of that nature peak in general does not have a great surface energy and while it can be coded in certain cases, getting those coatings on usually requires secondary processes between the molding and the coating stage that just our time consuming labor intensive like a plasma deposition where you have to basically prep the surface to be able to take this coating, even if it's a simple paint and not even a high temperature ablative coating or something along those lines.

And then even still you're at the mercy of the materials, still being able to accept that PEEKs while they can take the coating is not going to be a very long lived coating. It could flake, it could start peeling off, and it might take actually multiple coatings just to get something that is acceptable to the end user.


Thank you. So to summarize our approach to this, we evaluated two different materials from the mechanical perspective. They both had nominal tensile, compressive intellectual values that met the requirements. However, the viscosity of the 30CF PEEK did not allow it to flow through the thin walls of the given bar or within reasonable yields expectations. The environmental was a equal equivalent assessment for both. They both met the requirements for that, but then again for the conductive plating requirements, the HX5 far outperforming the PEEK with lesser prep time, lesser costs and process to plated and then a higher adhesion afterwards. And so for this example, we chose the HX5.

All right. And just to leave you with a summary on where advanced thermoplastics are used, I mean, thermoplastics as their inventions are used everywhere. But when you're considering a more a higher temperature, higher mechanical reforming thermoplastics the industries that we typically serve and we see these being applicable to are the aerospace that's both atmosphere based and also super atmosphere based or not atmosphere based in space applications, defense applications. Those two have very high, high applications, basic requirements. Those are going to be the toughest environments that we see.

Same with oil and gas. They have a lot of chemical susceptibility challenges with given materials. So those chemically inert thermoplastics play well in the oil and gas space. The automotive space obviously weight being critical, but high rate of manufacturing is a big deal for automotive, believe it or not. Some car companies are making, you know, tens of thousand cars, tens of thousands of cars a year.

And doing all of those components through a machining process are going to have process or any other is just not feasible. And you get the economic benefit of having low cycle time, low cost, and also consumer electronics, TV, bezels, laptop components, you know, electronics, electronics, goods. The more we're getting into VR headsets and things like that where they're kind of somewhat structural components, you're going to need a higher strength than your typical plastics that have been around for years to make trash cans.

You're going to need to step that up to a more advanced material. This is just a sample of where advanced thermoplastics can be used, but in reality they can be used in any industry. If you'd like to learn more, you can scan the QR code. Now. We will obviously push this out to you so you're able to scan the QR code there.

But this will take you to our website where you can learn more about the HX5 material, our material selection process, also how we go through our prototyping validation process. And then also we just give you an avenue to contact us to learn more if you're interested. So with that, I thank you all for listening to us. Open up to the Q&A section now.

So if you haven't asked a question yet, please do. Now. It's a good question for Aaron here. Are you worried about an isotropic properties of LCD?


No, because part of the Alpine’s process is we take into account the anisotropic of a material we perform mold flow. We actually extract the multilevel data and use it as a boundary condition in FEA.

So when we're performing our mechanical analyzes and these analyzes could be attributable to electrical or thermal as well, the level that should be there, but we actually use the isotropy as a boundary condition, which allows us to use a high fidelity model.


Thank you. We have one more question here. How is warpage mitigated during design phase and how is it addressed after injection molding of the part?


So warpage, which is a concern with materials when you manufacture them. It's not only thermoplastic materials. This is also something that is seen in metallics as well. If you've ever machined one side of a cold rolled aluminum or steel plate, you can definitely see that it starts to curl up a little bit once you add constraint. So it's something you have to take into account.

So for metallics, they go and they machined the other side to basically relieve those stresses for your materials. That would present a lot of warpage Most of them can be either accounted for in the design or in the the tooling. So you would add additional structure or something along those lines to minimize the warpage. And for some of your semi crystalline thermoplastic materials, you can handle them after the fact.

Similar to how you can anneal or treat metallics. So you bring up the temperature can constrain them or over constrain them and bring them back into shape depending on the case. But this is something that the design team would need to look at upfront, identify that it's a challenge. So if you're going to be filling something with like glass or carbon and it's going to be a long, skinny part without a lot of structure, there's a high likelihood that it's going to warp.

So you'd need to account for that even if they're using it in a constrained condition or annealing it after the fact.


Thank you. And a follow up to that. What's your experience in using analytical software to predict warpage and seeing that translate to actual manufactured parts?


It's horrible. Nobody's really got warpage down, whether it's MoldEx, mold flow, any of them.

They do try their best, but warping is one of those things that it's really challenging to be able to analyze. So a lot of it's done with historical data, it's done with knowledge and experience using the materials and the manufacturing processes.


Right. Another question here, as your company and the industry in general started considering how to use thermoplastics in space based applications and manufacturing, given the interest from NASA's Space Force to colonize the moon, the Artemis program, what kind of issues with the industry face to make thermoplastics for space applications?


That's a very long question. Yes. So basically you have to go through the same steps. What are the use environments? So in this case it's space. So you're going to have to deal with extreme temperature changes. So high heat, high cold, you're going to have to deal with radiation exposure, not only UV, but gamma and other things that are out there in space and then adapt those to what your needs are.

One of the big things that we have to worry about when working with space based customers is CTE. So coefficient of thermal expansion. If we look at metallics here, aluminums are on the order of 12 to 13 micro unit lengths per unit length per degree fahrenheit. HX5 is two. So those wide temperature ranges are going to be about one sixth the change in the part.

Another thing that you have to worry about is outgassing. Some materials when you put them in vacuums or certain environments like in you can think of like some of the old paints that you used to paint your house with. They have a smell and what that is, it's an outgassing of the materials. So in space applications this becomes a problem because that outgassing can be contaminants, it could be moisture, it could be something that's going to affect that part or the system itself, when it's exposed to that environment.


Thank you. I'll give you a few minutes here for those that are here to ask any more questions. While we're waiting for any more questions to be asked, reminder that this is submitted back to you. Your questions can be answered. You know, again, if you want to talk further about your application, about broad application spaces, or if you have just more interest in learning.

All right. I don't think we have any more questions coming through. So with that, I think we'll end this. Again, I thank you all for participating today. I thank Aaron for being as insightful and mindful as ever and we hope to see you on our next webinar. Thank you all.


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