DuPont Performance Polymers (Wilmington, DE) has launched an online Polymer Advisor tool to help plastics professionals choose the most appropriate high-performance thermoplastic for a new application.
The tool allows users to assign the importance of 10 different performance properties; based on those performance requirements, 13 DuPont thermoplastic families are evaluated and ranked. (Clearly, if you're interested in doing some comparison shopping and seeking options beyond the DuPont plastics universe, this tool will be of marginal use.)
The performance properties that can be ranked from low to high include temperature, stiffness, flexibility, conductivity, hydrolysis resistance, wear and friction. The subsequent material solutions may include Zytel nylon, Hytrel TPC/ET and Vespel parts and shapes.
"Selecting a material is a critical part of the application development process," said DuPont Senior Technical Consultant Dan Saunders, who helped shape the tool. "Material performance and design attributes are best considered early in the design stage, so design engineers can take full advantage of the benefits of using a thermoplastic material."
During user testing, customers said that they could see how this tool would be useful in pointing specifiers in the right direction early in the design process, thus saving time or missteps. According to Saunders, "In the last two years, I've seen many new faces in this industry and they want help getting started. This tool will be a quick reference for helping them to match their performance requirements with products in the DuPont plastics portfolio."