Conventus Polymers launches product development service for firearms manufacturers

Conventus Polymers LLC (Parsippany, NJ), a global specialty thermoplastics distributor and formulator of high-performance engineering specialty polymers, will be highlighting new services and products for firearms applications at the NSSF 2018 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, NV, on Jan. 22 to 25, 2019. Conventus will be  introducing a new service for firearms product developers called Assistance for Injection Molding Success, or AIMS, to help designers—those new to the plastics industry and those familiar with polymers—ensure their new product is a success.

Conventus’ AIMS service offers parts design know-how and material selection expertise, along with access to a network of injection molders, to designers and manufacturers wanting to convert metal firearm components to injection molded engineering polymers. It can also help designers of new firearm components to leverage the advantages and benefits of plastics.

“As a material supplier, far too often we get involved in the 11th hour of a project to fix a problem that could have been avoided early in the design phase. AIMS helps eliminate these headaches,” said Alexander Fung, President of Conventus Polymers. “These issues have ranged from incorrect design principles required for injection molding of polymer components that can result in poor product performance to a lack of knowledge of properties of polymers for firearm applications, which often results in improper material selection,” said Fung. He adds that the company looks forward to working with suppliers who may lack experience in the unique characteristics of firearms quality and tolerance specifications.

Over the years, Conventus has gained first-hand experience, having been called in by firearms and accessories manufacturers to try to solve some of these pitfalls, the company explained. “Our services, such as material flow analysis and other computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools, help firearms designers see where their part may fail,” explained Fung. “For example, we recently helped a firearms accessories manufacturer convert from short- to long-glass fiber to improve strength and creep resistance. Our assistance in runner geometry, gate location and size, as well as material formulation, were all critical in the product development cycle. Substantial adjustments to the part design were made, and an injection molder with experience in molding materials containing long-glass fiber was required. The result has been excellent. The part performance exceeds customer expectations and is a tremendous upgrade to the part it replaced,” said Fung.

In another example, a firm that historically made lay-up carbon fiber stocks reached out to Conventus for assistance in designing an injection molded stock. Conventus’ AIMS program paired them up with a knowledgeable injection molder, helped prevent serious design flaws and resulted in the launch of a very successful product. Best of all, said Conventus, there is no immediate financial commitment for this service. However, it is expected that once the project launches, the customer will be using Conventus material solutions.

In addition to the introduction of the AIMS service, Conventus will feature several new materials in the space, including Clarmide clear nylons for magazines, receivers and other accessories. Conventus recently introduced a new transparent long-glass-fiber (LGF) reinforced polymer called Duraflex TPU LGF that offers comparable strength to 50% long-glass-fiber-filled nylon. Historically, reinforced polymers have been opaque. New long-carbon-fiber-reinforced materials as well as high-temperature resins that provide strength and impact resistance are also an important part of Conventus’ portfolio for firearm manufacturing.

Image courtesy nmann77/Adobe Stock.

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