Plastics suppliers aim for higher profile at annual firearms trade show

SHOT show logoEngineering plastics have become an important material in manufacturing various components for the firearms and accessories industry. Two plastics manufacturers have announced their attendance at the annual SHOT Show, sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, in Las Vegas this week through Jan. 24. St. Louis–based Spartech and Conventus Polymers LLC, based in Parsippany, NJ, are exhibiting in the Supplier Showcase at SHOT, described as the largest trade show for professionals involved with the shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement industries.

In booth 52541, Spartech features its Royalite Holster Grade (HG) sheet, which provides durability in a range of colors, textures and patterns. It forms easily over handgun molds and can be fastened mechanically or bonded with adhesives. It also provides good resistance to chemicals and cleaners and comes in gauges from 0.028 to 0.125 inches.

“We are excited to be participating for the first time in this premier show, and look forward to showcasing our outstanding products to the thousands of attendees,” said Joe Herres, Spartech Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We invite attendees to stop by our booth to learn more about our leading-edge solutions, including our tough and durable thermoplastic sheet that offers an effective solution for formed and fabricated handgun holsters and knife sheaths.”

In addition, Spartech will be present at booth 5 during the Industry Day at the Range, a one-day event for hunting and shooting sports enthusiasts.

Spartech’s Polycast bullet-resistant acrylic sheet fits a range of protective applications and is UL designated, abrasion resistant, lighter than glass, crystal clear and fits a variety of ballistic protection applications. It meets the test requirements of Building Code Class CC2, ANS, Z97.1-Safety Glazing Material, and provides greater than 90% light transmission. It is offered with or without PolyCast Super Abrasion Resistant (SAR) coating.

Also appearing at the SHOT Show is Conventus Polymers LLC, a supplier of specialty polymers for firearms applications, at booth 52318. Conventus features new mold flow capabilities for molders and designers that develop plastic stocks, magazines, receivers, rails and other parts.

Conventus noted that polymers have grown in popularity in the firearms market. In addition to lightweighting, the materials offer reduced recoil, corrosion resistance, serviceability, cost benefits and design freedom. To create solutions for firearms customers, Conventus Polymers utilizes its expertise in other high-performance markets such as downhole oil and gas, where pressures and temperatures can be very high. The company’s primary product categories are specialty nylons, high-temperature polymers, glass-fiber and carbon-fiber reinforced compounds, and long-glass and long-carbon-fiber reinforced compounds.

Conventus has introduced resins like short-glass-fiber nylon 6/12 and polyphthalamide (PPA) for low moisture absorption and high modulus. The company also introduced polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) and polyetheretherketone (PEEK) materials for high-temperature compounds, and long fiber-reinforced compounds to address concerns regarding impact and creep performance of short-fiber-reinforced nylon 6/6, particularly in magazine applications. Conventus also will introduce a new clear glass-filled polymer made of nylon that delivers high strength, dimensional stability and transparency.

Among the latest material introductions are injection moldable tungsten-filled compounds for high-density pistol applications that mimic the weight of metal. These grades allow for density adjustments up to 7, which may help reduce recoil in pistol frames.

In addition to the new materials, Conventus will feature new material flow capabilities as part of its Assistance for Injection Molding Success (AIMS), a product development service for firearms developers that provides design know-how, materials-selection expertise and a network of injection molders. The new material flow capabilities can help manufacturers convert metal firearm components to injection molded engineering polymers.

“Conventus’ product line addresses the increasingly challenging needs of firearm manufacturers, who seek to reduce cost without compromising performance in highly demanding applications,” said Alexander Fung, President of Conventus Polymers. “We work closely with our customers, utilizing our material know-how and application development expertise to meet the requirements of critical end-use applications.”

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