High-density thermoplastic material formulations are being increasingly used today in varied applications such as projectiles, appliance components, radiation shielding and packaging because of two main factors- environmental, health and safety concerns and the need to increase part density without the use of metals.
There is driving demand for lead replacement, especially, Lead free ammunition. The polymer compounds also offer design freedom and are typically less costly and complicated to process.
High-density thermoplastic compounds proffer valuable benefits such as sustainable, non-toxic formulations, the ability to be melting processed using common methods and an excellent balance of properties.
Benefits of high-density thermoplastic material
High-density TP formulations that are used instead of lead and other metals have a high specific gravity between 2 and 11. On the other hand, unfilled plastics like polystyrene have a specific gravity of about 1.0.
High-density formulations provide a major enhancement, in part mass but do not have the drawbacks of metal such as higher costs, design restrictions and more-complex processing and secondary operations like machining.
High-density TP materials are non-toxic, unlike lead metal. It contributes to safety and sustainability initiatives and offers a balance of flexural modulus, tensile strength and heat deflection temperature (HDT).
Why use non-lead ammo?
Many hunters are voluntarily switching to Lead free ammunition as they understand the risk to wildlife and to their own families. A ban on hunting waterfowl with lead was instituted U.S.-wide in 1991 after scientists estimated that 2 million waterfowl were dying from yearly eating lead shot while scooping up food from the lakes and streams.
Lead poisoning results in brain damage and is thought to be associated with poor school performance, lower IQ and violent behavior in humans. Even the ancient Romans were aware that lead could cause cognitive damage and death.
Studies found out that green ammo is equal to conventional hunting bullets in terms of killing effectiveness. It thus meets the welfare requirements of killing wildlife as painlessly as possible in the same way.
The widespread introduction and utilization of lead-free bullets should be encouraged since it averts environmental contamination with a seriously toxic pollutant. Green ammo contributes to the conservation of many diverse threatened or endangered raptors and other members of the guild of scavengers. Today, lead-free ammo is also becoming increasingly affordable.
Other uses of high-density thermoplastic material
High-density thermoplastic material is also used in vibration damping applications. Several other advanced electronic equipments are subject to vibration from internal and external sources, for instance, shipping and accidental dropping.
Vibration damping material is thus a vital requirement when designing electronic systems as can prevent damage of electronic components and connections. With the increase of mobile phones and PDAs such as iPhone and Blackberry, vibration damping has extremely important.
The frequency in which users drop them and abuse them is very high. It can weaken soldering connections, lose data or damage to disk drives, incompetent operation and performance. These devices also need to handle extreme shock well making the choice of an ideal vibration damping material a top priority.