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military plastics

  • How Elasto Proxy Supports the Defense Industry

    Defense IndustryElasto Proxy is an experienced provider of sealing and insulation solutions to the defense industry. Learn about our capabilities, and how we can help you with military projects.   

    For over 25 years, Elasto Proxy has supplied North American defense contractors with low-to-medium volume quantities of high-quality rubber and plastic parts. Our first customer, Atlantic Defense Industries, deployed our sealing solutions on the boom hoist for a ten-ton military truck. Since then, Elasto Proxy has won numerous defense-related contracts for projects in Canada and the United States.

    Controlled Goods, CADSI, and the Defense Supply Chain

    As a registered member of Canada’s Controlled Goods Program (CGP), Elasto Proxy meets all requirements for record keeping, training programs, security briefings, and inspections. The Controlled Goods Certificate (CGC) that Elasto Proxy holds demonstrates our commitment to the defense industry, and we work closely with leading trade groups such as the Canadian Association of Defense and Security (CADSI).

    Today, Elasto Proxy is a global company with offices and warehouses in Canada and the United States. Our headquarters in Boisbriand, Quebec is also our production facility, a place where highly-skilled personnel combine traditional pride in craftsmanship with state-of-the-art technologies. Facilities in Newmarket, Ontario and Simpsonville, South Carolina strengthen our position in the defense supply chain. Continue reading

  • How to Select Military Approved Plastics

    LAV-300x300Doug Sharpe President of Elasto Proxy

    Plastic materials for military applications must be able to withstand demanding conditions. Whether at land, air, or sea (and even space), part failure is not an option. For technical designers and buyers alike, supporting the mission means choosing the right materials.

    Do you need military approved plastics that can withstand the high temperatures of desert battlefields? What about polymers that provide not just water resistance, but resistance to saltwater at low temperatures? How about specialty plastics that can withstand the g-forces encountered during air support sorties?

    Understanding application requirements is important, but compound selection can also mean picking polymers that are approved specifically for military use. So how can you determine what you need? And how can choosing the right partner strengthen your supply chain?

    The Acrylic Glass Example

    Poly(methyl methacrylate) or PMMA is an acrylic glass that’s better known by brand names such as Plexiglas®. Strong and lightweight, this versatile plastic is typically opaque or clear. PMMA weighs only about half as much as regular glass, but has considerably greater impact strength.

    Unlike other plastic materials, Plexiglas can be manufactured to impart light-transmitting, light-focusing, or light-diffusing properties. In addition to offering resistance to ultraviolet (UV) rays, this synthetic polymer can reflect noise, provide heat shielding or heat insulation, and resist scratching.

    Production and repair personnel like working with Plexiglas because it’s tough enough to withstand handling and installation, and can be sawed, routed, and polished to meet application requirements. This PMMA is also desirable because it burns with little smoke and doesn’t form acutely toxic gases.

    Military Specifications and Material Testing

    Do the material properties of PMMAs make them right for every military application? It’s not that simple. For buyers who work with organizations such as the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), there are published military specifications to consider. (Typically, however, Plexiglas parts are used in aircraft cabin windows, instrument panels, canopies, wingtip camera lenses, and outer laminates.)

    Although these specialty acrylic materials are available in a range of sizes and thicknesses, buyers need to choose plastic products that meet military specifications such as MIL-PRF-5425E. What do military standards like this mean, and why are they so important?

    In the case of MIL-PRF-5425E, this military standard covers material properties such as optical quality, transparency, and heat resistance. In turn, MIL-PRF-5425E incorporates 10 different test methods from the American Society and Testing and Materials (ASTM).

    Typically, supplier websites and data sheets indicate whether a particular plastic meets various ASTM standards. By working with a supply chain partner who can help you with material selection, however, you can simplify the task of sourcing military-approved plastics.

    U.S. DOD standards aren’t the only military specifications in the world, of course. For example, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) publishes standardization agreements (STANAG) that establish common requirements for equipment and materials among member nations.

    Underwriters Laboratories (UL) also publishes standards for security applications. UL 752 defines nine protection levels, each for a specific type of ammunition. For example, a Level 1 UL rating is for a 9-mm full metal copper jacket with a lead core. UL’s supplementary shotgun level is for 12-gauge shotguns.

    To select the right military-approved plastics then, you’ll need to understand application requirements, know which standards apply, and also consider program budgets. With regard to costs, consider the case of mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles that U.S. forces use in Afghanistan.

    These military vehicles feature windshields made of an expensive ballistic glass, but it was a specialty laminate that captured headlines several years ago. According to an estimate from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), using a tear-away film could help limit windshield replacements and save the Pentagon as much as $75 million annually.

    How Can We Help You?

    Do you need help with sourcing military-approved plastics? Are you looking for assistance with technical designs or custom-fabrication? For more information, please contact us or request a quote.

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