At K&B Molded Products, our ability to provide low-cost alternatives to customers that have traditionally relied on cast or machined steel parts has made us a preferred vendor across many industries.
For the Wastewater Management and Environmental Testing industries, this means robust parts and components that deliver design flexibility and lightweight with the same strength characteristics of metal. The use of thermoplastics also means that parts are easier to install and far less expensive to custom manufacture.
The development of cutting edge materials such as Polyether Ether Ketone, (PEEK) has also greatly affected the expansion of injection molded products in these industries. PEEK is a colorless organic thermoplastic of the polyaryletherketone family; this dynamic material possesses a number of properties that make it ideal for many applications.
PEEK is manufactured in many grades, some with operating temperatures up to 662°F; it is also easy to machine and resistant to various corrosive chemicals. It also has a UL94-V0 flammability rating; this means that when it is exposed to flame, it will give off very little smoke or toxic fumes.
In our many years as a premier provider of injection molded products, we have learned the value of these properties and have helped numerous customers benefit from our materials knowledge. In the treatment of wastewater, we have provided many products that have helped reduce system costs. Septic systems are typically constructed from cement and/or some form of non-corrosive steel.
The obvious expense and difficulty working with parts composed of these materials is not lost on system engineers. However, when using materials like PEEK for septic tank effluent drainage (STED) or solids-free sewer (SFS) systems, cost is driven down, and the simplicity of installation and maintenance is driven up.
Every home and business utilizes an STED or SFS system; their ubiquitous nature takes full advantage of the low cost of high volume that injection molding delivers. Another area that is ideal for thermoplastic conversion is sewage recirculation devices. These systems are designed to speed up the biological process that breaks down wastewater; this is done by introducing air into the waste water flow.
In the recirculation device discussed in this case study, we successfully converted a product that used to be manufactured from cast iron into glass filled polyester. This solution exhibits all the cost and strength characteristics that have made injection molding so successful.
Another area in which we help lower costs is with impellers: if you’re pumping water, then an impeller is sure to be part of the system. We have manufactured various parts for submersible pumps from both PEEK and 30% glass filled Nylon. These materials offer a low coefficient of friction, no thermal expansion, and a high degree of toughness and impact resistance.
For a pump that needs to operate flawlessly for many years, this is the ideal marriage of features. Because impellers are motor driven, some metal at the shaft is required. Our injection molding processes are designed for efficiency and are set up to allow for the insertion of brass inserts where needed during the molding process.
For customers in the Wastewater Management and Environmental Testing industries, we have provided countless examples of our ability to leverage new, innovative materials and techniques to drive out cost and drive up reliability.
For more information about our capabilities, feel free to contact us directly.