K&E Plastics, Inc.
141 Morse Road
Bennington VT 05201
Phone:(802) 375-0011
Fax:(802) 375-0022
E-mail Inquires:

FAQs - Plastic Machining Information

Q: Does K&E have the capability to cut and machine the fiberglass-polyester family of electrical insulating materials like GPO-3?

A: Yes. We machine NEMA Grades GPO-1, -2 and -3 made by Glastic, Haysite, Rochling and others. We also work with the higher temperature-rated materials such as Glastic's SG-200 (rated to 200 C) and Haysite's HST-II (up to 220). Many plastics job shops do not work with these products as they are tough on tools and require superior dust-collection. At K&E we consistently evaluate our tooling options for maximum productivity and have recently upgraded to a first rate, computerized dust collection system.

Q Does K&E work with plastic shapes other than flat sheet stock?

A: Yes, we machine rod and tube, channels and angles, along with sheets. Many of our electric-generation customers have parts that start off as GPO-3 angles or channels.

Q What do people mean when they talk about paper, canvas or linen phenolics? Are these plastics?

A: This group of materials falls into the thermoset plastics family --materials that do not melt with heat. Phenolic resins are laminated with paper or fabric to produce materials known for strength, resiliency and excellent electrical properties, as well as being economical. They machine well and came be used to replace metals in certain wear applications such as washers, bushings, wear strips and cams. The most economical are the paper grades -- NEMA X, double-X and triple-X – then come the fabric grades, which are stronger. Linen (L, LE) has a finer weave that canvas (C, CE) phenolics.

Q What are the “glass- based” laminates?

A They are a group of thermoset plastics that combine glass fabric with different resins. For example, FR-4 combines woven glass fabric with epoxy resin and is often used for circuit boards and other electrical parts. It has excellent electrical and mechanical properties. FR-4 contains bromine to make it fire-retardant. There's NEMA Grade G5/G9, which combines glass fabric with melamine resin to produce a very hard, flame-resistant material with excellent electrical properties. G-7 is a glass-silicon laminate with excellent insulating properties. These are just some of the grades available in this class.

Q What about materials like nylon, Delrin® and the clear plastics like Plexiglas® and polycarbonate? Can K&E handle nylon, Plexiglas, and Delrin machining?

A: All of these plastics are in the broad group known as thermoplastics, which will melt with heat (at some point). Some of the brand names are very well known like Plexiglas®, which is a brand of acrylic, Lexan®, which is the polycarbonate family produced by GE and Delrin® which is a brand of acetal.. Generally, the thermoplastics machine very well – much easier on tools than the thermosets. K&E works with all of these grades as well as the high-end engineering plastics.

Q Is K&E able to certify the materials that are used to make parts?

A: We provide specific material certification with every order. If we cannot meet a specification found on a part drawing, we will notify our customer during the quoting process, not when they're expecting their parts!

Q Does K&E have minimum order quantities or dollar-amounts?

A: No. As a machining job shop we are set up to run parts in quantities from 1 to thousands of pieces. Every quote is evaluated to make sure the customer is getting the best possible price while still meeting the needs of the company. One general rule-of-thumb does apply: the more parts being made the more cost-effective it is for the customer. That's because we amortize our labor and machine time over the number of parts being ordered. For that reason we are flexible in working with our customers in setting up blanket orders or “stock” programs for those who don't want to bring in all their parts at once.

Q Does K&E Plastics provide services besides machining?

A: We assemble parts that require it. We install hardware like screws, inserts and terminals. Silk-screening or stamping part numbers are other services provided by K&E. We can bend parts. K&E has an annealing oven for parts that require it. We can do sandblasting. We can also sand or polish, paint or varnish parts as needed. Contact us with any specific requirements you may have.