An Informational Brief on Polymer Machining


High-performance plastic components have innovated the power & energy industry due to their lightweight design and ability to endure even the most hostile of conditions. In particular, the oil and gas industry require components to have the ability to withstand high temperature and high pressure, and unlike metal, plastic components neither corrode nor wear out in this industry’s harsh environmental climates.


The unique blend of electrical, wear, chemical and temperature resistance makes for a diverse series of applications for oil and energy, driving high-grade, technical advancements in oil-drilling and distribution, as well as providing applications for exploration, delivery process and development in offshore reserves.


In this issue of AIP’s latest blog, we discuss the common thermoplastics we machine for the power & energy industry.


Read on to find out about the benefits of the following thermoplastics:

  • PEEK
  • PVDF
  • Nylon
  • HDPE
  • PPS




Well known in the power & energy, aerospace and medical industries, PEEK (polyetheretherketone) is a lightweight thermoplastic known for excellent chemical and hydrolysis resistance.


PEEK is considered a semi-crystalline, high-performance thermoplastic. This gives it enough elasticity to be machined to various custom designs, with strong mechanical properties that provide resistance to fatigue and stress-cracking, as well as a good structure for bearing, wear, and structural applications.


Applications for the Power & Energy Industry Include:



AIP has the capabilities to machine PEEK into a wide range of mission critical components.




PVDF, Polyvinylidene Difluoride, is known most commonly as Kynar® in the polymer industry. It is a specialty fluoropolymer thermoplastic known for its ease of processing and variety of applications. PVDF boasts durability and a characteristic resistance to acids, bases, high temperatures and solvents.


PVDF is a semi-crystalline, high purity engineering thermoplastic; its molecular structure is highly ordered. Its structure lends itself to versatile performance in industrial environments. For example, PVDF has excellent resistance to nuclear radiation and industrial-grade pH changes. For this reason, it is ideal for petrochemical and power & energy industries.

Applications for the Power & Energy Industry Include:


    • Piping
    • Sheets
    • Tubings
    • Films
    • Chemical Transfer Pipe and Tank Lining


Demand for fluoropolymers like Kynar® PVDF is driven by the increasing trend of specialized, small-batch production for customized parts and components. AIP machines several different grades of PVDF into precision components. Explore AIP’s Kynar Machining Guide to find out more about PVDF’s capabilities and applications.




One of the high-performance thermoplastics that AIP works with is NYLON: a PA, or polyamide. Polyamides comprise the largest family of engineering plastics with a wide range of applications. Its main features are high strength, maintaining mechanical properties at elevated temperatures and chemical resistance. Oftentimes, it replaces metal since it is a seventh the weight of bronze.


Applications for the Power & Energy Industry Include:


    • Gears
    • Industrial Bearings
    • Nozzles
    • Sheaves
    • Wear Pads


Nylon can also be combined with other materials, helping customers innovate and create new product classes with utility that exceeds its original applications. AIP has many grades of Nylon that we machine to custom order.




High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is known for chemical, corrosion and high impact resistance. Compared to LDPE, it offers greater impact endurance and tensile strength. This is important for applications in the power & energy segment where components are constantly exposed to high temperatures, corrosive materials, and moisture.


Applications for the Power & Energy Industry Include:


    • Pyrotechnic Applications
    • Covers
    • Cut Boards


AIP precision can machine HDPE and other polymers for chosen power & energy manufacturing needs.




Did you know that PPS (or Polyphenylene sulfide) products offer the broadest resistance to chemicals of any advanced engineering plastic? Some of its other properties include high temperature stability, hydrolysis resistance, excellent dimensional stability and structural durability. It’s no surprise that this makes it a popular choice for industrial usages.


Applications for the Power & Energy Industry Include:


    • Chemical Pumps
    • HPLC Components
    • High Speed Bushings


AIP can machine several grades of PPS for all of the above applications, but also for other custom components in the power & energy industry.




This polymer is an amorphous, amber-to-transparent thermoplastic. In the power & energy division, ULTEM is sought after for its high strength, thermal resistance, stiffness and comprehensive chemical endurance.


Applications for the Power & Energy Industry Include:


    • Analytical Instrumentation
    • Electrical Insulators
    • Structural Components
    • Underwater Connector Bodies


There’s more than one particular type of ULTEM PEI you can machine. For more information on ULTEM’s power & energy applications and capabilities, explore AIP’s ULTEM Machining Guide.




TORLON, PAI (polyamide-imide), is considered an amorphous, high-performance thermoplastic. Most amorphous polymers are thermoforming capable, translucent and easily bonded with adhesives or solvents.


Due to its reliable performance at severe levels of temperature and stress, TORLON is ideal for critical mechanical and wear components of turbine engines, automotive transmissions, oil recovery, off-road vehicles and heavy-duty equipment.


Applications for the Power & Energy Industry Include:


    • Bearing Cages
    • High Temperature Electrical Connectors
    • Structural Parts
    • Valve Seats
    • Wear Rings


Explore the TORLON Machining Guide from AIP for information on applications and capabilities of this incredible polymer.


Precisely Made, Reliably Trusted


AIP’s expert team of engineering CNC machinists will collaborate with you to select the right polymers and composites for your specific application. Choosing the correct thermoplastic material reduces downtime and yields long-lasting performance and reliability to ensure your plastic components will withstand the demand of unfriendly environments: a necessary quality for the power & energy industry.


AIP Supportive Information:




Tell us about your power & energy needs and we’ll get the job done quickly and efficiently at a competitive price.

or request a quote here.

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