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A guide to etching – how it can help and what it can be used for

A guide to etching – how it can help and what it can be used for

What is etching?

In addition to being highly resistant to heat and chemicals, fluoroplastics also have low friction properties which makes them ideal for us as a ‘non-stick’ material. This makes them the ideal choice for use in a myriad of both everyday and more specialised objects spanning many different industries.

For this reason, fluoroplastics really are all around us. You might already be familiar with their usage as a non-stick coating for food processing equipment and cookware – and this non-stick ability makes them perfect for factory and industrial settings too.

Because almost nothing can stick to fluoroplastics, it is extremely hard for bacteria to build up on the material. Not only does this minimise bacterial contamination in a food and beverage production environment, but it also reduces the likelihood of infection in a medical setting too, making it ideal for use within medical instruments such as catheters and artificial heart valves.

Fluoroplastic’s low friction properties also prove convenient and useful for tubing within 3D printers, as liners for electrical wires, pipes, lights and thermometers, and even as a protective coating within dental fillings.

However, there are also times when you need fluoroplastic to be strong and resilient, but still attach it to other items and components. So to get around fluoroplastic’s inherent non-stick capabilities, the solution is to chemically etch the surface before bonding.

How can etching help?

If you are looking for a material which can withstand extreme temperatures and maintain its integrity over time, but you need to attach it to another material, then fluoroplastic etching is the perfect solution.

Etching involves immersing fluoroplastic material in a chemical solution to alter its molecular makeup and make it more malleable.

It is actually a unique and clever chemical process which works by stripping fluorine molecules from the carbon backbone of a fluoropolymer, leaving less electrons around its carbon atom. When exposed to the air, hydrogen, water and oxygen molecules work together with each other to restore the electrons, which then prompts a group of organic molecules to form hydrogen, and bond with each other – which ultimately enables adhesion.

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We're hiring!  We require a trainee to join our Customer Service Team.

We're hiring! We require a trainee to join our Customer Service Team.

We are looking for a trainee to join our enthusiastic and busy customer service team at our Stroud office. 

If you are motivated, reliable, enjoy interacting with people and are keen to learn new skills then this is the role for you! 

No previous experience is necessary, as this is a trainee role and you will learn our specialist products and how to deliver excellent customer service.  Full training is provided.

Would suit candidates of Higher Education or Graduate level.

Key skills required:

  • Maths and English GCSE pass
  • Understanding of Microsoft Word and Excel is beneficial
  • Passion for learning new skills
  • Desire for your own personal development
  • Good organisation and time management skills
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Employment Vacancies - Production Operative

Employment Vacancies - Production Operative

We're currently looking for talented, motivated, capable individuals to join our production team:

Our preferred skill set would include:

  • previous experience within a production environment
  • small part assembly and fabrication
  • understanding or experience of picking packing and goods inwards
  • dexterity
  • computer literate

Main Duties shall include and not to be limited to:

  • Production of components to customer drawings/specifications.
  • Manufacture of standard products
  • Able to follow drawings and instructions.
  • Packing Orders
  • Goods inwards
  • Control of stock/materials used.
  • Contributing to process review and continual improvement
  • Ensure workshop and production areas are clean and tidy and stock is clearly stored
  • Ensure all equipment and manufacturing specifications are put away at the end of a job
  • Forklift truck duties. Ideally candidates will have a valid Counterbalance licence but not essential to the role.
  • Other general manufacturing duties.
  • Forklift truck duties. Ideally candidates will have a valid Counterbalance licence but not essential to the role.
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The history of fluoropolymers and their relevancy today

The history of fluoropolymers and their relevancy today

Fluoropolymers are what we here at Adtech do best. We’re experts in the design and manufacturing of polymers, and we supply to a variety of industries. But how did fluoropolymers come about, and why are they still so relevant today?

The history:

In 1938, scientist Roy J. Plunkett discovered fluoropolymers by accident. On working with fluorocarbon gasses, he opened the valve to one gas cylinder, but found that no gas came out of it. Upon cutting the cylinder open, he then discovered a white waxy substance which didn’t melt or dissolve. This was PTFE (nowadays better known as Teflon®), which has since become the most widely-used fluoropolymer material in the world.

In technical terms, fluoropolymers are fluorocarbon-based plastics with multiple strong carbon-fluorine bonds. Put simply, however, they’re the ‘superheroes’ of the plastic industry, some of the toughest materials around.

How common are fluoropolymers today?

Though we don’t always realise, fluoropolymers are now a critical part of our everyday lives. This is due to a number of unique properties which make them suitable for use in automotive, electrical and domestic applications, among others.

Fluoropolymers can be characterised by the following key features:

  • Non-stick
  • Chemical, electrical and solvent resistant
  • Strong and durable
  • Can withstand very high (+260°C) and very low (-200°C) working temperatures

With these in mind, fluoropolymers are vital in helping to provide a clean, safe and functional world.

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Adtech continues to support UoP Racing Team for 2019 season!

Adtech continues to support UoP Racing Team for 2019 season!

We're delighted to be able to support the UoP Racing Team for another season!

UoP Racing Team was created in 2002 at the University of Patras ,under the supervision of the Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems and Automation (LMS) ,of the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Aeronautics. The team consists exclusively of students, aiming to study and build a Formula car. Our goal is to participate in competitions and win the best possible position among top universities. Counting 15 years of continuous participation in the competition makes us one of the most experienced teams.

The Formula Student (FS) is the world's most established training engineering contest. This competition aims to develop and train talented young engineers, offering intensive experience in the field of design and construction, as well as examining the economic aspects of the automotive industry.

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The use of fluoroplastics for chemical processing

The use of fluoroplastics for chemical processing

Adtech supplies to the chemical processing industry on a regular basis. At its core, the chemical industry converts raw materials (oil, gas, water, metals, and minerals) into over 70,000 products which, as consumers, we encounter on a daily basis. From fertilisers which support agriculture to the actual cars we drive, almost every facet of our life is made possible by the presence of chemicals and chemical processing.

As expected, however, there are a number of risks associated with the chemical processing industry. Because chemicals are inherently hazardous and a number of them are flammable, explosive, toxic or corrosive, it’s important for processing plants to use materials which can handle the aggressive manufacturing environment. At Adtech, we produce fluoroplastics particularly with this in mind.

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Testimonial - Fluoropolymer Tube

Testimonial - Fluoropolymer Tube

Case Study - FEP Square Profile Components

Case Study - FEP Square Profile Components

We were approached by a client to create a rectangular profile component using a fluoropolymer.

Critical elements

  • High working temperature 
  • Non-stick
  • Thin wall
  • Good dielectric strength
  • Had to be made from a fluoroplastic raw polymer.
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We're Hiring!  We are looking for an Apprentice to join our Accounts Team

We're Hiring! We are looking for an Apprentice to join our Accounts Team

This role will really give you the opportunity to "own" the tasks delegated to you, to process from start to finish and allow you to develop skills and experience in all aspects of a busy accounts department.

Day to day tasks could consist of:

  • Purchase invoice approval and entry
  • Purchase leger tasks
  • Responsible for accuracy of credit account details
  • Customer and Supplier invoice queries
  • Credit control
  • Issuing of pro-form invoices and taking credit card payments
  • Progression of pro-forma invoices to orders – once paid
  • Invoicing
  • Stock

Working week

Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm Friday 8:30am to 2:00pm

Total hours per week: 37.50

Additional benefits include:

  • Company pension scheme for eligible workers
  • Health scheme offered after 2 years continuous service
  • 30 days holiday per annum including bank holidays
  • Annual shutdown over the Christmas/ New Year Period
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The use of fluoroplastics for environmental monitoring and testing

The use of fluoroplastics for environmental monitoring and testing

A clean and safe environment is essential for a healthy quality of life for the whole population. With so many factors affecting the world in which we live in, it’s vital that we frequently monitor and test the elements (such as water, gas, soil, pollutants, waste) that contribute to an unclean, polluted and potentially toxic air environment.

Day-to-day, these elements produce VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, into the air, which impact both our bodies and the environment. Health-wise, VOCs can cause skin irritation, respiratory issues, headaches and fatigue. Environmentally, VOCs cause pollutants, the production of ozone and damage to materials and buildings.

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