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The benefits of vacuum forming for your business

The benefits of vacuum forming for your business

At Adtech, we look to deliver the best solutions to suit each clients’ specific needs. When it comes to the manufacturing of plastic products, we recommend vacuum forming as a go-to manufacturing process for the majority of plastic production.

What Does Vacuum Forming Involve?

Vacuum forming is a type of thermoforming process by which fluoroplastics are moulded into specific shapes. Vacuum-formed products are used in our daily lives, and often in places we don’t even realise, from yogurt pots to bath tubs, fridge liners to sandwich boxes, the process can be used to make fluoropolymers into all kinds of complex shapes and designs.

With vacuum forming, in order to produce a certain shape, plastic is heated until soft, draped over an already-formed mould, and then ejected and left to become solid –whereupon the new form is maintained.

As the pressures which are applied to the plastic during production are very low, vacuum-formed products can be made from several fluoroplastic materials including FEP, Tedlar PVF and PVDF. Also, because the fabrication process itself is very quick, this makes vacuum-forming ideal for repeat and high quantity orders, while the moulds themselves also have extended lifetimes when compared to other moulding processes.

Vacuum Forming for Low Cost Manufacturing

Since vacuum forming is a particularly simple form of thermoforming, the cost of the manufacturing process is significantly lower than with injection moulding methods. The production process is straightforward, the machinery is less costly, and the fluoroplastic materials themselves are also available at low cost. This means that operational expenses can be kept low, while the products themselves can be produced at an extremely high structural standard, making it a process popular with many.

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Using HF Welding for a Stronger Join

Using HF Welding for a Stronger Join

What is HF Welding?

High Frequency welding, or HF welding, is a method of joining plastic materials together using an electromagnetic field coupled with pressure to create a tight seal.

In the HF welding process, electrical energy causes the molecules within the material to move around, generating heat and softening the PVC and PU material so that it begins to fuse together – similarly to the regular lamination process. Once cooled, the HF-welded surfaces become completely fused together, creating an extremely strong join.

This secure bonding creates an airtight environment, providing low permeation of other gases into the bag, and enabling the sample to remain uncontaminated.

Sampling Bags

At Adtech, we use HF welding to produce PVC and Polyurethane (PU)  air sampling and liquid bags for clients on a regular basis, which are vital for protecting critical environments from contamination.

PVC and PU general-purpose sampling bags are quick and easy to produce, extremely durable, and widely used for non-critical testing as a cheaper alternative to more expensive materials, such as FEPTedlar and PVDF.


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FEP Roll Covers for the Printing Industry

FEP Roll Covers for the Printing Industry

At Adtech, we specialise in producing FEP heat shrinkable roll covers for the printing industry, to eliminate problems with sticky build-up on the rollers.

Our roll covers are used by a wide variety of different printers, including a pioneering recycling company who are able to recycle disposable coffee cups.

The fluoroplastic qualities of FEP mean that the roll covers are naturally non-stick, resistant to chemicals and corrosion, and the longevity of our FEP roll covers is also excellent, being suitable for long-term use in both hot and cold environments with minimal long-term deterioration.

In contrast to a sprayed-on PTFE roller coating of 0.005mm in thickness, FEP roll covers are typically a much more sturdy and durable 0.5mm – so they work much more efficiently for the same price. For extremely high temperature applications, such as for laminating paper to polyethylene and extrusions, we also produce PFA roll covers, which have a flex life of ten times the FEP roll covers and can withstand temperatures of up to 250°C (as opposed to 200°C with FEP). Whatever your needs, we make PFA and FEP roll covers to order.

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Why Fluoroplastics such as PTFE, FEP and PFA make ideal Heat Shrink Materials

Why Fluoroplastics such as PTFE, FEP and PFA make ideal Heat Shrink Materials

Fluoroplastics can be moulded into any shape or consistency that a project requires. While Adtech is known for producing specialist fluoroplastic tubing, we also produce many different fluoroplastic heat shrink materials for a wide array of industries.

Fluoroplastic heat shrink is a very effective way to cover and encapsulate devices to make them non-stick and electrically inert. As these materials can withstand high temperatures, chemicals, solvents and UV light, they are ideally suited for use in harsh environments, for example, as temperature sensors, probe covers, battery pack assemblies, for encapsulating medical devices, creating automotive components and shatterproof lamps

For the electronics industry, fluoroplastic heat shrinkable sleeves are ideal for insulating connections in hot environments such as toasters, kettles and soldering irons. Meanwhile in the medical industry, Adtech’s PTFE and FEP heat shrink sleeving is widely used by manufacturers of medical devices.

It can be produced from FDA and USP Class VI compliant raw polymers and we also offer full traceability for materials supplied for all medical applications. (A major advantage of using fluoroplastic heat shrink wrap or sleeving for medical devices is that the materials are inert, non-toxic and bio-compatible. Being non-stick, they also offer low co-efficient friction, meaning that coated parts can easily slide inside other parts – perfect for intricate medical assemblies.)

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Trainee Role - Aston Down Site

Trainee Role - Aston Down Site

We are looking for trainees to join our expanding team at our Stroud office.   There are opportunities in our customer service and production departments.

If you're enthusiastic about making things, solving technical problems and have a 'can do' attitude we may have the role perfect for you.  The aim of this role is to enable you to learn all areas of the business with scope to progress into more senior roles as experience is gained.

Full training will be provided.  If you're interested in finding out more then contact Samantha for a chat on +44 (0) 1285 762006 or send your CV to samantha@adtech.co.uk

Employment details:

Customer Service: 37.5 hours per week, Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5.00pm and Friday 8.30am to 2.00pm.

Production: 40 hours per week, Monday to Thursday 8.00am to 5.00pm and Friday 8.00am to 2.00pm

Benefits: Pension scheme

Holidays: 30 days per annum including all bank holidays recognised in England.

Salary: on application

We create all manner of bespoke materials and products for clients… including air-tight cuboids made from FEP-film!

We create all manner of bespoke materials and products for clients… including air-tight cuboids made from FEP-film!

We create all manner of bespoke materials and products for clients… including air-tight cuboids made from FEP-film!

At Adtech, we specialise in fabricating bespoke fluoroplastic products and materials for every possible client project.

What’s more, with our advanced plastic manufacturing capabilities in-house, whatever you need to produce, we are able to turn projects around extremely quickly and can facilitate the journey from conception through to producing hands-on samples often in a matter of days.

One of the best examples of how this works in practice is exemplified by a project we did for the University of Manchester, which needed to produce a single-unit, one-off FEP Sample Chamber for an environmental monitoring project.

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Designing Bespoke Fluoroplastic Probe Covers

Designing Bespoke Fluoroplastic Probe Covers

Adtech are specialists in producing fluoroplastic probe covers for stainless-steel temperature-detection and level-detection sensors, both for medical procedures and industrial applications too.

Why choose to cover your probes in fluoroplastic?

The answer is that fluoroplastics such as PTFE, FEP, & PFA are some of the most inert materials known to man, and they also have a very high temperature resistance for polymeric material too, making them non-stick. This makes them particularly useful for protecting sensors in applications where highly corrosive or solvent conditions exist.

Fluoroplastics are relatively difficult materials to process, but by using a combination of moulding, shrinking, welding and spraying techniques, we can create fluoroplastic probe covers of any length and diameter, without damaging delicate sensor elements inside.

How do we do it?

We use a variety of technologies to encapsulate measurement elements, including FEP shrinkable tubing, moulding, spray coating, and fluoroplastic welding. This enables us to produce probe covers from 0.5mm to 40mm diameter at any length, and we also offer a complete assembly service to insert sensors into the covers, sourcing all components where necessary.

Getting your probe covers from Adtech is generally also much more cost effective than other methods. This is because we have the equipment to produce and store FEP shrink-fit covers of varying thickness and tip profiles in-house. So whatever number of probe covers you need, we can easily produce these for you ourselves, so that you can mitigate needing to over-buy in bulk.

Probe Cover Production – A Case Study

For this project, our medical industry client wanted to create a small diameter sensor probe suitable for a new microwave treatment for patients. The probe covers needed to feature a hemispherical-domed tip with a consistent wall thickness at the sealed tip, as this was the area designed to control each dose of microwave treatment. They also needed to form a secure autoclave so that nothing external could permeate the treatment process from the outside, and be flexible enough for multiple usage, as well as potentially suitable for use within the body (bio-compatible).

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Advantages of Expanded PTFE Tube (ePTFE)

Advantages of Expanded PTFE Tube (ePTFE)

In the world of Fluoroplastics, PTFE is an incredibly useful material. It can function in extremely high temperatures and is non-corrosive to all acids. It is often used to make gaskets, vessel linings, pump interiors, washers, rings, seals, spacers, dip tubes and well-drilling components. It is well used in heated processes within manufacturing and laboratory test environments, and in electrics, it can also be an excellent insulator for wire and cable wrapping. Being inert, it can be used for chip manufacturing and encapsulating heaters, and its non-toxic, completely smooth surface lends itself well to be used in the medical, food, beverage, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries too.

Yet at Adtech Polymer Engineering™, it doesn’t stop there. We also produce many additional types of fluoroplastic material, such as ePTFE, FEP, PFA, ETFE, E-CTFE and PVDF, to meet the bespoke demands of our customers.

Earlier this year, one of our customers contacted us with a particular need to produce a material which could be fluoroplastic yet porous.  Using a machine to purify water, they wanted to flow some Ozone gas through a special piece of tube which would then leak out into the iron-rich water and purify it.

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Thinking Laterally to Create Custom Quantities of Specialist FEP Tubing

Thinking Laterally to Create Custom Quantities of Specialist FEP Tubing

At Adtech, we produce plastic tubing products of every possible size, shape and form.

While we are able to produce large quantities of plastic products for our customers, we also specialise in producing in-house impressively small batches of custom components for many different functions. 

Take for example this square-profile tubing which we created for a university project in Malaysia. For this project, our client required very small volumes of FEP tube with a 2mm x 2mm square profile x 0.2mm wall thickness. The overall length of each tube was to be 100mm in total, and they required a batch size of just 20-50 units per year.

Typically, square tubing is usually created using injection moulding or standard extrusion processes, but in this case, we felt that this traditional method would be too expensive for the project to justify. It costs a significant amount to create the initial dye mould, and therefore a large minimum extrusion quantity is required. Therefore, because the customer only wanted a very small quantity of the tubing, we decided upon another method to keep production as cost effective as possible for them.

However, our engineers at Adtech had a solution. By taking production in-house, we were able to reform the existing circular stock FEP tubing to fit our customer’s specifications.

Using entirely in-house tooling and processing techniques, this dramatically reduced production costs, enabling us to produce the small batches of square tubing much more efficiently, meeting the exact specifications that the customer had requested. 

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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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