Stock shapes (rods, plates and tubes) are primarily produced by extruding various polymers, but especially high-performance polymers like PEEK, Radel, AvaSpire and Torlon into long lengths and thick cross-sections that are typically not achievable via injection molding. These shapes are subsequently fabricated, or machined, into finished components of relative lower volumes compared to components made by the high-volume injection molding process, which requires building expensive molds. Stock shapes are also produced by compression molding and injection molding, although to a far lesser degree since compression molding is a slow batch process that has some size limitations, and injection molding of stock shapes is limited by thickness and overall shape size.
PEEK’s high molecular weight and melt strength enables it to be an ideal choice for extrusion into large cross sections such as rod diameters of greater than 7.75 inches (200mm), plate thicknesses of up to 4 inches (>100mm) and tubes with 2 inches (>50mm) of wall thickness. Furthermore, we can offer more than 50 different sizes of PEEK rods and plates. Both general medical and human implantable grades of PEEK are widely converted into stock shapes with the vast volume of implantable PEEK components being produced by fabrication from rod stock.
In addition to PEEK, other high-performance polymers like Radel, AvaSpire and Torlon are readily converted into rod, plate and tubes stock shapes. Also, additives like Carbon Fibers and wear resistance packages can be added to the high-performance polymers to produce filled stock shapes that offer a variety of expanded properties and performance advantages.