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Circuit Breaker Cases Breaking The Thermosetting Mold

November 10, 2014

Plastic injection molding companies in Illinois are getting a real charge out of a new trend: electrical equipment makers who are utilizing high-performance polyamides, which are thermoplastics, instead of plastic thermosetting polyesters in the manufacture of circuit breaker boxes.

The reason?  Thermoplastics are both recyclable and cheaper to work with than thermosets, which are plastics that experience an irreversible chemical curing action when molded, transforming the resin permanently from a liquid to a solid. With sustainability and energy conservation the mantra of today’s electricity producers, this gives thermoplastics a huge advantage over thermosets.  A large part of this conservation effort is being driven by electronic regulation of large-area electrical networks (so-called “Smart Grid/Smart City” technology) with low-voltage MCCBs—those systems operating at below 690 V ac.  Because of their greater numbers, thermoplastics only really make sense in the production of low-voltage circuit breaker boxes like these.

Secondly, the spreading electrification of rural areas in the third- world, sometimes through solar-energy, as well as the continued growth of mass-transit systems in urban areas globally, stimulates the need for dc MCCBs.Switching to thermoplastics can also save these manufacturers 10-15% in production costs, which could give them a competitive advantage.

The requirements for MCCB parts are rigorous. Perhaps their most important function is to contain and quench electrical arcs which occur in short-circuits. Even though the vast majority of MCCBs are made from thermosetting polyesters,  Engineered Thermoplastic Solutions (ETS) are especially suited for this role.  And because they are so malleable, ETS can be molded into a variety of different shapes and thicknesses, improving performance and aesthetics.

Advantech Plastics manufactures a wide range of electrical components molded by plastic injection, including high-performance thermoplastic parts, inserts, over-molding, ultrasonic welding, pad printing and more.  Our company also assembles finished mechanical and electronic parts.  Whatever your electronic parts needs, Advantech Plastics can work with you to design and produce them, whether it’s a molded-case circuit breaker or some other electronic component.





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