CMT Materials Inc. Announces Expansion of HYTAC® Family of Plug-Assist Materials for Thermoforming

ATTLEBORO, Mass., - CMT Materials Inc., a leading supplier of plug-assist materials for the thermoforming industry based in Attleboro, Mass., USA, has expanded its HYTAC® family of plug-assist products with five new grades that deliver low heat transfer properties, improved machinability, toughness, and performance that lowers cost compared to competing materials. The company will launch the products during K 2010 (Hall 3 Booth DS95-1), the 18th International Trade Fair Plastics + Rubber, Oct. 27-Nov. 3, in Dusseldorf, Germany.

"We've expanded our high-performance line of plug-assist materials to give thermoformers more options and greater flexibility," said Noel Tessier, Materials Engineer and a founder of CMT Materials. "Varied levels of toughness, polishing characteristics, lower heat transfer, and friction with the sheet material enable packaging manufacturers to attain the most optimum plug assists for their applications."

HYTAC-FLX is a toughened, high-temperature epoxy syntactic foam that is targeted for deep-draw transparent PP and APET applications. The enhanced formulation is easy to polish and results in minimal to no scratches with transparent sheet. The material has been designed to minimize chilling of the sheet and bring more material into the sidewall, resulting in improved distribution. The newly improved FLX provides 35% lower thermal conductivity (better material distribution at lower sheet temperatures), 15% lower thermal mass (less plug mark), a 50% reduction in surface roughness (improved clarity), and 15% lower coefficient of thermal expansion (tighter plug detail) versus the previous FLX formulation.

Compared to standard thermoset epoxy syntactic foam, HYTAC FLX offers 1.5 times the flexural strength and more than five times the toughness. It also provides four times greater elongation at break and withstands the most rigorous plug environment without the brittle failure often encountered by epoxy syntactic foams.

CMT Materials also launched HYTAC-FLXT, a Teflon®-containing syntactic foam for multilayer applications. This unique formulation combines the toughness and higher friction of HYTAC-FLX with the improved release characteristics of Teflon as found in HYTAC-WFT. Low thermal conductivity and specific heat allow improved material distribution, yet this rugged syntactic foam is easily polished for a smooth finish. There is sufficient drag to insure consistent part thickness even in deep-draw applications while the Teflon-enhanced release characteristics eliminate part sticking.
FLXT has found use in thermoformed multilayer films, providing excellent material distribution and reduced mark-off. These benefits are also realized when forming multilayer film with PE inner surfaces as well as film containing EVOH. Key processing advantages include instant start-up, shorter cycles, and lower plug operating temperatures.

HYTAC-Rx is the first syntactic plug-assist material with associated Drug Master File listings for pharmaceutical blister packaging. It aids the thermoforming process, resulting in more uniform material distribution and improved barrier performance. The high-stick formulation, HYTAC-Rx-H1, allows the plug to move more material into the formed product in single or multilayer applications. It is also designed for improved toughness and ease of machining. The low-stick grade, HYTAC-Rx-L1, provides more slip as well as improved release properties for sheet that exhibits heavy bottoms or plug sticking problems. Other key features include high compressive strength, lower CTE, and higher temperature resistance for highly detailed plugs.

A new plug-assist product made of Ultem® 1000 polyetherimide (PEI) is targeted for deep-draw transparent PP applications. HYTAC-A can be polished to an extremely smooth surface, yet offers an inherently low thermal conductivity and heat transfer which ensures good material distribution as well as high clarity. The material has better toughness, durability, and performance than solid polymer plug materials such as polysulfone, acetal, and nylon. It is specially formulated for service temperatures up to 400 F with minimal loss in mechanical properties and good dimensional stability. HYTAC-A contains a special additive to improve the friction characteristics resulting in better part transparency.

Currently in limited release is HYTAC-V, an engineering thermoplastic syntactic foam that offers moderate to good toughness and durability and excellent polishing characteristics for a smooth plug surface. The material eliminates the machining difficulties of conventional syntactic epoxy foams, producing easily managed chips with no dust. Like other HYTAC syntactic foams, it has low thermal conductivity and specific heat for better material distribution and shorter start-up and cycle times. The low heat transfer also results in less haze and higher gloss on clear parts, as well as lower operating temperatures.

About CMT Materials Inc.

CMT Materials Inc., based in Attleboro, Mass., USA, is a leading supplier of plug-assist materials for the thermoforming industry. The company was founded in 1998 by three materials research and development engineers with over 60 years of experience in high-performance materials. The HYTAC family of plug-assist materials delivers a unique combination of insulative, abuse resistance, machining, and other mechanical properties. The product line includes syntactic and solid polymer materials available in a variety of sizes in rod, sheet, or block shape. CMT Materials also offers custom casting operations for large or difficult-to-form plugs. For more information, call (508) 226-3901 or visit

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