Marking With Acetal

Posted: October 21, 2013 in Acetal, Cool Projects
Tags: , , ,

In the world of engineering plastics there are many niche uses for materials, applications where one material is prized by a select group of engineers or machinists. One of those areas is the sport of paintball.

For those that still have not heard of the sport, paintball is popular throughout North America. Players use devices called “paintball markers” to fire round balls containing a water-soluble paint. These markers are all gas-powered by either CO2, nitrogen or compressed air. With the sport’s increasing popularity in the mid-1990’s a culture of customization of markers started as small manufacturers and individuals with machining ability attempted to gain any sort of edge. An early discovery was acetal for use as the bolt of the marker:

checkitbolt

Acetal has a number of useful properties including zero permeability to moisture and little to no permeability to gas. It is also quite hard. However, most importantly was that acetal machines to excellent tolerances and can be used to create a precision part. Over the years a number of larger paintball equipment manufacturers started to carry lines of acetal bolts, to capitalize on the excellent properties acetal offers to the component. The popularity of this material remains to this day, with acetal being a sought-after material for aftermarket bolts both by manufacturers and those same talented machinists working at home who are still looking for that extra edge in performance, that acetal can provide. For an example of the acetal “Check It Full Force Bolt” bolt click here.

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