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Phenolic Machining

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American Micro Industries' extensive machining capabilities encompass a wide range of phenolic materials. As a partner to manufacturers across the country, we can turn around projects around with a high degree of speed and accuracy. Leveraging technology, industry expertise and a commitment to customer service, we help our clients find smart solutions that build better products.

On this page, you'll find information about some of the many CNC phenolics we work with. Keep reading for details or get in touch with one of our representatives to learn more, request a quote.

CE Phenolics

The term CE — or canvas electric — phenolics refers to a class of reinforced laminates made from a medium-weave cotton canvas cloth impregnated with a phenolic resin binder.

CE phenolics offer mechanical strength and durability, plus resistance to impact and wear. CE phenolics can withstand temperatures up to 275°F. They are also easy to machine, making them a cost-effective choice for many applications.

CE phenolics are less abrasive than fiberglass and meet MIL-I-24768/14 FBG standards for laminated sheet insulation in electrical control boards. However, they are generally not suitable for use as primary electrical insulation. Other applications include gears, pulls and guides.

AMI can machine sheet stock, rod, angle and U-channel CE phenolics. We can provide advice on whether this material is right for your project, or recommend an alternative that will work better.

LE Phenolics

LE phenolics are similar to CE phenolics but made from linen cotton cloth with a finer weave. As a result, they offer a better finish than CE, in addition to improved machining characteristics that make them suitable for highly precise components.

Like CE phenolics, LE phenolics have good mechanical properties and dimensional stability. They also meet MIL-I-24768/13 FBE requirements. Because LE phenolics are thinner, they are suitable for a wider range of potential applications, including panels, terminal strips, ball bearing retainers and fine gears.

If you'd like to learn more about our LE phenolic machining capabilities or request a quote for a project, contact the AMI office by phone or email.

X-Grade NEMA Phenolics

AMI is also capable of machining NEMA phenolics ranging from X Grade to XXX. NEMA X-grade phenolics are lightweight and strong, and offer excellent moisture- and impact-resistance. Mechanical and electrical grades are available in a range of thicknesses.

Each NEMA phenolic has different properties and different potential applications, including gears and gaskets used in aerospace, automotive and electronic manufacturing. NEMA sheet, strip, and rod phenolics are MIL-I-24768/11 compliant and meet UL 94HB specifications for flame retardance.

Accurately machining thin materials like Grade X phenolics requires specialized equipment and expertise. AMI can turn around large projects quickly, maintaining the accuracy you need to release a higher-quality finished product.

Garolite® G10/FR4

Garolite G10/FR4 is one of the most versatile phenolics available and an excellent choice for a range of projects. First introduced in 1950 and now widely used in many industrial applications, G10/FR4 is a fire-resistant glass-reinforced epoxy laminate.

Notable characteristics of G10/FR4 include:

  • Excellent mechanical properties, even at high humidity levels
  • Excellent dielectric strength and stability in dry, wet and high-humidity environments
  • Fire resistance to UL 94, 94V-0 standards
  • MIL-I-24768/27 GEE-F compliance

AMI is unique in our ability to mass-produce Garolite insulators for use in terminal boards, electrical and electronic test equipment, and electric rotors, among other demanding applications. Our approach emphasizes quality above all else, ensuring we can provide Garolite phenolic machining to your specifications.

Other Garolite Phenolics

G10/FR4 is just one of many Garolite phenolics we work with. Other excellent candidates for CNC machining include:

  • G5/G9: G5 or G9 phenolics (the names are interchangeable) are among the hardest laminate materials available today. G5/G9 is flame-resistant with excellent arc resistance and electrical strength. Made from a glass cloth and Melamine resin, G5/G9 machines easily for use in switchboard panels, circuit breaker parts and structural electrical components.
  • G7: G7 is a glass-silicone laminate with good electrical properties and excellent heat and arc resistance. It is self-extinguishing and works well in both humid and dry environments. AMI has machined G7 phenolics into electrical-grade insulation components as well as industrial insulation for use in heating and other systems.
  • G11/FR5: G11/FR5 laminate is similar to G10/FR4 but offers improved heat resistance, making it suitable for continuous use in temperatures up to 275°F. G11/FR5 is difficult to machine. However, when done by a qualified operator using specialized equipment, G11/FR5 can be used to mass-produce components for aerospace equipment, electrical equipment, cryogenic insulation and more.
  • GPO1: GPO1 is a laminate phenolic made from glass-woven cloth and polyester resin. With good thermal and electric properties, it is suitable for general-purpose applications and can be machined into components such as insulation. AMI works with products that meet MIL-I-24768/4 standards.
  • GPO3: GPO3 is an electrical-grade glass-woven cloth-polyester resin laminate similar to GPO1. It is UL-listed in flammability class 94VO and has a 180-second arc resistance rating. As a result, it is a reliable choice for high-voltage switchgear barriers, supports, panels and insulators.

Finding the right phenolic laminate and knowing how to work with it takes deep industry expertise. AMI offers unmatched CNC machining capabilities that can drive your project's success. We are one of the few companies capable of accurately turning around projects using G10/FR4, CE and LE phenolics, plus other nonmetallic laminates.

Check out our CNC machining Material Selection Guide for more information about the factors that go into selecting the best product for a given application.

Why AMI?

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Our extensive technical expertise and capabilities are just two of the reasons we're a national leader in phenolic machining. AMI also provides fast turnaround times and cost-effective service, with no order minimums and low tooling costs.

Most importantly, we're a partner to everyone we serve. We're committed to leveraging our longstanding experience in CNC machining to help our clients solve problems related to sourcing, design and manufacturing. To learn more about how we can help you, contact our office today.

No Minimum Order  -  Low Tooling  -  Fast Turn Around