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Delrin is the brand name for an acetal resin engineering plastic invented and sold by DuPont. Often marketed and used as a metal substitute, Delrin is a lightweight, low-friction, and wear-resistant plastic capable of operating in temperatures in excess of 90 degrees celsius (approx 200 degrees Fahrenheit).
Other names for this compound include: polyoxymethylene (POM), acetal resin, polytrioxane and polyformaldehyde.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved Delrin for use in the food industry. Delrin was used by Mattel from 1968 to 1972 to produce the low-friction wheel bearings found on redline Hot Wheels. Delrin is made from acetal homopolymer resin & when extruded into large basic shapes (i.e.- sheets, rods & tubes) tends to be subject to porosity problems. These porosity problems can make the product less reliable in certain applications. Acetal copolymer (Acetron GP) is often used as a replacement for Delrin (acetal homopolymer) when porosity risk is a factor in material selection.
It is also used extensively in paintball markers, where it is used to make bolts, pump handles and many other parts. Its low cost, adequate strength, light weight and self lubricating properties make it ideal for markers. Its competition in this area, Nylatron, while slightly lighter is more prone to swelling. A swelled part can make the mechanism impossible to operate and sometimes even damages the marker. Nylon-based products such as Nylatron have better wear-resistance than Delrin, but do not have good moisture-resistance, and therefore not suitable to high-humidity or underwater appplications.
Another recent use for Delrin is in the manufacturing of Irish flutes (traditionally made of wood) and tin whistles (traditionally made of metal). Delrin flutes sound similar or identical to wooden flutes but have none of the shrinkage or cracking issues usually associated with wooden instruments in hot, cold, or dry environments. Builders such as Desi Seery, Michael Cronnolly of M&E Flutes, and Tony Dixon all build Delrin flutes.
Acetal polymers are typically very difficult to bond. Special processes and treatments have been developed to improve bonding of acetal. Typically these processes involve surface etching, flame treatment or mechanical abrasion. Typical etching processes involve chromic acid at elevated temperatures. Dupont has a patented process for treating acetal homopolymer called satinizing which created anchor points on the surface which give that adhesive something to grab. There are also processes involving oxygen plasma and corona discharge<ref>Template:Cite book</ref>.
Once the surface is prepared a number of adhesives can be used for bonding. These include epoxies, polyurethanes, and cyanoacrylates. Epoxies have shown 150-500 psi shear strength on mechanically abraded surfaces and 500-1000 psi on chemically treated surfaces. Cyanoacrylates are useful for bonding to metal, leather, rubber and other plastics.
Solvent welding is typically unsuccessful on acetal polymers due to the excellent solvent resistance of acetal. Thermal welding thru various methods have been used successfully on both homopolymer and copolymer.