Delrin question, or two

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geocash
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Delrin question, or two

Post by geocash » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:12 pm

Can Delrin handles be properly referred to as "composite handles"? And what is the word "composite" usually applied to, anyway?

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Sharpnshinyknives
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Re: Delrin question, or two

Post by Sharpnshinyknives » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:31 pm

Geo, I don’t know if there is an official answer to that or not. I sometimes refer to any synthetic material as composite, since it consists of more than one material and that is after all the definition of a composite. I think in the knife world it might get a little confusing since Case calls a certain handle material “yellow composite” and “black composite”. For clarity’s sake it might be best to refer to Delrin as Delrin, but when not sure, I say composite or synthetic. That’s just the way I do it, which might not jib with how others think.
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gsmith7158
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Re: Delrin question, or two

Post by gsmith7158 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:32 pm

When you are talking about knife handles composite generally refers to a substance that is man made and molded from various different compounds or chemical processes. These composites can be metal, plastics and I've even seen a few with a component of wood included.
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Re: Delrin question, or two

Post by zzyzzogeton » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:15 pm

You have to take into account the brand as well. Western advertised "pearl composition" or "amber composition" or "black composition" or "assorted composition" (for the marbled swirl style), etc instead of "celluoid", but that's what theirs was. For bakelite, they used "bakelite" or "special type of Bakelite". They used the term "tenite" and "phenolic plastic" for the P handled knives.

They shifted to Delrin for all "plastic" components in 1961.

I have never seen a specific term for the brown swirl bakelite-like plastic they used for guards and pommels on some G46-5s and G46-6s in 1945 and shortly after the war.

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Re: Delrin question, or two

Post by gsmith7158 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:22 pm

acetal homopolymer
Delrin® acetal homopolymer (POM-H) offers slightly higher mechanical properties than acetal copolymer, but can often contain a low density center – also known as "center line porosity” – especially in large cross-sections. Delrin® also gives slightly less chemical resistance than copolymer acetal.Mar 5, 2013
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Re: Delrin question, or two

Post by Dinadan » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:47 pm

If I was uncertain about the material, then I would call it man made. If I was pretty certain it was Delrin then I would call it Delrin. That is a pretty well known name among knife folks, and it seems to me that calling it anything else would just add confusion or uncertainty to the description.

I am trying to recall if I have seen composite used in a knife description. I do not think it is common. Composite is kind of like vintage in that it can mean whatever the person using it wants, so unless the kind of composite is specified then all I would take away from it is that the material is not a naturally occurring substance.
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Re: Delrin question, or two

Post by geocash » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:03 am

I'm glad I asked. Thanks to all of you for the range of information.

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Re: Delrin question, or two

Post by kootenay joe » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:34 pm

It is a good question and "composite" is often seen in handle descriptions for older knives. Beginning in 1960, Delrin became the most commonly used man made handle material. Older knives might have celluloid handles. But there are also older many knives with synthetic handles the exact nature of which is not known. These are usually referred to as "composite" handles. Older IXL Wostenholm knives with jigged black handles are a good example of what is referred to as "composite".
kj

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Re: Delrin question, or two

Post by geocash » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:20 am

Thanks, kj. I appreciate your thoughts, too.

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