Frequently Asked Questions

Composite frac plugs drill out much easier than a steel frac plug, or even a dissolvable frac plug. They are more precise in their ability to withstand a variety of heats and pressures. With proper design, they don’t preset – which means they aren’t going to get stuck in the wrong place (and saves you a lot of money). Amalga uses high-performance resins, which can withstand extreme heat, and when we say extreme we mean re-entry of a spacecraft extreme! That capability makes them capable of withstanding all the heat, pressure, and extreme stress necessary to not fail. We know that frac plug failure is costly and time consuming, which is why everything we do is tested and engineered to meet your needs.

When working in aerospace and defense, it’s very important that the company be registered, and American-made. Amalga is registered in most branches, and we have extensive experience working with various branches of defense. We understand the process of contracting, and work with our doctoral-level engineers to create custom composite solutions. We are also a veteran-owned company! We are based in Wisconsin and all our design and manufacturing is done right here in West Allis. 

Black Amalgon is our trademarked product. It was designed to solve a problem in pneumatics as pneumatics are prone to premature wear from friction and imperfection. Steel and aluminum are fairly static, so it takes a lot of engineering to fit something that is unique. Black Amalgon is a vinylester plus gel coat, which coats the interior to further reduce friction. To read a case study on Black Amalgon, click here. 

Yes! Composites are 5-8x stronger than steel and aluminum. They are also lighter (75% lighter than steel), and much more corrosion-resistant. 

In virtually every facet, composites beat steel. Carbon fiber has a higher tensile strength due to its crystalline structure. It is stiffer, stronger, and lighter than steel. It can also be manufactured to provide variable rigidity, which is something steel simply can’t do. 

Composites are lighter, stiffer, and stronger than steel. Due to recent shipping and supply chain issues, composites are now comparable to, if not cheaper than, aluminum. 

Absolutely! These are our primary industries as they are the ones who have adapted to using composites in place of steel and aluminum. There is, however, almost no steel application that cannot be converted to, and benefit from, carbon fiber composites. 

Carbon fiber is a composite, but not all composites are carbon fiber. Carbon fiber refers to the polymer used to create the composite. Carbon fiber is the most commonly used polymer as it is five times stronger than steel, twice as stiff, and up to 75% lighter. To create a composite tube, carbon fibers are coated in resin or plastic and wound around mandrels. This process is referred to as filament winding, and it creates an incredibly strong structure that is also corrosion-resistant and capable of withstanding extreme temperatures and harsh environments. 

Carbon fiber and fiberglass are both composites and are both used in place of steel, aluminum and other metals. Though they are both significantly stronger, and lighter than steel and corrosion resistant, carbon fiber is considered to be slightly superior in both strength and temperature resistance. It also bears noting that fiberglass is created using a similar process to carbon fiber composites, but unlike carbon fiber – which uses woven strands of carbon – fiberglass uses glass fibers made of silicon. Fiberglass requires an epoxy to maintain its strength, whereas carbon fiber can be wound together with or without an epoxy. Carbon fiber, by nature, cannot be transparent, whereas fiberglass tubing can be manufactured to be transparent. Though the differences overall are minor, there are applications which demand the use of one over the other. Our team of experts always take your specific project, goal, or challenge into consideration throughout the design, engineering and manufacturing process. 

Filament winding is the fabrication process we use to create composite tubing. During this process fibers (filaments) are wound under tension over a rotating mandrel. It helps to think about thread being wound around a spool. The process is very similar, except the filaments are impregnated with resin/epoxy, and the pattern or angle is incredibly precise to achieve the desired strength and/or flexibility. Once the mandrel is covered, the resin is cured.
This is actually a myth! Fun fact: carbon fiber dates back to at least 1860 when Sir Joseph Wilson Swan created carbon fiber to use in an incandescent light bulb. Thomas Edison (in 1879) created carbon fiber by heating filaments of bamboo, carbonizing them in a process referred to as “pyrolysis.” It took awhile for inventors and scientists to truly realize the potential, but by 1963, carbon fiber began replacing steel in the automotive industry. Amalga was founded in 1966, and our engineers are all experts in composites. Because carbon fiber is such a promising material, the study on it has been incredibly extensive. In every way, carbon fiber is superior to steel and aluminum. Carbon fiber has made its way into our daily lives – golf clubs, hiking poles, bicycles, and a hundred other items now use carbon fiber to improve performance, reduce weight, etc.
No! Composites are corrosion-resistant and will not rust. This is why they are now being used to replace subsea structures, hulls, and in subsea oil exploration. Not only are they corrosion-resistant, but they are capable of withstanding extreme pressures, which make this an ideal material for anything deep sea.

Composites are incredibly resistant to harsh chemicals, and are considered far superior to traditional materials – like steel and aluminum. This makes composites an incredible alternative to steel and aluminum for numerous industries – aerospace and defense, pneumatics, sub sea, automotive, etc. 

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