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Types of plastics

For detailed information please follow the links to the Plastipedia, the digital material guide provided by BPF  - The British Plastics Federation.

 ABS, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and Other Specialist Styrenics 

Properties:
Rigid, opaque, glossy tough, good low temperature properties, good dimensional stability and easily electroplated, low creep.

Applications:
Telephone handsets, rigid luggage, domestic appliance housings (food mixers), electroplated parts, radiator grills, handles, computer housings.


ASA, Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN) & Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA)

Properties:
Rigid, transparent, tough, resistant to greases, stress cracking and crazing, easily processed, resistant to food stains.

Applications:
Drinking tumblers, hi-fi covers, lenses, water jugs and toothbrush handles, kitchen and picnic ware, radio dials, TV set screens, washing machine trims.


EVA,  Ethylene Vinyl Acetate EVA

Properties:
Flexible (rubbery), transparent, good low temperature flexibility (-70'C), good chemical resistance, high friction coefficient.

Applications:
Teats, handle grips, flexible tubing, record turntable mats, beer tubing, vacuum, cleaner hosing.


PA,  Nylons (Polyamides) PA

Properties:
The majority of nylons tend to be semi-crystalline and are generally very tough materials with good thermal and chemical resistance. The different types give a wide range of properties with specific gravity, melting point and moisture content tending to reduce as the nylon number increases.


PE/HDPE,  Polyethylene (High Density) HDPE

Properties:
Flexible, translucent / waxy, weatherproof, good low temperature toughness (to -60'C), easy to process by most methods, low cost, good chemical resistance.

Applications:
Chemical drums, jerricans, carboys, toys, picnic ware, household and kitchenware, cable insulation, carrier bags, food wrapping material.


PE/LDPE,  Polyethylene (Low Density) LDPE, LLDPE

Properties:
Semi-rigid, translucent, very tough, weatherproof, good chemical resistance, low water absorption, easily processed by most methods, low cost.

Applications:
Squeeze bottles, toys, carrier bags, high frequency insulation, chemical tank linings, heavy duty sacks, general packaging, gas and water pipes.


PP, Polypropylene PP

Properties:
Rigid, opaque, good dimensional stability at high temperature and humidity conditions, difficult to process (blended to ease injection moulding), tough.

Applications:
Coffee pot and washing m/c parts (where high temperature and moisture are critical), replacement for die castings, drink vending machines, microwave components.


 

PC, PC/ABS Polycarbonate PC

Properties:
Polycarbonates are strong, stiff, hard, tough, transparent engineering thermoplastics that can maintain rigidity up to 140oC and toughness down to -20°C or special grades even lower.

Applications:
In recent years Polycarbonate blends have become increasingly commercially important. PC is widely used in blends due to its excellent compatibility with a range of polymers.

Applications:
Nylon fibres are used in textiles, fishing line and carpets. Nylon films is used for food packaging, offering toughness and low gas permeability, and coupled with its temperature resistance, for boil-in-the-bag food packaging.


PET, Polyesters (Thermoplastic) PETP, PBT, PET

Properties:
PBT, PET and PBT Blends are engineering plastics with excellent processing characteristics and high strength and rigidity for a broad range of applications.

Applications:
Engineering polymers are used in the manufacture of a wide range of components, including under bonnet parts, exterior parts (window wiper holders and exterior mirror housing)


POM, Polyacetals POM

Properties:
Rigid, translucent, tough, spring-like qualities, good stress relaxation resistance, good wear and electrical properties, resistant to creep and organic solvents.

Applications:
Business m/c parts, small pressure vessels, aerosol valves, coil formers, clock and watch parts, nuclear engineering components, plumbing systems, shoe components.


PS,  Polystyrene (General Purpose) GPPS

Properties:
Brittle, rigid, transparent, low shrinkage, low cost, excellent X-ray resistance, free from odour and taste, easy to process.

Applications:
Toys and novelties, rigid packaging, refrigerator trays and boxes, cosmetic packs and costume jewellery, lighting diffusers, audio cassette and CD cases.


PS, Polystyrene (High Impact) HIPS

Properties:
Hard, rigid, translucent, impact strength up to 7 x GPPS, other properties similar.

Applications:
Yoghurt pots, refrigerator linings, vending cups, bathroom cabinets, toilet seats and tanks, closures, instrument control knobs.


PVC,  Polyvinyl Chloride PVC        Get info brochure

Properties:
Compatibility with many different kinds of additives - PVC can be clear or coloured, rigid or flexible, formulation of the compound is key to PVC's "added value".

Applications:
Window frames, drainage pipe, water service pipe, medical devices, blood storage bags, cable and wire insulation, resilient flooring, roofing membranes, stationary, automotive interiors and seat coverings, fashion and footwear, packaging, cling film, credit cards, synthetic leather and other coated fabrics.


PUR, glass fibre reinforcement and a polyurethane      Get info brochure

PUR is a composite material consisting of glass fibre reinforcement and a polyurethane polymer.

Properties:
Strength, light weight, corrosion resistant, thermal  and electrical insulation, stability, thin walls, adhesion, paintability, hygienic.

Applications:
Window and door frames, panel sections and door panels for the automotive industry, bumpers, panels and doorjambs etc. in refrigeration, cable trays, ladders,  components in pharmaceutical & food industries, profiles and components in offshore & energy industries.  


TPE, TPV, TPU,TPO  Thermoplastic Elastomers TPE, TPR

Properties:
Flexible, clear, elastic, wear resistant and impermeable.

Applications:
Soles and heels for sports shoes, hammer heads, seals, gaskets, skate board wheels, synthetic leather fabrics, silent running gears.