The right choice of polymer material
You can optimise plastic component features such as product lifetime, thermal properties, stability, temperature and UV resistance.
Polymer or plastic?
In short, all plastics are polymers, but not all polymers are plastics. Confused? Don’t be – we’ll guide you.
Both the terms polymer and plastics are often used to describe ‘plastic’ the way consumers understand the term. So let’s have a look at the two terms in order to define them and understand the differences.
Polymers consist of chains of molecules or monomers.Thus, polymers are molecules made of often large amount of smaller, identical molecules. There are a number of different types of polymers, often categorized in three overall groups:
- Natural polymers (like proteins)
- Processed polymers (like rubber)
- Synthetic polymers (like thermoplastic and other raw plastic materials)
So, polymers are the building blocks of a wide range of raw materials, including plastic materials – but can also be the building blocks in other natural or synthetic materials such as wool and others.
Plastics – a part of the polymer family
Plastics are a specific type of polymers, comprised of a long chain of polymers.
Plastics are primarily derived from oil or petroleum and natural gas. Thus, they're organically-based materials which are further processed into many different “synthetic” types.
The various types of plastics all have different structures that determine their properties, like rigid or soft, flexible, and so on. These characteristics, and their combinations, are limited only by the imagination.
Endless possibilities with plastic
Plastics can be formed into an enormous variety of complex shapes; it can be rigid or flexible, and it can facilitate design solutions in thousands of applications. Plastics can also be co-extruded to achieve a combination of properties.
Primo can find a plastic solution which in most cases will be superior to any other materials you may have in mind.
Furthermore, product properties can be improved by mixing different types of materials or adjusted with colours and additives according to your needs – and always concerning flexibility, sustainability and recyclability.
Multifunctional: Plastics can be rigid or soft, light or heavy – any colour – any application for any purpose. Plastics are ideal materials for purposes like for instance insulating, protecting, covering and decoration.
Strong and resistant: Plastics offer high impact resistance and bending strength. Plastics are non-corrosive and resistant to weather, acids, lye, solvents and oil. Furthermore, they are UV-resistant and offer perfect water resistance.
Low friction: Plastics have a low friction coefficient and are ideal for durable and moving parts such as gears, cogwheels, conveyor belts, bearings etc.
Eco-friendly: Plastic is non-conductive and energy-saving in production, transportation and maintenance – plus it can be recycled and reused.
Learn more about plastics and sustainability
Eco-friendly and sustainable use of plastics
The properties of thermoplastic make extruded plastic profiles perfect for recycling since thermoplastic products can be melted and reused a number of times – usually without changing the material properties and qualities.
Thermoplastics are easily recyclable, compared to for instance thermosets, because the polymer chain does not degrade when melted.
Besides thermoplastics, Primo uses other types of sustainable plastics materials like biodegradable plastics and bio-based plastics.
Read more about sustainable polymer solutions
Traceability & documentation
Computer control and monitoring ensure that all information is updated during production.
Our tracing system is a part of our ERP system, Oracle, with an integrated quality module that guarantees one hundred per cent control.
All Primo products are fully documented, and data sheets can be delivered by request.
We have 60 years of experience with testing and documenting the properties of a wide range of plastics materials, and we are here to share those insights with you.
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
Rigid, opaque, glossy tough, good low temperature properties, good dimensional stability and easily electroplated, low creep.
Telephone handsets, rigid luggage, domestic appliance housings (food mixers), electroplated parts, radiator grills, handles, computer housings.
ASA, Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN) & Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA)
Rigid, transparent, tough, resistant to greases, stress cracking and crazing, easily processed, resistant to food stains.
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
Flexible (rubbery), transparent, good low temperature flexibility (-70'C), good chemical resistance, high friction coefficient.
Teats, handle grips, flexible tubing, record turntable mats, beer tubing, vacuum, cleaner hosing.
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.
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.
PE/HDPE, Polyethylene (High Density) HDPE
Flexible, translucent / waxy, weatherproof, good low temperature toughness (to -60'C), easy to process by most methods, low cost, good chemical resistance.
Chemical drums, jerricans, carboys, toys, picnic ware, household and kitchenware, cable insulation, carrier bags, food wrapping material.
PE/LDPE, Polyethylene (Low Density) LDPE, LLDPE
Semi-rigid, translucent, very tough, weatherproof, good chemical resistance, low water absorption, easily processed by most methods, low cost.
Squeeze bottles, toys, carrier bags, high frequency insulation, chemical tank linings, heavy duty sacks, general packaging, gas and water pipes.
PP, Polypropylene PP
Rigid, opaque, good dimensional stability at high temperature and humidity conditions, difficult to process (blended to ease injection moulding), tough.
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 add
PC, PC/ABS Polycarbonate PC
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.
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.
PET, Polyesters (Thermoplastic) PETP, PBT, PET
PBT, PET and PBT Blends are engineering plastics with excellent processing characteristics and high strength and rigidity for a broad range of 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
Rigid, translucent, tough, spring-like qualities, good stress relaxation resistance, good wear and electrical properties, resistant to creep and organic solvents.
Business m/c parts, small pressure vessels, aerosol valves, coil formers, clock and watch parts, nuclear engineering components, plumbing systems, shoe components.
PS, GPPS add
PS, Polystyrene (General Purpose) GPPS
Brittle, rigid, transparent, low shrinkage, low cost, excellent X-ray resistance, free from odour and taste, easy to process.
Toys and novelties, rigid packaging, refrigerator trays and boxes, cosmetic packs and costume jewellery, lighting diffusers, audio cassette and CD cases.
PS, HIPS add
PS, Polystyrene (High Impact) HIPS
Hard, rigid, translucent, impact strength up to 7 x GPPS, other properties similar.
Yoghurt pots, refrigerator linings, vending cups, bathroom cabinets, toilet seats and tanks, closures, instrument control knobs.
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".
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
PUR is a composite material consisting of glass fibre reinforcement and a polyurethane polymer.
Strength, light weight, corrosion resistant, thermal and electrical insulation, stability, thin walls, adhesion, paintability, hygienic.
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 add
TPE, TPV, TPU,TPO Thermoplastic Elastomers TPE, TPR
Flexible, clear, elastic, wear resistant and impermeable.
Soles and heels for sports shoes, hammer heads, seals, gaskets, skate board wheels, synthetic leather fabrics, silent running gears.