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Types of plastics used in engineering
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Thanks to its high tensile strength and rigidity, Acetal is one of the most popular materials in plastics engineering. It is a hard engineering plastic with excellent machining ability which makes it versatile and suitable for a variety of applications. Acetal has creep resistance and is also resistant to hydrolysis, strong alkalis and thermo oxidative degradation. When the requirement includes exceptional strength for above average temperature or moisture levels, Acetal is an excellent choice.
Polypropylene is also one of the most popular engineering plastics around the world. Often compared to polyethylene, it is lightweight, and has a better strength and higher temperature rating. It is hard and tough while being easily workable and can be fabricated, formed, and welded into sheets, tubes and rods. Polypropylene is also known for its good electrical properties being non-toxic for food contact. This makes it ideal for use in corrosion resistant applications such as battery cases, chemical apparatus, corrosive storage, drip pans and electroplating barrels among other applications.
ACRYLIC / PLEXIGLASS
Acrylic or Plexiglass is seen practically everywhere we go. Especially in the retail sector, general purpose acrylic sheets or rods can be seen in Point of Purchase Displays, Signage, Picture Frames, Windows, Shields and various other applications. This popular material becomes even more versatile due to availability in two forms – Cast Acrylic and Extruded Acrylic. Cast acrylic is better for machining and polishing, while extruded acrylic offers tighter dimensional tolerances and is used for making sheets among other products.
PEEK (Polyetheretherketone ) is a high temperature plastic with excellent high temperature resistance, chemical resistance and high mechanical properties. PEEK grades are also available with additives such as PTFE, graphite, and carbon. A hard, stiff and strong polymer, PEEK displays good friction as well as wear properties. Its high hydrolysis resistance makes it ideal for use in industries such as aerospace, filter manufacturing, healthcare, food & beverage, chemical and pharmaceutical among others.
HDPE – or High Density Polyethylene is one of the most widely used plastics today. It is light weight, impact resistant, long lasting and resistant to mold, mildew and rot. Thanks to its excellent impact strength, even at temperatures as low as -30ºC, HDPE high density polyethylene is widely used in automotive (fuel tanks and car parts), leisure and industrial applications and is particularly suitable for the fabrication of chutes, cutting boards, tanks, silos and hoppers, etc.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) is one of the most popular high performance plastic materials in use today. In many cases, PVC is being used as a substitute for traditional building materials such as wood, metal, concrete and clay in many applications. Along with its superior insulating properties, PVC is bondable, self-extinguishing and offers good dimensional stability. PVC is the preferred material in the manufacture of chemicals storage vessel, tank liners & fittings, fume cupboards, pump components and electrical insulators.
UHMWPE (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene) is a new kind of engineering thermoplastics which is known for its high resistance to several factors such as: high wear, internal pressure, impact, low temperature and chemicals among others. UHMWPE is frequently used in high-wear applications such as wear strips under conveyors, guide rails in bottling plants, or scraper blades on road rollers. UHMWPE sheets are used for lining bulk storage hoppers where low-friction, anti-stick and abrasion-resistant properties solve feed and wear problems.
Polycarbonate plastic has become a popular replacement for glass in many applications across various industries. It is estimated to be 250 times stronger than glass. Due to its high impact resistance and very good optical properties, Polycarbonate can be coated to be used as bullet-resistance glass and has been used in banks, cars and fighter jets. Polycarbonate can also be tinted and used in sunglasses, building, automobiles and other situations where tinting is required. Qualities such as clarity, durability, safety, versatility, as well as heat and shatter resistance make Polycarbonate a popular option for a major sector of industries.
Nylon is a tough, durable, general purpose engineering material suitable for a variety of applications. Due to its high impact strength, hardness and stiffness, Nylon has excellent bearing properties. The most common engineering nylons are PA6 and PA66. Nylon is also known for its low power factor requirements, high wear resistance as well as high sliding properties among others. These qualities make Nylon a great choice for Wear Pads, Support & Guide Wheels, Conveyor and Tension Rollers and Buffer Pads, etc. Nylon rods, sheets and tubes can be seen in several industry applications.