The following is a compilation of common plastics used in the Engineering industry for the manufacture/fabrication of components. It is by no means a comprehensive list and as always it is best to seek the advice of the manufacturer for specific applications.
Thermoplastics soften to a flowable state when heated and hardened upon cooling.
Thermosetting plastics set or harden into a permanent shape and this is irreversible.
|ABS||Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
This is a rigid, low-cost thermoplastic which can be easily machined to a fine finish. It can be electroplated and is used in the production of mouldings, pipe fittings and products needing long life. Also used in FDM 3D printing machines. Lego is made from ABS
It is an optically clear transparent plastic having excellent weather resistance, high impact strength, good chemical resistance and is easily thermoformed and fabricated. It is extensively used for instrument covers and enclosures, safety shields, tanks, etc.
|HDPE||High Density Polyethylene
It is and economical, high-impact, lightweight thermoplastic with excellent chemical resistance and high tensile strength. It exhibits excellent resilience, stress, crack and abrasion resistance. It is easily machined and requires welded or mechanical assembly
|HMWPE||High Molecular Weight Polyethylene
It has high rigidity and creep resistance, ideal to use in the food industry in the manufacturing of cutting boards, underlays in food preparation and machine parts.
|UHMWPE||Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene
It is extremely high abrasion resistant when compared to other thermoplastics. It also has exceptional impact resistance even at cryogenic temperatures; it is chemical resistant and self-lubricating
|POM||Polyacetal (Acetal), Delrin
It has high hardness, stiffness, excellent creep resistance and dimensional stability with a low coefficient of friction. Used extensively for the manufacture of precision gears and bearings. electrical insulators and parts which operating water between 60 and 90 degrees C.
It has high damping properties, good dimensional stability, self lubricating, high ear resistance with excellent bearing and sliding properties. Used extensively to manufacutre gears, bearings, rollers, wear pads and guide wheels. There are many specialty grades available in this range such as oil and molybdenum impregnated grades.
It is a virtually unbreakable transparent thermoplastic used extensively in safety and security related applications. Common uses include safety shields, enclosures, safety spectacles, machine guards and bullet-resistant applications. It is easily glued.
It has excellent abrasion resistance, low coefficient of friction, very high surface release, chemical resistance, impact resistance and damping properties. It is used extensively in the food industry where direct contact with foodstuffs is necessary.
This is a dimensionally stable thermoplastic with excellent machining characteristics and used in place of Acetal when machining is the main criteria.
It is a economical, lightweight thermoplastic that offers high corrosion, abrasiaon and impact resistance. It also exhibits high tensile strength and stiffness at elevated temperatures and is superior to HDPE. It is easily machined and welded.
It has a combination of chemical, electrical, mechanical and thermal properties and the lowest coefficient of friction unmatched in other plastics. It is the most chemically inert of any material. Being non-stick, it is used extensively in the coating of cooking utensils, seals, seats, packings, slide bearings and electrical and thermal insulators.
It has excellent impact and abrasion resistance and resists sunlight and weathering.
A high corrosion resistant plastic ideally suited where chemical resistance to acids, alkalies, alcohols and halogens in necessary. It has high strength to weight ratio and is easily fabricated either by welding or gluing. Unplasticised PVC (uPVC) is used extensively for pipe and fittings because of its excellent stiffness properties.