Recent Posts

Categories

Search

Different Types of Plastics


Plastic injection molding is the most popular method to manufacture parts. With thousands of types of injection molding plastic materials to choose, each coming with its very own composition and characteristics, it can be daunting for entrepreneurs, product designers, and the like to select the right plastic material to manufacture their product.

If this isn’t intimidating enough, also consider most plastics can be altered to enhance their strengths as well as their impact and heat resistance. This means a new set of trade-offs in cost, strength, flexibility and surface finish. With thousands of potential combinations to choose from and so much on the line it is highly suggested to consult with an experienced injection molder to conclude the best material for your project.

Choosing the right material allows you to change the form, fit, and function of your parts. To help give you a general idea of where to start, we have developed a list below that outlines some of the advantages and applications of some of the most commonly molded materials in the plastics industry. Download PDF of this article in table format.

Polyoxymethylene

  • Abbreviation: POM

  • Manufacturing Processes: Injection molding, CNC machining

  • Attributes: Strong, rigid, fatigue resistant, chemical resistant, moisture resistant, opaque/white, low/medium cost

  • Application: Bearings, gears, handles, plumbing, buttons, knobs, automotive parts, household appliances

  • Recyclable: Very easy

Poly(methyl methacrylate)

  • Abbreviation: PMMA

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding, CNC machining

  • Attributes: Rigid, scratch resistant, transparent, low/medium cost

  • Application: Display stands, knobs, lenses, light housings, panels, reflectors, signs, shelves, trays

  • Recyclable: Varies

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene

  • Abbreviation: ABS

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding, CNC machining, 3D printing

  • Attributes: Strong, flexible, low mold shrinkage (tight tolerances), chemical resistant, electroplating capable, opaque, low/medium cost

  • Application: Drain pipe, automotive parts, electronic communication parts, common kitchen tools, LEGO bricks, and many other products.

  • Recyclable: Very easy

Polyamide (Nylon)

  • Abbreviation: PA

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding, CNC machining, 3D printing

  • Attributes: High strength, fatigue resistant, chemical resistant, low creep, low friction, almost opaque/white, medium/high cost

  • Application: Bearings, bushings, gears, rollers, wheels, zip ties, handles, levers, eyeglasses, air filters, frames, safety masks

  • Recyclable: Difficult

Polycarbonate

  • Abbreviation: PC

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding, CNC machining, 3D printing

  • Attributes: Tough, impact resistant, temperature resistant, dimensional stability, transparent, high cost

  • Application: Automotive (panels, lenses, consoles), bottles, containers, cell phone, housings, reflector, safety helmets, shields, bulletproof glass.

  • Recyclable: Varies

Polyethylene Terephthalate

  • Abbreviation: PBT, PET

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding, CNC machining, 3D printing

  • Attributes: Rigid, heat resistant, chemical resistant, medium/high cost

  • Application: Automotive (filters, handles, pumps), bearings, cams, electrical components (connectors, sensors), gears, housings, rollers, switches, valves

  • Recyclable: Very easy

Polyether Ether Ketone

  • Abbreviation: PEEK

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding, CNC machining, 3D printing

  • Attributes: Strong, thermal stability chemical resistant, abrasion resistant, low moisture absorption

  • Application: Aircraft components, electrical connectors, piston parts and pumps, cable insulation, compatible with ultra-high vacuum applications

  • Recyclable: Difficult

Polyetherimide

  • Abbreviation: PEI

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding, CNC machining

  • Attributes: Heat resistant, flame resistant transparent (amber color)

  • Application: Medical, chemical instrumentation; HVAC and fluid handling; electrical and lighting

  • Recyclable: Varies

Polyethylene - Low Density

  • Abbreviation: LDPE

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding, CNC machining

  • Attributes: Lightweight tough and flexible, chemical resistant, natural waxy appearance, low cost

  • Application: Kitchenware, housings, covers, and containers

  • Recyclable: Varies

Polyethylene - High Density

  • Abbreviation: HDPE

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding, CNC machining

  • Attributes: Tough and stiff, chemical resistant, natural waxy appearance, low cost

  • Application: Chair seats, housings, covers, and containers,

  • Recyclable: Easy

Polyphenylene Oxide

  • Abbreviation: PPO

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding

  • Attributes: Tough, heat resistant, flame resistant, dimensional stability, low water absorption, electroplating capable, high cost

  • Application: Automotive (housings, panels), electrical components, housings, plumbing components

  • Recyclable: Varies

Polyphenylene Sulphide

  • Abbreviation: PPS

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding, CNC machining

  • Attributes: High strength, heat resistant, brown, high cost

  • Application: Medical instrument components, sterilization trays, automotive fuses, interior aircraft parts, hot water fittings, sockets and connectors

  • Recyclable: Varies

Polypropylene

  • Abbreviation: PP

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding, CNC machining, 3D printing

  • Attributes: Lightweight, heat resistant, chemical resistant, scratch resistant, natural waxy appearance, tough and stiff, low cost

  • Application: Automotive (bumpers, covers, trim), bottles, caps, crates, handles, housings, medical pipette tubing

  • Recyclable: Easy

Polystyrene - General Purpose

  • Abbreviation: GPPS

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding, CNC machining, 3D printing

  • Attributes: Brittle, transparent, low cost

  • Application: Cosmetics packaging, pens

  • Recyclable: Easy

Polystyrene - High impact

  • Abbreviation: HIPS

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding, CNC machining, 3D printing

  • Attributes: Impact strength, rigid and tough, dimensional stability, naturally translucent, low cost

  • Application: Electronic housings, food containers, toys

  • Recyclable: Easy

Polyvinyl Chloride

  • Abbreviation: PVC

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding, CNC machining

  • Attributes: Tough, flexible, flame resistant, transparent and opaque, low cost

  • Application: Electrical insulation, housewares, medical tubing, shoe soles, toys

  • Recyclable: Difficult

Styrene Acrylonitrile

  • Abbreviation: SAN

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding

  • Attributes: Stiff, brittle, chemical resistant, heat resistant, transparent, low cost

  • Application: Electrical/electronic applications, household goods, cosmetic packaging, automotive applications, cups,

  • Recyclable: Varies

Thermoplastic Elastomer/Rubber

  • Abbreviation: TPE/R

  • Manufacturing Process: Injection molding, 3D printing

  • Attributes: Tough and flexible, high cost

  • Application: Bushings, electrical components, seals, washers

  • Recyclable: Easy

Conclusion

Selecting the right material for a product is one of the most critical factors in creating your ideal plastic part(s). Most plastics can be modified with multiple resins to obtain special engineering characteristics based on the demands of your product and the manufacturing process behind them. This is why it is necessary to work with a partner with injection molding experience.

For more information about plastics and manufacturing your product, follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook as we will cover plastics in greater detail in our upcoming articles. Download PDF of this article in table format.


GET IN TOUCH

+1 (330) 775-4222

Hello@epowercorp.com

  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn - White Circle

LOCATIONS

Headquarters

Cleveland, Ohio
Tel: +1 (330) 775-4222

Hong Kong Office 

Unit 10, 20/F, CCT Telecom Building,11 Wo Shing Street, Fo Tan, Shatin NT, Hong Kong
地址:新界沙田火炭禾盛街11號中建電訊大廈20樓10室
Tel : (852) 3547 0235  
Fax : (852) 3547 0236

Manufacturing Facility

China: No. 10, Fenghuangshan Road, Yantian Village, Fenggang Town, Dongguan City, Guangdong Province, China

​地址:东莞市凤岗镇雁田村凤凰山路10号