The world of plastic fabrication is a complex one, with many different types of thermoplastics out there to choose from. Below is a look at a few of these common examples, their characteristics, as well as their various applications.
PP – Polypropylene plastic
Polypropylene plastic is the world’s second-most widely used synthetic plastic. It is made up of a combination of propylene monomers and has a number of different uses. For example, it is commonly seen in product packaging for various consumer products and medications and is also often used to manufacture plastic parts for the automotive industry. Furthermore, it can be incorporated in order to create unique devices, such as living hinges. The reason why PP is such a tried and trusted thermoplastic is due to the fact that it boasts extremely high chemical resistance. It is also very durable, yet still quite elastic, and offers high resistance to electricity – hence the reason why it is also widely used to facilitate insulation.
LDPE – Low-density polyethylene
This particular thermoplastic, made from the monomer ethylene, is also used to manufacture packaging for various consumer products, like general-purpose containers and dispensing bottles. It is also seen in the production of trays, work surfaces, and parts that need to be welded and machined. LDPE plastic, similarly to PP, offers high chemical resistance. However, on top of that, it promises maximum corrosion resistance. Having said that, it is not recommended for use with halogenated hydrocarbons, aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, mineral oils, or oxidizing agents.
MDPE – Medium-density polyethylene
MDPE is similar to LDPE, except that it has a slightly higher density with its value being in the 0.926-0.940g/cm3 range. It is stable at room temperature and also boasts superior chemical resistance. Furthermore, it is drop-resistant, shock-resistant, and is more resistant to cracking than HDPE.
HDPE – High-density polyethylene
HDPE has the same characteristics as LDPE and MDPE; however, it is more sensitive than both. It has a density of 0.941g/cm3 or greater and is the thermoplastic which is often utilized in municipal and industrial water applications due to its high level of corrosion resistance. Along with that, it offers freeze-break resistance, is lightweight, and is also an eco-friendly, recyclable plastic.
PVC – Polyvinyl chloride
This plastic material is the go-to for many within the building and construction industry. It is popular thanks to its lightweight quality, which makes it easy to transport, as well as its affordability and its abrasion resistance. PVC is certified ‘non-toxic’ and is celebrated for being the world’s most researched and thoroughly tested plastic, making it ideal for safe and effortless plastic fabrication.
ABS – Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
ABS is best known for its impact and heat resistance. It is commonly employed in injection molding and plastic fabrication due to the fact that it hardens gradually as it cools. Furthermore, it is a cost-effective choice that promises high tensile strength, scratch resistance, and maximum shock absorbance. It is often used to manufacture computer components, musical instruments, medical supplies, and small home appliances.