There are literally tens of thousands of plastic materials to choose from all with differing properties therefore knowing where to start can be daunting, so leave it to us. We will guide you to the right type of material and then the right grade to enhance your product.
We are acutely aware of the environmental impact of plastics in society, so we also advise on the best materials for recycling or even use recycled or biodegradable materials, to minimise the environmental impact of your product.
Below is a list of some the types of plastics and what they are currently used for to give you an idea of properties.
- Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – Carbonated drinks bottles, peanut butter jars, plastic film, microwavable packaging.
- Polyethylene (PE) – Wide range of inexpensive uses including supermarket bags, plastic bottles.
- High-density polyethylene (HDPE) – Detergent bottles, milk jugs, and molded plastic cases.
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – Plumbing pipes and guttering, shower curtains, window frames, flooring.
- Polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) (Saran) – Food packaging.
- Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) – Outdoor furniture, siding, floor tiles, shower curtains, clamshell packaging.
- Polypropylene (PP) – Bottle caps, drinking straws, yogurt containers, appliances, car fenders (bumpers), plastic pressure pipe systems.
- Polystyrene (PS) – Packaging foam/”peanuts”, food containers, plastic tableware, disposable cups, plates, cutlery, CD and cassette boxes.
- High impact polystyrene (HIPS) -: Refrigerator liners, food packaging, vending cups.
- Polyamides (PA) (Nylons) – Fibers, toothbrush bristles, tubing, fishing line, low strength machine parts: under-the-hood car engine parts or gun frames.
- Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) – Electronic equipment cases (e.g., computer monitors, printers, keyboards), drainage pipe.
- Polyethylene/Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (PE/ABS) – A slippery blend of PE and ABS used in low-duty dry bearings.
- Polycarbonate (PC) – Compact discs, eyeglasses, riot shields, security windows, traffic lights, lenses.
- Polycarbonate/Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (PC/ABS) – A blend of PC and ABS that creates a stronger plastic. Used in car interior and exterior parts, and mobile phone bodies.
- Polyurethanes (PU) – Cushioning foams, thermal insulation foams, surface coatings, printing rollers (Currently 6th or 7th most commonly used plastic material, for instance the most commonly used plastic in cars).
- Phenolics (PF) or (phenol formaldehydes) – High modulus, relatively heat resistant, and excellent fire resistant polymer.
- Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) – Strong, chemical- and heat-resistant thermoplastic, biocompatibility allows for use in medical implant applications, aerospace moldings. One of the most expensive commercial polymers.
- Polylactic acid (PLA) – A biodegradable, thermoplastic found converted into a variety of aliphatic polyesters derived from lactic acid which in turn can be made by fermentation of various agricultural products such as corn starch, once made from dairy products.
- Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) – Contact lenses (of the original “hard” variety), glazing (best known in this form by its various trade names around the world; e.g., Perspex, Oroglas, Plexiglas), aglets, fluorescent light diffusers, rear light covers for vehicles. It forms the basis of artistic and commercial acrylic paints when suspended in water with the use of other agents.