Injection moulded plastic parts are used in countless industries, for many different purposes from engineering to healthcare, entertainment to autos. For each of these purposes there will be an ideal plastic. Not all plastics are the same – the difference between different plastics could make the difference between the success and failure of your project. Before placing an order for injection moulded parts it is important to get professional advice about which materials will be best for your needs. Here is a quick guide to different plastics so that you have a general overview of what is available and what should be on your shortlist.
This material is a particularly strong plastic and able to withstand both high and low temperatures. Even at high temperatures it retains its stiffness and its strength. It is also resistant to oils, gasoline, and solvents and withstands the effects of friction and abrasion. This material is often used for gears, fasteners, bearings, cable ties, and electrical coil forms.
A versatile material that has excellent resistance to fatigue. It does not easily absorb moisture and it is resistant to solvents and chemicals. The limitations to this material include inability to be used alongside hot water or strong acids. This material is good for clock gears, the housing for gas regulators, and electrical terminal blocks.
Polycarbonate is tough and rigid with a high level of strength against impact. The material is also transparent and it offers high heat resistance. It is good for use in propeller blades, electrical connections, and for computer tape cases and lab equipment.
Polyester is often used for terminal blocks, gears, distributor caps, bearings, circuit carriers and sockets. It provides low moisture absorption and is resistant against chemicals.
Acrylic is a popular plastic and is available coloured or clear. Acrylic is often used for displays and lenses, windows, and advertising.
This material is often used for O ring seals, and pressure seals on valves.
This material may be flexible or rigid, depending on your needs. It offers high resistance against chemicals but it has a low softening point, so is not useful at high temperatures. A good material for toys, dust covers, caps, buckets, bowls, and covers.
This is a tough material that is good for use in bottle crates, or for making chairs and wheels.
How to Choose Plastic
When choosing materials for a plastic injection moulding process you need to consider the use for the plastic and the conditions it will operate under. For example, according to www.dataplastics.co.uk, you also need to look in some detail at the conditions, for example the choice of plastic depends on whether the material will operate under high temperatures for short or long periods of time, and whether you need a clear material and exactly how clear it should be. In all cases, consult a professional with your questions about the right plastic to use.