18. June, 2021

5 most common plastic injection molding materials

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Due to a broad range of possible raw materials in plastic injection molding, the material selection process seems daunting at first.

At Plastika Bevc, we understand the unique advantages and properties offered by different types of plastic. To help you understand your options and the types that might best correspond to your project, our team of experienced professionals has put together a concise informative infographic on the five most common plastic injection materials.

ABS

It provides exceptional toughness and strength, and it is impact and heat resistance. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is used in many industries and applications, from auto parts to pipe fiitings. ABS combines the strength and stiffness of acrylonitrile and styrene with the toughness of polybutadiene rubber. ABS is easy to spray and offers a colour-fast and glossy effect with high-quality surface finish. This plastic polymer does not have an exact melting point.

ABS materials can be treated with any standard thermoplastic treatment method. It easily adheres to other ABS surfaces, similar to plastics and metal coatings, making it suitable for a range of different products.

It is often used in household appliances, telephone handsets, computer housings, and other forms of office equipment. ABS can also be used in musical instruments, golf club heads, medical devices, lawn mower decks, motorcycle helmets, canoes, toys, electronics housings and electronic assemblies, luggage, car interior and exterior trims, showers, and handles. When ABS is extruded into the filament, it is very easy to use it in 3D printers.

Despite all its good characteristics, ABS does not have good chemical resistance and should not be used in applications that require electrical insulation or UV resistance.

CELCON® (Acetal)

Celcon® is a common brand name for acetal, also known as polyoxymethylene (POM) polyacetal, or polyformaldehyde. This thermoplastic offers exceptional toughness, excellent wear, creep resistance and resistance to chemical solvents, easy painting, good thermal distortion and low moisture absorption. Celcon® also provides high rigidity and excellent dimensional stability.

It is perfect for food and drink, mechanical, automotive and household use, and in particular, for making toy parts, as well as various gears and bearings. It works especially well with plastic gears, as it greatly reduces the friction that occurs at the points of contact between various parts.

Celcon® is often used in pieces that physically touch another surface. Common contact pieces include those used on the bottom of sofas by enabling smooth gliding across the floor, as well as guitar picks, pinch valves, and plastic buckles. This versatile thermoplastic is also used in bearings and bushings, pump and valve parts, dispensers, clamps and guides, wear linings and electrical components.

It is not suitable for use in high-temperature environments and is subject to UV degradation.

Polypropylene

Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most widely used plastics in the world. It is known for its chemical resistance, elasticity, toughness, fatigue resistance, insulating properties and permeability. Although flammable and sensitive to UV radiation, it still offers good resistance to chemical solvents and electricity.

Polypropylene is suitable for various types of applications, as it can be easily adapted by introducing special modifications or changing the production process. Due to its extreme flexibility of use, its versatility has earned it the name “steel” of plastics in the professional public.

Polypropylene is suitable for use inside packaging, in the manufacture of electrical and electronic equipment, household appliances, the automotive industry, and the construction industry. PP is, more specifically, used for packaging solutions, buckets and bowls, plastic parts, hinges, toys, medical components, washing machine drums, bottle caps, and textiles. Polypropylene has a relatively slippery surface, so PP can be used as a substitute for other plastics, such as acetal, and in low-friction applications such as gears and furniture contact points. Most grades of polypropylene are flammable and subject to decomposition by UV radiation.

HIPS

High impact polystyrene (HIPS) provides good impact resistance, excellent workability, good dimensional stability. It has exceptional aesthetic properties and highly flexible surfaces. HIPS can be easily printed, glued, bound and decorated. It is also extremely cost effective.

Resistant polystyrene is used in many printing applications, such as promotional signs, exhibition materials, plant support sticks with information plates, posters and retail packaging, as well as 3D lenticular or moving images. HIPS is therefore specifically designed for use in graphics applications. It is also ideal for high speed digital printing equipment. It is common used for household appliance components, television and audiovisual equipment (AV) components, bicycle trailers, toys, petrol tanks, hot and cold drinking cups, and computer housings.

Although HIPS is flammable, varieties that have fire-retardant properies are available.

LDPE

The most flexible type of polyethylene is low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which offers superior moisture resistance, strong impact strength, good chemical resistance and transparency. LDPE is affordable, weather proof and can be easily processed by most methods.

Low density polyethylene is used in a wide range of everyday products and applications. For example, it is found in many consumer products and household appliances, as well as in medical products, agricultural products and electronic wiring. This versatile plastic is found in shopping bags, plastic wrap and packaging, bottles and containers, lids and caps, beer bonding rings, computer components, juice boxes, and toys. With the increased frequency of recycling by consumers, LDPE products often get a second life in items such as shipping envelopes, liners for waste bins, floor tiles, liners, furniture, compost bins, trash cans, and landscape wood.

LDPE is difficult to glue and should not be used in severe weather conditions or high temperatures.

The initial proper selection of material will not only save you time and money, but will also contribute to optimal efficiency and product manufacturing. So explore your options carefully and consult an experienced plastic injection engineer to help you lay down the most excellent choice.

For more information about plastic injection molding materials and plastic injection molding in general, please contact our team to help you choose the right plastic injection molding material.

Plastika Bevc Team