Choose the Right Plastic for Your Needs

December 27, 2019 1:04 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Not all plastics offer the same properties. These days, almost everything has plastic material, and while they may all look alike, they are definitely not identical. There are types for mechanical, residential and even medical purposes. Before buying acrylic sheets in Utah for your next product line, here is an overview of the six types of plastic available for your products:

  • Acrylic: Also known as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), acrylic is known as a glass alternative. It is popular with optical products and resists shattering, abrasions and even bullets. Other design adjustments can also make it UV-tolerant and anti-glare. It literally offers hundreds of applications and is typically used in sheet form to create acrylic mirrors and plexiglass.
  • Polycarbonate: Tough and stable, polycarbonate is another popular alternative to glass. In fact, it is 250 times stronger than glass and 30 times stronger than acrylic. It is a favorite due to being easily worked and formed—it can even be cut or cold-formed without pre-forming and fabrication. Being impact-resistant, polycarbonate is used for countless products, including DVDs, sunglasses, police riot gear and even greenhouses. This is often a favorite with manufacturers of consumer items.
  • Polyethylene: This is the most common plastic, and it is available in many densities. Plastic shopping bags, food containers, disposable packaging and sandwich bags are made from low-density polyethylene. Medium-density polyethylene possesses more polymer chains and makes heavier products, like gas pipes, carrier bags and shrink film. High-density polyethylene is common in drink bottles, water and sewer piping, boats, folding chairs and snowboards. The highest density version, ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, is more abrasion resistant and is a primary element in military body armor, hip, knee and spine implants and artificial skating rinks.
  • Polypropylene: This is the second most used plastic in the world, and it is stronger than polyethylene. It is one of the most flexible thermoplastics. While stronger, it maintains its flexibility, which makes it perfect for auto parts, lab equipment, medical devices and higher-density food containers. It does not crack under repeated stress, and is often used in the most critical applications where parts simply cannot break.
  • Polyvinyl chloride: Commonly known as PVC, you will find this at a place you likely visited before: the hardware store. Many handy workers use PVC pipe not just for its intended purpose, but also for building items like clothing racks and game equipment. Besides pipes, PVC is also used for store displays and museum exhibits, with rigid forms becoming doors, windows, packaging and bottles. It mixes well with other materials and can bend without breaking.
  • Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene: The long name of this material makes it better known by its initials, ABS. It is flexible, glossy, impact resistant and easy to process. With a wide range of thickness choices and low manufacturing costs, ABS is common in auto parts, luggage, protective headgear and children’s toys.

If you are buying acrylic sheets in Utah, consider contacting D&D Plastics first. Our plastic design services ensure you buy the right type for what you are producing. Contact us today to get started.

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