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Plastic Manufacturing

8 Types of Hard Plastics for Product Manufacturing

By June 21, 2023 July 2nd, 2024 No Comments
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In the world of product manufacturing, the selection of materials isn’t just a matter of form but also a consideration of function, durability, and visual appeal. Among the numerous options available from hard plastic manufacturers, hard plastics have gained popularity in various sectors thanks to their remarkable versatility and impressive durability. These plastics come with specific properties ideal for different applications. This article will share some insights into some types of hard plastics that are revolutionizing product manufacturing, bringing strength, longevity, and aesthetic appeal to products around the globe.

1. Acrylic

Acrylic, or polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), is a transparent, r plastic notable for its excellent optical clarity and resistance to UV radiation. These properties make acrylic an ideal replacement for glass in various applications, including aquariums, display cases, and automobile windows. It’s also widely used in signage, lighting fixtures, and consumer electronics. This type of hard plastic can also be formed into various shapes through processes like extrusion and injection molding, providing versatility for a wide array of hard plastic products.

2. Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is an exceptionally tough, impact-resistant plastic. Despite its hardness, it offers incredible flexibility, making it easier to mold without cracking or breaking. These properties make polycarbonate a preferred choice for applications that demand resilience, such as bullet-proof windows, riot shields, eyewear, and medical devices. It’s also resistant to high temperatures, adding another layer of durability that sets it apart from other types of hard plastic.

3. High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

HDPE is a robust, lightweight plastic that exhibits impressive resistance to corrosion, chemicals, and UV radiation. Owing to its versatility and affordability, HDPE is commonly used in industrial applications like pipe systems, storage containers, and protective equipment. HDPE is also suitable for creating long-lasting outdoor plastic products, such as playground equipment and marine parts, thanks to its excellent weather resistance.

4. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

PVC is one of the most extensively used types of hard plastic worldwide. While it’s often associated with its flexible form used in cables and tubing, rigid PVC is a staple in construction and industrial applications. It is fire-resistant, durable, and boasts excellent mechanical strength. From window frames to piping and roofing materials, the potential applications of this hard plastic are vast and varied.

5. ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)

ABS is a hard yet flexible plastic that’s renowned for its strength and resistance to physical impacts and chemical corrosion. It also has good electrical insulation properties, making it ideal for use in electronic equipment. ABS finds broad application in the production of consumer goods, including toys (like LEGO bricks), musical instruments, and kitchen appliances. It is a favored material of hard plastic manufacturers due to its ease of use in injection molding processes.

6. PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene)

PTFE, or as most people know it, Teflon, is a high-performance type of hard plastic that stands out for its extreme temperature resistance and non-stick properties. It’s also highly resistant to chemicals, making it a popular choice for industrial applications, such as seals, gaskets, and linings in processing equipment. Additionally, it’s used in cookware, electrical insulation, and clothing, exemplifying the versatility of hard plastic products.

7. High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS)

High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) is a versatile, cost-effective hard plastic known for its impact resistance and machinability. This type of hard plastic is easy to print, cut, and glue, making it a popular material in the signage and display industry. Its ease of thermoforming also makes it a favorite for packaging, especially in the food industry, as it complies with FDA standards for food contact. Despite its toughness, HIPS is lightweight, further enhancing its utility in a wide range of plastic products.

8. Acetal

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Acetal, also known as Polyoxymethylene (POM), is a high-performance engineering plastic. It stands out for its exceptional dimensional stability, low friction, and excellent resistance to wear, moisture, and chemicals. These traits make acetal an ideal material for mechanical parts and industrial applications such as gears, bearings, and fasteners. Acetal is also used in electrical components due to its excellent insulating properties. Its ability to maintain strength and rigidity at high temperatures makes it one of the most reliable types of hard plastic.

Learn More at Polymershapes

Each of these hard plastics offers unique properties that make them suitable for a wide range of applications. As a leading hard plastic manufacturer, Polymershapes understands the potential of these materials. That’s why we’re committed to delivering high-quality, durable, and versatile hard plastic materials for your fabrication and material processing needs. Learn more by contacting our highly-trained and knowledgeable sales and customer service team.

If you have a project that requires these types of hard plastics, get in touch or request a quote.

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