Things to Consider When You're Selecting Engineering Plastics


Thanks to the introduction of engineering plastics, the use of plastic materials for industrial applications has become commonplace. Engineering plastics are a type of plastic that have superior mechanical qualities compared to typical commodity plastics, like polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, polystyrene, and polypropylene. These plastics are easier to process, have better wear properties, offer superior chemical resistance, provide better thermal insulation and have many other good qualities needed for industrial applications.

But with so many different types of engineering plastics available on the market, selecting the right type of engineering plastics for your industrial application can be a daunting task, especially because the selection process will significantly impact the success or failure of that particular application. For that reason, it is crucial to take the application conditions into account. 

Here is a look at some key things you should consider when choosing engineering plastics for your specific application.

Chemical/corrosion resistance: The chemical and corrosion resistance of plastics is not the same. Some plastics, such as chlorotrifluoroethylene (CTFE), provide resistance to chemicals while others, such as acrylic, easily stress crack when exposed to chemicals. The best way to choose plastics that can provide effective resistance to chemicals/corrosion is check in a reference guide that indicates the chemical compatibility of specific plastics.

Heat/temperature resistance: Plastics are not equally sensitive to changes in temperature. While all plastics can melt and burn, they do so at different temperatures. Consider the temperatures that the plastics will be subjected to and choose a plastic that can withstand that specific temperature level. 

Loading strength: Another important factor you should consider when you are selecting plastics for your engineering applications is their specific resistance to being broken into pieces (tensile strength) and resistance to break under compression (compression strength). Make sure you select a material that has the loading strength needed for your particular application. 

Impact resistance: This is a measure of a plastic's toughness — the ability to resist an unexpected shock or blow. This should not be confused with the stress cracking that may arise when the material is subjected to steady loading. Plastics like polycarbonate may stress crack when exposed to steady loads, but they offer high impact resistance. 

In case you need any help choosing the right engineering plastics, feel free to consult your preferred plastics supplier. They often know a lot about the products that they sell and can therefore assist you in making a suitable choice.


24 April 2017

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