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HDPE and UHMW Polyethylene Sheet – Cutting Boards

HDPE and UHMW Polyethylene Sheet – Cutting Boards

FDA – NSF Approved Cutting Boards

HDPE and UHMW Polyethylene Sheets

Next time you are cutting vegetables on your cutting board, the material most likely to be used is Polyethylene. Because it is stain, moisture and odor resistant, Polyethylene is a perfect choice. Other cutting boards made out of wood are more susceptible to bacteria and odors because they lack the properties that Polyethylene sheets offer, such as its chemical resistance and FDA approval for food Colored HDPE Cutting Boards NSF approvedcontact. Polyethylene is a very durable and lightweight material that comes in many forms and is a great for a wide variety of applications.

NSF Approved Cutting Boards

The HDPE is available in .500″ thick in several FDA / NSF approved colors, and is great for use in kitchens where cross contamination is a problem. 

The Ultimate Cutting Board

Polyethylene has many names. The most common are HDPE, LDPE, and UHMW. The difference has to with the molecular weight and branching which is when a monomer or atom is replaced by a longer chain of polymers (a long repeating chain of atoms). High Density is commonly used for milk jugs and food containers. Low Density is commonly used for bottles and plastic bags. UHMW, which has higher molecular weight (2-6 million) allows for an even transfer over the length of material which makes it stronger and able to be used for bearing applications due to its great wear resistance. Commonly used in the food and dairy industry, UHMW is a great replacement for other materials and solution to many problems. All of these polymers are derived from the same family but all have certain properties that make them a little different. HDPE provides great chemical resistance, with high impact strength and great energy absorption. LDPE has most of the same properties as High Density but is not as dense at 9.15, opposed to HDPE which is 9.34. It also has a lower tensile strength and easier formability.

UHMW is a strong material that has great durability and low co-efficient making it an ideal for sliding applications. Polyethylene offers a wide range of material choices and properties HDPE can be recycled and made into usable plastic lumberand has great durability that can be suitable for a number of applications. From the food industry to automotive, the kitchen or the warehouse, whatever your Polyethylene needs are; High Density, Low Density or UHMW, Polyethylene is a great choice.

Typical Resin Properties:

General PropertyASTM TestTypical Value HDPETypical Value LDPETypical Value UHMW
Specific Gravity D792.941 – .965.91 – .925.93 – .94
Tensile Strength YieldD6383,800 – 5,5001,400 – 2,0006,800
Izod Impact – NotchedD2562.0 – 3.5>16No Break
Vicat Softening TempD1525257ºF219ºF260
Hardness – RockwellD785D60 -70D42 – 50R64
Continuous Use Temp-100 – 180ºF174ºF180ºF
Deflection Temp @ 66 psiD648171  124174
Co. Thermal ExpansionD6967X10-54.6 -5.5X10-511.0X10-5

Please contact us for more information on FDA and NSF approved plastic materials. Email us here, or call us at: 866-832-9315

Topic: HDPE Cutting Boards – NSF Approved

Comparing ABS to Acetal Sheets and Rod

Comparing ABS to Acetal Sheets and Rod

Acetal Copolymer Sheet vs. ABS Sheets and Rods

Acetal Copolymer and ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Stryene) have some similar properties but are really very different materials. They similarities are: high impact strength, ease of machining with standard cutting tools and good mechanical properties. They are also both FDA compliant and are both good substitutes for brass. They also have great water absorption resistance and good electrical properties. Both materials are good for some of the same applications but certainly not all. Listed below are some of the major differences.

ABS Sheet and Rod InformationABS - Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene sheet and rod

  • ABS comes as Natural (straw) and Black color in Plate, Slab, Sheets and Rods, and thin sheet (.040″ – .250″) it is available as White or Black with a textured surface one side. It can be cut from 48″ X 96″ sheets into strip, panels or pieces.
  • ABS is formable. ABS is a great thermo-formable material while Acetal is not. Acetal is used more for machined parts such as gears and screws. ABS is great for molding and shaping parts from vacuum to heat forming. Excellent for model building and prototype projects.
  • ABS is easily bondable (similar to PVC). ABS can be bonded or welded to itself. Because Acetal is self lubricating, it is not possible for anything to stick to it unless etching is done – therefor it is not bondable.
  • ABS is a great material for painting and silk screening. While Acetal can not be painted or silk screened unless it has undergone Corona Treating (a flame surface treatment), but if treated will nice paint or screened surface.
  • ABS has better chemical resistance than Acetals. Both are attacked by acids like sulfuric, but ABS has a wider range of resistance to chemicals like aqueous acids, alkaline and alcohol. Acetal will degrade when exposed to such chemicals as chlorine and alkaline.
  • Specialty grades of ABS are available, including: Glass Filled, Static Dissipating, and Fire Retardant Grades (like Royalite – R59)

ABS Typical Properties Table

General PropertyASTM Test
Value
Specific GravityD79211.08 – 1.25
Tensile StrengthYield D638
4,100
Izod Impact – NotchedD2567.7
Hardness – RockwellD785R105
Deflection Temp @ 264psiD648177
Co. Thermal ExpansionD6965.3X10-54.6 -5.5X10-5

Acetal Copolymer and Homopolymer Sheet and Rod Information

The structure of ABS resin used in ABS Rod and ABS Plate

ABS Resin Structure

  • Acetal is the better machining plastic, considered the best machining plastic material. Because of its durability and wear resistance, Acetal is an excellent choice for producing a wide variety of parts that require high wear resistance over a wide period of time. When machining to tight and specific tolerances, Acetal is ideal.
  • Acetal has low co-efficient of friction. Due to its self lubricating properties, it is a great material for sliding and wear applications. This material provides years of maintenance free bushings and bearings.
  • Acetal sheet is produced from .062″ – over 6″ thick and sheet sizes of up to 48″ X 120″ as standard. The standard color for Acetal and Delrin is Natural (a deep milky white) and Black. Some colors are available as Medical Grade, and can be obtained in limited sizes. These sheet are available cut to: slabs, blocks, plates, slabs and blocks.
  •   Acetal (Polyoxymethylene) can be both a homopolymer and a copolymer.  The homopolymer acetal has a repeating chain of one atom while the Acetal copolymer has two atoms forming a repeating chain.  Dupont™ Delrin® is a popular acetal homopolymer brand name and the most commonly used acetal homopolymer.

Acetal – Delrin Properties Table

General PropertyASTM TestTypical Value Unfilled  Homo-PolymerTypical Value Unfilled Co-Polymer
Specific Gravity D7921.421.40
Tensile Strength YieldD6389,600 – 11,0009,000 – 10,200
Tensile ModulusD638450,000400,000
Izod Impact – NotchedD2561.21.0
Hardness – RockwellD785M94M90
Deflection Temp @ 264psiD648257220
Deflection Temp @ 66 psiD648347335
Water Absorption @ 24 hrs %0.240.25
Co. Thermal ExpansionD6966.83X10-55.4X10-5

ABS and Acetal – Similar, but very different materials

Both of these materials possess excellent qualities and have a wide range of different uses. Acetal is great for machining, while ABS is great for forming and bonding. They both can be used for machined parts and are great choices for food contact and electrical applications. These two materials are both strong and durable plastics, but one might be better than the other for a specific job. When picking the right plastic, it is important to compare plastics and their specific properties to make sure the material won’t fail and that your job will be successful.

Contact us for additional information, call us at 866-832-9315 or contact us here. Consider Industrial Plastic Supply for all your plastic needs, we want to be your go-to plastic supplier.

**Note:  Delrin® is a registered Trademark of Dupont

Is Lexan® the same as Bayer Makrolon® or Tuffak® Polycarbonate

Is Lexan® the same as Bayer Makrolon® or Tuffak® Polycarbonate

Is Lexan® the same as Makrolon® or Tuffak® Polycarbonate?

The short answer is no, are they very similar, yes. The reason is that both Lexan® and Makrolon® are brand names, along with Hyzod®, Cyrolon®, Zelux®, Paltuf®, Tuffak®, Ensicar®, Unicar®, Texin®, Apex® and many more. Lexan® is a brand name for SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) which acquired the entire General Electric Plastics division several years ago. Makrolon® (formerly Hyzod®) is a trade name for Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialSciences).

These materials are all Polycarbonate which is a very tough, high impact plastic material. The base resins are very similar, however, the end product varies quite a bit depending on the manufacturer. The Covestro Bayer Makrolon® GP-V material does meet the UL 94 V-0 flame retardant certification (at .220″ thick), and the Makrolon® GP is UL 94 HB rated.

How do I tell the difference between Lexan® and Makrolon®?Bayer MaterialScience now Covestro, and then purchased by Plaskolite

It would be impossible to tell the difference between brands by just looking, unless it still has the masking on, it would take some testing. The majority of both brands of materials are available in a very clear, UV stabilized glazing grade and look identical to the naked eye. This material is excellent for replacing window glass and is virtually unbreakable.

Industrial Plastic Supply stocks the Covestro (Bayer) Makrolon® GP Polycarbonate materials in stock and ready for shipment. We have chosen to carry the Covestro Makrolon® Polycarbonate because of its superior quality, physical properties and ratings. You will find these materials available as sheet and rod here. If you have further questions, or would like to see the data sheet on Makrolon® Polycarbonate and/or Lexan® Polycarbonate for comparison, please give us a call: 866-832-9315 or email: request@indplastic.com

This post is part of our effort to answer as many questions for you as possible, and to assist you in choosing the proper material for your applications, this is another very popular question we hear.

Yes, Lexan® and Makrolon® are both Polycarbonate materials. And we believe that the Covestro Makrolon® is the best Polycarbonate sheet available in the market place.

Looking For Vacuum Forming (Formable) Plastics

Looking For Vacuum Forming (Formable) Plastics

“What is a good material for vacuum forming?”

This is a popular question received from clients. This question has a rather long answer. Most Thermoplastic materials are thermo-formable, and thus vacuum forming compatible. Some of the most common and easier materials for forming are listed below.vacuum forming polycarbonate for food and chocolate molds

Common Vacuum Forming Materials:

Each plastic material has a variety of different properties, and they form at different temperatures. The Acrylic, PETG and Polycarbonate sheets are normally clear (can be special ordered in colors), however the Polycarbonate may have to be heat dried prior to the vacuum forming temperature phase (depending on thickness).
ABS and HIS both form very well, and are normally White or Black. The ABS normally has a fine texture called Hair Cell on the primary surface, the Styrene is smooth on two sides. On a special basis Styrene and ABS can be run in almost any thickness up to .375″ thick, and in almost any color (minimums apply) and in a huge range of custom run sheet sizes.
While many other materials may be available for special applications and with various improved properties, these are the most commonly available and used materials.
Some of the important factors in choosing a material for your vacuum forming project would be: clarity, strength of finished part, temperature, depth of draw, UV resistance, Flame Retardant Rating, thickness and size range.

Large parts can be produced using this process, for example – Hot Tubs and Pick Up Truck Bed Liners. Also vacuum forming is used to produce very small parts like chocolate molds and numerous packaging applications.Pouring White Chocolate into Polycarbonate Mold

Most vacuum forming started in their garage (or kitchen). A simple vacuum forming ‘machine’ can be produced at very low cost using 2 X 4 wood, peg board, and your shop vac. Obviously this is not the way the above hot tub was formed, but the process is rather simple and is much more an art than a science. We have seen several YouTube videos showing entry level – DIY style vacuum forming machines.  Most use the kitchen oven as the heat source and are used to make small chocolate molds, wax molds, hobby parts and more. Many materials can be used in this simple process, and we are happy to assist you with your basic questions of the vacuum forming process.
There are also a wide range of commercial thermoforming machines (see video) available, in almost unlimited range of sizes.

There is a wide array of materials that can be used, and they have different properties – no one material meets all your needs. Contact us for details on your vacuum forming requirements or with question.

I Thought Plastic Was A Cheap Material…

I Thought Plastic Was A Cheap Material…

I thought Plastic was a Cheap Material?

We do hear this question regularly. And, maybe, in years gone by Plastic was that Cheap material.

Back in the 50′s and 60′s, plastics were very inexpensive, and were very limited in types and availability.

What cause this to change?

Plastics are primarily produced from Oil and several Oil by-products. As oil pricing has skyrocketed from the 50′s, so did the low end plastic material pricing.

In addition, a new generation of high tech, mechanical and engineering grades of plastic we developed. These plastics replace metals and other substrates in manufacturing. They out live, out perform most materials at a fraction of the cost of the material it replaces. broke chair - I Thought Plastic Was A Cheap Material...

Isn’t Cheap better?

All materials are not designed to the same standard. This is true with plastics as well. Choosing the wrong plastic for a project can be a costly mistake. All engineering perimeters should be considered: strength, impact, sunlight, water absorption, electrical resistance, temperature range, etc. We’ve all witnessed the ‘cheap’ plastic kids toy that lasts but a couple of days, the clip or cover in your car breaks off, the inexpensive outdoor furniture and so on. These are examples of under designed or choosing a material for its resin cost, not its physical properties. Thus, no, cheaper is not better. Cost should be just one of your decision criteria.

What Should You Do?

The answer is really quite easy. Ask.

Talk to one of our experienced ‘Plasticologists’ and tell them your requirements. You’re input, and a little time to answer some questions could save you enormous time and expense in your finished parts. All plastics are not created equal, and neither are all plastic suppliers. Give us a try, and take the guess-work out of choosing the right material for your job.

Some of our lower cost materials: HDPE, PVC, Styrene – less expensive, not cheap. Each with very specific strong points, and yes weak areas as well.

Cheap plastic is most likely not the best plastic.

Acetal Copolymer Compared With Homopolymer Acetal

Acetal Copolymer Compared With Homopolymer Acetal

Are Acetal Copolymer and Homopolymer Acetal the same?

This is one of our most common questions, and it is a bit involved of an answer.

There are two main versions of Acetal Resin

Homopolymer Acetal and Copolymer Acetal

The most popular name for a Homopolymer Acetal is the Dupont Delrin, which is a premium Homopolymer Acetal.

The second Acetal is a Copolymer acetal, and there are many suppliers of this resin. 

Acetal is the generic, and not all Acetal is Delrin® Hompolymer, nor is it Acetal Copolymer. A distinction is required to determine which is best for your application. There are several manufacturers that produce Acetal Copolymer resin, including: Celanese®, BASF®, Ticona®, SABIC® and many more.

Acetal Copolymer compared to Delrin® Homopolymer Acetal

Delrin® is a premium homopolymer Acetal produced by Dupont. Many of the physical properties of the homopolymer exceed that of the copolymer Acetal. Dupont™ Delrin® is a popular acetal homopolymer brand name and the most commonly used acetal homopolymer.Comparing structure of Homopolymer and Copolymer Acetal

The generic term ‘Acetal’ covers both the homopolymer from Dupont and the copolymer grades of resin. Both materials meet the ASTM-D-4181, ASTM-D-6100 or ASTM-D-6778 specification (an old call out is L-P-392). Homopolymer Acetal is POM111, and Copolymer Acetal is POM211.

Both are very tough and machinable, and have some similar properties.

An additional difference is the inherit problem of center-line porosity in some of the homopolymer grades. This is caused by out gassing during manufacturing, and can be found at the center or on the surface of all homo-polymer extrusions. This porosity can cause some problems with machining or moisture permeation through the material. The copolymer resin has little to no porosity issue.

Some of the other differences are in the physical properties of the resin. Review the chart for some of the most popular properties people ask for when looking at Acetal Copolymer or Homopolymer Acetal.

See Homopolymer and Copolymer Acetal properties chart below.

PropertiesHomopolymer Acetal Copolymer Acetal
Tensile Modulus of Elasticity450,000400,000
Flexural Modulus of Elasticity470,000366,000
Heat Deflection Temp @ 264 psi – degrees F257220
Melting Point – degrees F347335
Coef. of Linear Thermal Expansion6.8 x 10-55.4 x 10-5
Water Absorption @ Saturation0.900.80

Material is available as both Acetal Copolymer or Acetal Homopolymer in Rod, Block, Sheet and Slabs.

Acetal is one of the most widely available plastics, especially on the West Coast (for some reason the East Coast seems to like the Nylon – Polyamide material more). Most commonly available in Natural (White) or Black, but can be produced in a wide range of colors with minimum orders. This enables material matching your product color or for easy identification of parts.

While these properties are similar, depending on your application, one material may be better suited than the other. Review our Delrin® Homopolymer and Acetal Copolymer page for additional information on the product availability and data sheets. We get calls for the premium Delrin® Homopolymer product, but some people may call it Delron, Delran, Delrun, Derlin and many other names, but it is still premium Delrin® Homopolymer Acetal to us.

Looking for other colors of Acetal Copolymer or Acetal Homopolymer Rod?

Contact us today for more information on Acetal Copolymer or premium Delrin® Homopolymer Acetal or any other plastic material.

Call us at 866-832-9315 or Email Us for more additional details

**Note:  Delrin® is a registered Trademark of Dupont