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Acetal Copolymer vs Delrin® Homopolymer Properties

Acetal Copolymer vs Delrin® Homopolymer Properties

Comparing Acetal Copolymer to Dupont Delrin

Comparing Acetal Copolymer to Dupont Delrin

Acetal Copolymer vs Dupont Delrin® Homopolymer: Properties and Benefits of Each

Industrial Plastic Supply, Inc. has been supplying a vast inventory of plastics to a wide customer base since 1975. Today, we put the spotlight on two products that are incredibly similar, but have key differences that result in each performing optimally in certain applications: the Acetal Copolymer and the Delrin® Homopolymer

Both of these acetal materials are incredibly similar, with similar beneficial properties. They are both compliant with FDA, ITAR, and RoHS standards. Both are very stiff plastics with excellent dimensional stability in average environments. They are self-lubricating, easy to cut with standard tools, and abrasion and wear resistant. The major differences between them however are a result of their differing structures.

What Is Polyoxymethylene

Polyoxymethylene (also known as POM for short) is an important and commonly used engineering plastic material. There are two distinct types of POM; the first is Homopolymer Acetal and is commonly called Dupont Delrin®. The other is Copolymer Acetal and is referred to by the trade names Celcon®, Sustarin® C, Tecaform®, Ultraform®, Kepital® and many others. Both versions of POM are very popular thermoplastic materials. They both are commonly used for parts that need to be stiff, dimensionally stable and have low surface friction. 

Delrin® Homopolymer

The homopolymer possesses much more regularity in its structure, with a repeated, crystalline pattern throughout the plastic. As a result of its strong, crystalline makeup, the Delrin® Homopolymer has superior physical properties, such as better fatigue and creep resistance, and bearing properties. Also, it has better short-term heat resistance compared to the acetal copolymer, with a much higher melting point.

However, this homopolymer does experience minor and inherent center-line porosity. This is basically a band area of tiny porous holes along the center of a rod or sheet. Depending on the severity of the porosity, these holes could weaken a finished part or cause other problems with its performance. 

Acetal CopolymerDupont Delrin compared to Copolymer Acetal

We’ve found that our customers tend to gravitate towards the acetal copolymer when they require a wider processing window, lower costs, and better long-term resistance to heat and alkaline environments. The acetal copolymer is not as crystalline in its structure, which causes it to not only have a generally lower melting point, but when incorporated with other materials, also increases the tolerance for high melting temperatures. 

The less crystalline structure of the copolymer means that this plastic isn’t quite as strong. However, its mixed molecular structure has several benefits. The acetal copolymer has improved resistance to oxidation, improved chemical resistance, and much better long-term resistance to heat. That difference in chemical resistance is much more pronounced with exposure to hot water, especially chlorinated water. The acetal copolymer survives much longer than the homopolymer in these conditions.

Final Thoughts

Both the Acetal Copolymer and the Delrin® Homopolymer have their benefits. Depending on your application and requirements, you can choose the best acetal based plastic for your needs. In need of a supplier of plastics and plastic materials? Check out the rest of Industrial Plastic Supply today!

Acetal Copolymer Provided by Industrial Plastic Supply, Inc.

Acetal Copolymer Provided by Industrial Plastic Supply, Inc.

High Standards And Procurement From Reliable U.S. Manufacturers

Industrial Plastic Supply Inc. is ISO-9001:2015 certified. This benefits our customers since this certification communicates that we take quality and consistency seriously. We distinguish ourselves by providing Acetal Copolymer rods and sheets of exceptional quality over and over again so customers don’t have to wonder what they are getting when they do business with us.

American sourcing is another point of pride. In a time of global trade, a distributor may choose to do business with suppliers outside the U.S.. However, we believe that American quality and standards are top of the line. As such, our Acetal Copolymer is sourced from U.S. manufacturers. Our business partners – customers and vendors alike – can take pride knowing that their investments and dealings with Industrial Plastic Supply benefits U.S. customers, employees, and communities.

U.S. Sourcing Advantage

The benefit to customers in sourcing plastic from U.S. producers is more than patriotic or sentimental. Fact is, supply chains are more delicate than many of us imagine. Whether due to natural disasters, materials shortages, or politics, supply chains can fray and even snap. When that happens, price predictability and long-term supply/shipping agreements are thrown into disarray. Customers don’t want to hear excuses and “maybes” after they have signed contracts, paid money, and anticipate Acetal Copolymer products.

We pride ourselves on stocking and providing quality North American made Acetal Copolymer produced under the trade names: Tecaform® AH, Sustarin® C and ZL® 900. Each of these quality brand names are widely known for exceptional quality, consistency and durability.

Why Acetal Copolymer Is A Good Investment

Acetal Copolymer Sheet and Rod

Acetal Copolymer Performance Plastic

Acetal Copolymer is FDA compliant, opening up its use for food processing and packaging. The material is also stiff, resilient, and abrasion-resistant to a very high degree. Industrial Plastic Supply provides Acetal Copolymer materials in natural (white), black, and blue. Its stiffness and ability to hold shape under harsh conditions means that Acetal Copolymer sheets and rods can be shaped with standard cutting tools. This quality Copolymer Acetal material is FDA and NSF approved.

There are several special grades of Acetal that are formulated for tough food processing applications. Acetal Copolymer is available in a food grade blue for optical detection during food processing. This eliminates broken parts from getting into finished food products. There are also ultra detectable grades that are visual, x-ray and metal detectable for high end food processing applications. Contact us for more information on these special materials.

Automotive, Aerospace, and Medical Use

This plastic has exceptional ability to hold shape under stress, making it an excellent product in automotive and aerospace hardware. Gears, rollers, fuel lines, pumps and medical equipment all make use of Acetal Copolymer. However, care must be taken that the Acetal Copolymer is not exposed to temperatures above roughly 230 Fahrenheit (110 Celsius).

Safety Considerations

There are several factors to keep in mind when handling Acetal Copolymer:

  • Upon intense heating, Acetal Copolymer releases formaldehyde and carbon monoxide.
  • If machining or grinding, small Acetal Copolymer dust particles pose an inhalation and explosion hazard.
  • Prolonged exposure to UV light degrades Acetal Copolymer exposed surfaces and may change physical resilience.

Therefore, proper procedures must be taken when handling and machining this material. This is something Industrial Plastic Supply Inc. takes very seriously, not just for compliance reasons but also for the health and well being of our employees, customers, and ultimately the end-users.

Contact Industrial Plastic Supply for Acetal Copolymer

Industrial Plastic Supply Inc. is proud to be a distributor of Acetal Copolymer and other polymers. Contact us today for a quote and details about products, delivery, prices, and more. Call us @ 866-832-9315

Delrin® 150SA – Homopolymer

Acetal Materials

Acetal Copolymer / Dupont Delrin® 150SA Homopolymer


Which Acetal material should you use? (POM)Large Copolymer Acetal Rod

  • Both Acetal Copolymer and Delrin® 150SA Homopolymer are FDA Compliant
  • Both are very stiff and have excellent dimensional stability
  • Are Self Lubricating, Abrasion Resistance, and Excellent Wear properties
  • Available in Natural, Black and Blue. Custom colors also available.
  • Cuts extremely well with standard cutting tools
  • Delrin® AF (PTFE Filled), Glass Filled, and Specialty Grades Available
  • Delrin® 150SA Homopolymer have similar properties and frequently replaces: Noryl®Nylon®, and PET or PBT materials
  • Acetal and Delrin® are very popular High Tech Performance Plastics

Some reasons to choose Homopolymer vs. Copolymer

Both POM grades have very similar properties. Our clients seem to prefer the Dupont brand name Homopolymer materials because of the superior physical properties. The issues that lead clients to the Copolymer is a slightly lower cost, and the minor inherent center-line porosity in the Delrin® 150SA Homopolymer grade.

Dupont™ Delrin ® is a popular acetal homopolymer brand name and the most commonly used acetal homopolymer.

The Delrin® 150SA is a brand name of Dupont, and it is often referred to as POM-H or Acetal Homopolymer. Common brand or trade names for extruded Acetal sheet and rod materials include: Tecaform® AH, SUSTARIN® C, ZL® 900-C, Pomalux®, Unital®, Mechatec Acetal®, Acetron® and many more.

Specializing in Wholesale Acetal and Delrin Engineering Plastics, Mechanical Plastics and High Performance Plastics

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

Why you should use Acetal/ Delrin®

  • Both the Dupont Delrin® and Acetal Copolymer are FDA Compliant
  • They are very stiff and have excellent dimensional stability
  • Are self-lubricating, abrasion-resistant, and have excellent wear properties
  • Cuts extremely well with standard cutting tools
  • Delrin® AF (PTFE Filled), Glass Filled and Specialty Grades Available
  • Delrin® Rod and Plate have similar properties and frequently replace: Noryl®, Nylon and PET materials

Some reasons to choose Homopolymer vs. Copolymer

Both POM grades have very similar properties. Our clients seem to prefer the Acetal over the Homopolymer materials due to the inherent center-line porosity in the Delrin® Homo-polymer version. This means, that along the center of a rod, or the middle of a sheet, there is a band of area with tiny porous holes. This can weaken or cause problems with a finished part, and in extreme cases, you may see blow by or leakage at this center line. While Delrin® is a brand name, it is a POM Homo-polymer.

The most requested and popular item we supply is the Acetal; the POM Copolymer resin made by one of the other big resin manufacturers – like BASF or Celanese/Tacona.

Both Delrin and Acetal are ITAR compliant, and Delrin and Acetal are RoHS compliant.

The most requested and popular item we supply is the Acetal; the POM Co-polymer resin made by one of the other big resin manufacturers – like BASF or Celanese/Tacona.

Both of these premium performance plastic resins are readily available. If you would prefer the Delrin® brand Sheet or Rod, drop us a line, send us an email – we will be happy to ship the requested material for you. We don’t make judgments on the suitability of material for your application, we just supply what you, our clients ask for. Please, just let us know ahead of time if you have a preference. There are a few other names we hear when people are looking for Delrin®, like Delron, Delran, Delrun, Delren, and many more. Just let us know, and we will be happy to supply a high quality Delrin® brand or Copolymer Acetal product.

Want more information on the differences?  Acetal Compared With Delrin®  and Use The Best Wholesale Acetal Rod and Delrin® Rod Supplier. Natural Acetal Copolymer Rod Now Available up to 24″ in Diameter

Still not sure Delrin® or Acetal is the proper material for your application, consult our free Plastic Materials Selection Guide.

Industrial Plastic Supply proudly stocks Acetal and Dupont Delrin 150SA from these premium manufacturers:

Ensinger® Plastics for Dupont Delrin 150SA and Tecaform AH Copolymer Acetal

Rochling® Plastics for Dupont Delrin 150SA and Sustarin C Copolymer Acetal

Z/L Plastics® for Dupont Delrin 150SA and ZL® 900 series Copolymer Acetal

And many more ‘American Made’ quality plastic manufacturers.

Both Delrin and Acetal are ITAR compliant, and Delrin and Acetal are RoHS compliant.

Acetal materials are excellent machining materials – a favorite of machinists. Works like a soft brass, and has exceptional dimensional stability. It comes as a stress relieved material, however if you plan to do extensive machining, you may need to stress relieve the parts prior to final pass. Rods are machined well in lathe and mill, sheets are machined or cut in most common machine tools.

  • Excellent Machining
  • Low co-efficient of Friction
  • Very low moisture resistance

The work horse of the mechanical plastics family, it is one of the most popular grades of material we supply. Other brand or trade names: Pomalux®, Acetron®, Ensital®, Unital®, Tecaform®, Ultraform®, Celcon®, BASF®, Hostaform®, Ticona®, and Dupont Delrin®. Occasionally we are asked for the difference between Acetal and HDPE – here is an explanationApplications – Frequently used in:

  • Wear and Slide machined parts from Rod and Plate
  • FDA, NSF, 3-A, and USDA Compliant Machined Parts
  • Easily machined parts for water / moisture environments
  • Critical tolerance and dimensionally stable parts
  • 185 degrees F Continuous Temperature Environments
  • Rod and Rods, Sheet and Sheets for numerous applications

Acetal Sheet and Rod Specifications:

In stock we normally carry one of these resins: BASF Ultraform® H4320, Kepital® F10-02, or Hostaform® M25. Current Certifications and Specifications used for Acetal – Delrin®: FDA, USDA, NSF, ASTM D6778 Superseded or out dated Specifications for Acetal – Delrin®: L-P-392, ASTM D4181

Materials Available As

Delrin® Sheet – Delrin®Plate or Acetal Sheet – Acetal Plate: .062″ – 6.0″ up to 48″ X 120″ in Natural (White) and Black (Acetal sheet and Acetal Plate thickness normally in stock: .125″, .187″, .250″, .312″, .375″, .500″, .625″, .750″, .875″, 1.0″, 1.250″, 1.500″, 1.750″, 2.0″, 2.250″, 2.500″, 2.750″, 3.0″, 3.250″, 3.50″, 3.750″, 4.0″, 4.50″, 5.0″ and larger)

Delrin® AF Sheet and Plate: .062″ – 3.0″ thick in 24″ X 48″, brown in color

Delrin® AF Rod: .250″ – 10″ diameter rod in up to 120″ lengths, brown in color

Film: .005″ – .062″ up to 24″ wide in Natural (White) and Black (minimums may apply)

Acetal Rod and Rods: .125″ – 10″ diameter in Natural (White) and Black up to 120″ lengths For Colored Acetal – Delrin Rod® Read Here. (Acetal Rod diameters normally in stock: .125″, .187″, .250″, .312″, .375″, .437″, .500″, .562″, .625″, .750″, .875″, 1.0″, 1.125″, 1.250″, 1.375″, 1.500″, 1.625″, 1.750″, 2.0″, 2.250″, 2.500″, 2.750″, 3.0″, 3.250″, 3.50″, 3.750″, 4.0″, 4.50″, 5.0″ and many more – up to 20.0″ diameter rod is available!)

Special Formulations: Conductive, Static Dissipative, PTFE-TFE Filled, Glass Reinforced, Custom Sizes, Formulations, or Colors Occasionally we are asked for the difference between Acetal and HDPE – here is an explanation.

Typical Resin Properties:

General PropertyASTM TestTypical Value Unfilled Delrin® Homo-PolymerTypical Value Unfilled Co-PolymerTypical Value Delrin® AF
Specific GravityD7921.421.401.50
Tensile Strength YieldD6389,600 – 11,0009,000 – 10,2007,600
Tensile ModulusD638450,000400,000400,000
Izod Impact – NotchedD2561.21.00.9
Hardness – RockwellD785M94M90M89
Deflection Temp @ 264psiD648257220260
Deflection Temp @ 66 psiD648347335347
Water Absorption @ 24 hrs%0.240.250.20
Co. Thermal ExpansionD6966.83X10-55.4X10-55.0X10-5

These Properties are for evaluation purposes only. This information is not to be construed as a warranty, guarantee or assurance that you may achieve the same results. Materials made from different resin types, manufacturing techniques and manufacturers will react differently. The information should be used to compare against other materials only, and each user should make his own tests to determine suitability. No warranty as to this materials suitability are either expressed nor implied.

Acetal Copolymer

Acetal Copolymer

Acetal Copolymer and Dupont Delrin Rod Tecaform AH, Sustarin C and ZL-900

Acetal Materials

Acetal Copolymer / Dupont Delrin® 150SA Homopolymer


Which Acetal material should you use? (POM)

  • Both Acetal Copolymer and Delrin® 150SA Homopolymer are FDA Compliant
  • Both are very stiff and have excellent dimensional stability
  • Are Self Lubricating, Abrasion Resistance, and Excellent Wear properties
  • Available in Natural, Black and Blue. Custom colors also available.
  • Cuts extremely well with standard cutting tools
  • Delrin® AF (PTFE Filled), Glass Filled, and Specialty Grades Available
  • Delrin® 150SA Homopolymer have similar properties and frequently replace: Noryl®Nylon®, and PET or PBT materials
  • Acetal and Delrin® are High Tech Performance Plastics

Some reasons to choose Homopolymer vs. Copolymer

Both Acetal (POM) grades have very similar properties. Our clients seem to prefer the Dupont brand name Homopolymer materials because of the superior physical properties. The issues that lead clients to the Copolymer is a slightly lower cost, and the minor inherent center-line porosity in the Delrin® 150SA Homopolymer grade.

Dupont™ Delrin ® is a popular acetal homopolymer brand name and the most commonly used acetal homopolymer.

The Delrin® 150SA is a brand name of Dupont, and it is often referred to as POM-H or Acetal Homopolymer. Common brand or trade names for extruded Acetal sheet and rod materials include: Tecaform® AH, SUSTARIN® C, ZL® 900-C, Pomalux®, Unital®, Mechatec Acetal®, Acetron® and many more. This excellent mechanical plastic material is also referred to as: Acetal Copolymer rod, Copolymer Acetal rod, Copolymer Plastic Rod, Acetal Copolymer vs Acetal Homopolymer, Homopolymer Acetal rod, Acetal Homopolymer rod, and many others.

Specializing in Wholesale Acetal and Delrin Engineering Plastics, Mechanical Plastics and High Performance Plastics

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

**See also: Alignable Acetal – Delrin Page

 

10-inch-Black-Acetal-Rod

Why you should use Acetal/ Delrin®

  • Both the Dupont Delrin® and Acetal Copolymer are FDA Compliant
  • They are very stiff and have excellent dimensional stability
  • Are self-lubricating, abrasion-resistant, and have excellent wear properties
  • Cuts extremely well with standard cutting tools
  • Delrin® AF (PTFE Filled), Glass Filled and Specialty Grades Available
  • Delrin® Rod and Plate have similar properties and frequently replace: Noryl®Nylon and PET materials

Some reasons to choose Homopolymer vs. Copolymer

Both POM grades have very similar properties. Our clients seem to prefer the Acetal over the Homopolymer materials due to the inherent center-line porosity in the Delrin® Homo-polymer version. This means, that along the center of a rod, or the middle of a sheet, there is a band of area with tiny porous holes. This can weaken or cause problems with a finished part, and in extreme cases, you may see blow by or leakage at this center line. While Delrin® is a brand name, it is a POM Homo-polymer.

The most requested and popular item we supply is the Acetal; the POM Copolymer resin made by one of the other big resin manufacturers – like BASF or Celanese/Tacona.

Both Delrin and Acetal are ITAR compliant, and Delrin and Acetal are RoHS compliant.

The most requested and popular item we supply is the Acetal; the POM Co-polymer resin made by one of the other big resin manufacturers – like BASF or Celanese/Tacona.

Both of these premium performance plastic resins are readily available. If you would prefer the Delrin® brand Sheet or Rod, drop us a line, send us an email – we will be happy to ship the requested material for you. We don’t make judgments on the suitability of material for your application, we just supply what you, our clients ask for. Please, just let us know ahead of time if you have a preference. There are a few other names we hear when people are looking for Delrin®, like Delron, Delran, Delrun, Delren, and many more. Just let us know, and we will be happy to supply a high quality Delrin® brand or Copolymer Acetal product.

Want more information on the differences?  Acetal Compared With Delrin®  and Use The Best Wholesale Acetal Rod and Delrin® Rod Supplier. Natural Acetal Copolymer Rod Now Available up to 24″ in Diameter

Still not sure Delrin® or Acetal is the proper material for your application, consult our free Plastic Materials Selection Guide.

Industrial Plastic Supply proudly stocks Acetal and Dupont Delrin 150SA from these premium manufacturers:

Ensinger® Plastics for Dupont Delrin 150SA and Tecaform AH Copolymer Acetal

Rochling® Plastics for Dupont Delrin 150SA and Sustarin C Copolymer Acetal

Z/L Plastics® for Dupont Delrin 150SA and ZL® 900 series Copolymer Acetal

And many more ‘American Made’ quality plastic manufacturers.

Both Delrin and Acetal are ITAR compliant, and Delrin and Acetal are RoHS compliant.

Acetal materials are excellent machining materials – a favorite of machinists. Works like a soft brass, and has exceptional dimensional stability. It comes as a stress relieved material, however if you plan to do extensive machining, you may need to stress relieve the parts prior to final pass. Rods are machined well in lathe and mill, sheets are machined or cut in most common machine tools.

  • Excellent Machining
  • Low co-efficient of Friction
  • Very low moisture resistance

The work horse of the mechanical plastics family, it is one of the most popular grades of material we supply. Other brand or trade names: Pomalux®, Acetron®, Ensital®, Unital®, Tecaform®, Ultraform®, Celcon®, BASF®, Hostaform®, Ticona®, and Dupont Delrin®. Occasionally we are asked for the difference between Acetal and HDPE – here is an explanationApplications – Frequently used in:

  • Wear and Slide machined parts from Rod and Plate
  • FDA, NSF, 3-A, and USDA Compliant Machined Parts
  • Easily machined parts for water / moisture environments
  • Critical tolerance and dimensionally stable parts
  • 185 degrees F Continuous Temperature Environments
  • Rod and Rods, Sheet and Sheets for numerous applications

Acetal Sheet and Rod Specifications:

In stock we normally carry one of these resins: BASF Ultraform® H4320, Kepital® F10-02, or Hostaform® M25. Current Certifications and Specifications used for Acetal – Delrin®: FDA, USDA, NSF, ASTM D6778 Superseded or out dated Specifications for Acetal – Delrin®: L-P-392, ASTM D4181

Materials Available As

Delrin® Sheet – Delrin®Plate or Acetal Sheet – Acetal Plate: .062″ – 6.0″ up to 48″ X 120″ in Natural (White) and Black.

Acetal sheet and Acetal Plate thickness normally in stock: .125″, .187″, .250″, .312″, .375″, .500″, .625″, .750″, .875″, 1.0″, 1.250″, 1.500″, 1.750″, 2.0″, 2.250″, 2.500″, 2.750″, 3.0″, 3.250″, 3.50″, 3.750″, 4.0″, 4.50″, 5.0″ and larger

Delrin® AF Sheet and Plate: .062″ – 3.0″ thick in 24″ X 48″, brown in color

Delrin® AF Rod: .250″ – 10″ diameter rod in up to 120″ lengths, brown in color

Film: .005″ – .062″ up to 24″ wide in Natural (White) and Black (minimums may apply)

Acetal Rod and Rods: .125″ – 10″ diameter in Natural (White) and Black up to 120″ lengths For Colored Acetal – Delrin Rod® Read Here.

Acetal Rod diameters normally in stock: .125″, .187″, .250″, .312″, .375″, .437″, .500″, .562″, .625″, .750″, .875″, 1.0″, 1.125″, 1.250″, 1.375″, 1.500″, 1.625″, 1.750″, 2.0″, 2.250″, 2.500″, 2.750″, 3.0″, 3.250″, 3.50″, 3.750″, 4.0″, 4.50″, 5.0″ and many more – up to 20.0″ diameter rod is available!

Special Formulations: Conductive, Static Dissipative, PTFE-TFE Filled, Glass Reinforced, Custom Sizes, Formulations, or Colors Occasionally we are asked for the difference between Acetal and HDPE – here is an explanation.

Typical Resin Properties:

General PropertyASTM TestTypical Value Unfilled Delrin® Homo-PolymerTypical Value Unfilled Co-PolymerTypical Value Delrin® AF
Specific GravityD7921.421.401.50
Tensile Strength YieldD6389,600 – 11,0009,000 – 10,2007,600
Tensile ModulusD638450,000400,000400,000
Izod Impact – NotchedD2561.21.00.9
Hardness – RockwellD785M94M90M89
Deflection Temp @ 264psiD648257220260
Deflection Temp @ 66 psiD648347335347
Water Absorption @ 24 hrs%0.240.250.20
Co. Thermal ExpansionD6966.83X10-55.4X10-55.0X10-5
Acetal Copolymer Sheet and Rod

Properties are for evaluation purposes only. This information is not to be construed as a warranty, guarantee or assurance that you may achieve the same results. Materials made from different resin types, manufacturing techniques and manufacturers will react differently. The information should be used to compare against other materials only, and each user should make his own tests to determine suitability. No warranty as to this materials suitability are either expressed nor implied.

New Performance Plastics Making Metals Obsolete

New Performance Plastics Making Metals Obsolete

Metals have been around for a very long time

The history of metals is thought to have begun with the use of copper about 11,000 years ago. Gold, silver, iron, lead, and even some brass began to be used before the first known appearance of bronze in the 5th millennium BCE High Quality Performance Plastics are replacing Metals

Artifacts made of smelted iron have been found dating from about 3000 BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia. In those times, iron was a ceremonial metal; it was far too expensive to be used in everyday life. Metals are commonly very stiff, tough and strong. However, they are also generally quite heavy. Also, the cost to heat metal to production temperatures is extremely high, over 5 times that of Performance Plastic materials. When metals corrode they get smaller, and many can decompose to yield rust.

In comparison, plastics only were first made in the early 1900’s. The world’s first known fully synthetic plastic was bakelite (now days considered Phenolic), and was invented in New York in 1907 by Leo Baekeland who coined the term ‘plastics’. Since this date, thousands of chemists and material scientists have synthesized dozens of plastic base materials. Plastic materials are currently available in over 80 types, and each of these are molded or processed at slightly different temperatures. The wide range of performance plastic materials will allow you to choose the perfect material for your next application.

Some of The Advantages of New Performance Plastic Materials

New Higher Temperature Performance Plastic Materials

New Performance Plastic materials like Victrex 450g PEEK and Sabic Ultem 1000 have much higher use temperatures over previous performance plastic materials. The Ultem 1000 unfilled has a continual use temperature above 400 degrees F, while the newer Victrex 450g PEEK materials work well at 480 degrees F on a continuous basis. In addition to the higher temperatures, they are still food grade materials.

Most plastic materials can typically be molded in a temperature range of 400 to 600 degree F. While steel starts to melt at 2,500 degrees F. This is five times the temperature, meaning it takes 5 times the energy to convert steel instead of plastic. Lower temperatures equates to lower costs of production.

New Lower Weight Materials

The average plastic weighs just 20% of the average metal product. Many plastics have exceptional weight to strength ratios, meaning that for the weight of the product they are very strong. This low weight means much less raw materials and less impact on the environment if using plastics over metals. This results in lower cost to manufacture parts from plastics over metal.

For instance, new UV grades of HDPE or High Density Polyethylene are very light, with a density of just .96, so light it floats in water. And yet, this new UV grade of HDPE is a workhorse in the plastic market, and is used to replace wood and metals in outdoor furniture.

New Detectable Materials For Food Contact Approved

Most Performance Plastic materials were engineered to be food contact compliant, and in most cases FDA approved for food contact. With the increase in food recalls, finding the proper materials to ensure that our foods are safe is imperative. Materials like Acetal Copolymer, Acetal Homopolymer, Nylon, Ultem 1000 and Victrex 450g PEEK are all FDA approved for direct food contact.

Which Performance Plastic Will Work The Best

Here are some new performance plastic material grades that include additives to make these materials detectable during food processing. These newly released detectable products include Tecaform AH UD (copolymer acetal base), Tecapeek UD Blue (PEEK based) and Hydex 4101 UD Blue PBT – Polyester base). Each of these new performance plastic materials comes in Blue color to be detected by color sensors during food processing. The “UD” portion allows these materials to be detected by X-Ray and Metal Detection scanners in food processing production lines. Using these new detectable performance plastic materials in food processing plants can help to eliminate food contamination issues and massive food recalls.

Recent Rising Costs Of Transportation

Changes in transportation rules and regulations since 2018 have made shipping raw materials significantly more expensive. Weight, size restrictions and surcharges for longer packages have more than doubled in the last year.

This has made one of the most expensive components of materials reaching the marketplace is transportation costs, and over the last several years the costs of moving materials across the country has skyrocketed. Metals are heavy, and this weight makes many items very expensive to transport.

Each step in the production of a finished good generally involves shipping to the next step. Raw material converted into base material, then base material converted into usable shape. Later this shape is turned into a component or part. Each time there is a conversion, there normally is shipping to the next processor. Metal weight can limit the amount of metal that can be moved at one time, where plastics can ship up to five times more product per truckload.

With performance plastics, often the conversion in small factories that can be located near final assembly of components limits the amount of shipping of plastic parts. Also, due to the light weight of plastics, trucks can hold up to five times the amount of plastic over metals for shipping. Many plastic parts are made very close to where they will be consumed, cutting logistics fees. This five times the weight also translates to five times higher cost to ship metals. This reduction of transportation costs moves more profit to the bottom line.

New Performance Plastic Materials Eliminate Need For Lubrication

Often, on large metal parts or assemblies, grease ports are added to make lubricating the metal parts easy. Metal on metal parts will wear out very quickly, and therefore require regular service and lubrication.

Newly released performance plastic materials have made lubrication obsolete. One such material is a new compounded Nylon material, called Nylatech PVM has FDA approved oil additives. This new Cast Nylon material runs well for extended periods without external lubrication. This material runs quieter and smoother than previously used metal parts due to a much lower coefficient of friction, and requires no regular maintenance.

Another new grade of Performance Plastic material that is rated as ‘self-lubricating’, and have excellent wear resistance is Lub-X UHMW, which now makes curves in bottling plants move smoother, quieter and require no lubrication. These long wearing and high strength materials outperform most other substrate for low cost, high performance, low weight and self lubrication.

Each of these plastic advantages yield cost savings and long product life. Along with these new areas of advantage, Performance Plastics are 100% recyclable, and can be reprocessed into high strength parts again and again. The plastic recycling industry is still in its infancy, and as it becomes more adept at recycling and reusing valuable plastic materials, our planet and our pocket books will benefit.