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Isn’t Plastic Just A Cheap Material?

Isn’t Plastic Just A Cheap Material?

We have all heard the upset consumer angry about the ‘Cheap Plastic’, normally about a thin plastic bag or water bottle that just broke during normal use.

“I thought ALL Plastic Was A Just 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, grades and availability.

What caused 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 performance plastics replace metals and other substrates in manufacturing. They out live and 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. The overall ‘performance’ of the material you require will dictate the type, grade and overall cost of the material. We supply materials from very inexpensive to some that are very expensive. These price differences are based on the significant differences in many of today’s high performance plastic materials.

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. Most Performance Plastic materials outlast other raw materials, even metals. Check the physical properties, and using the right material for the application, could mean your parts may last decades without needing maintenance or lubrication.

Some of our lower cost materials: HDPE, PVC, Styrene – are less expensive, but not cheap. Each with very specific strong points, and yes, weak areas as well. Contact us with any questions you may have about the best material for your project as ‘one size does not fit all’.

‘Cheap plastic’ is most likely not the best plastic for your application.

Ask Us, we are happy to guide you on your Performance Plastic Material search.

Plastic Sheet and Plastic Sheets

Plastic Sheet and Plastic Sheets

Cutting of plastic sheet and rod

Plastic Sheet and Plastic Sheets

Specializing in performance and mechanical plastic sheet and plastic sheets, blocks, slabs and panels; Industrial Plastic Supply carries a huge variety of materials in flat plastic sheet.  Most materials are available in 48″ x 96″ sheet sizes, although many are in 48″ X 120″  and some only 24″ X 48″ sheets (depending on thickness and type of plastic material). These sheet materials can be cut to produce Plastic Strip, Plastic Bar, Plastic Square Bar, Plastic Rectangular Bar or simply cut to size pieces. Our quality American Made plastic sheet manufacturers are some of the largest in the industry and make the finest grades of plastic sheeting material available anywhere. We source only the best materials with the least amount of residual stress in the industry – providing the flattest plastic sheet, and thus the best quality for your finished parts.

All of our suppliers are American companies, and we import nothing from China.


Why chose Industrial Plastic Supply for your Plastic Sheet

  • Huge selection of plastic sheet, plastic plate and plastic slabs
  • Cutting service to cut sheet plastic or blocks,  strips and ‘blanks’Default Alt Tag for this page
  • Most plastics available in sheet form
  • Many materials available up to 6″ thick sheet (and in stock), with thicker materials available.
  • Plastic sheets generally starts at .062 or 1/16″, with thinner materials being called film

Here’s a listing of some of the most popular wholesale plastic plate and plastic sheet materials available, and normally in inventory:

Hi-Impact Styrene
Laminates (Paper, Canvas, Linen, G-10, FR-4)
Noryl® – PPO
Nylon – PolyamidePlastic Sheet and Sheets - materials In Stock
PEEK – Polyetheretherketone
PETG – Vivak
Polycarbonate (Tuffak® – Makrolon® – Lexan®)
Polyester (PET – PBT)
Polyethylene (HDPE and LDPE)
PVC Sheet and Rod
PVDF (Kynar®)
UHMW Polyethylene
Ultem® – PEI


Call The Plastic Experts

If you are still not sure which product is the proper sheet material for your application, consult our free Plastic Materials Selection Guide or call us today at: 866-832-9315.

These and many other plastic sheet and sheet plastic materials are available. If there is a material not listed, please call. It might be in stock, but not on the website. While this is a large list of materials, we do stock dozens of additional materials in plastic sheeting.

While Plastic Sheet is a standard item, we can cut these plastic materials into Plastic Strip, Plastic Bar, Plastic Square Bar, Plastic Rectangular Bar, and of course cut pieces of Plastic Sheet.

One of the most popular questions we are asked is, “Can Plastic Sheets Be Recycled?”  The answer is ‘Yes’ for all of our Thermoplastic Sheet materials. Feel free to ask us for specifics on the plastic sheet material you have been searching for.