Which type of plastic sheet do I need for my application?
Article Title: Which type of plastic sheet do I need for my application?
Article Summary: The different styles, applications, and temperature ranges for plastic sheet are necessary in determining the right plastic for your project. We give a brief description and application use for each type of plastic sheet we have in our inventory.
Article Date: 5/16/2003
Article ID: 598
Q. What type of plastic sheets does USP carry?
A. We carry a wide array of plastic material. Plastic sheets are very versatile. The following sheets can be purchased and shipped immediately to you.
ABS Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene-This is haircell finish one side ABS sheet. It has good impact strength, formability, stiffness, excellent aesthetic qualities, and toughness, plus general purpose, low cost material. Applications include aircraft interior trim, cassette holders, tote bins and trays, automotive parts, luggage, and more. ABS is an extremely versatile thermoplastic. It has good chemical and stress-cracking resistance. It also combines toughness with rigidity and creep resistance. The strength of ABS depends on temperature. ABS is easily thermoformed and lends itself to remarkable reproduction of mold detail. Extruded ABS sheet can be easily heat formed using any conventional thermoplastic sheet forming equipment. The maximum working temp is 185 deg F and the forming temperature is 325 - 350 deg F. Black is UV resistant, while white and natural colors are not.
ACETAL (Delrin®) White Acetal-150 has excellent load-bearing qualities in both tension and compression. Acetal does not absorb a large amount of moisture and are resistant to a wide range of solvents. Acetals are attacked by both strong acids and oxidizing agents. The service temp range is -20 to 185 deg F, intermittent 200 deg F. High yield strength at elevated temperatures. It is an excellent material for bearings, gears, cams, and other small parts. Properties include low friction, high wear resistance, and ease of fabrication. Meets FDA standards and is USDA approved. It is not UV stabilized.
ACRYLIC This plastic sheet is completely transparent, flexible, and exhibits great resistance to breakage. Acrylic is excellent material to use in place of glass for windows, skylights, doors, partitions, etc. It is lightweight, half the weight of glass, and it is virtually unaffected by nature. Acrylics transparency, gloss and dimensional shape are virtually unaffected by years of exposure to the elements, salt spray or corrosive atmospheres. These materials withstand exposure to light from fluorescent lamps without darkening or deteriorating. They ultimately discolor, however, when exposed to high-intensity UV ligh below 265 nm. It can take temperatures from -40 deg F to 180 deg F (intermittent to 200 deg F). Fabrication is easy, as it can be sawed with fine tooth blades, drilled with plastic drills, sanded and polished. Also, it can be cemented with Acrylic cement. It meets FDA standards, is UV stabilized, and has a UL 95 Flammability rating. The forming temp is 350 deg F. Applications include inspection windows, sight gauges, windshields, meter faces, protective covers, safety shields, tanks, desk tops, displays, trays, and chair pads.
CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride) Boosts the working temperature of other rigid vinyl thermoplastics by 60 deg F with little change in corrosion resistance characteristics. CPVC safely handles many corrosive liquids. It is virtually immune to solvents or direct attack by inorganic reagents, aliphatic hydrocarbons and alcohols. The forming temp is 310-325 deg F and the service temp is 33-212 deg F. It is corrosion resistant, lightweight, high tensile strength, dielectric, non-combustible, and low flow resistance. It is not UV stabilized.
NYLON With ease of fabrication and many superior properties, Nylon has found wide application for bearings, bushings, washers, seals, gears, guides, rollers, wear plates, fasteners, insulators, forming dies, sleeves, liners, cooling fans, and many other parts. Properties include high wear and abrasion resistance, with low coefficient of friction, high strength to weight ratio. It has corrosion resistant to alkalis and organic chemicals. It is non-abrasive to other material, with noise dampening characteristics, also good electrical insulator. It is not UV stabilized, but it is USDA and FDA compliant. The temp range is -40 deg F to 225 deg F.
POLYCARBONATE Is a high impact material with excellent properties that enable this material to be used where many others have failed. It is virtually unbreakable, making its products extremely safe in areas where parts may be exposed to high impact. It is UL listed for Burglar Resistance and it complies with ANSI (Z97.1) for transparent safety glazing in buildings. May be used in continuous service applications with temperatures ranging from -40 deg F to 240 deg F. Polycarbonate is UV stabilized giving it effective resistance to sun exposure. It has performed well in outdoor applications for 5-7 years. Applications include greenhouses, patio roofs, window glazing, safety guards, chair mats, equipment enclosures, signs, doors, and much more. Available in clear, frosted, and Lexan® Margard® .
POLYETHYLENE LDPE These sheets can be heat formed, shaped and welded to fabricate ducts, hoods, and much more. They have excellent corrosion resistance to a wide range of items. Polyethylene is susceptible to stress cracking when exposed to ultraviolet and some chemicals. Wetting agents such as detergents accelerate stress cracking. It cannot be cemented but easily welded with a plastic welder. LDPE can be cut with a wood saw and drilled with regular metal bits. Not UV stabilized but does meet FDA standards. The Low Density Polyethylene has a .92 density. Semi-rigid with good impact resistance and abrasion resistance. It is white translucent with working temps of 0-140 deg F. and a forming temp of 245 deg F.
POLYETHYLENE HDPE Rigidity and tensile strength of the HDPE resins are considerably higher than those of LDPE & MDPE materials. Impact strength is slightly lower, as is to be expected in a stiffer material. These sheets can be heat formed, shaped and welded to fabricate ducts, hoods, and much more. They have excellent corrosion resistance to a wide range of items. HDPE cannot be cemented, but are easily welded with a plastic welder. It can be cut with a wood saw and drilled with regular metal bits. Not UV stabilized but meets FDA standards. The High Density Polyethylene has a density .95. Rigid, good impact and abrasion resistance. It is white translucent with a working temp of -60-180 deg F and a forming temp of 295 deg F.
POLYPROPYLENE Offers a good balance of thermal, chemical and electrical properties with moderate strength. It possesses a good strength to weight ratio. Due to its hard, high gloss surface, PP is ideally suited to environments where there is concern for bacteria build up that can interferewith flow. These sheets can be heat formed, shaped and welded to fabricate ducts, hoods, and much more. They have excellent corrosion resistance to a wide range of items. Cannot be cemented but are easily welded with a plastic welder. PP can be cut with a wood saw and drilled with regular metal bits. Not UV stabilized but is USDA approved and meets FDA standards. Polypropylene has a .90 density, rigid with fair impact resistance and very good abrasion resistance. It is white-tan, translucent with working temperatures of 32 deg F to 210 deg F and a forming temp of 310-325 deg F.
POLYURETHANE Has a high load bearing capacity and excellent tear resistance. It is also abrasion, oil, and solvent resistant, with a high resistance to sunlight and weather conditions. It has a broad temp range from -90 deg F to 180 deg F. Provides superior sound dampening properties in relation to rubber and plastics, and is also great for electrical insulating properties. Applications include gaskets, seals, gears, wheels, bearings, bumpers, drive belts, valve seats, noise damper, chute-hopper liners, slurry transfer, mallets heads, and solvent lines. Available in yellow & black.
POLYVINYL CHLORIDE (PVC) This PVC sheet has excellent corrosion resistance and weather resistance. The working temp is 33 deg F to 160 deg F. and the forming temperatures of 245 deg F. It is good electrical and thermal insulator and has a self-extinguishing per UL Test 94. PVC applications are almost unlimited. It's the most widely used member of the vinyl family. It is excellent when used for corrosion-resistant tanks, ducts, fume hoods, and pipe. Ideal for self-supporting tanks, fabricated parts, tank linings, and spacers. It is not UV stabilized and has a tolerance of +or 10%. Not FDA approved materials. Colors available: Gray PVC Type 1 Sheet, White PVC, & Clear PVC.
PVC EXPANDED SHEET This Sintra PVC sheet is a moderately expanded high density, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) sheet. As a lightweight plastic material, it can be easily cut, sawed, drilled, and fabricated. The sheet is an excellent material for model exhibits and displays. For interior signage only. Can be painted and silk-screened. Its characteristics include: foamed PVC sheet material that is approx half the weight of solid PVC; durable and hard wearing under many adverse conditions and resists most chemicals and water, with its porous interior and hard smooth surface; it can be painted, printed, silk-screened, laminated, etc; easy to clean and has an attractive surface, and is fire retardant. Good sound dampening-UL 94 flammability class 94 V-O-945; USDA approved. Colors available: white, black, gray, and beige.
STYRENE Use this high impact styrene sheet for models, prototypes, signs, displays, enclosures, and more. It can be drilled, threaded, sawed, sheared, punched and machined. It can also be painted and has excellent forming properties (vacuum pressure). It is non-toxic and odorless, dimensionally stable, has low water absorption, and is heat and electronically sealable. Maximum heat resistance is 180 deg F and the forming temp is -325 deg F to 350 deg F. Styrene meets FDA standards, but is not UV stabilized.
Teflon® TFE Has a virtually universal chemical inertness; of commercial chemicals, only molten alkali metals and gaseous fluorine at high temps and pressure attack Teflon®. The working temp range is -20 deg F to 500 deg F. It has the lowest coefficient of any solid. It has no slip-stick characteristics; static and dynamic coefficients are equal. Nothing sticks with any strength to unheated surfaces. Both virgin and mechanical grades are UV stabilized. Virgin material meets FDA standards and is USDA approved.
UHMW This Ultra High Molecular Weight (UHMW) Polyethylene bar has exceptionally high abrasion and impact resistance properties. It will outwear all other materials, including metals, nylons, urethanes, and fluoroplastics. In corrosion resistance, it has the same qualities of other polyethylene plastics. The working temperature range is from -60 to 200 deg F. Because it resists wear, friction and corrosion, it cuts maintenance costs, energy consumption, and extends equipment life. Applications include guide rails, wear plates, rollers, conveyor augers, bin and hopper lines, chutes, bearings, bushings and gears. Its properties include: low coefficient of friction, self-lubrication, non-adherent surface, FDA and USDA concurrence for contact with foods, drugs, etc.
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