One of the most important aspects of any product development using plastic molding is choosing the right material. The material that you select directly effects the molding operation and the produced parts performance. There are countless plastic materials available, so how do know which material to select?

When choosing a plastic resin, there are numerous things to consider, including the parts function and environment, as well as the materials strength, flexibility, color and cost.

Below, we’ve listed the most common plastic resins used for injection molding and their applications.

Polycarbonate (PC)
Polycarbonate is one of the strongest plastic injection molding materials available and is available at an affordable price. PC is an excellent engineering plastic. This material is as clear as glass, but 250x stronger. Although extremely strong and impact-resistant, PC sheets are easily worked and molded and posses inherent design flexibility.

It’s an ideal material for high-strength, glass-like applications such as bulletproof glass and medical or laboratory applications like beakers. It is also widely used for greenhouses, optics, police riot gear, and more.

Acrylic or Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA)
Acrylic is a transparent thermoplastic used as a lightweight, shatter-resistant alternative to glass. Acrylic is typically used in sheet form to create products such as acrylic mirrors and acrylic plexiglass. The transparent plastic can be made colored, abrasion-resistant, bullet-resistant, and more. Acrylic is 17x more impact resistant than glass, easier to handle and process, and has endless applications.  

Polyethylene (PE)
Polyethylene can be manufactured in varying densities. Each density of PE gives the molded plastic product unique physical properties. As a result, polyethylene is in a wide variety of products.  

Here are a few common polyethylene densities:  

  • Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) offers excellent moisture resistance, high-strength, superior chemical resistance and translucence. LDPE is used in a full spectrum of everyday products and applications. Many consumer goods and housewares, for example, as well as medical products, agricultural products, and electronic wiring utilize this flexible plastic.
  • Medium-Density Polyethylene (MDPE) is typicall in gas pipes, carrier bags and more.
  • High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is more rigid than LDPE and MDPE. It is used for products such as snowboards, folding chairs and water/sewage piping.

Polypropylene (PP)
Polypropylene is a highly flexible thermoplastic polymer and is widely used throughout the world. This material is equally suitable for both industrial and consumer applications. This resin known for being flexible without breaking, always retaining its original shape. PP also offers resistance to solvents, making it ideal for applications involving the production of containers and bottle caps for materials containing chemicals.

A host of applications can use polypropylene, including plastic packaging, electrical equipment, household appliance, automotive, and construction industries.  It can be easily customized by including special additives or changing the manufacturing process.

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
Polyethylene Terephthalate has excellent chemical resistance to organic materials and is easily recyclable. It is practically shatterproof and possesses an impressive high strength-to-weight ratio. This plastic material is in fibers for clothing, containers for foods and liquid, glass fiber for engineering resins, and more.

Polycinyl Chloride (PVC)
PVC is well-known for its ability to blend with other materials. Expanded PVC sheets are a foamed polyvinyl chloride material that used for kiosks and store displays. The rigid form of PVC is used for construction materials such as doors and windows.

Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS)
ABS is one of the most common injection molding materials available in today’s market and is the “go-to” resin for many people. It is a thermoplastic material that is sourced and molded at a relatively easy pace, and is available at an affordable price point. ABS is very strong and durable, and it provides good impact resistance. It can also be easily machined, sanded or colored to meet aesthetic requirements, enhancing the visual properties of your product.

ABS is commonly used for computer keyboards and laptop housings, kitchen appliances, musical instruments, and medical devices. It’s sturdiness allows for use in automotive components including plastic bumpers and interior components such as dashboard housings and center consoles.

Whatever product or prototype you’re developing, Bangor Plastics has the plastic molding capabilities and materials to get the job done. If you have questions, you can contact us here. If you’re ready to request a quote, simply fill out the form below.

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