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Performance Parameter Of Major Industry Plastics Materials


  Major Plastic materials
性能 (Performance Parameters) PVC-F PVC-H ABS PE PP PS
相对密度 (Density) 1.2-1.6 1.4-1.6 1.05-1.07 0.92-0.97 0.9 1.05
吸水率/% (Water Absorption) 0.25 0.07-0.4 0.2-0.45 <0.01 0.01 0.05
成型收缩率/% (Forming Shrinkage) 1.5-2.5 0.6-1.0 0.3-0.8 2.0-5.0 1.0-2.5 0.4-0.7
拉伸强度/Mpa (Tensile Strength) 10.5-20.1 45.7 42-62 21-37 29 50
断裂伸长率/% (Breaking Elongation) 100-500 25 5-25 >500 >200 2
弯曲强度/Mpa (Bending Strength) - 100 69-72 11 50 105
弯曲模量/Mpa (Flexural Modulus) - 3000 - - - 3200
压缩强度/Mpa (Compressive Strength) 8.8 20.5 73-88 10 45 115
缺口冲击强度/(KJ/m2) (Notch Impact Strength) - 2.2-10.6 - 40-70 0.5 16
邵氏硬度 (Shore durometer) A50-95 D75-85 - - - -
洛氏硬度 (rockwell hardness) - - R108-115 R70 R80-115 M65-90
长期使用温度/ (Continuous Service Temperature ) 60-70 60-70 70-80 60-80 50-110 60-75
热变形温度(1.82MPa)/ (Heat Deflection Temperature) 60 60 93-107 78 102 100
脆化温度/ (Brittle Temperature ) -42 -47 -40 <-114~-120 8--8 -30
线膨胀系数/(×10-5K-1)(Linear Expansibility) 7-25 5-18.5 5-8.5 12-13 6-10 8
热导率/[W/(m.k)] (Thermal Conductivity) 0.15 0.16 0.16-0.29 0.44 0.24 0.14
体积电阻率/(缓cm) (Volume Resistivity) 1011-1013 1012-1014 2.7×1016 6×1015 1019 1017-1019
介电常数/(106HZ)(Dielectric Constant ) 5-9 3.2-3.6 2.4-3.8 2.34-2.38 2.15 2.45-2.65
介电强度/(KV/mm)(Dielectric Strength) 14.7-29.5 9.85-35 13-20 >20 24.6 20-28
耐电弧/s (Arc Resistance) - - 66-82 115 185 60-135
氧指数/% (Oxygen Index) - - 20 20 18 20

1.Polybutene-1 (PB-1)

INTRODUCTION

Polybutene (PB-1), like polyethylene and polypropylene, is a polyolefin or saturated polymer that is expressed as CnH2n. PB-1 combines the typical properties of conventional polymers with some characteristics of technical polymers.

PB-1 is used as a pure resin at the expense of metal, rubber and Engineering Polymers, it is also used synergistically as a blend component to improve and differentiate the properties of other polyolefins. 

PROPERTIES

PB-1 is obtained by polymerisation of butene-1, with a stereo-specific Ziegler-Natta catalyst to create a linear, high molecular, isotactic, semi-crystalline polymer.

When used as a pure resin, PB-1's creep properties are exceptional. In addition to excellent creep resistance, the polymer has low stiffness, resists impact well (even at low temperatures) and has excellent elastic recovery.

PB-1 possesses good resistance to acids, bases, detergents, oils, fats, alcohol, ketones, aliphatic hydrocarbons and hot polar solutions, including water. PB-1 is sensitive to oxidising acids, aromatic and chlorinated hydrocarbons. The polymer is very insensitive to environmental stress cracking.

PB-1 is also used to enhance the properties of Polypropylene, Polyethylene and Thermoplastic Elastomers. In films, PB-1 can improve sealing performance, the ability to peel with controlled force, be softer and more flexible, have better high temperature strength or be more elastic. PB-1 compounded TPEs tend to display dramatic improvements in high temperature stiffness.

PB-1 displays excellent resistance to creep, abrasion, chemicals and environmental stress cracking, properties exploited in pipes for heating and plumbing. Minimal cold flow. Forms excellent blends with polypropylene. Incompatability with polyethylene is used to make peelable PE based film seals. 

2.Nylons (Polyamides) PA

INTRODUCTION

The name "nylons" refers to the group of plastics known as polyamides. Nylons are typified by amide groups (CONH) and encompass a range of material types (e.g. Nylon 6,6; Nylon 6,12; Nylon 4,6; Nylon 6; Nylon 12 etc.), providing an extremely broad range of available properties. Nylon is used in the production of film and fibre, but is also available as a moulding compound.

Nylon is formed by two methods. Dual numbers arise from the first, a condensation reaction between diamines and dibasic acids produces a nylon salt. The first number of the nylon type refers to the number of carbon atoms in the diamine, the second number is the quantity in the acid (e.g. nylon 6,12 or nylon 6,6).

The second process involves opening up a monomer containing both amine and acid groups known as a lactam ring. The nylon identity is based on the number of atoms in the lactam monomer (e.g. nylon 6 or nylon 12 etc). 

PROPERTIES

The majority of nylons tend to be semi-crystalline and are generally very tough materials with good thermal and chemical resistance. The different types give a wide range of properties with specific gravity, melting point and moisture content tending to reduce as the nylon number increases.

Nylons tend to absorb moisture from their surroundings. This absorption continues until equilibrium is reached and can have a negative effect on dimensional stability. In general, the impact resistance and flexibility of nylon tends to increase with moisture content, while the strength and stiffness below the glass transition temperature (< 50-80 oC) decrease. The extent of moisture content is dependent on temperature, crystallinity and part thickness. Preconditioning can be adopted to prevent negative effects of moisture absorption during service.

Nylons tend to provide good resistance to most chemicals, however can be attacked by strong acids, alcohol's and alkalis.

Nylons can be used in high temperature environments. Heat stabilised systems allow sustained performance at temperatures up to 185 oC (for reinforced systems). 

Grades Available (Suggest TYPES rather than Grades.)

There are many types of nylon available (e.g. Nylon 6 nylon 66, nylon 6/6-6, nylon 6/9, nylon 6/10, nylon 6/12, nylon 11, nylon 12). The material is available as a homopolymer, co-polymer or reinforced. Nylons may also be blended with other engineering plastics to improve certain aspects of performance. Nylon is available for processing via injection moulding, rotational moulding, casting or extrusion into film or fibre.

Physical Properties: NB The lower figure is typical for unreinforced Nylon, and the higher figure typical for 30% glass filled.

3.Polycarbonate PC

INTRODUCTION

Transparency, excellent toughness, thermal stability and a very good dimensional stability make Polycarbonate (PC) one of the most widely used engineering thermoplastics. Compact discs, riot shields, vandal proof glazing, baby feeding bottles, electrical components, safety helmets and headlamp lenses are all typical applications for PC.

Polycarbonate is most commonly formed with the reaction of bis-phenol A (produced through the condensation of phenol with acetone under acidic conditions) with carbonyl chloride in an interfacial process. PC falls into the polyester family of plastics.

Polycarbonate remains one of the fastest growing engineering plastics as new applications are defined; global demand for PC exceeds 1.5 million tons. 

PROPERTIES

Polycarbonates are strong, stiff, hard, tough, transparent engineering thermoplastics that can maintain rigidity up to 140oC and toughness down to -20°C or special grades even lower. The material is amorphous (thereby displaying excellent mechanical properties and high dimensional stability), is thermally resistant up to 135oC and rated as slow burning. Special flame retardant grades exist which pass several severe flammability tests.

Constraints to the use of PC include limited chemical and scratch resistance and it's tendency to yellow upon long term exposure to UV light. However these constraints can be readily overcome by adding the right additives to the compound or processing through a co-extrusion process. 

 

GRADES AVAILABLE

Polycarbonate is available in a number of different grades dependent on the application and chosen processing method. The material is available in a variety of grades such as film, flame retardant, reinforced and stress crack resistant, branched (for applications requiring high melt strength) and other speciality grades. Also blends of PC are available with e.g. ABS or Polyesters, widely used in automotive industry. Processing of PC generally falls into:

Injection Moulding

Structural Foam Moulding

Extrusion

Vacuum Forming

Blow Moulding

4.Polyesters (Thermoplastic) PETP, PBT, PET

INTRODUCTION

Engineering polyesters are engineering thermoplastics based on PBT (Polybutylene terephthalate) and PET (Polyethylene terephthalate).

Polyester resins combine excellent mechanical, electrical and thermal properties with very good chemical resistance and dimensional stability. Polyesters also offer low moisture absorption and have good flow properties. 

GRADES AVAILABLE

The scope of the Engineering Polyester product line includes grades that range from un-reinforced to glass reinforced, flame retardant and high flow materials. Specialist Grades are designed to minimise warpage, maximise impact strength or optimise surface quality. The range also includes grades for applications that typically require higher strength and or higher heat resistance.

In addition to injection moulding grades the Engineering Polyester product range includes various extrusion grades. The primary emphasis is on glass reinforced and flame retardant materials for the automotive and electrical/electronic markets. The product line is complemented by un-reinforced, extrudable, and toughened grades. Material tends to be supplied fully compounded. 

PROPERTIES

PBT, PET and PBT Blends are engineering plastics with excellent processing characteristics and high strength and rigidity for a broad range of applications. Typically properties in which they differentiate themselves from other engineering plastics are:

Extreme low water absorption, in particular comparison to Nylon (Polyamides)

Exceptional dimensional stability, due to the low water absorption.

Excellent electrical properties.

Excellent resistance to chemical attack and high environmental stress crack resistance, in particular in comparison to polycarbonates, due to the semi-crystalline nature of polyesters.

Very good heat and heat ageing resistance.

Very low creep, even at elevated temperatures.

Very good colour stability.

Excellent wear properties

The property profile of PBT and EPET plastics is wide and varied. It would be difficult to provide one set of figures which encompass the range. Additionally the wide use of glass fillers further exasperates this position. 

5.Polyphenylene Sulphide PPS

INTRODUCTION

Exceptional heat, chemical and flame resistance have contributed to widespread use of the rigid opaque thermoplastic Polyphenylene Sulphide (PPS) in a wide variety of applications.  These include cooking appliances, sterilisable laboratory equipment, hairdryer grills, automotive components including exhaust gas return valves, carburettor components, ignition plates.

Its heat resistance combined with good electrical insulation properties means PPS has found use in electrical components in place of metals and some thermosets.   Lamp reflectors need to withstand up to 250 degC, which is why they are still made mainly in thermosets or diecast metal.  On the other hand, Tedur (PPS) is able to produce a surface finish that can accept vapour metallisation without the need for intermediate painting, as is normally the case with filled thermoplastics.

PPS can be prepared in a number of ways.  For commercial purposes, PPS would be produced by the reaction of p-dichlorobenzene  with sodium sulphide in a polar solvent.  It can also be formed by polymerisation of p-halothiophenoxide metal compounds both in the solid state and in solution, or by condensation of p-dichlorobenzene with elemental sulphur in the presence of sodium bicarbonate.

PROPERTIES

Rigid, opaque non-burning continuous use at 250'C, good chemical resistance, good electrical insulator, moisture resistant, rarely used unfilled.

Good tensile strength and flexural modulus together with good electrical properties.  Glass fibre filled PPS gives good heat distortion whereas carbon fibre filled PPS does this even better with dimensional stability and rigidity. PPS, when PTFE lubricated, will give good wear and low coefficient of friction.

6.Polyvinyl Chloride PVC

INTRODUCTION

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a major thermoplastic material finding use in a very wide variety of applications and products.

The essential raw materials for PVC are derived from salt and oil. The electrolysis of salt water produces chlorine, which is combined with ethylene, obtained from oil, to form vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). Molecules of VCM are polymerised to form PVC resin, to which appropriate additives are incorporated to make a customised PVC compound 

GRADES AVAILABLE

A wide variety of grades of PVC are available, suitable for:

blow moulding

calendering

cast or blown film

coating

extrusion

injection moulding

rotational moulding

thermoforming

slush moulding

PROPERTIES

PVC's major benefit is its compatibility with many different kinds of additives, making it a highly versatile polymer. PVC can be plasticised to make it flexible for use in flooring and medical products. Rigid PVC, also known as PVC-U (The U stands for "unplasticised") is used extensively in building applications such as window frames.

Its compatibility with additives allows for the possible addition of flame retardants although PVC is intrinsically fire retardant because of the presence of chlorine in the polymer matrix.

PVC has excellent electrical insulation properties, making it ideal for cabling applications. Its good impact strength and weatherproof attributes make it ideal for construction products.

PVC can be clear or coloured, rigid or flexible, formulation of the compound is key to PVC's "added value". 

7.ABS - Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Plastic

INTRODUCTION

ABS is an ideal material wherever superlative surface quality, colorfastness and luster are required. ABS is a two phase polymer blend. A continuous phase of styrene-acrylonitrile copolymer (SAN) gives the materials rigidity, hardness and heat resistance. The toughness of ABS is the result of submicroscopically fine polybutadiene rubber particles uniformly distributed in the SAN matrix.

PROPERTIES

GRADES AVAILABLE

ABS sandard grades have been developed specifically to meet the requirements of major customers. ABS is readily modified both by the addition of additives and by variation of the ratio of the three monomers Acrylonitrile, Butadiene and Styrene: hence grades available include high and medium impact, high heat resistance, and electroplatable.  Fibre reinforcement can be incorporated to increase stiffness and dimensional stability.   ABS is readily blended or alloyed with other polymers further increasing the range of properties available.  Fire retardancy may be obtained either by the inclusion of fire retardant additives or by blending with PVC.  The natural material is an opaque ivory colour and is readily coloured with pigments or dyes.  Transparent grades are also available.

8.Polypropylene PP

INTRODUCTION

Polypropylene (PP) is a linear hydrocarbon polymer, expressed as CnH2n. PP, like polyethylene (see HDPE, L/LLDPE) and polybutene (PB), is a polyolefin or saturated polymer.

Polypropylene is one of those most versatile polymers available with applications, both as a plastic and as a fibre, in virtually all of the plastics end-use markets. 

PROPERTIES

(Semi-rigid, translucent, good chemical resistance, tough, good fatigue resistance, integral hinge property, good heat resistance).

Production of polypropylene takes place by slurry, solution or gas phase process, in which the propylene monomer is subjected to heat and pressure in the presence of a catalyst system. Polymerisation is achieved at relatively low temperature and pressure and the product yielded is translucent, but readily coloured. Differences in catalyst and production conditions can be used to alter the properties of the plastic.

PP does not present stress-cracking problems and offers excellent electrical and chemical resistance at higher temperatures. While the properties of PP are similar to those of Polyethylene, there are specific differences. These include a lower density, higher softening point (PP doesn't melt below 160oC, Polyethylene, a more common plastic, will anneal at around 100oC) and higher rigidity and hardness. Additives are applied to all commercially produced polypropylene resins to protect the polymer during processing and to enhance end-use performance. 

GRADES AVAILABLE

Three types of polypropylene are currently available. Each suits particular specifications and costing (although there is often some overlap).

Homopolymers - A General Purpose Grade that can be used in a variety of different applications.

Block copolymers - incorporating 5-15% ethylene, have much improved impact resistance extending to temperatures below -20oC. Their toughness can be further enhanced by the addition of impact modifiers, traditionally elastomers in a blending process.

Random copolymers - incorporate co-monomer units arranged randomly (as distinct from discrete blocks) along the polypropylene long chain molecule. Such polymers typically containing 1-7% ethylene are selected where a lower melting point, more flexibility and enhanced clarity are advantageous.

Different PP grades are available dependent on the application and chosen processing method. 

9.Ethylene Vinyl Acetate EVA

APPLICATIONS

Teats, handle grips, flexible tubing, record turntable mats, beer tubing, vacuum, cleaner hosing.

PROPERTIES

Flexible (rubbery), transparent, good low temperature flexibility (-70'C), good chemical resistance, high friction coefficient. 

10.Polyethylene (High Density) HDPE

APPLICATIONS

Chemical drums, jerricans, carboys, toys, picnic ware, household and kitchenware, cable insulation, carrier bags, food wrapping material.

PROPERTIES

Flexible, translucent/waxy, weatherproof, good low temperature toughness (to -60'C), easy to process by most methods, low cost, good chemical resistance.

11.Polyethylene (Low Density) LDPE, LLDPE

APPLICATIONS

Squeeze bottles, toys, carrier bags, high frequency insulation, chemical tank linings, heavy duty sacks, general packaging, gas and water pipes.

PROPERTIES

Semi-rigid, translucent, very tough, weatherproof, good chemical resistance, low water absorption, easily processed by most methods, low cost.

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-The History of Plastics

Introduction

Since pre-historic times, man has exploited for his own use the properties of natural polymers such as horn, waxes and bitumens. Over the years, it was gradually learned that the properties of such materials could be improved by techniques such as purification and modification with other substances.

By the turn of the 19th century, with the explosion of scientific knowledge in fields such as chemistry and physics, coupled with demands from industry for materials with properties which could not be found in Nature, the scene was set for the development of a whole range of new materials —among them the early plastics.

The Natural Polymers

 In the 17th century, an Englishman, John Osborne made mouldings from the natural polymer, horn. By the 19th century, the moulded horn industry was thriving and geared to sell mass produced items to the emerging middle classes.

Gums from tropical trees were exploited, especially rubber and gutta percha for which Bewley invented the plastics extruder in 1847. Gutta percha was used to protect and insulate the first submarine telegraph cables in 1850.

With his brother Charles, Thomas Hancock worked extensively with this material but is now best known for his discovery (1839) of the vulcanisation of rubber whilst Goodyear independently discovered it in America. Theirs was the first deliberate chemical modification of a natural polymer to produce a moulding material.

In America in the 1850’s, shellac was being compounded with wood flour to mould Union cases to display early photographs. Shellac based compositions were used until the 1940’s to mould gramophone records.

Lepage worked in France with albumen and wood flour to produce his decorative Bois Durci plaques, and many others worked with a wide variety of ingredients including seaweed, peat, paper and leather. Nearly 10% of all British patents issued in 1855 referred to moulding materials but the major breakthrough was in the modification of cellulose fibres with nitric acid to give the first semi-synthetic plastics material, cellulose nitrate.

The Semi Synthetics

Cellulose Nitrate (Celluloid, Xylonite, Parkesine)

 Cellulose nitrate, known by most people as ‘celluloid’, was the first plastics to achieve real success — but only after many false starts and financial failures. Credit for the invention goes to the British inventor, Alexander Parkes (photo), who displayed his material (which he called Parkesine) at the Great International Exhibition in London, 1862. Among other things, he saw his material as a substitute for the increasingly scarce materials ivory and tortoiseshell and his display of brooches, decorative trinkets and knife handles were to win for Parkes an ‘award for excellence’.

 To exploit his invention he formed in 1866 the Parkesine Company but this was soon to go into liquidation as he attempted to cut quality in his drive for lower costs. It was to be a decade or so later, under the direction of the Merriam family and their British Xylonite Company Limited, that the material (by then renamed Xylonite) began to achieve commercial success with products such as combs, collars and cuffs. Most of the credit for commercial success and technical excellence, however, goes to the Hyatt brothers in America with their material, which they called ‘celluloid’. Through the unlikely work to develop a substitute for the ivory, billiard ball they devised a process for manufacturers using a cellulose nitrate composition. In their patent of 1870 they described the all-important discovery —the solvent action of camphor on cellulose nitrate. Among their earliest commercial successes was dental plates for false teeth.

Cellulose Acetate (Bexoid, Clarifoil, Tenite)

Cellulose nitrate had one severe drawback — its flammability This had prevented its use in mass production, rapid moulding techniques. Cellulose acetate, developed around the turn of the century met this problem. Among its early uses were as ‘safety’ film and dope to stiffen and waterproof the fabric wings and fuselage of early aeroplanes. It was initially fabricated like celluloid in the form of rod, sheet or tube but later became available as a moulding powder in various degrees of hardness which could be quickly and economically shaped by injection moulding. As such it did much to encourage the development of injection moulding machinery — one of the key processes in plastics fabrication.

Casein Formaldehyde (Lactoid, Erinoid, Galalith)

Invented at the turn of the century, manufacture was based on fat-free milk to which resin was added to form curds which, when suitably dried, processed and coloured, could be extruded into rods and made into sheets. The material was then hardened in a bath of formaldehyde from whence it was machined into the desired end use. The brilliant colours and patterns made casein a leading material for making products such as buttons, buckles, fountain pen, barrels and knitting needles.

The Thermosetting Plastics

Phenolics (Bakelite, Nestorite, Mouldrite)

Phenolic materials, popularly known as Bakelite, were the first completely synthetic plastics materials. The name ‘Bakelite’ was coined by the Belgian-born inventor Leo H. Baekeland to describe the amber-coloured synthetic resin made by the condensation of phenol and formaldehyde in the presence of a catalyst. In Britain, similar researches were being carried out by a British inventor, Sir James Swinburne whose search for a material with good electrical properties led him to develop similar resinous products. His researches, however, were less complete than those of Baekeland but the two were to get together in the 1920’s to develop the Bakelite business in Britain.

Although widely used as a casting resin which could be poured into moulds to make artefacts such as umbrella handles and pipe stems, or used to impregnate papers and fabrics to make high-pressure laminates of vital interest to the then emerging telephone and radio industries, Bakelite is best known as a moulding material.

Phenol formaldehyde resins have excellent heat resistance and low electrical conductivity Different fillers such as wood flour, mica, asbestos and textile fabric enable considerable strength and resistance properties to be built into the range of products. Applications are innumerable and range from domestic items such as toasters, clocks, fires, radios, ash trays and lavatory seats to car components and electrical fittings.

Amino Plastics

Urea Formaldehyde (Beetle, Scarab, Mouldrite U)

The darkish colour of phenolic resins, particularly when subjected to heat, meant that only sombre toned mouldings could be produced — notably black, and shades of brown. The search for a colourless resin with similar properties to phenolics, led to the development in the 1920,s / 1930’s of urea and thiourea resins. When combined with cellulose fillers and suitable colorants, the resins made possible the production of articles such as trays, cups, picnic-ware and lampshades in white and brilliant colours. Like mouldings made from phenolics, such items are keenly sought after by collectors who enthuse upon both the visually exciting simulations of alabaster and marble and the exotic trade names such as BEATL, BANDALASTA and LASTALONGA. As with the phenolic resins, however, the urea resins found important industrial applications in varnishes, laminates and adhesives.

Malamine Formaldehyde

With the development of melamine resins around the mid 1930’s, the family of thermosetting formaldehyde condensation resins was complete. The melamines closely resemble the urea formaldehyde plastics in their general properties and colour range, but they enjoyed more resistance to heat, water and detergents. The porcelain-type appearance of mouldings made it a particularly attractive material for moulding cups, saucers, plates and similar domestic items although they were more costly than similar items in urea formaldehyde.

Thermoplastics

With the start of the 1930’s came the ‘Poly’ era: the first of many thermoplastics was Polyvinyl Chloride. Originally observed in the 1870’s by Baumann, it did not become a commercial reality until suitable plasticisers were developed early in the 1930’s. At about the same time an American producer, Du Pont, launched the first polyamide —nylon 66 — perfected after minute analysis of the structure of silk by their chemist Wallace Carothers. Only a few months later German researchers succeeded in producing the first nylon6 from caprolactam. The major event in the UK came in 1935 when, after three years research, ICI Alkali Division laboratories produced polyethylene, the material whose dialectic properties were to be vital to wartime development of radar.

Another material with a lengthy gestation was polystyrene. Originally discovered in 1839 by a German apothecary Simon, it was another German, organic chemist Staudinger, who realised that the solid that Simon had isolated from natural resin was in fact composed of long chains of styrene molecules.

Commercial production still had to wait until 1937 before an economic way of preventing polymerisation during storage could be found. The other ICI development which made a vital wartime contribution was polymethyl methacrylate, more commonly called acrylic or ‘Perspex’. First produced commercially in the UK in 1934, its shatter-resistant properties were soon in vast demand for aircraft canopies and all kinds of protective screens.

Other materials Other developments of the 1935-1945 period were silicones, widely used as water repellents and in heat resistant paints, epoxy resins which have outstanding properties of adhesion and chemical resistance and polyester resins which combined with glass fibre offered a structural material for boat and car bodies. Since then new polymers have been introduced every few years including PTFE, polycarbonate, PET, polypropylene, polyurethane, ABS and acetal. Now researchers are combining resins both together and with fillers and reinforcing agents to produce the next generation of plastics materials.

High-Tech Plastics

Engineers and designers are becoming increasingly aware of the important position plastics play across a wide band of engineering applications. Advances in electronic and automotive engineering depend heavily on plastics. The aerospace industry would grind to a halt without advanced plastics composites.

New materials and new applications are being found almost daily.

The ability of plastics to be moulded to very complex shapes gives the designer the opportunity to design for assembly, to reduce overall cost and produce a more efficient end product. For the future, composites look set to play a most important role. Both thermoplastic and thermosetting plastics reinforced with glass, carbon and aramid fibres, have already made their mark on products from racing cars to tennis rackets.

The car of the future could well have a body made from reinforced plastics, springs made from glass reinforced plastics and plastics components in the engine. Though we may never see a practical all-plastics car, the world’s manufacturers are increasingly turning their attention to developing new mass production techniques in plastics.

In industry, advanced plastics and composites are everywhere replacing metal components in processes from food production to nuclear reprocessing. Plastics have revolutionised the sports goods, household appliance and electronics industries, and tissue compatible plastics, notably carbon fibre and PTFE, have made a great impact on the design of medical equipment and prostheses.

But it is the aerospace industry which still leads the way The 1980’s saw flight tests of the first ‘all plastics’ aircraft, the Beechcraft Starship 1, and the next generation of the ‘prop-fan’ engines for airlines. Most exciting of all is the proposed HOTOL sub-orbital space-craft which will continue man’s penetration of aerospace by tomorrow’s plastics.

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Common Abbreviations Used in the Plastics Industry

Abbreviation

 Polymer

ABS  acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene 

ASA  acrylate-styrene-acrylonitrile 

ATH  aluminium trihydrate 

BDS  butadiene-styrene block copolymer 

BMC  bulk moulding compound 

BOPP  biaxially oriented polypropylene 

BR  butadiene rubber 

CA  cellulose acetate 

CAB  cellulose acetate-butyrate 

CAP  celluse acetate propionate 

CE  cellulose 

CMC  carboxymethyl celluse 

CN  cellulose nitrate 

CP  cellulose propionate 

CSM  chopped strand mat (or) chlorosulphonated polyethylene (rubber) 

DMC  dough moulding compound 

TPX*  polymethyl pentene copolymer 

UHMWPE  ultra high molecular weight PE 

VCM  vinyl chloride monomer = VC 

ECTFE  ethylene chlorotrifluoro ethylene copolymer 

EPDM  ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (elastomer) 

EPM  ethylene-propylene rubber = EPR 

EPR  ethylene-propylene rubber = EPM 

EPS  expanded polystyrene 

EVA  ethylene vinyl acetate 

EVOH  ethylene vinyle achol 

FEP  fluorinated ethylene-propylene 

FRP  fibre reinforced polyester/plastics 

GMT  glass mat thermoplastic 

GPPS  general purpose polystyrene 

GRP  glass reinforced plastic 

HDPE  high density polyethylene 

HEMA  hydroxyethyl methacrylate polymer 

HIPS  high impact polystyrene = TPS 

LCP  liquid crystal polymer = SRP 

LDPE  low density polyethylene 

LLDPE  linear low density polyethylene 

MBS  methacrylate-butadiene-styrene terpolymer 

MDPE  medium density polyethylene 

MF  melamine formaldehyde 

NBR  nitrile rubber = acrylonitrile butadiene rubber 

NR  natural rubber 

OPP  oriented polypropylene 

PA  polyamide = nylon 

PAA  polaryl amide 

PA 6  nylon 6 

PA 66  nylon 66 

PA 46  nylon 46 

PA 610  nylon 610 

PA 66/610  nylon 66/610 copolymer 

PA 11  nylon 11 

PA 12  nylon 12 

PAI  polyamide imide 

PAN  polyacrylonitrile 

PB  polybutylene 

PBT  polybutylene terephthalate = PTMT 

PC  polycarbonate 

PE  polyethylene 

PEBA  polyether block amide 

PEEK  polyetheretherketone 

PEEL  polyester elastomer 

PEI  polyester imide 

PEK  polyetherketone 

PES  polyether sulphone 

PETP  polyethylene terephthalate 

PETG  PET copolymer 

PF  phenol formaldehyde 

PFA  perfluoro alkoxyl alkane 

PHB  polyhydroxybutyrate 

PI  polyimide 

PIR  polyisocyanurate rigid (foam) 

PMMA  polymethyl methacrylate 

PMP  polymethyl pentene 

POM  polyoxymethylene 

PP  polypropylene 

PPE  polyphenylene ether 

PPO  polyphenylene oxide 

PPS  polyphenylene sulphide 

PPSS  polyphenylene sulphide sulphone 

PS  polystyrene 

PSU  polysulphone 

PTFE  polytetrafluoroethylene 

PTMT  polytetramethylene terephthalate = PBT 

PUR  polyurethane 

PVA  polyvinyl acetate 

PVB  polyvinyl butytral (butyrate) 

PVC  polyvinyl chloride 

PVCC  chlorinated polyvinyl chloride 

PVCP  polyvinyl chloride plasticised 

PVCU  polyvinyl chloride unplasticised 

PVDC  polyvinylidene chloride 

PVDF  polyvinylidene flouride 

PVF  polyvinylflouride 

PVOH  polyvinyl alcohol 

SAN  styrene acrylonitrile (copolymer) 

SBR  styrene butadiene rubber 

SBS  styrene-butadiene-styrene (block copolymer) 

SEBS  styrene-ethylene-butadiene-styrene 

SIS  styrene-isoprene-styrene 

SMA  styrene maleic anhydride 

SMC  sheet moulding compond 

SRP  self reinforcing polymer = LCP 

TPE  thermoplastic elastomer 

TPO  thermoplastic olefin (rubber) 

TPR  thermoplatic rubber 

TPS  toughened polystyrene = HIPS 

TPU  thermoplastic polyurethane (rubber) = TPUR 

TPUR  thermoplastic polyurethane (rubber) = TPU 

UF  urea formaldehyde 

VC  vinyl chloride = VCM 

XLPE  cross-linked polyethylene 

 

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