Plastic material classification from the product designer perspective.

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Information about Plastic material classification from the product designer perspective.
Design

Published on October 22, 2014

Author: MarkusPaloheimo

Source: slideshare.net

Description

The great variety of different plastic grades and their characteristics is confusing. How to classify them based on what is expected from the end product.

1. PMMA POMPA 46 HDPE LDPEPBT PC PP PS PSU PETPPSU PEI PE PPS PEEK LCP PA 6 PC/ABS PVC EVA PVC PTFE PPA PSU The great variety of different plastic grades and their characteristics is confusing, not only for consumers, but for plastic product designers as well. What are the differences between the different abbreviations? What type of applications are they suitable for ?

2. What are your expectations? Glossy surface? Transparency? Strength? Stiffness? Cost? Bearing properties? Heat resistance? ... Let’s look at the different plastic materials from another perspective – what do we expect from the product and therefore also from the material it is made of?

3. Reinforced Semi-crystalline Amorphous SAN PS PMMA PC PA6, PA66 PP-homo PP-copo PE-HD PC/ABS ASA PBT ABS PPS+GF PEEK+GF/CF PA+GF PBT+GF PC+GF ABS+GF PPS, PEEK, LCP PEI, PSU, PPSU, PES PPA pPA PA46 PA12 PPA+GF pPA+GF POM PVC hard PP+GF PVC soft Copoly-ester HI-PS PC-HT PE-LD, EVA • Recommended for structural applications only • Predominantly transparent • Easier to process straight and accurate components • Good surface appearance • Sensitive to stress-cracking and fatigue • Easier to bond • Soften gradually • Better for machine design applications (wear, stress, fatigue) • Predominantly opaque • More challenging to process due to higher and inhomogenous shrinkage • Better resistance against stress-cracking and fatigue • Some grades are difficult to bond and print on • Integral hinge usually possilble • Sharp melting point Plastics are typically divided into Semi-crystalline and Amorphous grades. The differences between the two groups are essential to recognize. Which one better meets the expectations of your product?

4. Reinforced Semi-crystalline Amorphous Plastics are also commonly reinforced with glass-fiber or, in demanding applications, with carbon-fiber. Reinforcing changes their properties and characteristics significantly. It is therefore best to treat them as a separate material group.

5. Reinforced Semi-crystalline Amorphous SAN PS PMMA PC PA6, PA66 PP-homo PP-copo PE-HD PC/ABS ASA PBT ABS PPS+GF PEEK+GF/CF PA+GF PBT+GF PC+GF ABS+GF PPS, PEEK, LCP PEI, PSU, PPSU, PES PPA pPA PA46 PA12 PPA+GF pPA+GF POM PVC hard PP+GF PVC soft Copoly-ester HI-PS PC-HT PE-LD, EVA Now some of the most common plastic grades are added to the picture. It still appears quite confusing, but let’s look at it one characteristic at a time. What is the quality that you are after?

6. Reinforced Semi-crystalline Amorphous SAN PS PMMA PC PA6, PA66 PP-homo PP-copo PE-HD PC/ABS ASA PBT ABS PPS+GF PEEK+GF/CF PA+GF PBT+GF PC+GF ABS+GF PPS, PEEK, LCP PEI, PSU, PPSU, PES PPA pPA PA46 PA12 PPA+GF pPA+GF POM PVC hard PP+GF PVC soft Copoly-ester HI-PS PC-HT PE-LD, EVA Low cost? The plastics at the bottom of the chart are so-called ‘commodity plastics’. They are inexpensive and useful in many applications but the limitations in their performance or appearance makes them often unsuitable for more demanding use.

7. Reinforced High performance? Semi-crystalline Amorphous SAN PS PMMA PC PA6, PA66 PP-homo PP-copo PE-HD PC/ABS ASA PBT ABS PPS+GF PEEK+GF/CF PA+GF PBT+GF PC+GF ABS+GF PPS, PEEK, LCP PEI, PSU, PPSU, PES PPA pPA PA46 PA12 PPA+GF pPA+GF POM PVC hard PP+GF PVC soft Copoly-ester HI-PS PC-HT PE-LD, EVA On the opposite side of the chart we find so-called ‘high performance plastics’. They offer good resistance against chemicals and endure elevated temperatures well. They are very expensive but offer good possibilities when looking for alternatives for other materials. They are not typically used on average consumer products.

8. Reinforced Semi-crystalline Amorphous SAN PS PMMA PC PA6, PA66 PP-homo PP-copo PE-HD PC/ABS ASA PBT ABS PPS+GF PEEK+GF/CF PA+GF PBT+GF PC+GF ABS+GF PPS, PEEK, LCP PEI, PSU, PPSU, PES PPA pPA PA46 PA12 PPA+GF pPA+GF POM PVC hard PP+GF PVC soft Copoly-ester HI-PS PC-HT PE-LD, EVA Transparency? SAN and PS are mostly used on packages and consumables. Copolyester is a common choice for baby products today. PMMA offers excellent transparency and resists UV-light well. PC is very impact resistant but bisphenol-A limits its use. Amorphous PA12 has good stress cracking resistance. The high performance plastics at the top are slightly yellowish. PVC can be transparent, but this quality is seldom utilized in practise. The only transparent Semi-crystalline alternative is PP-random- copo, which, even at its best, is slightly ‘milky’ compared to the Amorphous grades.

9. Reinforced Suitability for machine design applications? Semi-crystalline Amorphous SAN PS PMMA PC PA6, PA66 PP-homo PP-copo PE-HD PC/ABS ASA PBT ABS PPS+GF PEEK+GF/CF PA+GF PBT+GF PC+GF ABS+GF PPS, PEEK, LCP PEI, PSU, PPSU, PES PPA pPA PA46 PA12 PPA+GF pPA+GF POM PVC hard PP+GF PVC soft Copoly-ester HI-PS PC-HT PE-LD, EVA Semi-crystalline materials should be preferred when the component is subjected to wear, fatigue and continuous load. Especially PA, PBT and POM are widely used in such applications, filled or unfilled.

10. Reinforced Good bearing properties? Semi-crystalline Amorphous SAN PS PMMA PC PA6, PA66 PP-homo PP-copo PE-HD PC/ABS ASA PBT ABS PPS+GF PEEK+GF/CF PA+GF PBT+GF PC+GF ABS+GF PPS, PEEK, LCP PEI, PSU, PPSU, PES PPA pPA PA46 PA12 PPA+GF pPA+GF POM PVC hard PP+GF PVC soft Copoly-ester HI-PS PC-HT PE-LD, EVA If low friction is required, PA and especially POM are known for their good bearing properties.

11. Reinforced Impact resistance? Semi-crystalline Amorphous SAN PS PMMA PC PA6, PA66 PP-homo PP-copo PE-HD PC/ABS ASA PBT ABS PPS+GF PEEK+GF/CF PA+GF PBT+GF PC+GF ABS+GF PPS, PEEK, LCP PEI, PSU, PPSU, PES PPA pPA PA46 PA12 PPA+GF pPA+GF POM PVC hard PP+GF PVC soft Copoly-ester HI-PS PC-HT PE-LD, EVA Some Amorphous materials are very impact resistant, especially PC. ABS retains its impact resistance in cold conditions. Semi-crystalline materials have a tendency to be inherently tough and therefore their impact resistance is usually at a reasonable level. Grades with high reinforcement content, however, are very stiff which reduces their toughness and might turn them brittle.

12. Reinforced Semi-crystalline Amorphous SAN PS PMMA PC PA6, PA66 PP-homo PP-copo PE-HD PC/ABS ASA PBT ABS PPS+GF PEEK+GF/CF PA+GF PBT+GF PC+GF ABS+GF PPS, PEEK, LCP PEI, PSU, PPSU, PES PPA pPA PA46 PA12 PPA+GF pPA+GF POM PVC hard PP+GF PVC soft Copoly-ester HI-PS PC-HT PE-LD, EVA Glossy surface? Amorphous grades are commonly used in electrical appliances because of their glossy surface. Some of the Semi-crystalline grades enable a very nice surface as well, but do not share the common weaknesses of the Amorphous plastics. Processing challenges, however, limit their use in glossy applications.

13. Reinforced High strength and stiffness? Semi-crystalline Amorphous SAN PS PMMA PC PA6, PA66 PP-homo PP-copo PE-HD PC/ABS ASA PBT ABS PPS+GF PEEK+GF/CF PA+GF PBT+GF PC+GF ABS+GF PPS, PEEK, LCP PEI, PSU, PPSU, PES PPA pPA PA46 PA12 PPA+GF pPA+GF POM PVC hard PP+GF PVC soft Copoly-ester HI-PS PC-HT PE-LD, EVA When high strength and stiffness are needed, plastics inevitably need reinforcing. PA+GF and PBT+GF are the most commonly used grades. Reinforced PEEK, PPS and PPA offer better resistance to heat and chemicals, but are far more expensive. Reinforcements are sometimes used with Amorphous grades as well, but with the cost of dull surface and frequent warping problems.

14. Reinforced Semi-crystalline Amorphous SAN PS PMMA PC PA6, PA66 PP-homo PP-copo PE-HD PC/ABS ASA PBT ABS PPS+GF PEEK+GF/CF PA+GF PBT+GF PC+GF ABS+GF PPS, PEEK, LCP PEI, PSU, PPSU, PES PPA pPA PA46 PA12 PPA+GF pPA+GF POM PVC hard PP+GF PVC soft Copoly-ester HI-PS PC-HT PE-LD, EVA Flexibility? Sometimes flexibility and rubbery feeling are desired of the application. In addition to TPE grades, PE-LD, EVA and plasticized PVC may be considered.

15. Reinforced Semi-crystalline Amorphous SAN PS PMMA PC PA6, PA66 PP-homo PP-copo PE-HD PC/ABS ASA PBT ABS PPS+GF PEEK+GF/CF PA+GF PBT+GF PC+GF ABS+GF PPS, PEEK, LCP PEI, PSU, PPSU, PES PPA pPA PA46 PA12 PPA+GF pPA+GF POM PVC hard PP+GF PVC soft Copoly-ester HI-PS PC-HT PE-LD, EVA Chemical resistance, high service temperature All together: Low price Glossy surface Machine-design Rubbery Transparency Impact resistance High strength and stiffness Bea-ring Hopefully you found this approach useful. Please comment and suggest additions at www.plasticprop.com

16. 1. POM 2. PA6 3. PBT 4. ABS 5. PC/ABS 6. PS 7. PMMA 8. PC 9. PSU 10. PP, Random Copo 11. HDPE 12. LDPE 13. EVA 14. PVC, soft 15. TPE-S 16. PP+30 GF 17. PA66+30 GF 18. PBT+30 GF 19. pPA+50 GF 20. PPS+40 GF To fully grasp the look and feel of different plastic grades you can order the Plasticprop Essentials sample kit including 20 commonly used plastics. It has been carefully designed to convey and explain the characteristics of each material.

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