Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) – This material is a terpolymer of acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene. Usual compositions are about half styrene with the balance divided between butadiene and acrylonitrile. Considerable variation is, of course, possible resulting in many different grades of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene with a wide range of features and applications. In addition, many blends with other materials such as polyvinylchloride, polycarbonates and polysulfones have been developed. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene materials can be processed by any of the standard thermoplastic processing methods.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) polymer was first discovered during World War II when its basis, SBR, was used for alternatives to rubber. Commercially acrylonitrile butadiene styrene polymers first became available in the early 1950s in an attempt to obtain the best properties of both polystyrene and styrene acrylonitrile.
Flame Retardant, High Impact Resistance, High Heat Resistance, High Flow, High Gloss, Good Flow, General Purpose, Good Impact Resistance, Antistatic, Medium Impact Resistance
Electrical/Electronic Applications, Automotive Applications, Appliances, Housings, General Purpose, Automotive Interior Parts, Automotive Exterior Parts, Medical/Healthcare Applications, Construction Applications, Appliance Components
Acetal (POM) – A thermoplastic produced by the addition polymerization of an aldehyde through the carbonyl function, yielding unbranched polyoxymethylene chains of great length. The acetal resins are among the strongest and stiffest of all thermoplastics, and are characterized by good fatigue life, low moisture sensitivity, high resistance to solvents and chemicals, and good electrical properties. Because of these properties, acetals often compete with nylons for many of the same applications. Acetals may be processed by conventional injection molding and extrusion techniques. The main area of application for acetal is industrial and mechanical products.
The acetal polymer (POM) class was first introduced in 1956 and has achieved important application because of a good profile of properties. Two types of acetals available are a homopolymer and a copolymer with slightly different advantages for each. Acetals are available in fiber reinforced and lubricated molding grades as well as extruded shapes for machined parts.
Copolymer, Lubricated, Wear Resistant, Homopolymer, Low Friction, High Stiffness, Medium Viscosity, Chemical Resistant, UV Stabilized, Good Dimensional Stability
Automotive Applications, Gears, Electrical/Electronic Applications, General Purpose, Bearings, Engineering Parts, Housings, Thin-walled Parts, Industrial Applications, Automotive Electronics
Acrylic – In the plastics industry most acrylics are polymers of methyl methacrylate (PMMA). Acrylics may be in the form of molding powders or casting syrups, and are noted for their exceptional clarity and optical properties. Acrylics are widely used in lighting fixtures because they are slow-burning or even self-extinguishing, and they do not produce harmful smoke or gases in the presence of flame. The most important properties for acrylic (PMMA) are its optical clarity, low UV sensitivity, and overall weather resistance. Acrylic is often used as a glass substitute.
In 1880 G. W. A. Kahlbaum reported the polymerization of methyl acrylate and at approximately the same time R. Fittig found that methacrylic acid and some of its derivatives readily polymerized. In 1932 J. W. C. Crawford discovered a new route to the monomer using cheap and readily available chemicals. Sheet polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) became prominent during World War II for aircraft glazing.
Weather Resistant, High Clarity, High Heat Resistance, Chemical Resistant, High Impact Resistance, High Light Transmission, Good Impact Resistance, Impact Modified, Good Processability, High Hardness
Automotive Applications, Lighting Applications, Medical/Healthcare Applications, Industrial Applications, Displays, Lighting Diffusers, Lighting Fixtures, Housings, Lenses, Optical Applications
PBT (Polybutylene terephthalate) is a thermoplastic material that is commonly used as an insulator for the electronics industry. PBT’s flame retardant properties coupled with its glass reinforcement allow it to have high flow and crystallize rapidly creating short mold cycles.
This thermoplastic polyester has very good dimensional stability. It also exhibits high heat resistance, chemical resistance and good electricals. In general, PBT materials exhibit higher tensile, flexural and dielectric strengths and faster, more economical molding characteristics than many thermosets.
Nylon (Polyamide) – The generic name for all long-chain fiber-forming polyamides with recurring amide groups. Polyamides (Nylon) comprise the largest family of engineering plastics with a very wide range of applications. Polyamides (Nylons) are often formed into fibers and are used for monofilaments and yarns. Characteristically polyamides (nylons) are very resistant to wear and abrasion, have good mechanical properties even at elevated temperatures, have low permeability to gases and have good chemical resistance.
Polyamide (Nylon) polymer was first commercially introduced by DuPont as a result of the significant research work of W. H. Carothers in the 1930s, who was conducting early extensive research efforts in polyesters and polyamides. The first important polyamide was Nylon 66 produced by the reaction of adipic acid (a 6-carbon dibasic acid) and hexamethylene diamine (a 6-carbon aliphatic diamine). Several structural modifications with differing temperature capabilities have become commercially available including Nylon 46, 610, 612, 6, 11, etc.
Heat Stabilized, Lubricated, Flame Retardant, Impact Modified, High Strength, Good Dimensional Stability, Halogen Free, High Impact Resistance, Chemical Resistant, Good Mold Release
Automotive Applications, Electrical/Electronic Applications, Industrial Applications, Consumer Applications, Engineering Parts, Connectors, Housings, General Purpose, Sporting Goods, Power/Other Tools
Polycarbonate (PC) – This material is formed by a condensation polymerization resulting in a carbon that is bonded to three oxygens. The most common system for this polymerization is formed by a reaction of bisphenol A and phosgene. Applications of polycarbonate are almost always those which take advantage of its uniquely high impact strength and its exceptional clarity. These unique properties have resulted in applications such as bulletproof windows, break resistant lenses, compact discs, etc. More recently however, additional interest has resulted because of the low flammability of polycarbonate.
Polycarbonates (PC) were first prepared by Einhorn in 1898 and extensively researched until 1930 where they were discarded. Research was then started in the mid 1950s by General Electric and in 1958 the Polycarbonate popularity expanded to a global community. Today, approximately 75% of the Polycarbonate market is held by SABIC Innovative Plastics and Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience).
Flame Retardant, High Flow, Good Mold Release, High Heat Resistance, Lubricated, High Impact Resistance, Good Processability, Bromine Free, General Purpose, Good Flow
Electrical/Electronic Applications, Electronic Displays, Lighting Applications, Automotive Applications, Appliances, Medical/Healthcare Applications, Construction Applications, Housings, General Purpose, Automotive Interior Parts
Polyketone is a semi-crystalline polymer that combines: the higher heat performance of polyamide 6 and 6/6, the fuel resistance of nylon 11 and 12, the low moisture absorption of PBT, and the exceptional wear & friction performance of POM. When it comes to injection molding, polyketone holds a significant benefit over traditional materials such as nylons, acetal and polyester for cycle time, ease of drying, no off gassing and no need to rely on moisture for toughness. Polyketone exhibits similar mold shrinkage to these resins allowing for existing molds to be used.
Wear Resistant, Good Dimensional Stability, High Strength, Low Viscosity, Food Contact Acceptable, Chemical Resistant, High Viscosity, Drinking Water Contact Acceptable, Pleasing Surface Appearance, Flame Retardant
Automotive Applications, Engineering Parts, Industrial Applications, Electrical/Electronic Applications, Gears, Bearings, Connectors, Food Packaging, Cosmetic Packaging, Packaging
Polypropylene (PP) – This polyolefin is readily formed by polymerizing propylene with suitable catalysts, generally aluminum alkyl and titanium tetrachloride. Polypropylene properties vary according to molecular weight, method of production, and the copolymers involved. Generally polypropylene has demonstrated certain advantages in improved strength, stiffness and higher temperature capability over polyethylene. Polypropylene has been very successfully applied to the forming of fibers due to its good specific strength which is why it is the single largest use of polypropylene. Polypropylene also happens to be one of the lightest plastics available with a density of 0.905 g/cm².
Polypropylene (PP) was discovered in 1954 and grew a strong popularity very quickly. Because of extensive research, five main variations of Polypropylene have emerged as: homopolymers, impact (block) copolymers, random copolymers, rubber modified blends, and specialty copolymers.
Homopolymer, Copolymer, Good Impact Resistance, High Flow, Good Processability, Good Stiffness, Food Contact Acceptable, High Impact Resistance, High Stiffness, Chemically Coupled
Automotive Applications, Household Goods, Electrical/Electronic Applications, Appliances, Industrial Applications, Containers, Packaging, Automotive Interior Parts, Film, General Purpose
Polystyrene (PS) – Polystyrene is an amorphous, glassy polymer that is generally rigid and relatively inexpensive. Unfilled polystyrene has a sparkle appearance and is often referred to as crystal PS or general purpose polystyrene (GPPS). High impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) are produced by adding rubber or butadiene copolymer which increases the toughness and impact strength of the polymer. Polystyrenes possess good flow properties at temperatures safely below degradation ranges, and can easily be extruded, injection molded, or compression molded. Considerable quantities of polystyrene are produced in the form of heat-expandable beads containing a suitable blowing agent which ultimately results in familiar foamed polystyrene articles.
Polystyrene (PS) has been known for well over one hundred years but its real molecular nature was not clarified until about 1920 when the work of Staudinger elucidated the materials molecular structure in the very early days of polymer science. About 1930 I.G. Farben, in Germany, first produced polystyrene, while at the same time the Dow Chemical Company commenced their ultimately successful development of the material.
High Impact Resistance, Flame Retardant, Food Contact Acceptable, General Purpose, Good Processability, High Heat Resistance, Expandable, High Flow, Fast Molding Cycle, Good Flow
Packaging, Sheet, Insulation, General Purpose, Foam, Electrical/Electronic Applications, Household Goods, Toys, Appliance Components, Containers
Polyphenylene Ether (PPE) – A thermoplastic, linear, noncrystalline polyether obtained by the oxidative polycondensation of 2,6-dimethylphenol in the presence of a copper-amine-complex catalyst. Polyphenylene ether, also called polyphenylene oxide, is usually blended with polystyrene to improve its toughness and processability. Polyphenylene ether has excellent electrical properties, unusual resistance to acids and bases, and is processable on conventional extrusion and injection molding equipment. PPE is easily attacked by some hydrocarbons, although it resists many chemicals. Polyphenylene ether possesses excellent dimensional stability, low moisture absorption, and high mechanical and dielectric strength.
In 1965 polyphenylene ether was introduced as polyphenylene oxide (PPO) by the General Electric Co. in the U.S. and by AKU in Holland. Unfortunately for polyphenylene oxide its price is too high to justify extensive use which led to the introduction of the related and cheaper Noryl (PPE+PS) materials by General Electric Co. in 1966.
Flame Retardant, Halogen Free, High Heat Resistance, Good Dimensional Stability, High Stiffness, Good Flow, Hydrolytically Stable, Medium Heat Resistance, Bromine Free, Chlorine Free
Electrical/Electronic Applications, Electronic Displays, Appliances, Construction Applications, Automotive Applications, Automotive Exterior Parts, Automotive Under the Hood, General Purpose, Automotive Electronics, Lighting Applications
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) – A polymer made by the catalytic polymerization of vinyl chloride. PVC also includes copolymers that contain at least 50% vinyl chloride. The neat homopolymer is hard, brittle and difficult to process, but it becomes flexible when plasticized. Polyvinyl chloride molding compounds can be extruded, injection molded, compression molded, calendered, and blow molded to form a huge variety of products, either rigid or flexible depending on the amount and type of plasticizers used. There are more compounding recipes for PVC than for any other polymer. Rigid PVC is strong, difficult to burn, has excellent resistance to strong acids and bases, to most other chemicals, and to many organic solvents. Additionally, polyvinyl chloride is one of the least expensive plastics.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) was first produced commercially in the USA in 1933 and had an important use as cable insulation during the second World War. Polyvinyl chloride then became used for many more applications soon after.
General Purpose, Non-Phthalate Plasticizer, Good Flexibility, Flame Retardant, Ethylene Oxide Sterilizable, Non-Toxic, High Impact Resistance, Low (to None) Lead Content, High Gloss , Low Gloss
General Purpose, Industrial Applications, Wire & Cable Applications, Profiles, Electrical/Electronic Applications, Medical/Healthcare Applications, Tubing, Cable Jacketing, Construction Applications, Building Materials
Polyether Imide (PEI) – PEI is considered an advanced thermoplastic which has both ether links and imide groups in its polymer chain. Polyether imide has gained rapid acceptance as a high temperature engineering thermoplastic material competitive with the polysulfones, polyphenylene sulfides, and polyketones. Polyether imide exhibits high tensile strength without the use of reinforcement, flame resistance, very low smoke emission, and excellent hydrolytic stability. Because of PEIs high stability, its range of processing is wider than many other thermoplastics.
In 1982 General Electric introduced the first polyetherimide (PEI) under the trade name Ultem. They discovered that the presence of the ether linkages was sufficient to allow the material to be melt processible, while retaining many of the key characteristics of polyimides.
Elevated thermal resistance, strength/stiffness, dimensional stability, flame resistance, low smoke and toxicity.
Electrical/Electronic Applications, Medical and Chemical Applications, Automotive, Aircraft and Aerospace, Healthcare and Food handling, Appliances.
Polyethersulfone (PES) has an outstanding ability to withstand exposure to elevated temperatures in air and water for prolonged periods.Even though PES is a high-temperature engineering thermoplastic, it can be processed on conventional plastics processing equipment. High mold temperatures generally assist mold fill and reduce molded-in stresses. Because PES is amorphous, mold shrinkage is low and is suitable for applications requiring close tolerances and little dimensional change over a wide temperature range.
High strength, Low moisture absorption, low creep, flame retardant, chemical & heat resistant, good transparency, stability at high temps, good electrical characteristics
High Temp Metal Replacement, Medical, Automotive, Electrical
Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) – A crystalline polymer having a symmetrical, rigid backbone chain consisting of recurring p-substituted benzene rings and sulfur atoms. A variety of grades suitable for slurry coating, fluidized-bed coating, electrostatic spraying, as well as injection and compression molding are offered. Polyphenylene sulfides exhibit outstanding chemical resistance, thermal stability, dimensionally stability, and fire resistance. PPS’s extreme inertness toward organic solvents, and inorganic salts and bases make for outstanding performance as a corrosion-resistant coating suitable for contact with foods.
The first commercial grades of polyphenylene sulfides (PPS) were introduced by Phillips Petroleum in 1968 under the trade name Ryton. These were of two types, a thermoplastic branched polymer of very high viscosity which was processed by PTFE-type processes, and an initially linear polymer which could be compression molded. Then, in 1973 in Europe, the emphasis was shifted to injection molding and coating processes.
High Impact, Low Creep, Chemical Resistant, Good Dimensional Stability, Good Surface Finish, high heat resistance, Flame Retardant, Electrical Insulation Properties
Appliances, Automotive, Electrical/Electronics, Industrial Applications, Metal replacement
PEEK is a semicrystalline thermoplastic with excellent mechanical and chemical resistance properties that are retained to high temperatures. The processing conditions used to mold PEEK can influence the crystallinity and hence the mechanical properties. Its Young’s modulus is 3.6 GPa and its tensile strength is 90 to 100 MPa. PEEK has a glass transition temperature of around 143 °C (289 °F) and melts around 343 °C (662 °F). Some grades have a useful operating temperature of up to 250 °C (482 °F). The thermal conductivity increases nearly linearly with temperature between room temperature and solidus temperature. It is highly resistant to thermal degradation, as well as to attack by both organic and aqueous environments. It is attacked by halogens and strong Brønsted and Lewis acids, as well as some halogenated compounds and aliphatic hydrocarbons at high temperatures. It is soluble in concentrated sulfuric acid at room temperature, although dissolution can take a very long time unless the polymer is in a form with a high surface-area-to-volume ratio, such as a fine powder or thin film. It has high resistance to biodegradation.
Bearings, piston parts, pumps, High-performance liquid chromatography columns, compressor plate valves, electrical cable insulation.
Polyphthalamide (PPA) is a semi-crystalline, aromatic polyamide. Compared to nylon 6/6, it is stronger, stiffer, less sensitive to moisture, and has higher thermal capabilities. It has significant chemical fatigue and creep resistance.PPA resins are suitable for a wide range of applications because of their outstanding physical, thermal and electrical properties. They can resist infrared soldering environments, unlike many other resins.
Exceptional resistance to high heat, high chemical resistance, good strength and rigidity at high temps, resistance to creep, Dimensional stability, Hydrolysis resistant
Automotive, Electrical Industries, Metal replacement
These are moldable plastics often used in rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing applications. Polyphenylsulfone is a heat and chemical-resistant suited for automotive, aerospace, and plumbing applications. Polyphenylsulfone has no melting point, reflecting its amorphous nature, and offers tensile strength up to 55 MPa (8000 psi). Its commercial name is Radel. In plumbing applications, polyphenylsulfone fittings have been found to sometimes form cracks prematurely or to experience failure when improperly installed using non-manufacturer approved installation methods or systems.
Heat Resistant, Transparency, High Toughness, Flexural and Tensile Strength, Hydrolytic Stability, Good Chemical and Heat Resistance
Healthcare/Medical (Medical Trays, surgical instruments, sterilizable containers, anesthesiology equipment
Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA) – ASA is produced by introducing a grafted acrylic ester elastomer during the copolymerization reaction between styrene and acrylonitrile. Acrylonitrile styrene acrylate material has great toughness and rigidity, good chemical resistance and thermal stability, outstanding resistance to weather, aging and yellowing, and high gloss.
Acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA) was first introduced by BASF in about 1970 as Luran S. The intent was to create a material similar to ABS but with better weather resistance. Because of this attribute acrylonitrile styrene acrylate has been used heavily in the automotive industry, as well as several other outdoor applications.
Weather Resistant, UV Stabilized, High Impact Resistance, High Heat Resistance, UV Resistant, High Flow, Good Impact Resistance, Good Flow, General Purpose, High Gloss
Automotive Exterior Parts, Automotive Applications, Outdoor Applications, Electrical/Electronic Applications, Construction Applications, Profiles, Lawn and Garden Equipment, Electronic Displays, Sheet, General Purpose
Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN) – Styrene and acrylonitrile monomers can be copolymerized to form a random, amorphous copolymer that has improved weatherability, stress crack resistance, and barrier properties. The copolymer is called styrene acrylonitrile or SAN. The SAN copolymer generally contains 70 to 80% styrene and 20 to 30% acrylonitrile. This combination provides higher strength, rigidity, and chemical resistance than polystyrene, but it is not quite as clear as crystal polystyrene and its appearance tends to yellow more quickly.
Styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) copolymers have been available since the 1940s. Initially the price of styrene acrylonitrile materials was too high for it to be used in more than a few specialized applications.
Chemical Resistant, High Clarity, High Flow, General Purpose, High Heat Resistance, Good Dimensional Stability, Food Contact Acceptable, Good Flow, High Strength, Copolymer
Electrical/Electronic Applications, Household Goods, Cosmetic Packaging, Appliances, Compounding, Automotive Applications, General Purpose, Stationary Supplies, Cups, Containers
SMMA, also known as MS Resins, is a blend of Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) and Styrene Monomer (SM). MMA brings excellent hardness, clarity, and weatherability, and SM brings excellent clarity and rigidity, with the combination of the two, it creates a cost effective polymer suitable for applications requiring excellent clarity, with weather resistant and scratch resistance. SMMA is a cost effective alternative to higher priced clear resins such as PMMA.
Acrylic SMMA resin offers stiffness, toughness and durability. Its versatility and durability make it an economical solution for a variety of applications.
Water filters, water tanks, housewares, optical displays
Ordinary plastics cannot be detected by metal detectors or x-ray machines. However, by incorporating new resin additives during manufacturing, broken pieces or fragments of plastic materials can be detected by a metal detector or x-ray inspection system before getting mixed in with food products, allowing manufacturers to prevent contaminated products from reaching the market.
Wear resistance, lubricity, reduced noise, high mechanical properties, and detectability for reliable contamination control.
Food Processing Components, Packaging Industry, Material handling
Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) – TPEs are a family of polymers that can be repeatedly stretched without permanently deforming the shape of the part. Unlike rubber-like elastomers, they do not require curing or vulcanization, as they are true thermoplastics. Thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) may be processed by conventional thermoplastic techniques such as injection molding, extrusion and blow molding. Thermoplastic elastomers have replaced rubber in many applications, most importantly the automotive industry. There are six main thermoplastic elastomer groups found commercially; styrenic block copolymers, polyolefin blends (TPOs), elastomeric alloys, thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs), thermoplastic copolyesters and thermoplastic polyamides.
The first thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) became available in 1959 and since this time a plethora of new variations of such material has become available.
Good Processability, Good Colorability, Chemical Resistant, Recyclable Material, Good Adhesion, UV Resistant, Soft, Weather Resistant, Halogen Free, Ozone Resistant
Automotive Applications, Seals, Overmolding, Consumer Applications, Flexible Grips, Industrial Applications, Medical/Healthcare Applications, Gaskets, Toys, Electrical/Electronic Applications
A polymer blend, or polymer mixture, is a member of a class of materials analogous to metal alloys, in which at least two polymers are blended together to create a new material with different physical properties.Blending is an efficient and thorough way to combine material ingredients, in pre-determined proportions, and then mix them together in preparation for the production of plastic parts or products.
Typical blending and dosing applications include:
Blending may improve resin or product performance by:
Blends offered at PolySource:
The ColorRx product line includes a wide range of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE’s) ranging from 50 Shore A hardness to 70 Shore D, some of which are transparent. Grades are available for over-molding to achieve “soft-touch” surfaces, and for tubing applications, seals and closures, bags, bottles, and films.A full line of resins for device enclosures and housings that do not require biocompatibility is also available, including resins with enhanced resistance to chemical agents to meet today’s more demanding sanitizing requirements.
ABS – PC – PC FR