PVC PP PEHD PA6 POM-C/H PET PTFE PVDF PMMA PC
 

PVC

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Polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC, is the polymer of vinyl chloride.
Among all the polymers obtained form vinyl monomers, this is the most important one, and it’s one of the most used plastics in the world.
When pure, it is rigid. It’s also very easy to be worked because it can be mixed even in high proportions to plasticizers, such as phtalic acid esters, which make it flexible and shapeable.
It has a good chemical resistance and a fair mechanical rigidity up to 60 °C, which gradually decreases as the temperature gets higher and higher.

CHARACTERISTICS:

• Higher mechanical resistance than polyolefins (PE and PP);
• High chemical resistance;
• Workable with machine tools and hot or cold welding machines (glueing);
• Colors: grey RAL7011, black and red

FLAWS:

• Less resistant to temperature (max 60 °C) than PE and PP;
• Lower crash-resistance;
• Not as cheap because of its high specific gravity.

With transparent plastified (soft) PVC you can obtain surfaces and stripes for industrial closures, such as doors or curtains for the passage of lift trucks.

Material: PVC-U, polyvinyl chloride
Production: extruded and calendered
Density: 1,42 g/cm³
Color: grey RAL7011, ivory, black, red
Working temperature: from 0 to +60 °C
Short-time working temperature: +75 °C
Characteristics: high rigidity and hardness, good chemical resistance and storm resistant, good dielectric properties, easily thermoformed, soldered and glued.




PP

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Polypropylene (PP) is a plastic compound that may show different tacticity. The most interesting product from a commercial point of view is the isotactic type, which easily gets a crystalline or semi-crystalline structure, and is characterized by high tensile strength, low density, good thermal and abrasion resistance e may have rigid shapes widely used.
Its density is 0,9 g/cm³ and the fusion point is 165°C and beyond.
Its chemical properties are determined during the production phase, and include stereoregularity, molecular mass and molecular mass distribution.
The atactic product appears instead as a rubbery solid with no big commercial interest.
Polypropylene is widely used within the plastic industry: lots of common objects, such as doormats and strainers, just to name a couple of examples, are made of polypropylene.

CHARACTERISTICS:

• Fair mechanical resistance (among Polyolefins);
• Low specific gravity (cheap and light);
• High chemical resistance;
• Easily workable with machine tools;
• Fair resistance to temperature (90°C);
• Colors: “coffee-milk” grey RAL 7032 and natural.

FLAWS:

• Lower mechanical and thermal resistance than Tecnnopolymers (PA6, POM, etc.) and lower crash-resistance than PE, which is more rigid, especially at low temperatures.


Material: PP, polypropylene
Production: extruded
Density: 0,91 g/cm³
Color: RAL 7032 light grey, natural translucent, black.
Working temperature: from 0 to +100 °C
Short-time working temperature: +110 °C
Characteristics: good mechanical properties, good heat and chemical resistance, resistant to hydrolysis.


PEHD

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Polyethylene (or polythene) is the most simple synthetic polymer and the most common plastic material.
It is known with the acronym "PE". Its chemical formula is (-CH2-)n, where “n” may be several millions. Chains may have variable length and be more ramified or less ramified.
Polyethylene is a thermoplastic resin, it appears as a transparent solid (amorphous shape) or white (crystalline shape) with excellent insulating properties and chemical stability. It is very versatile and one of the cheapest plastic materials. It is heavily used as an insulator for electric cables, agriculture films, plastic bags, various containers, pipes, internal coverings of aseptic containers for alimentary liquids (“brick”), cutting boards for meat, and many others.
The increase of its molecular weight makes its resistance to abrasion higher, with a temperature limit of about 90 °C.
According to the distribution of molecular weights and the ramification degree, it is possible to obtain various types of polyethylene with different properties and uses:
• Polyethylene with very high molecular weight (UHMWPE)
• High density polyethylene (HDPE 300, 500 and 1000)
• Low density polyethylene (LDPE)
• Low density linear polyethylene (LLDPE)
UHMWPE is a PE where the average number of chain monomers is between 3 and 6 millions. The result is a highly resistant material whose chains are well “packed” into the crystalline structure.
This kind of polyethylene is synthesized through coordination with metallocenes.
Unlike other more common types of polyethylene for special purposes, thanks to its particular mechanical properties this one is suitable for prostheses and bullet-proof vests.

HDPE has a molecular weight range from 300 thousand to 1 million, when on the market. It is a little ramified polyethylene, and is therefore characterized by high intermolecular strength and higher rigidity. It is usually synthesized by coordination polymerization through a Ziegler Natta type of catalytic system.

LDPE is much more ramified than HDPE, and is therefore more ductile and less rigid. It is usually synthesized by radical polymerization.

LLDPE is basically linear polyethylene, and is usually obtained by polymerization of a mix of ethylene and alpha olefins (butane, esene, optene) with (butene, esene, ottene) a Ziegler Natta type of catalysis.

CHARACTERISTICS of PEHD 300, 500 and 1000 :

• Good crash-resistance even at low temperatures;
• High chemical resistance;
• Very low coefficient of friction;
• Good resistance to abrasion;
• Perfectly workable with milling cutters and panel cutters;
• Low specific gravity;
• Cheap;
• Natural color (white), black and green.

FLAWS:
• Lower resistance to abrasion than PE with higher molecular weight, and compared to technopolymers it has very few thermal and mechanical properties (tensile strength, compressibility).


Material: PE-HMW, polyethylene with high molecular weight (300 and 500)
Production: pressed and planed
Density: 0,95 g/cm³
Color: natural (white), black
Working temperature: from -100 to +80 °C
Short-time working temperature: +90 °C
Characteristics: excellent crash-resistance and wear-resistance, low coefficient of friction, good chemical resistance.

Material: PE-UHMW, polyethylene with very high molecular weight (1000)
Production: pressed and planed
Density: 0,94 g/cm³
Color: natural (white), black
Working temperature: from -260 to +95 °C
Short-time working temperature: +100 °C
Characteristics: excellent crash-and-wear-resistance, low coefficient of friction, good chemical resistance, good crash-resistance at low temperatures.

Material: PE-LD, polyethylene with low density
Production: extruded, in 1000 mm-high rolls
Density: 0,92 g/cm³
Color: opalescent (natural), black
Working temperature: from -50 to +65 °C
Short-time working temperature: +75 °C
Characteristics: rigid, non-stick, good chemical resistance, suitable for plane gaskets and surface covering.




PA6

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Polyamides are macromolecules characterized by the amide linkage CO-NH, formally derived from condensation of a carboxylic acid and an amine, which gives this type of molecules many of its properties. The numbers that follow are, respectively, the number of carbon atoms coming from the diacid and the number of carbons coming from the diamine. Kevlar© is part of this family as well.
The most industrially common PA are PA6, PA6,6 and PA12.
PA 6 is the product of polymerization by condensation of caprolactam.

CARACTERISTICS :

• Very “strong” material, resistant to dusty environments or heavy loads;
• High resistance to tensile strength and compressibility;
• Good crash-resistance;
• Keeps its properties even under constant stress;
• Good resistance to aging and atmospheric agents;
• The available colors are white and black (obtained with molybdenum disulfide).

FLAWS:

• It can’t be worked with automatic lathes due to production of too long and elastic shavings;
• High hygroscopy (it absorb humidity over time and mainly loses its original dimensions);
• When dry, it is very hard and therefore fragile.

Material: PA6, polyamide 6
Production: extruded and cast
Density: 1.14 g/cm³
Color: natural (white), black
Working temperature: from -40 to +85 °C
Short-time working temperature: +160 °C
Characteristics: standard PA6 with high mechanical resistance, high crash-resistance and wear-resistance, good sliding properties, high mechanical damping.



POM-C

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Polyoxymethylene, also called Acetal Resin, is a crystalline polymer that was discovered in the 60’s, obtained by polymerization of formaldehyde. It is either copolymer (C) or homopolymer (H). The first type is more resistant to hydrolysis, to thermo-oxidation degradation and to strong alkalis, while the second one is more rigid, creep-resistant and has more mechanical properties. It also has a lower thermal dilatation coefficient.
Suitable for automatic lathe working and recommended for high precision machining.

CHARACTERISTICS :

• Low coefficient of friction;
• Dimensional stability;
• Good crash-resistance and resistant to compressibility;
• Recommended for its high workability with machine tools, especially the automatic ones;
• White and black.

FLAWS:

• It is less “rustic” than PA6 and therefore less suitable for dusty or dirty environments, in fact it has a lower resistance to abrasion.

Material: POM-C, POM-H, copolymer and polyacetal homopolymer
Production: extruded and calendered
Density: 1,41 g/cm³
Color: natural (white), black
Working temperature: from -50 to +115 °C
Short-time working temperature: +140 ° C
Characteristics: high mechanical properties, rigidity and hardness; high dimensional stability and crash-resistance; excellent workability with machine tools; good dielectric and sliding properties.


PET

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Polyethylene terephthalate is a very rigid and crystalline material with high mechanical properties and a good dimensional stability. Its good wear-resistance, sliding properties and resistance to atmospheric agents make it suitable for sliding elements, guides, cams and all kinds of elements designed for environments lacking in lubrication, electrical insulators.
It has good mechanical resistance, high rigidity, hardness and dimensional stability, excellent wear-resistance, good workability and good dielectric properties.

CHARACTERISTICS :

• Low coefficient of friction;
• Dimensional stability with both high temperatures and humidity;
• Good resistance to compressibility;
• Good workability with machine tools;
• White and black.

FLAWS:

• Being a very hard material, it is therefore quite fragile.

Material: PET, polyethylene terephthalate
Production: extruded and calendered
Density: 1,39 g/cm³
Color: natural (white), black
Working temperature: from -20 to +115 °C
Short-time working temperature: +160 °C
Characteristics: good mechanical resistance, high rigidity, hardness and dimensional stability, excellent wear-resistance, good sliding properties, good workability, good dielectric properties, resistance to atmospheric agents.


 

PTFE

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Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), better known with its commercial names Teflon, Fluon, Algoflon, Hostaflon, is the polymer of tetrafluoroethylene.
It is a smooth plastic material, resistant to high temperatures (up to 200 °C and beyond), used in industry to cover surfaces at high temperatures that are supposed to be non-stick and have a good chemical inertia.
Thanks to its great properties, PTFE is one of the most used materials in the technical field.
It is also used in the chemical industry for gaskets and elements designed for contact with corrosive agents (for example, concentrated sulfuric acid).
Teflon film is used in chemical labs in order to guarantee the tightness of frosted glass joints, to avoid the single parts to detach from one another.
In the electric industry, it is used as an insulating material.
In fact, frying “non-stick” pans are covered internally with a PTFE (Teflon) layer.

CHARACTERISTICS :

• Thanks to its total chemical inertia, it is resistant to almost all chemical agents – with the exception of melted alkaline metals, high-pressure fluorine and some fluorinated compounds in particular temperature conditions – and most of all, it doesn’t modify the fluids it gets into contact with, such as ultrapure fluids for the electronic industry;
• Totally insoluble in water and any organic solvent;
• Excellent electric qualities (dielectric rigidity 65 KV/mm);
• Excellent resistance to fire: it doesn’t let the flame spread;
• Excellent superficial surface sliding properties: its coefficient of friction is the lowest among all industrial products;
• Non-stick properties: its surface can’t be glued.

FLAWS:

• Very few mechanical properties.

Material: PTFE polytetrafluoroethylene
Production: pressed and sinterized
Density: 2,18 g/cm³
Color: natural (white)
Working temperature: from -200 to +260 °C
Short-time working temperature: +280 °C
Standard size: 1200 x 1200 mm
Characteristics: very low coefficient of friction, non-stick surface, excellent resistance to both high and low temperatures and to chemical products, good dielectric properties, good resistance to atmospheric agents.


PVDF

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Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) is a high-performance polymer, characterized by good resitance to chemicals (especially sulfuric and hydrochloric acid), with working temperature from -40 to 150°C.
Its density is about 1,78 g/cm³ and contains 57% fluorine. Fusion point is about 165 °C (actually we should talk about fusion interval, which is around 165/170 °C as well).
It is used for gaskets, pressure pipes, pump and valve components, components for medical and thermo-sanitary devices and in the alimentary field.
Thanks to its electrical and flammability resistance properties it is widely used (also as insulator), even though it is quite expensive. It is also resistant to UV rays.

CHARACTERISTICS :

• Higher mechanical resistance than PTFE;
• Low coefficient of friction;
• Resistance to UV rays;
• Excellent chemical resistance;
• Natural (translucid) color.

FLAWS:

• Expensive and lower temperature resistance than PTFE.

Material: PVDF, polyvinylidene fluoride
Production: extruded and vulcanized
Density: 1,79 g/cm³
Color: natural (white)
Working temperature: from -60 to +150 °C
Short-time working temperature: +160 °C
Characteristics: good heat dimensional stability; it is the hardest among fluorinated plastic materials, has high mechanical and dimensional stability, good resistance to chemicals and atmospheric agents, and is also non-stick.





PMMA

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Polymethyl methacrylate is a plastic material formed of polymers of methyl methacrylate, which is an ester of methacrylic acid, also known with its commercial names Plexiglas, Vitroflex, Perspex, and Lucite.
It is usually very transparent, more than glass, so much that for its transparency characteristics it can be compared to optical fiber.
It is usually considered better than glass for its lower weight and because it can be glued and heat-shaped.

CHARACTERISTICS :

• More transparent than glass;
• Unlike glass, it doesn’t screen ultraviolet light;
• It can be heat-shaped at relatively low temperatures (about 100 °C).

FLAWS:

• It is very fragile, and less smear-resistant than glass.

Material: PMMA, polymethyl methacrylate
Production: extruded
Manufacturing: protecion sheets on both sides
Density: 1,20 g/cm³
Color: light transparent, opalescent (white)
Working temperature: from -40 to +80 °C
Short-time working temperature: +90 °C
Characteristics: high hardness and rigidity, excellent optical properties, resistant to atmospheric agents, it can be thermo-shaped and glued. Very fragile.



PC

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Polycarbonate is being more and more used thanks to its particular transparency properties,
thermal and mechanical resistance, as well as good electric properties and hardness.
Being crash-resistance definitely its main characteristic, it is therefore often used for bullet-proof doors and protections for machine tools. These are considered as the ideal protection against acts of vandalism and intrusion attempts.
Polycarbonates are resistant to mineral acids, aliphatic hydrocarbons, petrol, fats, oils, alcohols except for methyl alcohol and water below 70 °C. At higher temperatures water attacks the polymer, starting a gradual process of chemical decomposition. Biodegradation is low and takes a lot of time.
Alveolar polycarbonate sheets are used as shutters, also thanks to their good insulating properties.

CHARACTERISTICS :

• Unbreakable;
• It is light, and besides having a quite low specific gravity, its mechanical resistance makes it possible to use minimum thickness;
• Self-extinguish;
• Very transparent and protected against UV rays;
• Easily workable with milling cutters and panel cutters, it can be cold-bent up to a maximum thickness of 5 mm.

FLAWS:

• More expensive than PMMA;
• Lower smear-resistance.

Material: PC, polycarbonate
Production: extruded and calendered
Manufacturing: protecion sheets on both sides
Density: 1,20 g/cm³
Color: light transparent
Working temperature: from -60 to +120 °C
Short-time working temperature: +135 °C
Standard size: 2050 x 1250 mm
Characteristics: high mechanical resistance, crash-resistance, excellent thermal stability, good resistance to atmospheric agents, good optical qualities.