ABS plastic is an easily machined, tough, low cost rigid thermoplastic plastic with high impact strength, ideal for turning, drilling, milling, sawing, die-cutting, and shearing. ABS plastics provide a balanced combination of mechanical toughness, wide temperature range, good dimensional stability, chemical resistance, electrical insulating properties, and ease of fabrication. ABS applications are extremely broad, falling between commodity plastics and the engineering resins.
Acetal is a tough, stable engineering thermoplastic with a high modulus of elasticity, high strength, good rigidity, dimensional stability, resistance to moisture, solvents and other chemicals. It performs significantly better than copolymers in toughness at extreme temperatures, fatigue endurance, and elongation at yield. Common applications include precision gears, bearings with close tolerances, electrical engineering insulators, snap fit assemblies, and parts operating in a hot water environment.
Acrylics have outstanding resistance to long-term exposure to sunlight and weathering. It has excellent optical properties and is more resistant to impact than glass. In addition, acrylic has low water absorption, good electrical resistivity, and fair tensile strength. Applications are infinite, including art installations, outdoor signs, glazing, aircraft canopies, skylights, auto tail-lights, dials, buttons, lighting applications, knobs, and machine covers.
HPDE, or High Density Polyethylene, is a very light and extremely tough, chemically resistant plastic and is one of the most commonly used plastics in the United States. It does not absorb water and has good sliding abrasion resistance in addition to being self-lubricating. High density polyethylene lends itself particularly well to blow molding, e.g. for bottles, cutting boards, dipping baskets, dippers, trays and containers.
Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC for short, is one of the world's most widely used plastics for its extreme versatility. Most PVC produced goes into building and construction applications such pipe, siding, and window profiles. PVC has a great resistance to oils and a low permeability to gases. Sheets can be welded to produce tanks, trays and troughs. Packaging is another major market for PVC plastic. Rigid grades are blown into bottles and made into sheet for thermoforming boxes and blister packs. Flexible compounds are made into food wrap. Other markets for PVC plastics include wire and cable coating, flooring, garden hose, and toys.
UHMW-PE (also shortened to UHMW), stands for Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene. It's this extremely high molecular weight that gives UHMW-PE an unsurpassed combination of slickness, toughness and chemical resistance. It's a common plastic encountered every day in the form of food containers, milk containers, and many home appliances. Because of its low coefficient of friction, UHMW-PE is self-lubricating; it replaces unwanted grease and oil in many applications such as bearings and conveyors. UHMW-PE has a "No Break" Impact Strength rating, meaning it will pierce though or be cut before breakage occurs. UHMW-PE can be sawed, milled, turned, planed, drilled or punched.
PTFE, or Polytetrafluoroethylene, is a fluoropolymer that is resistant to heat and chemicals. It has an extremely low coefficient of friction, and is used as a coating on cookware, gaskets, seals, and hoses. It is unaffected by virtually all acids and caustics, functioning in environments up to 500°F, and as low as -350°F. Virgin PTFE is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the food, beverage, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. It is also of great use in laboratory applications because contaminants do not adhere to the surface.