Is HDPE Sheet and Acetal Sheet (Delrin) the same?

Here is another popular question asked by our clients. Is HDPE the same as Acetal / Delrin?
No, they are two totally different materials. Although the natural color of both is a milky white to opaque white, and they do look a bit similar, they are not. (HDPE is milky white to almost translucent depending on thickness, and Acetal is a more opaque white to slightly milky – once again depending on thickness . See picture below of .500″ thick samples of HDPE and Acetal sheets)

HDPE and Acetal – Some DifferencesHDPE sheet and Acetal sheet Natural Color Samples Both .500" thick sheet

The HDPE sheet and rod is a softer material, and is commonly known for its FDA certification and used in numerous food applications, such as: one gallon milk jugs, cutting boards, colored water glasses/cups, and many, many more. While it can be machined, because it is a bit softer and lighter, the tolerances it can be machined to are not very tight. It is not bondable, so it makes a great non-stick surface for sticky foods and adhesives.


The Acetal / Delrin also have FDA certification, and are used heavily in the food processing industry. This material is a more mechanical material and is used in bearing and wear applications, cams, feeder screws, etc. This material is can be machined to tight tolerances, and will wear for long periods without lubrication. Due to its exceptional wear properties, it is not bondable, thus requiring mechanical fastening or threads to assemble. It has a very low water absorption, and you will find it in your toilet tank as the white moving parts in the filler mechanism. It is an extremely popular material for machinists, as it works much like soft brass.


While HDPE Sheet and Acetal Sheet look similar, they perform quite a bit differently.

While both materials are FDA approved, are machinable and can be used to make rigid wear resistant parts, they are two different resins and have drastically different physical properties. Another major difference is in the weight of these items, HDPE sheet and rod material weighs about 35% less than the Acetal sheet and rod material. Please check the data sheets for more information to assist in proper material selection. Acetal Data Sheet and HDPE Sheet Data

Acetal is commonly known as: Delrin, Ensital, Unital, Pomalux, Ultraform and many more.

HDPE is also known as: Ultraethylux, Densetec, Polystone G, Fortiflex, Versadur, Hostalen, and many more.

Contact us for more details on the HDPE and Acetal families of plastic materials, e-mail us or call 866-832-9315
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Topic: HDPE sheet and Delrin Sheet (Acetal Sheet)

Things you should know about Polycarbonate Sheet, Sheets and Panels

A common misconception is that ‘all polycarbonate sheets are the same’. This is not true, as a matter of fact, it is far from a fact. While most manufacturers of polycarbonate sheets start with a similar base resin, this is where the similarities normally stop. Most polycarbonate sheet extruders run a base material far different from what the standard has been for the last 30 years. Most polycarbonate sheet is now made without the flame rating it had in the past. Polycarbonate Sheets are sometimes called ‘polycarbonate panels’ or ‘polycarbonate plates’, they are still made from the same high quality resins. One of the best known manufacturers of Polycarbonate resins and sheets is Sabic Polymers®, the manufacturers of Lexan® resin and Lexan® Sheet products. Over the last several years, Sabic has quietly discontinued the UL ratings on their Polycarbonate.

Industrial Plastic Supply And Makrolon GPBayer MaterialScience now Covestro

For more than 30 years, Industrial Plastic Supply has relied on the high quality Polycarbonate Sheets produced by Sheffield, now part of Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience). Covestro produces a crystal clear, ultra high impact strength resin, this Makrolon resin is the finest in the industry. Covestro has also chosen to continue to produce this high quality material with the UL 94 V-0 rating, the only supplier to continue this expensive, but extremely valuable service. Take a moment and look at your requirements, see if perhaps somewhere on the blue print is a note that states your polycarbonate material needs to be UL 94 V-0 approved or rated. If so, Makrolon GP is your only and best choice!

How is Covestro Makrolon Polycarbonate available

We stock Covestro (Bayer MaterialScience) Makrolon GP in flat panels, considered Polycarbonate Sheet or as Polycarbonate Sheets. We can cut theses sheet Polycarbonate materials to strip or strips, blocks, or just a cut to size piece. At Industrial Plastic Supply we have stocked large quantities of these materials, and continue to keep Makrolon GP and Makrolon FI sheets in stock. With a wide range of thicknesses ( .030″ – .500″ thick) and sheet sizes of 48″ X 96″, 60″ X 60″ and 72″ X 96″ as standard in .118″ – .500″, we can fill all your requirements.Covestro (Bayer) Makrolon GP Polycarbonate Sheets formed into Riot Shields

Why you should use Makrolon Polycarbonate Sheet

Superior clarity, quality, surface finish, flame retardant and full USA factory technical assistance are just a few reasons. Buying polycarbonate sheets imported from somewhere half way around the globe, from an unknown manufacturer with little or no technical support can be very risky. Covestro/Sheffield manufacturers this premium quality polycarbonate sheet right here in the good old USA, in Sheffield, Massachusetts. They produce this crystal clear sheet on the latest and most technologically advanced extruders available, and have several warehouses for us to get material quickly for you. Why settle for an unknown? Can you afford to ‘try’ the other guys? Step up to the finest quality, and yet still competitively priced polycarbonate sheet, get Covestro Makrolon GP Polycarbonate Sheet for your next project. Industrial Plastic Supply also carries the Westlake Zelux M Polycarbonate Sheet and Zelux W Polycarbonate Plate. The Zelux M is a machine grade Polycarbonate Plate from .375″ – 4″ thick sheet, and the Zelux W is a clear – Window Grade thick Polycarbonate Plate in the same thickness range. Contact us for more information on this thicker material. We also supply other manufacturers grades of Polycarbonate Plate, including, but not limited to: Ensinger Plastics, Nytef Plastics, Rochling Plastics and more.Machined Polycarbonate Block made from Zelux M Contact us for more information or technical assistance on Polycarbonate or any other quality plastic sheet, rod or tube. Call us at 866-832-9315 or send us a quick note here. Google+



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Polypropylene Sheet in Industrial Applications

Known by a few different industry trade names including: Densitec®, Hostalen®, Marlex®, Protec®. Polypropylene is a very versatile and tough material that has many applications in both industrial and in manufacturing applications. Some of the major factories that produce Polypropylene sheet are: Vycom Plastics, Simona America and Polymer Industries. If you need the FM-4910 grade, Laminations and Vycom are the main suppliers. We represent all of these companies.

Some examples of Polypropylene usage are: containers to store food products, industrial chemical tanks, medical trays, and fibers that are used to make indoor and outdoor carpeting. A material that has the attributes of tensile strength, a resistance to high temperatures and is highly resistant to corrosion, Polypropylene is a unique material that can be used in the manufacture of chemical tanks that are used for the mixing of liquid materials that may have slight corrosive properties as part of their compounds. Polypropylene is available in a wide range of sizes and shapes. We supply it in sheets that can be cut to size for whatever your application needs happen to be, and it is also available in white and black, which are also available in several different thicknesses. Polypropylene is also available as a rod, which is available in a large range of diameters from .250″ and up. For a company that manufactures caustic compounds for resale to other B2B businesses, Polypropylene is the product that will meet your requirements as one of the most chemical resistant materials. It is a material that is resistant to temperatures of up to 180°F, and it is able to handle acids and caustic material as well as alkaline based materials.

Fabrication of Polypropylene Sheet – Weldingpolypropylene sheet welded tank. Polyproplylene Sheet, Sheets and Plate in Industrial Applications

Polypropylene sheet is often fabricated, often through welding, to produce chemical resistant tanks. The material is ‘welded’ through the use of very hot air, in a pin point application and the use of welding rod of the same material. This process produces a water tight seam, and is excellent for producing tanks. Polypropylene’s chemical resistance also means it can not be bonded or glued – thus the need for welding. If you are looking for a material that has this type of tensile strength, it may be surprising to know that the garbage bags that we often use to dispose of our uneaten meals are made of Polypropylene (or HDPE). Another thing about this material is that it actually floats in water. The incredible toughness of Polypropylene material makes it a great choice in the manufacture of items like rope. Other plastics to consider for high chemical resistance are: PTFE, HDPE, UHMW and PVC; the choice of material depends on application and chemicals involved. Another use of Polypropylene is in the medical field. This material has been used for orthotics, prosthetic limbs, and other medical devices. One use is during hernia procedures, where a simple patch of the material is placed over the actual area of the hernia. The material is rarely rejected by the body’srecycle triangles Polyproplylene Sheet, Sheets and Plate in Industrial Applications immune system. Polypropylene is also very recyclable. It is number 5 on the list of common plastics.

Polypropylene is a common material for use in many household products, and is a popular material for injection molded parts because of its strength and stiffness. If your next job requires a rigid material that is FDA approved for certain applications, exhibits superior strength against corrosive materials, then Polypropylene Sheet and Rod may be an excellent choice. It is versatile enough to be used in the medical field and even has been used in the radio control airplane field, where it’s gaining popularity as a material to form the bodies of these aircraft. When used in this application, a model airplane can absorb more of the kinetic energy that is caused by a crash, and the plane survives the impact much better than when traditional polystyrene foam has been used. Polypropylene is a material that is versatile enough to meet just about any requirement that your particular project has to meet, and is available in sheets that are natural (translucent straw), white or black in color. It can be easily cut to meet your particular specifications, and is available in a wide range of thicknesses. Let us help you with your Polypropylene needs to complete on time and on spec. Call us today at 866-832-9315 or click here to send us your request or questions. Google+

PVC Sheet and Rods

(Rigid Vinyl and CPVC)

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has shown its versatility and durability for decades. Its use in piping, sprinkler systems, the construction industry and other areas has made it a popular commodity. The industrial-grade PVC sheet has numerous applications in the manufacturing area. Its low cost, workability, easy bonding, corrosion and weather resistance make it an all-round choice of industry.

PVC is Easy To Work With

Regardless of the application, working the PVC sheet is easy and cost-effective using simple tools that are common in other applications such as wood and steel. The chemical composition of the PVC sheet makes edging and machining simple and straightforward, and usually makes cooling unnecessary. However, when cooling is needed, compressed air, water or other liquids can quickly cool the material. Industrial PVC can be shaped and formed by:
          • SawsPVC Machined Part PVC Sheet and Sheets, Rigid Vinyl and CPVC Plastic Materials
        • Drills (Hand-held or drill presses)
        • Routers
        • Punch machines
        • Standard CNC Equipment

It is also easily sealed and bonded to itself or using common industrial adhesives. The easy working and bonding of PVC sheeting make it an excellent choice for use in manufacturing and industrial applications. Couple that with its relative low cost and ability to use common tooling methods and PVC is an indispensable choice, and can replace more expensive materials such as: ABS, Acetal, Nylon and many more.

Several PVC Grades Available

PVC is available in several grades. The most common is the Type 1 Gray PVC – the standard commercial grade PVC for machining, bonding and painting. CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride) is also available, and sometimes called Corzan® or Lam 2000®, and is a higher continuous temperature resistant material. The CPVC is normally a blue tinted clear color, and is also available in a FM4910 approved grade. We also supply the Type 2 PVC which is used for improved impact strength applications. This Type 2 material is available in a White or Light Gray color.

PVC Sheet Comes In Standard Sizing

Storage and transport of PVC is also an advantage. Its 48″ x 96″ size makes it a uniform size with plywood and other building products. The range of thickness is: .062″ – 3″ thick and thicker. There is no need for special storage or handling equipment. Common storage areas that can store drywall, plywood or other standard building materials can easily store these sheets. Forklifts and existing conveyor systems never need retrofits to handle the PVC.

DurabilityGray PVC Sheets PVC Plastic Sheet and Sheets, Rigid Vinyl and CPVC Materials

Finished products using PVC sheets are long-lasting. The material is highly impact resistant, durable in extreme temperature swings, weather and corrosion resistant. Its use for storage of corrosive chemicals in extreme conditions make it an indispensable material for chemical coatings and other storage containers.

Adaptable

The ease of bonding and shaping are just one of the best features of industrial PVC sheeting. It also accepts painting and screen printing. Materials such as wood, other plastics, fabrics and paper can be bonded to the surface to enhance the aesthetic value of whatever is created. Coatings such as vinyl or acrylic lacquers can be used to turn the object into attractive household items. Scratches or etchings on the surface of the raw material are easily removed using fine sanding and buffing equipment. The versatility of PVC in standard sheets makes this product an excellent choice for virtually any type of machining and manufacturing application. For more information on the impact and corrosion resistance properties of these sheets, visit: Industrial Plastic Supply for PVC Sheet. Find out about all the qualities that make using these standardized sheets an attractive choice for industrial use. For information on this or any other plastic sheet, slab, rod or tube product – call us at: 866-832-9315 or click here to send us a request.

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Topic: PVC Sheet and Rod

Nylon Rod and Sheet (Polyamide) Grades available

The Nylon family of plastics are all very tough, strong, machine well, and have excellent wear properties. Nylon is a very popular plastic material, and is found in numerous applications. One of the largest usages is the production of household carpeting because of the excellent wear resistance. Nylon replaces materials such as UHMW, PET, Acetal – Delrin, and ABS. It will outwear most plastics and is self lubricating.

The wide variety of types and colors is one of the largest in the plastic industry.Nylon Rod Type 6/6 and Type 6, rods can be machined into gears

Nylon Type 6/6 Rod, Sheet and Plate

The extruded Nylon 6/6 (Nylon Rod and sheets) material (aka: Polyhexamethylene Adiptimide) is available as Natural (tan – straw), Black, Glass filled (medium tan) and a molybdenum disulphide filled which is very dark gray. The most common size range for the extruded Nylon 6/6 is .125″ – 4.0″ diameter rod, and .125″ – 4.0″ thick sheet. The thicker materials should be cast due to cost and stress issues. For addition details on the Nylon Rod and Sheet 6/6 – see the data sheet.

Nylon Type 6 Cast Polycaprolactam

The cast Nylon type 6 has almost limitless possibilities. Many colors are available in Cast Nylon, the natural color, black, blue, dark gray (normally molybdenum disulphide filled again), green and many more. Sometimes the color is determined by the additive (oil filled) or by industry. Because of its relative ease of manufacture, many companies prefer to get their Nylon in a special color to help ‘brand’ their parts.

Cast Type 6 Polyamide can be made in Nylon rod from about 1.25″ diameter to almost any size. Nylon sheet normally starts at about .75″ thickness, and once again, can be made to almost any thickness. In addition to standard rod and plate, other sizes and shapes can be cast from Nylon Type 6 – ie. discs, tubes, near net shapes, large profiles, etc. The only limitations are how much money you have, and the size of the truck to get it to you! We have had cast very large blocks (11″ X 11″ X 48″ solid), sheaves up to 66″ OD, large tubes 36″OD X 12″ ID X 14″ long, and many more massive Nylon Cast parts. Nylon Sheets, Nylon Rod and Massive Blocks, Huge Sheave, Near Net Shapes - Nylon - Polyamide

Nylon 6/12 -Low Moisture Absorption

The claim to fame for the Nylon Type 6/12 is the low moisture absorption of the material. It is more stable that the type 6 or 6/6, and with the lower water absorption, this resin can handle a wider range of environments. Our manufacturer can run this as an Extruded Nylon Rod item or as a Cast Nylon Rod item. This opens the door to a wide range of sizes and shapes. This material exhibits most of the same properties of the Nylon 6/6 and Cast Type 6, with some slight improvements in key properties.

Filled Grades of Nylon

Because of the processing of Cast Nylon, many additives can be mixed into the material. The most common are: glass filled, oil filled, Kevlar fiber filled (Hydlar Z) and the molybdenum disulphide (M0S2). In addition, other fills and colorants (pigments) can be added to assist in manufacture or processing.

Common specifications for Nylon are: L-P-410, ASTM D-4066, L-P-395C, Mil-M-20693B Comp A, Ty I, IA, II and III, Mil-M-20693B Comp B, Ty 4, Mil-P-17091B Type 1, and Mil-P-46060, PA0613, ASTM D-5989 S-PA0511, and more.

Before buying your next big chunk of Nylon, contact us for information on the benefits of a filled  or near netshape Cast Nylon part.

Contact us with your specifications, we look forward to assisting you.

Email us with questions or comments, or call us at 866-832-9315
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What is the Strongest Plastic – Polycarbonate Sheet?

Many plastics are durable and have good impact strength. Delrin® – Acetal for example is a very durable and strong material, but compared to some other materials the impact strength is lower. The Acetal – Delrin is the best machining plastic around, it is used to make long lasting and good wearing parts for machines. Another great plastic that holds up to wear and tear is UHMW. With its high molecular weight and low friction resistance is ideal to take abuse over long periods of time.

However, one of the strongest materials in the plastic family is Polycarbonate. Commonly Polycarbonate Sheet or Sheets formed into Riot Shieldsreferred to Lexan® (SABIC) or Makrolon® (Bayer) Polycarbonate Sheets. Polycarbonate is by far one of the strongest (highest impact resistant) ­­­­­plastic materials, and is warranted against breakage. With its high impact strength, it is ideal for jobs were the ability to absorb abuse is a factor and in some cases may even need to save lives. A common material for high impact is Polycarbonate Sheet and Plate, but amazingly also Polycarbonate Rod.

Polycarbonate Sheets considered ‘unbreakable’.

Polycarbonate sheet is a valuable plastic due to its impact strength, temperature resistance and wide range of uses. It is commonly confused with Acrylic or Plexiglass which has similar properties but Polycarbonate is 25 times stronger and has a wider temperature range. Acrylic is better used for display purposes and is a brittle material. Polycarbonate is so strong that you can drill or hammer a nail right through it without breaking the material. It also can undergo large deformations without breaking while Acrylic cannot. Polycarbonate also can be used for electrical applications because it is a great insulator. It also has great safety properties due to it being flame retardant and because it has good heat resistance. Another way Polycarbonate exhibits its safety properties is through bullet resistant glass. Polycarbonate is the most commonly used material for bullet resistant glass, riot shields and face masks. In these situations, the Polycarbonate has a very high impact strength which is invaluable. It protects and saves lives and is able to stand up to abuse in dangerous situations.Polycarbonate Eye Protection Goggles

Polycarbonate Has Many Uses

From audio CDs to Blu-ray discs, airplane canopies to protective eye gear, Polycarbonate is a great thermoplastic (a material that can be formed and returned to its original shape) material for many different applications. Because of its impact strength and wide range of uses, Polycarbonate makes an ideal material for those who need peace of mind when designing or fabricating and need it to hold up to abuse and be virtually unbreakable. Polycarbonate is one of the toughest plastic materials around and everyday new products are being made from it. Whether using it for electrical, optical or for its impact properties, Polycarbonate is an ideal choice for many plastic needs.

Polycarbonate sheet (Makrolon) is available from .032″ – .500″ thick

Polycarbonate Plate, Slab, Block is available up to 4.0″ thick

Polycarbonate Rods are available from .250″ – over 8″ diameter.

More information on the UL approval ratings of Polycarbonate Sheets Here.

Not all Polycarbonate Sheet or Plate meet all approval ratings. Zelux Polycarbonate Plate is available in a machine grade and an optical grade. Zelux Polycarbonate Rod is also available – as a machine grade rod – not optical.

Typical Polycarbonate Resin Properties:

General Property ASTM Test Typical Value
Specific Gravity D792 1.2
Tensile Strength Yield D638 8,900 – 9,000
Tensile Modulus D638 340,000
Izod Impact – Notched D256 12.0-16.0
Hardness – Rockwell D785 M70
Deflection Temp @ 264psi D648 270
Deflection Temp @ 66 psi D648 280
Co. Thermal Expansion D696 3.7X10-5

 

We stock a large variety of thickness and sheet sizes in Makrolon GP sheet. For more information on this or other plastic sheets, please call us at 866-832-9315 or click here to contact us.

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Topic: Polycarbonate Sheet and Plate

Polypropylene Sheet and Sheets come in Natural and WhitePolypro sheets welded into tank

Let’s start by clarifying what Natural and White means. The natural color of Polypropylene is a translucent straw color, not yellow – not white, more of a very lite translucent – almost transparent beige. The white color is a bright white with a slight blue tint, or blue white. This white color is opaque, and is a white color that blends well with other materials. Polypropylene sheet is also available in the color Black.

Polypropylene sheet materials are available in an opaque black color as well. There is also a grade of Polypropylene sheets that carries a FR – UL 94 V-0 rating. When fabricating a ‘wet bench’ for the electronic industry, the new requirement is FM4910. This new specification is from Factory Mutual Insurance, and the requirements are very stringent. The purpose of this specification is that the FM4910 means it won’t burn, and will put off no toxic fumes or excessive smoke.

This rigid plastic sheet can be cut with standard cutting tools, drilled, routed, machined and processed easily. Clean and sharp tools will provide a clean cut, and occasionally will produce stringy burrs that are easy to remove with standard deburring tools. It fabricates very much like HDPE (High Density Polyethylene Sheet), and has many similar properties. The chemical resistance of Polypropylene approaches the excellent resistance of Dupont PTFE Sheet.

Polypropylene sheet materials have excellent chemical resistance

The main claim to fame for polypropylene in sheet is the excellent chemical resistance. This material is used extensively in the manufacture of chemical tanks. This chemical resistance means also that it can not be bonded together (glues and cements peel right off!), and thus it must be ‘welded’ together for fabrication. The preferred method of welding is a hot air welder – which supplies a fine stream of very hot air on the exact area that you may wish to weld together. This weld, when done properly will yield a very strong bond, and will enable a water tight tank or box to be fabricated.

This great building block material can be used in numerous industrial and chemical type applications. The list of great properties is extensive, here are a few of the highlights: Welded Polypropylene sheet - Electronic manufacturers wet bench

  • Self Lubricating and Low Co-Efficient of Friction
  • High Chemical Resistance
  • Abrasion, Moisture and Electrical Resistance
  • Stiffness, Rigidity, or Cut Resistance
  • Low Specific Gravity (Floats in Water)

Polypropylene sheet and sheeting provide years of use, and can be cleaned with most chemical cleaners. Sheets are available in thicknesses ranging from .032″ – 2.0+ thick, and standard sheet sizes are 48″ X 96″ and 48″ X 120″, plus other sizes can be special run.

Contact us for availability of your Polypropylene sheets, rod and yes, even tubes. We are waiting your e-mail inquiry or call us at: 866-832-9315.
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Topic: Polypropylene Sheet Fabrication

 

Which Plastic Sheet or Rod Material is right for me?

This not an easy question to answer. Several different factors come into play when choosing the right plastic for your application. Temperature, strength, exposure to the elements and even time spent at elevated temperatures are just a few factors to consider when choosing the right plastic for a particular project or job.Researching the best plastic sheet and rod materials

Picking the right plastic for your application is critical for its success and longevity and needed to insure that the material doesn’t fail in critical situations. From the onset it may take a bit of time to choose the right plastic material, but will ultimately pay off in the long run. Simply choosing the cheapest plastic sheet or rod may spell disaster for your project.

Many plastics are resistant to chemical attacks. Some plastics however are not. Two examples of plastic that have low resistance to chemicals are Acetal or Delrin (Dupont Brand Name) and Nylon. Acetal and Nylon are both a great machining plastics with excellent wear resistance and impact strength. However, when exposed to chlorine or alkaline they tend to become brittle which can cause failure and if used in such instances as plumbing, can lead to major problems such as flooding. Nylon does have good resistance to many chemicals but will degrade when exposed to acids especially sulfuric. A plastic that would work better for applications involving the use of chlorine or acids is UHMW. UHMW has some of the same properties as Acetal such as wear resistance, ease of machining and are both self lubricating. UHMW often is an alternative for Acetal and Nylon, especially when it comes to chemical attacks.Are you searching for the right plastic material for your project

Many plastic sheet and rod materials to choose from

Another plastic that can fail if used in the wrong application is Acrylic. Acrylic is a great plastic for displays and decorative purposes and is a natural replacement for window glass. However, it is brittle and has very low impact strength as opposed to Polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a great plastic for impact strength, probably the best in the plastic family. It is 25 times stronger than Acrylic and this makes it ideal for bullet resistant glass and riot shields, while Acrylic would be useless for those critical jobs. However, Acrylic has better U.V. resistance than Polycarbonate Plastic Sheet which makes it better for use outdoors over longer periods of time because it is invisible to sunlight. Another plastic that cannot handle U.V. rays is Polypropylene. Polypropylene unlike Acetal has excellent chemical and moisture resistance. However, unlike Acrylic, it becomes brittle in sunlight and starts to craze or crack when exposed over a period of time while Acrylic would last many years longer. Even though Polypropylene is a very rigid and stiff material, with good impact and crack resistance, if exposed to the elements for a period of time, it will not retain its properties and a chemical chain reaction will cause the material to eventually fail. Polypropylene is great at handling chemicals and food applications which neither Acrylic nor Polycarbonate Sheet are well suited because for this application, because they don’t have good chemical resistance and the standard grades are not approved for handling food.

So many Plastic Sheet and Rod Choices

Because there are so many options, we invite you to do further research. One are would be the blog post ‘Pick The Proper Plastic Material‘, or even use the online tool ‘Gehr Plastic Selection Tool‘. There are over 60 standard plastic sheet materials that we stock, with many additional material that are available from our factories, contact us for help with your application.

These are just some examples of the differences between plastic resins and it is important to note that just because one plastic works for one application, it may not work for another. All factors must be considered and taken into account, maybe even some trial and error. This will insure that your project will go smoothly and will be able to last through many years of use, saving time, money and patience.

Contact us for more examples of materials and the differences between specific items. Also, we have a great tool to help you in choosing the proper plastic material for your application, check out our free Plastic Material Selector Guide. We would also welcome your email inquiries or call us at: 866-832-9315.
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Which Plastic Sheet or Plastic Sheets?

A wide variety of plastics are available in sheet form.

The term: ‘Plastic Sheet‘ or ‘Plastic Sheets’ is more of a general statement covering over a hundred types of plastic materials and plastic products. Some of the most popular plastic materials made as a sheet are:

Wide range of plastic materials in sheet

In addition to the wide range of plastic materials available as plastic sheet, most of these materials are also available as: thin gauge or film, strip, plate, block, slab and plastic panels. The thin gauge or film materials are frequently available with or without a pressure sensitive adhesive also called ‘tape’. Sheet in some materials is available over 4.0″ thick and perhaps as thick as 8.0″ thick in a few materials. The standard sheet size on most of our plastic sheets is either 24″ X 48″ or the larger 48″ X 96″ sheet size; although some materials are available as: 48″ X 120″, 60″ X 96″ or 72″ X 96″. Contact us with with questions on your required piece sizes, we are happy to provide plastic sheets cut to size.

While there are lots and lots of different materials available as plastic sheet, there may only be one or two materials that are right for your application. We want to assist with your search. If you need help choosing the proper plastic material for your application, check out our free Plastic Material Selector Guide. Also, feel free to contact us for further assistance. As a leading plastic sheet distributor since 1975, we feel that we are your best choice as your new plastic sheet and sheets supplier. Give us a call at 866-832-9315.
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Topic: Various Plastic Sheet Materials Available

American Made Plastic Sheets and Rods

Plastic Materials By Any Other Name…Made In The USA - High Quality Materials

There are hundreds of plastic manufacturers, and even more plastic sheet, rod and tube suppliers.

What makes one better or worse than another? Some of the biggest differences are in the quality of the materials they have in stock. Not all manufacturers are the same. Some produce very inexpensive materials for the disposable trade. A few supply high quality materials from the big names in the plastic industry.

We buy only from American companies. Our suppliers and warehouses are all here, in the USA. While several of our factories have parent companies in Western Europe, they manufacture the bulk of their materials here in the states. With the NAFTA requirements, we are able to provide certification to all our materials.

American Made Quality Makes A Difference

As you probably know, materials made in areas around the world don’t have the same quality control systems that we have here. We have seen materials from suppliers not in the USA or Western Europe, and have chosen to not carry any of these materials – they just don’t measure up to Made In The USA! We believe that thatAmerican Made still means something, and it transfers to the materials we supply.

Since 1975 we have partnered with the best manufacturers, with the best industrial, machinable, mechanical and professional grades of plastic materials available in the marketplace. Quality names like: Westlake Plastics, Ensinger Plastics, Gehr Plastics, Rochling Plastics, Polymer Industries, Spartech Plastics, Plaskolite, and many, many more. None of these are suppliers are newcomers, most of our suppliers have been in business producing excellent quality plastic sheet and rod for over 50 years. We are the new guys, as we started in 1975!

Buy From A Plastics ProfessionalOur real 'brick and mortar' building. Industrial Plastic Supply, Anaheim, CA - American Made Plastic Materials

How can you tell if your plastics are ‘quality’ pieces of plastic? It is a bit tough to tell by just looking, and that is what the low quality suppliers and manufacturers count on. Sometimes the only way to tell is by cutting or machining a part. We have cut into materials that literally break when a saw blade comes into contact. Some materials have stress levels so high they bow significantly as we cut through the material. See article on Stress In Plastics.

These high internal stresses show up during machining as warping, changes in tolerance, large movement in part size and stress fractures. We have seen parts move by over 5% after part was machined and within 12 hours. This picture shows a piece of glass filled nylon from one of the ‘upstarts’ in the industry. As a test, we were cutting some strips. As you can see, the part has such a high stress level that it warped away from the rest of the sheet as we cut it. This is very dangerous for a person cutting or machining, as it can stop a blade or break free and strike an employee. We chose not to buy from this new company.

Plastic Sheet and rods Proudly American Made

We have been around the block a few times, and we know most of the things that will cause you problems in a material. That is why we only buy from the big guys, the high quality material manufacturers, the well known – tried and true manufacturers. We buy from the experts, the professionals, the leaders in our plastics industry. Supplying industrial grade plastics to machine shops may seem like an easy thing. We treat this process with the respect it deserves; your parts are important to you and your customers. We won’t let you down by providing unacceptable grades of plastic materials. Our parts aren’t stressed out!

Call on us today – 866-832-9315 and ask for a Plasticologist, or email us for more information about the quality materials we supply.

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Stress In Plastic Sheet, Rod, Tube Man stressed due to getting bad plastics from questionable plastic material supplier

You know how bad it is when you get stressed out, with all the day to day challenges and issues? Well, plastics get stressed too.

The process of producing plastics into sheet, rod and tube is a stressful manufacturing process.

Stress free plastic manufacturing

  • The process to make a plastic sheet, plastic rod or plastic tube requires the plastic resin to be heated to temperatures of 350° – 500º to get the resin to flow through the machines.
  • The material is then pushed through a die at high pressure.
  • This heat and pressure cause many stresses to affect the plastic material.
  • The cooling of the plastic shape is critical
  • If the plastic cools to quickly, the surface cools and the center is still very hot, this is a major cause of internal stress.
  • Processed to quickly and voids or cold spots cause poor quality sections.
  • Processed to slowly and materials burn in the die and visible burn spots appear on the surfaces – bad material
  • Proper speed provides homogeneous material that has cooled at a uniform rate through the sheet yields a very low stress sheet

The stresses from this production can be very significant and can ruin your parts. One common prevention method is to anneal or stress relieve the raw material prior to machining, and may require stress relieving during machining if large amounts of material are being removed. The stress relieving process is a slow heat and cool process, contact us for details on your material or project.Greatly stressed plastic sheet - nylon with large warp

Here is an example of a highly stressed plastic sheet, it is 1.250″ thick glass filled nylon sheet. The manufacturer sent us this sample to show the ‘quality’ of their material. We attempted to cut off a strip to do some testing, and you can see the results. This material warped so much it stopped our saw! We never did buy anything from this supplier.

Compression Molded Plastic Sheet and Brownies…

Yes, you read that right, brownies. I still remember the wonderful smell of my Grandma’s house when she was baking her special 2″ thick brownies. The smell was great, but I also remember the critical timing in the oven. She would open the oven and peek in, and close it quickly so as not to let the heat out. Then, when they looked about right she would open the oven and slip a toothpick into the center of the pan and pull it out again slowly. I can remember asking, “Grandma, why do you put in the toothpick into the brownie?”. The answer was, that the outside cooks quicker than the inside, and it takes a while to get the brownies to cook all the way to the center.Then, when they were all cooked, I would have to wait while they cooled. And, sometimes, if I didn’t wait quite long enough, when I would take a bit the center would burn my tongue. Ouch!Stress caused br plastic sheet cooling too quickly

The interesting thing is, that plastics are about the same. Most plastics have a very low co-efficient of thermal conductivity (that is sure a mouth-full), which means that heat and cold don’t travel through the plastics well. This means that it takes a while to ‘cook’ the plastic all the way through, and not just the surfaces. And, just like my brownie story, the plastics take a long time to cool. If the outside of the plastic cools much faster than the inside, then large amounts of stress develop.

The process of compression molding of the plastic sheets is ideal for eliminating stress. The sheets cook slowly, so the entire sheet, including the center, is heated to a uniform temperature. The temperature is held at temperature to insure a fully cooked sheet (you can’t use a toothpick here). Then, over several hours, the temperature of the sheet and the entire compression molding press is lowered very s-l-o-w-l-y. This allows the center of the sheet to cool at the same rate as the external surfaces, and this yields a very stress free sheet. The premier manufacturer of this high quality compression molded sheet is Westlake Plastics. We have been a master supplier of the Westlake Plastic materials for over 35 years.

What should you do to eliminate stress?

If you are experiencing problems with your plastic materials, such as twisting, warping, ‘potato chipping’ or any other sign of stress, contact us. It is probably not your fault. There are dozens of manufacturers that produce engineering and mechanical plastic shapes, they are not all the same. During the production of materials, the process should include a secondary annealing step to remove stress from the newly product.  By removing all stress from the sheet or rod you are insured of a ‘clean slat’ before you start machining or finishing. We only provide materials from top rated manufacturers, we truly care about the materials you receive from us.

If you have been experiencing problems with the materials you are getting from other suppliers, let us know, we can help eliminate your stress problems. E-mail us or call us at: 866-832-9315

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Bayer Plastics Makrolon Polycarbonate – Still UL approved?

The world of polycarbonate sheet has changed and evolved over the last several years. Most manufacturers have changed their formulation, and most new formulations no longer meet the tough UL  certification ratings for flammability. Many manufacturers now do not rate their materials on the UL 94 series tests at all. Most suppliers don’t even meet the rating of UL 94 HB (which means it will burn horizontally!). The UL 94 V-0 means that when tested, the material did not burn vertically and was self extinguishing. In other words, it does not burn, puts itself out and will not add to the combustion. Bayer Material Science, formerly known as Sheffield Plastics,  still certifies their materials to this high rating, and have a range of materials that can meet your requirements.

Bayer Material Science produces standard General Purpose Polycarbonate as Makrolon® GP, which meets the UL 94 HB rating. The next grade is their Makrolon® GP-V which carries the UL 94 V-0 at .210″ and thicker. They also have a superior grade called Makrolon® FI, and it meets the UL 94 V-0 at  the thickness of .060″ and an amazing UL 5VA at .118″ and thicker.

UL 94 V-0 approval for PolycarbonateBayer Material Sciences Makrolon Polycarbonate Sheets

Since the beginning of Polycarbonate, originally invented by General Electric Plastics, the most common trade name has been Lexan®. Today, the Lexan® trade name is owned and produced by Sabic Polymers (they purchased all of G.E. Plastics). Sabic is one of the best resin manufacturers in the world, and many of their resins are used to make products we supply (ie: Noryl® and Ultem®). The second largest – well known manufacturer of polycarbonate resins has been Bayer (yes, the company that makes your aspirin), and several years ago they purchased Sheffield Plastics. Sheffield has been a world leader in the manufacturing of Makrolon® Polycarbonate sheet and sheet. Now under the Bayer umbrella, this material is now the best rated polycarbonate sheet in the market.

Makrolon Polycarbonate Sheets Take A Beating

Hitting Polycarbonate Sheet with hammerBoth of these polycarbonate sheets are very high impact (considered unbreakable), and are exceedingly transparent, has the look of transparent glass. As one of the only clear plastic materials that is high impact, polycarbonate in glazing applications are very tough, and can take numerous hammer blows without cracking or breaking. Also, one of the distinct differences between these materials is the UL rating. Here is a copy of the current (May 2013) data sheets for these two brands of material – Bayer Makrolon®_GP, Makrolon® GP-V, Makrolon® FI and Sabic Lexan® 9034. Review these pages, with extra focus on the ‘Flammability’ ratings of these materials. You will see that Sabic does not list the UL 94 specification (the USA standard for flammability) at all,  and that the Bayer – Sheffield material does meet the UL certification in a variety of materials. While this just one rating, it  should not be the only factor when considering a polycarbonate purchase, it is important if your project needs a flammability rating. Both manufacturers produce very high quality sheet, and without the masking you can’t see a difference. 

Let us know if we can assist you with your Polycarbonate Sheets or an individual Sheet requirement. Email us or call us at: 866-832-9315

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Ultem® Sheets Rods – Polyetherimide, PEI

Polyetherimide or PEI is the generic name for one of the popular engineering resins. The most common resin supplier for this material is Sabic Plastics (formerly known at G.E. Plastics). This material comes in two common varieties used in the production of plastic shapes, the first is Ultem® 1000 which is an unfilled – natural material, the standard color for unfilled PEI is a transparent amber. The second is Ultem® 2300, which is a 30% glass filled PEI resin, this resin is a creamy tan color. Several other resins are available, including different percentages of glass fill, black pigment or color, and a few high end specialty grades. Ultem 1000 Machined Parts, PEI

Ultimate Ultem 1000

Some members our our industry refer to Ultem® as the ‘ultimate’ in plastic materials. With some of the best available properties, this material out performs most plastics in critical applications. This material is certified to: FDA compliance, USDA, 3A and also USP Class VI for medical use. Polyetherimides have exceptional tensile and flexural strengths and excellent electrical properties. Ultem® resins have inherent flame resistance and are UL 94 5VA at .075″. It machines very well, and can be used at temperatures of 340 degrees continuous.

Polyetherimide – PEI is the Ultimate Resin

The Polyetherimide family of plastic resins really excel in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. These industries have incredible demands on plastic materials, and most plastics fail quickly. Ultem resins handle the heat, chemical, stress better than almost any other material. For complete technical data sheets and more information chick for data sheet page. Sabic Polymer resins - formerly general electric plastics

Several of our major manufacturers produce Ultem® PEI resins into stock sheets and rods. Some trade names from these suppliers are: Unitem®, Tempalux®, Sustatec® and many more. Ultem has some of the best properties of all the available plastic materials. Some materials that have some similar properties: Acetal, Radel, PEEK, PTFE. Check the data sheets on each of these materials to help in deciding which material is appropriate for your application.

Rod is normally available in rod from .375″ – 4.0″ diameters, and sheets from .125″ – over 2.0″ thickness, and we stock many items for immediate shipment. Additional sizes are available on request, including larger diameters, thicknesses, molded tube, extruded shapes, strips and bars.
Contact us for more details on this exceptional material. Email us or call us at 866-832-9315

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About Plastic Sheet Material

Plastic Sheet, Sheets and Sheeting materials In Stock

Today’s topic is all about industrial plastic sheet materials in flat sheet or sheets. Also known as plate, slab, strip and bar.

Most plastic materials are processed into sheets or rods. Rods are round, sheet is flat, square or rectangular. These two basic shapes are both generally extruded, although sheet can also be compression molded. Almost all plastic raw materials are available in sheet, and in a huge range of sizes. Most materials are available from .063″ to over 4″ in thickness; and some as thick as 8″ (how to measure thickness accurately, use a 6-Inch Digital Caliper with Extra-Large LCD). Sheet sizes vary, but generally most plastics are produced in 48″ X 96″ sheets or larger, but once again this changes with types of materials and thickness desired. We can help with almost any plastic material.

Need Help Picking a Plastic Sheet Material?

Deciding on the proper material for an application is the first step. Start by reviewing our Plastic Materials Selection Guide to help narrow your search. Having the key properties and needs of your project in mind will help you with this step. Also looking at both the pro’s and con’s of a material will assist in this search. Materials with the greatest property range can be extremely expensive, selecting a material that meets your needs and your budget should be considered.

Step two is researching sizes and availability – this is where we can really help. With most of the major manufacturers as partners, we are able to source your parts from many factories. While the quality from most factories is excellent, the variable is standard and custom sheet sizes. We also stock a wide variety of materials in large Plastic Sheets In Stock, Acetal sheet, nylon sheetsheets. One of our many manufacturers is Westlake Plastics. They have been compression molding large sized sheets of many popular plastic resins; these sheets are available in 48″ X 120″ as a standard sheet size in most plastics. They produce these materials from .250″ – 3.0″ thick or thicker. Other manufacturers produce 24″ X 48″ or 48″ X 96″ sheets as standard. Please contact us for specifics on your material selection.

Most of our plastic resins are available as a sheet. This includes some of the most popular plastics, like: Polycarbonate Sheet, Acetal Sheet, PTFE Sheet, Ultem Sheet and dozens more. Sometimes, Plastic sheet is called: Plate, Strip, Bar, Slab, Block or Panel. Please think of these names as being synonyms with Plastic Sheet. Contact us with your special requirements.

In thicker gauges, plastics are frequently referred to as plate, slab or block. And strips or narrow pieces are called bar. A rose by any other name, call it what you will, the plastic starts as a flat sheet from the factory. We can cut them to size or shape. Blanking of sheets to useable sizes is our specialty. Narrow pieces used for long applications are normally called strip. Strip is common in wear type applications.

For a list of materials we have as standard stock materials, check our Plastic Sheets Page. These and many other plastic materials are available, and custom sizes, shapes and colors vary by base material. As a stocking distributor for dozens of major manufactures, we are the West Coasts leading plastic sheet supplier or distributor. If you are in need of some technical assistance go to our Plasticologist page for specific help.

Contact us for more information on plastic sheet materials. Email us or call 866-832-9315

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