Plastic Mentor – Focusing on Plastic Sheet Material Education

We have been working very hard over the last few months to bring you new, informative, and hopefully interesting articles on plastics.  However, even though we focused on writing articles pertaining to plastic—we have also covered other topics as well, like protecting yourselves from hackers, B2B Live Online Chats, Domain Names Available, The Next Innovation in Sound Technology and even an online prank!

The purpose of the Plastic Mentor blog is to educate all those people that are interested and willing to learn something new. Curious ones that don’t stereotype plastic under one category and are intrigued to know about what they are buying.

Why Choose Plastic Sheet?

The truth about plastic in general is that it is versatile and efficient. It can cut the cost of production and in most cases produces less green house emissions than paper, metal or glass.  

Choosing the proper plastics can be accomplished by narrowing down some basic properties. For example, is the application going to be used for indoor or outdoor use?  What temperature will this plastic be required to resist? Is the plastic clear or colored? Are you looking for sheet, slab, rod or tubing? What are the dimensions of your part? And finally, how many pieces are you looking to get?  These might seem like tedious questions, but they are essential to get you the best plastic for your application.

Our Newest Addition Asks A Great Question

When a recent new employee started working at Industrial Plastic Supply, they asked the General Manager, “Which material is the best plastic?” 

At first the GM just chuckled politely, but then graciously gave a good analogy.  He said, “Asking what the best plastic out there is like asking a car salesman what is the best car on the market?  It certainly depends…a fast 2 seat sports car is probably not the right transportation for someone looking for a new family vehicle.”

This is very insightful, and most people never think about plastic in this way!

Plastic Sheet and Rod Questions Welcomed…

When you come to Industrial Plastic Supply, please ask questions…it helps us just as it helps you to get you. Please contact us for help in identifying your next plastic material.

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Topic: Choosing the right plastic sheet materials, Plastic Mentor can help

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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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

 

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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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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Acetal – Delrin Sheet vs. ABS Sheets and Rods

Acetal-Delrin® (Delrin® is a trade name for Dupont’s Acetal Homopolymer) and ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Stryene) have some similar properties but are really very different materials. They similarities are: high impact strength, ease of machining with standard cutting tools and good mechanical properties. They are also both FDA compliant and are both good substitutes for brass. They also have great water absorption resistance and good electrical properties. Both materials are good for some of the same applications but certainly not all. Listed below are some of the major differences.Natural ABS Rod, Rods, Sheets and Sheet

ABS Sheet and Rod Information

 

  • ABS comes as Natural (straw) and Black color in Plate, Slab, Sheets and Rods, and thin sheet (.040″ – .250″) it is available as White or Black with a textured surface one side. It can be cut from 48″ X 96″ sheets into strip, panels or pieces.
  • ABS is formable. ABS is a great thermo-formable material while Acetal is not. Acetal is used more for machined parts such as gears and screws. ABS is great for molding and shaping parts from vacuum to heat forming. Excellent for model building and prototype projects.
  • ABS is easily bondable (similar to PVC). ABS can be bonded or welded to itself. Because Acetal is self lubricating, it is not possible for anything to stick to it unless etching is done – therefor it is not bondable.
  • ABS is a great material for painting and silk screening. While Acetal can not be painted or silk screened unless it has undergone Corona Treating (a flame surface treatment), but if treated will nice paint or screened surface.
  • ABS has better chemical resistance than Acetals or Delrin®. Both are attacked by acids like sulfuric, but ABS has a wider range of resistance to chemicals like aqueous acids, alkaline and alcohol. Acetal will degrade when exposed to such chemicals as chlorine and alkalines.
  • Specialty grades of ABS are available, including: Glass Filled, Static Dissapating, and Fire Retardant Grades (like Royalite – R59)Machined Black ABS Rod Part

ABS Typical Properties Table

General Property ASTM

TestTypical ValueR59 Typical ValueSpecific Gravity D7921.041.18 – 1.25Tensile Strength YieldD6386,5005,000Tensile ModulusD638320290,000Izod Impact – NotchedD2567.07.8Hardness – RockwellD785R105R93Deflection Temp @ 264psiD648192174Deflection Temp @ 66 psiD648208195Co. Thermal ExpansionD6965.3X10-54.6 -5.5X10-5

 

Acetal-Delrin® Sheet and Rod Information

  • Acetal is the better machining plastic, considered the best machining plastic material. Because of its durability and wear resistance, Acetal is an excellent choice for producing a wide variety of parts that require high wear resistance over a wide period of time. When machining to tight and specific tolerances, Acetal is ideal.
  • Acetal has low co-efficient of friction. Due to its self lubricating properties, it is a great material for sliding and wear applications. This material provides years of maintenance free bushings and bearings.Natural Acetal Machined Gears
  • Acetal – Delrin sheet is produced from .062″ – over 6″ thick and sheet sizes of up to 48″ X 120″ as standard. The standard color for Acetal and Delrin is Natural (a deep milky white) and Black. Some colors are available as Medical Grade, and can be obtained in limited sizes. These sheet are available cut to: slabs, blocks, plates, slabs and blocks.
  • Delrin – Acetal (Polyoxymethylene) can be both a homo and a co-polymer. The Dupont brand name is a homo-polymer which is a repeating chain of one atom while the generic Acetal is a co-polymer which is two atoms forming a repeating chain. ABS is only a co-polymer.

Acetal – Delrin Properties Table

General Property ASTM Test Typical Value Unfilled Delrin® Homo-Polymer Typical Value Unfilled Co-Polymer
Specific Gravity D792 1.42 1.40
Tensile Strength Yield D638 9,600 – 11,000 9,000 – 10,200
Tensile Modulus D638 450,000 400,000
Izod Impact – Notched D256 1.2 1.0
Hardness – Rockwell D785 M94 M90
Deflection Temp @ 264psi D648 257 220
Deflection Temp @ 66 psi D648 347 335
Water Absorption @ 24 hrs % 0.24 0.25
Co. Thermal Expansion D696 6.83X10-5 5.4X10-5

ABS and Acetal – Similar, but very different materials

Both of these materials possess excellent qualities and have a wide range of different uses. Acetal is great for machining, while ABS is great for forming and bonding. They both can be used for machined parts and are great choices for food contact and electrical applications. These two materials are both strong and durable plastics, but one might be better than the other for a specific job. When picking the right plastic, it is important to compare plastics and their specific properties to make sure the material won’t fail and that your job will be successful.

Contact us for additional information, call us at 866-832-9315 or contact us here. Consider Industrial Plastic Supply for all your plastic needs, we want to be your go-to plastic supplier.

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Plastic Mentor – The Blog

This is the blogging platform for the website: www.iplasticsupply.comIndustrial Plastic Supply, Anaheim, CA – Industrial Plastic Supply in Anaheim, CA.

Industrial Plastic Supply has been serving the mechanical, industrial, medical, food processing and many other industries since 1975. We supply a huge range of plastic sheets, strip, slab, blocks, rods and tubes. With over 80 plastics in stock, we can assist with the materials you need.

As a method to bring a more informative and direct link to you, we created Plastic Mentor.

The focus of the Plastic Mentor Blog is to share information, educate, and answer your plastic material questions.

Please feel free to ask your tough question. One of our certified and experienced ‘Plasticologists’ will be happy to get back with you. Click Here to contact us. Also, we welcome you to call us with questions, problems, material inquiries, etc. Call us at 866-832-9315

Don’t be a stranger, send us an e-mail, call us or stop by our Anaheim, CA warehouse (2240 S. Dupont Drive, Anaheim, CA  92806). We would love to start a plastic relationship.

Google+ – Hayden Hess