Plastics have been around for a long time and can be seen all around us in everyday life because they’re known to be easily formed into products that are affordable, sturdy and light-weight. However, the nature and quality of these plastic products vary depending on their use. Products that are usually known to use plastic in their production include:
- Building material
- Car parts
- Food packaging and kitchen equipment
- Electronics such as computers, telephones, and televisions
- Sportswear such as goggles, helmets and protective pads
- Kitchen appliances
- Garden furniture
- Medical equipment
- Equipment factory
Take a look at our guide below for a good idea of the different sorts of plastic products and why they’re useful in the trade, at home or in construction.
Known for being tough and impact resistant, polycarbonate (PC) is a virtually unbreakable material. Usually sold in clear or translucent sheets with thicknesses and properties varying from clear cut to size twinwall polycarbonate used for roof panels and greenhouses for cleaning polycarbonate sheets used for safety glasses and room dividers. Other types of polycarbonate plastic products usually used include:
- Colored polycarbonate sheet. It is the same as clear polycarbonate plastic sheet in terms of sturdiness, but is available in a wide range of colours and is a wonderful choice of material for indoor or outdoor displays and signage.
- Abrasion resistant polycarbonate sheet. Highly sturdy and scratch-resistant plastic with tough coating on either side for added further protection from chemicals, ultraviolet rays and weathering.
- UV resistant polycarbonate sheet. Similar to general-purpose polycarbonate, these plastic sheets are also strong and transparent, but are coated with a UV-resistant coating to protect the material from sunlight and more extreme heat, cold, wind and rain.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
PET is widely used in packaging but is most well known for its use in the manufacture of bottles for juices, soft drinks, and water because of its properties as a clear, sturdy, lightweight, and robust plastic. PET is also used in the production of packaging for other goods such as food packaging and takeaway containers.
Commonly referred to as Plexiglass, acrylic sheets are known to be as clear as glass but are much lighter and tougher to crack or break. Acrylic sheet has a broad range of applications and can be used to make displays, backsplashes for kitchens and bathrooms, table tops for outdoor furniture, signage and skylights. Acrylic sheets can be broken down into several several types of products:
- Clear Cast Acrylic. The casting process makes this sturdy, strong, and durable sheet even more resistant to chemicals and bending, peeling, and melting.
- Clear extruded acrylic. Compared to cast acrylic, these sheets are much more malleable meaning they’re easier to bend and shape.
- Patterned plexiglass. This type of acrylic sheet is usually translucent with an opaque finish, even though it retains the same properties as other types of acrylic sheet.
- Acrylic mirror
- UV resistant plexiglass
High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
HDPE is a usually used plastic as a result of its beneficial properties including chemical resistance, low density and high wear resistance which make it an excellent choice for food packaging and kitchenware. HPDE is mostly used in production chemical containers, cutting boards, grocery bags, plumbing systems, recycling bins, toys, and shampoo bottles.
Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW-PE)
UHMW-PE is a wonderful all-purpose plastic as a result of its ability to absorb very little moisture, which is why it’s widely used in packing machine components such as chutes, hoppers, loafer sprockets and conveyors. The plastic is very sturdy aside from creating little friction and being resistant to abrasions and chemicals.
Providing superior mechanical and thermal properties compared to other plastics, engineering plastics such as acetal, nylon and polypropylene are gradually replacing materials such as metals and wood as the material of choice for many applications as a result of their excellent chemical resistance, sturdiness, dimensional stability and stability. , and machine capabilities.
Also referred to as POM (Polyoxymethylene), acetal is an engineering grade thermoplastic widely used for its high tensile strength, excellent stiffness, long term fatigue resistance and great performance in extreme temperatures. Acetals are widely used to manufacture bearings, jigs and fittings, food processing machine parts, gears, and electrical components.
Often used as a replacement for metal in mechanical parts, nylon is a lightweight, tough thermoplastic that can help reduce operating noise and reduce the need for lubrication in parts such as bearings and bushings.
A semi-crystalline thermoplastic, Polypropylene (PP) is a plastic touted for its abrasion and chemical resistance, strength-to-weight ratio, toughness, and performance in extreme temperatures. PP is usually used in food processing factories because it can endure the sterilization process and has high fatigue resistance.
Plastics became a magical material that has changed and improved many areas of life, this is as a result of its affordability and numerous other useful properties that make it an ideal material.