Plastic injection molding can use many different types of plastic. The most common are polypropylene, polyethylene, PVC, and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). These materials are durable and affordable, making them well suited for a number of different applications.
Materials Used for Injection Molding
When choosing a material for your project, it’s important to remember that the product itself should inform this decision. Different plastics have different strengths and understanding these unique characteristics will help you to make more informed decisions, and ultimately, a better product.
To read more about materials and the price quotes, check out our Cost of Injection Molding Materials blog.
|TYPE OF MATERIAL||UNIQUE FEATURES||COMMON APPLICATIONS|
|ABS||durable, lightweight||electronics, keyboards, phone hardware, LEGO bricks, drainpipe systems, kitchen appliances|
|polyethylene||flexible, impact-resistant, leech resistant, moisture resistant, recyclable||food packaging, milk jugs, toys|
|polypropylene||leech resistant, flexible||Tupperware, kiddie pools, toys, utensils, car batteries|
|polystyrene||warp, shrink and impact resistant||compact disc cases, packaging applications, household appliances|
|Nylon / PA||heat-resistant, durable, wear-resistant||high-wear parts, quick-release buckles, gears, hand cranks|
|acrylic||optical clarity, chemical resistant||tinted tubes, lab equipment, medical products, sports equipment, industrial components|
|polycarbonate||impact resistant, optical clarity, vulnerable to chemicals||automobile headlights, bulletproof glass, eyeglasses, greenhouses, DVDs, mobile phones|
|Acetal/POM||Rigid, wear-resistant, chemical resistant||High-wear parts, gears, metal replacement|
The materials listed above are collectively known as thermoplastics. When thermoplastics are subjected to high heat, they melt and become liquid, allowing them to be extruded into a mold and formed into products. While all of these plastics are used regularly, some are definitely used more than others.
A Closer Look at Common Plastic Materials
A tough, durable plastic, polypropylene boasts considerable heat and chemical resistance. Commercially, this plastic is often used to package food products, as it is food safe and can handle exposure to hot water.
Because of its flexibility and chemical resistance, polyethylene is another material that is commonly used in the food industry. While not as durable as polypropylene, this plastic is incredibly versatile and is often used to make products like garbage cans and milk jugs.
ABS or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is a durable, lightweight plastic found in many everyday items. It is a great general-purpose material with a good deal of rigidity. It also has certain chemical resistances, making it a common choice for sewage pipes. Things like computer keyboards, phone parts, and wall sockets are all made from ABS.
Finding the Right Plastic for You
At Rex Plastics, we’re committed to helping you create your perfect product. The foundation of any successful plastic injection molding project is always going to be the plastic itself, and with Rex Plastics decades of experience, you can be sure you’ll get the right material for the job, every time.
If you’d like to discuss a plastic injection molding project or just have a few questions, contact Rex Plastics today.