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TECHNICAL NEWSLETTERS

Formech Technical Newsletter - Popular material and applications

Formech Technical Newsletter - Popular material and applications

20. Juli 2022

Von: Cindy Friedmann

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In this issue we will focus on popular material and applications. Please contact us if you would like assistance sourcing any of the below materials.

HIPS (High Impact PolyStyrene)


Typical uses: display, packaging & light weight internal applications
Strength: Moderate
Specific gravity: 1.06
Brand names: not well known by brand names from stockists
Formability: Easy
Colours: Black, white & stocked in up to ten different colours in UK
Hygroscopic (needs drying): No
Vac forming temp range: 150 – 175C (302 – 347F)

Conclusion: an entry level plastic, easy to form & not expensive




ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)


Typical uses: enclosures, outdoor applications, marine pods
Strength: impact resistant
Specific gravity: 1.08
Brand names: not well known by brand names from stockists
Formability: Easy but needs drying
Colours: Black, white, grey from stockists in UK
Hygroscopic (needs drying): Yes – 90 minutes per mm
Vac forming temp range: 150 – 180C (302 – 356F)

Conclusion: stronger than HIPS, +/- 35% more expensive


PETG (Polyethylene terephtha- late glycol-modified)


Typical uses: Clear covers & reverse printed signage
Strength: impact resistant
Specific gravity: 1.27
Brand names: Vivak, Spectar
Formability: Easy
Colours: Generally clear
Hygroscopic (needs drying): No
Vac forming temp range: 120 – 160C (248 – 320F)

Conclusion: Easy to form and stronger than HIPS


PET (Polyethylene terephtha- late)


Typical uses: Blister Packaging, tray inserts (RPET or APET)
Strength: impact resistant
Specific gravity: 1.38
Brand names: not well known by brand names from stockists
Formability: Narrow heating band – will crystallise if over heated
Colours: Generally clear
Hygroscopic (needs drying): No
Vac forming temp range: 120 – 160C (248 – 320F)
Conclusion: Good clarity, but will blunt cutters quickly – similar price to thin PVC


PVC (PolyVinylChloride)


Typical uses: Outdoor enclosures, marine pods, blister packaging & tray inserts
Strength: impact resistant
Specific gravity: 1.37
Brand names: Simona, Palram (for thick sheet over 0.75mm)
Formability: Fairly easy although if burnt gives off hydrochloric acid
Colours: various in thicker sheets
Hygroscopic (needs drying): No
Vac forming temp range: 140 – 190C ( 284 – 374F)
Conclusion: Not as popular in every market


HDPE (High Density PolyEthylene)


Typical uses: Outdoor play equipment, pond liners
Strength: very impact resistant
Specific gravity: 0.96
Brand names: not well known by brand names from stockists
Formability: webs easily due to stretching and will seek out any gaps in tooling & lose vacuum
Colours: Limited from stock – generally black
Hygroscopic (needs drying): No
Vac forming temp range: 150 – 180C (302 – 356F)
Conclusion: Very good impact resistance, tricky to get good results – similar price to PP


PP (PolyPropylene)


Typical uses: Outdoor furniture and packaging applications
Strength: Rugged and chemical resistant Specific gravity: 0.91
Brand names: not well known by brand names from stockists
Formability: webs easily due to stretching and will seek out any gaps in tooling & lose vacuum
Colours: Limited from stock – generally black, white and natural
Hygroscopic (needs drying): No
Vac forming temp range: 150 – 180C (302 – 356F)
Conclusion: Very good impact resistance, tricky to get good results – similar price to HDPE


PC (PolyCarbonate)

Typical uses: R/C car bodies, riot shields, machine guards and skylights
Strength: Rigid and high impact resistance Specific gravity: 1.2
Brand names: Lexan, Makrolon and Palsun
Formability: Challenging to get optical clarity
Colours: usually clear or tinted from stockists
Hygroscopic (needs drying): Yes
Vac forming temp range: 170 - 205C (338 - 401F)
Conclusion: Very good impact resistance, tricky to get good clear results – +/- 35% more than PETG


Extruded PMMA Poly(methyl methacrylate)

Typical uses: Display & signage
Strength: Can be brittle, but weather resistant
Specific gravity: 1.19
Brand names: Acryglas XT, Quinn XT
Formability: Good
Colours: Clear and a range of colours
Hygroscopic (needs drying): Yes
Vac forming temp range: 150 - 175C (302 - 347F)
Conclusion: Brittle – low impact resistance, good weather resistance for outdoors


Cast PMMA Poly(methyl meth- acrylate)


Typical uses: Display, signage and window applications
Strength: Can be brittle, but weather resistant
Specific gravity: 1.19
Brand names: Acrycast, Perspex, Plexiglas & Lucite
Formability: Poor. Will only form into gentle cavities unless assisted by plug assist
Colours: Clear and a large range of colours
Hygroscopic (needs drying): Yes
Vac forming temp range: 150 - 175C (302 - 347F)
Conclusion: Brittle – low impact resistance, good weather resistance for outdoors, very good optical clarity


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