Common Polymers: Selection and properties

Materials & Manufacturing

Introduction

To match different polymer properties to an application, this Precision Point sheet can be used. After selection, this sheet can also be used for the mechanical properties of these materials.

Rules of thumb

  • For each challenge there is a polymer, however these polymers have other negative effects, e.g. availability, machinability.
  • Polymers are good thermal and electrical insulators, the addition of additives can make a polymer an ESD material.
  • All polymers are corrosion resistant, however water, chemicals or UV can degrade the quality of the polymer.
  • Polymers have limited temperature range usability

Selection

MaterialApplicationProperties
ABSAutomotive (car body parts), goldclubs, (computer) casingsImpact resistant, tough, light weight, shock obsorbent, low creep
HDPEPlastic bottles, corrosion-resistant pipingHigh specific strength
HIPSInstrument panels and fittings, gasoline tanks, food industryVersatile, impact-resistant, good machinability, low strenght, soft, low cost, dimensional stable
LDPEContainers, packaging films
Insulation and semiconductive layers
Flexible, resistant to acids/alcohols/bases/esters
PA 6.6 (Nylon)Automotive, textilesExtreme durable and strenght, impact resistant, moisture absorbant therefore dimensional unstable
PCSafety covers, manifoldsExcellent impact resistance, transparent
PEEKUltra-high vacuum applications, Aerospace, bearings, piston parts, pumpsRobust, high temperature resistance, high strength, high stiffness, low creep
PEIElectric isolatorsStable temperature resistance, high tensile strenght, dimensional stable
PETPThermoforming applications, bottles, industrial fibersSemi-rigid to rigid, lightweight, sufficient gas-/moisture barrier, strong, impact resistant, wide intrinsic viscosity range
PICryogenic applications, electric wiring, bushes, bearings, socketsThermal stability, very low creep, high tensile strength, flexible, insulating and passivation
PMMAAlternative to glass, daylight redirection, medicalLight weight, shatter-resistant, easy handling and processing, low cost
POMGears, fasteners, lock systems, insulators, bobbins, connectorsHigh stiffness, low friction, dimension stable, high heat resistance, good electrical and dielectric properties, low water absorbtion, high abrasion resistance
PPKettles, durable folders/boxes, ropes, flexural hinge containersFatigue resistant; dielectric; chemical leaching, heat and corrosion resistant, low density, impact resistant, freezing resistant, colorfast
PSProtective packaging, containers, lids, bottles, trays, tumblersRigid or foamed, hard and brittle, poor oxygen/water vapor barrier, low melting point
PTFE (Teflon)Plain bearings, gears, slide plates, sealing gasketsHeavyweight, anti-stick, low-friction, excellent dielectric properties, non-reactive, hydrophobic, high creep
PVCTanks, valve bodies, pump componentsNo moisture absorption, chemical and corosion-resistant
PVDFSensors/batteries, thermal cameras, electrical wire insulationLightweight and lowcost fluorpolymer, strong piezoelectricity, negative d33 value, good electric isolation, low optical density

Properties

MaterialNameE
[MPa]
ρ
[kg/dm3]
σyield
[MPa]
Tmax
[°C]
α
[μm/m/K]
λ
[W/m/K]
ABSAcrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene copolymer22001.053588 **900.19
HDPEHigh density polyethylene9000.9626 - 33120 *1300.45
HIPSHigh Impact polystyrene20001.042383 **810.18
LDPELow density polyethylene6000.932080 *2000.35
PA 6.6Polyamide (nylon) 6.618001.135575 **850.20
PCPolycarbonate21001.2260115 *650.21
PEEKPolyetheretherketone37001.390181 **450.25
PEIPolyetherimide29601.29105180 *500.22
PETPPolyethyleneterephthalate29001.3760100 *700.24
PIPolyimide32001.4380266 **550.52
PMMAPolymethylmethacrylaat33001.186070 *700.19
POMPolyoxymethylene45001.4265107 **1200.29
PPPolypropylene14000.9020 - 37100 *1800.15
PSPolystyrene33001.054488 **700.15
PTFEPolytetrafluorethylene5002.1723245 *130.124
PVCPolyvinylchloride31001.384570 *800.16
PVDFPolyvinylidenefluoride20001.7645148 *1120.12

*Max service temperature **Deflection temperature 1.8 MPa

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