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Material Properties For Different Plastics
Oct 11, 2017
 PlasticChemical FormulaPetroleum BasedShrink RateThermoplastic or ThermosetMelting PointGlass TransitionMold TemperatureMold PressureTensile StrengthFlexural StrengthUnique Characteristics
ABS Plastic(C8H8)x· (C4H6)y·(C3H3N)zYes0.5-0.7% (.005-.007 in/in)Thermoplastic204-238°C (400-460°F) 105°C (221°F)63-85°C (145-185°F)69-103 MPa (10,000-15,000 PSI)  46 MPa (6,600 PSI)74 MPa (10,800 PSI)Readily available, cheap, durable
Acetal (POM) (CH2O)nYes 2.1-2.9% (.021-.029 in/in) Thermoplastic 182-218°C (360-425°F)
 79-107°C (175-225°F)69-103 MPa (10,000-15,000 PSI) 63 MPa (9,100 PSI) 90 MPa (13,000 PSI)Low friction surface, high impact resistance
Acrylic (PMMA)(C5H8O2)nYes 0.2-1% (0.002-0.01 in/in) Thermoplastic 130°C (266°F)
 79-107°C (175-225°F)69-103 MPa (10,000-15,000 PSI)  65 MPa (9400 PSI) 90 MPa (13000 PSI)Low friction surface, high impact resistance
Polycarbonate (PC) C15H16O2  Yes 0.6-0.9% (.006-.009 in/in) Thermoplastic  288-316°C (550-600°F)
 82-121°C (180-250°F)69-103 MPa (10,000-15,000 PSI) 59 MPa (8,500 PSI) 93 MPa (13,500 PSI)Extremely high impact resistance, Translucent
Polyethylene (PE) (C2H4)n YesLDPE: 2.4-3.1% (.024-.031 in/in)
HDPE: 1.7-2.9% (0.017-0.029 in/in)
 Thermoplastic LDPE: 110°C (230°F)
HDPE: 130°C (266°F)

21-66°C (70-150°F)69-103 MPa (10,000-15,000 PSI)LDPE: 7 MPa (1,000 PSI)
HDPE: 20 MPa (2,900 PSI)
LDPE: 6 MPa (800 PSI)
HDPE: 21 MPa (3,000 PSI)
 Diverse applications across a range of different types (LDPE, HDPE, UHMW etc)
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)  (C10H8O4)n Yes0.1-0.3% (0.001-0.003 in/in) Thermoplastic 500°C (260°F)
74-91°C (165-195°F)69-103 MPa (10,000-15,000 PSI)152MPa (22000 PSI) *w/ 30% glass fiber221MPa (32000 PSI)"polyester" fabric, safe for consumables packaging, and shatterproof 
Polylactic Acid (PLA) 

(C3H4O2)n

 No - Biomass (typically derived from Sugarcane or Corn Starch) PLLA: 0.37-0.41% (0.0037-0.0041 in/in)  Thermoplastic PLLA: 157-170°C (315-338 °F)
PLLA:  178-240°C (353-464°F) 
PLLA: 61-66 MPa (8,840-9,500 PSI) PLLA:  48-110 MPa (6,950-16,000 PSI)  Biodegradeable (typically decomposes in 6-24 months)
Polypropylene (PP) (C3H6)Yes1.5-2% (.015-.020 in/in)  Thermoplastic  191-232°C (375-450°F)
 82-121°C (32-66°F)  69-103 MPa (10,000-15,000 PSI)32 MPa (4,700 PSI) 41 MPa (6,000 PSI)Extremely flexible and ductile (#1 choice for living hinges)
Polystyrene (PS)(C8H8)n Yes  0.3-0.7% (.003-.007 in/in) Both (Depends on Type)210-249°C (410-480°F) 
 38-66°C (100-150°F)69-103 MPa (10,000-15,000 PSI) 53 MPa (7,700 PSI) 83 MPa (12,000 PSI) Unique application as a foam ("styrofoam") 
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) (C2H3Cl)n Yes
 Thermoplastic 100-260°C (212-500°F)


Flexible: 6.9-25 MPa (1,000-3625 PSI)
Rigid: 34-62 MPa (4930-9000 PSI)

cheap, very hard and impact resistant