Specialist Uses for Plastic: Which Material Should You Choose?

Posted on October 28th, 2020 | Categories News

Depended upon for their high level of strength and versatility, specialist plastics are used across hundreds of industries. For many people, considering the uses of plastic materials might only suggest bottles and shopping bags. Whilst in its day to day applications plastic may seem simple, industrial applications bring out another side of the material. High-grade specialist plastics have a durability and versatility to rival plenty of the most widely used metals. The following plastics have unique, strong properties that are clear to see when they are applied to the right purposes.

Types of Plastic Thermosets

As plastic engineering has advanced, the pool of plastic materials available to engineers has only expanded. Whilst TK Fabrications stock a wide range of both thermosets and thermoplastics, thermoplastics are the main interest here.

One of the most common thermoplastics are acrylics. Commonly used as a durable replacement for glass, acrylic matches easy installation with simple maintenance. Commonly found on our phones, acrylic’s hardiness has also made it a staple of boat construction and other forms of transportation.

Acetal is a specialist plastic common throughout engineering and electronic industries. Stiff and stable, yet low friction, acetal is able to cope with temperatures over 100°C. Available in both sheets and rods ready for plastic cutting, acetal’s high strength and resistance doesn’t make it difficult to use. This material will commonly be made into gears, bearing, cams, and many more engineering parts.

Nylon plastics are particularly resistant plastics that are malleable above certain temperatures before setting into mechanically strong positions. Nylon will commonly be used in films and flooring, as well as rubber reinforcements and cabling. A melting point well over 200°C, high stretching power, and resistance to abrasion have all made nylon a popular choice for non-conductive machine parts.

Extensive Plastic Material

PVC plastics, or Polyvinyl Chloride, comes in two main forms: rigid (RPVC) and flexible. RPVC finds common use in construction across doors, windows and pipes with its great hardness. The more flexible form is most commonly used for insulating cables, and even in clothing.

PTFE is a specialist material whose extreme heat resistance finds use in our everyday lives when used as a non-stick coating. PTFE cannot be wet by water, and on top of this is non-reactive, making it suitable for roles involving corrosive chemicals. This type of plastic can also be applied as a lubricant.

Finally there’s PEEK. PEEK boasts unbeatable resistance to heat amongst plastics, remaining unaffected by temperatures of over 100°C. With a melting temperature of 343°C, PEEK has one of the best high-temperature performances among plastics. For this reason it has found common use in pistons, pumps and insulation, as well as ultra-high vacuum uses.

TK Fabrications have the knowledge and skill to machine a wide variety of products across a wide variety of plastic materials. We combine cutting edge machinery with great industry experience. If you would like to learn more about our services, get in touch today.