Thermoplastics and Thermosets

Thermoplastics

Polymer

Trade Names

Major Application Characteristics

Typical Applications

Acrylics (Polymethyl methacrylate)

Lucite, Plexiglas

Outstanding light transmission and resistance to weathering

Lenses, transparent aircraft enclosures, drafting equipment, outdoor signs

Fluorocarbons (PTFE or TFE)

Teflon, TFE, Halon TFE

Chemically inert in almost all environments; excellent electrical properties; low coefficient of friction; may be used to 500 F; relatively weak

Anticorrosive seals, chemical pipes and valves, bearings, antiadhesive coatings, high temperature electronic parts

Nylons

Zytel, Plaskon

Good mechanical strength, abrasion resistance, and toughness; low coefficient of friction; absorbs water and some other liquids

Bearings, gears, cams, bushings, handles, and jacketing for wires and cables

Polycarbonates

Merlon, Lexan

Dimensionally stable; low water absorbtion; transparent; very good impact resistance and ductility; chemical resistance not outstanding

Safety helmets; lenses, light globes, base for photographic film

Polyethylene

Alathon, Petrothene, Hi-fax

Chemically resistant, and electrically insulating; tough and relatively low coefficient of friction; low strength and poor resistance to weathering

Flexible bottles, toys, tumblers, battery parts, ice trays, film wrapping materials

Polypropylene

Pro-fax, Tenite, Moplen

Resistant to heat distortion; excellent electrical properties and fatigue strength; chemically inert; relatively inexpensive; poor resistance to UV light

Sterilizable bottles, packaging film, TV cabinets, luggage

Poylstyrene

Dtyron, Lustrex, Rexolite

Excellent electrical properties and optical clarity; good thermal and dimensional stability; relatively inexpensive

Wall tile, battery cases, toys, indoor lighting panels, appliance housings

Vinyls

PVC, Pliovic, Saran, Tygon

Good low cost, general purpose materials; ordinarily rigid, but may be made flexible with plasticizers; often copolymerized; susceptible to heat distortion

Floor coverings, pipe, electrical wire insulation, garden hose

Polyester (PET)

Mylar, Dacron, Celanar

One of the toughest of plastic films; excellent fatigue and tear strength, and resistance to humidity, acids, greases, oils, and solvents

Magnetic recording tapes, clothing, auomotove tire cords

 

Thermosets

Polymer

Trade Names

Major Application Characteristics

Typical Applications

Epoxies

Epon, Epi-rez, Araldite

Excellent combination of mechanical properties and corrosion resistance; dimensionally stable; good adhesion; relatively inexpensive; good electrical properties

Electrical moldings, sinks, adhesives, protective coatings, used with fiberglass laminates

Phenolics

Bakelite, Durez, Resinox

Excellent thermal stability to over 300 F; may be compound with a large number of resins, fillers, etc.; inexpensive

Motor housings, telephones, auto distributors, electrical fixtures

Polyesters

Selectron, Laminac, Paraplex

Excellent electrical properties and low cost; can be formulated for room -or high temperature use;often fiber reinforced

Helmets; fiberglass boats, auto body components, chairs, fans

Silicones

DC resins

Excellent electrical properties; chemically inerts, but susceptible to attack by steam; outstanding heat resistance; relatively expensive

Laminates, terminal strips, high temperature insulation

 

Back to Table of Contents

Last Update: November 19, 1999

By: Serdar Z. Elgun