A concise ‘A to Z’ of polymer raw materials

 

Standard plastics/Commodities

PS standard (polystyrene)

Trade names: Polystyrol/BASF, Edistir, Empera, Krasten, Lacqrene, Styron
Keywords: Stiff, strong, crystal clear, brittle, easy processing, low cost
Grades: Unreinforced, reinforced/filled
Use: Packaging, disposable cutlery, covers, cups, toys, CD covers, consumer goods

PS tough (polystyrene)

Trade names: Polystyrol/BASF, Edistir, Empera, Krasten, Lacqrene, Nova, Styron
Keywords: Good toughness, low hardness + stiffness, low cost
Grades: Unreinforced, flame retardant, conductive
Use: Packaging, cups, music/video cassettes, toys, in-wall sockets, housings, consumer goods

PS copolymers (polystyrene))

Trade names: K-Resin, Styrolux
Keywords: Crystal clear and tough
Grades: Unreinforced
Use: Food and cosmetics packaging, transparent disposable cups, packaging films

PE copolymers (EVA/ethylene-vinyl-acetate)

Trade names: Elvax, Escorene, Evatane, Greenflex, Miravithene
Keywords: Flexible, impact resistant at low temperatures, high stress cracking resistance, low cost
Grades: Unreinforced
Use: Packaging films, seals, gaskets, consumer goods

PE-LD/PE-LLD (low density polyethylene)

Trade names: Borealis-PE, Escorene, Finathene, Lupolen, Riblene, Sabic-PE
Keywords: Soft, impact resistant, high chemical and stress cracking resistance, low cost
Grades: Unreinforced
Use: Seals, packaging films, plastic bags, toys, champagne corks, consumer goods

PE-HD (high-density polyethylene)

Trade names: Borealis-PE, Escorene, Finathene, Hostalen, Lacqtene, Lupolen, Rigidex, Sabic-PE
Keywords: Tough and hard, high chemical and stress cracking resistance, low cost
Grades: Unreinforced
Use: Bottle caps, beverage crates, piling crates, gasoline tanks, toys, pipes, consumer goods

PP Homo (polypropylene, homopolymer)

Trade names: Borealis-PP, Hostalen-PP, Sabic-PP
keywords: Stiff, harder than PP copo, glossy, low cost
Grades: Unreinforced, reinforced/filled (see PP compounds)
Use: Household goods, cups, ducked-in containers, housings, seals, packaging, consumer goods

PP Copo (polypropylene, copolymer)

Trade names: Borealis-PP, Hostalen-PP, Sabic-PP
Keywords: As PP homo, but tougher + higher impact resistance at low temperatures, low cost
Grades: Unreinforced
Use: Containers, packaging, toys, car batteries, household goods, piling crates, buckets, consumer goods

PP Random (polypropylene)

Trade names: ATOfina-PP, Borealis-PP, Moplen
Keywords: High transparency, low to medium stiffness, low cost
Grades: Unreinforced
Use: Transparent household goods, packaging, toys, consumer goods

PP compounds (between standard and engineering plastic)

Trade names: Borealis-PP, Hostacom, Maxxam, Sabic-PP
Keywords: Various settings possible, from tough and flexible to tough and stiff
Grades: Reinforced/filled, rubber modified, flame retardant, conductive
Use: Automobile parts (interior and exterior), dishwasher parts, garden furniture, housings for domestic appliances, consumer and technical goods

PET (bottle and film types)

Trade names: Arnite A, Eastar, Radicron, Spectar
Keywords: Crystal clear, high impact resistance, suited for food packaging, tasteless, low cost
Grades: Unreinforced
Use: Crystal clear and transparent beverage bottles, packaging films

PVC (unplasticized), compounds (polyvinylchloride)

Trade names: This material is sold under various trade names.
Keywords: Various settings possible, from tough and hard to tough and impact resistant, weather resistant, flame retardant, low cost
Grades: Pellets and dryblends
Use: Profiles for building and furniture industry (window profiles), cable ducts, pipes and fittings for supply and disposal, stiff and crystal clear blister packs

PVC (plasticized) compounds (polyvinylchloride)

Trade names: This material is sold under various trade names.
Keywords: Various settings possible, from soft and flexible to semi hard, elastic, low cost
Grades: Pellets and dryblends
Use: Profiles for automotive, building, furniture and other industries, flooring, tubes (also for medical use), cable jacketing, shoe soles, soft toys

 

Engineering plastics

ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)

Trade names: Cycolac, Lustran, Magnum, Novodur, Polylac, Terluran
Keywords: Universal polymer, stiff, impact resistant, easy processing
Grades: Unreinforced, reinforced/filled, flame retardant, conductive etc.
Use: Mostly colored, toys (LEGO), housings for domestic appliances (e.g. vacuum cleaners), credit and phone cards, sanitary goods

ASA (acrylonitrile styrene acrylate)

Trade names: Geloy, Luran S, Rotec ASA
Keywords: Like ABS plus: good weather and yellowing resistance, higher gloss
Grades: Unreinforced
Use: Mostly colored, parts for exterior use in the construction, electrical, automotive and other industries

SAN (styrene acrylonitrile copolymer)

Trade names: Kibisan, Kostil, Luran, Lustran-SAN, Tyril
Keywords: Crystal clear, scratch resistant, excellent surface gloss, brittle
Grades: Unreinforced
Use: Household goods, packaging, tooth brushes, writing and drawing utensils

PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate)

Trade names: Acryrex, Altuglas, Diakon, Plexiglas
Keywords: Highest transparency/brilliance of all plastics, weather and aging resistant
Grades: Unreinforced, impact resistant modification
Use: Automobile taillights, lenses, magnifying glasses, optical fibres, spectacle lenses, dome roof lights, glazings

Cellulose ester (CA, CP, CAB)

Trade names: Cellidor, Dexel, Setilithe, Tenite
Keywords: High impact resistance, transparent and weather resistant (CAB), high scratch resistance, good surface feel, partly self-polishing
Grades: Unreinforced
Use: furniture profiles, shoe trees, spectacle frames, tool handles, tooth brushes

PPO/PPE (polyphenylene oxide)

Trade names: Luranyl, Noryl
Keywords: High strength and dimensional stability, good electrical and thermal properties, sterilizable, good hydrolysis and chemical resistance
Grades: Unreinforced, filled/reinforced, flame retardant, foamable etc.
Use: Housings, household appliances, coil bobbins, relay parts, parts for sanitary and medical enigneering

POM homo, POM copo (polyacetal)

Trade names: Delrin, Hostaform, Ultraform
Keywords: Solid, hard, stiff, tough, good abrasion resistance, high resilience, good electrical properties
Grades: Unreinforced, filled/reinforced, toughened, friction and wear modified etc.
Use: Precision parts such as gears, bearings, valves, connectors, latches, furniture fittings

PC/ABS blends

Trade names: Bayblend, Cycoloy, Pulse, Romiloy, Stapron C
Keywords: High impact and notched impact resistance at high stiffness, good heat resistance, good fuel resistance
Grades: Unreinforced, reinforced, flame retardant
Use: For “attractive”, colored parts mostly in the electrical, automotive, household appliances industries

PC (polycarbonate)

Trade names: Calibre, Lexan, Makrolon, Panlite,Trirex, Xantar
Keywords: Highly transparent and glossy, stiff, super tough, weather resistant, sensitive to fuels, oils etc.
Grades: Unreinforced, filled/reinforced, flame retardant, conductive, lubricated etc.
Use: Unreinforced: CDs und DVDs, lamp covers, headlight glasses, double-skinned and wave profile sheets, dome roof lights, high-quality household appliances; reinforced: precision components for the optical, electrical, electronic and other industries, such as terminal blocks, switch/relay parts, coil bobbins, junction boxes, lamp housings

PA6 (polyamide)

Trade names: Akulon, Capron, Durethan, Grilon, Technyl, Ultramid, Zytel
Keywords: Solid, stiff, good toughness, good heat resistance, resistant to fuels, oils, greases
Grades: Unreinforced, filled/reinforced, impact modified and lubricated, flame retardant
Use: Gears, sliding elements, bearing cages, clutch parts, housings, cable ties, dowels, bristles, mono filaments, films

PA6.6 (polyamide)

Trade names: Akulon, Capron, Durethan, Grilon, Technyl, Ultramid, Zytel
Keywords: Similar to PA6, but higher stiffness and strength, higher heat resistance
Grades: See PA6
Use: See PA6

PA11 and PA12 (polyamide)

Trade names: Christamid, Grilamid, Rilsan, Ubesta
Keywords: Various settings possible, from hard to flexible, tough, abrasion resistant, resistant to fuels, oils and greases, lowest water absorption of all polyamides, special transparent/clear types available
Grades: Unreinforced, softened, reinforced/filled, flame retardant, conductive
Use: Precision injection moulded parts (gears, ball cages), wire isolations, fuel and pressure pipes

P6/3T, PA4/6, PA6/6T, PA4/6, PPA and other polyamide specialties

Trade names: Amodel, Grivory, Ixef , Stanyl, Trogamid T, Ultramid T, Zytel-HTN
Keywords: Much better heat and chemical resistance, stiffness, impact and notched impact resistance, creep resistance as compared to PA6 and PA6.6
Grades: Mostly reinforced/filled
Use: Various under-the-hood applications, components for electrical and electronic industries, used for metal substitution

PBT and PET (thermoplastic polyester)

Trade names: Arnite, Crastin, Pocan, Rynite, Ultradur, Valox
Keywords: Solid, stiff, hard, tough (even at low temperatures), partly glossy, high dimensional and chemical stability
Grades: Unreinforced, filled/reinforced, impact resistance modified, flame retardant etc.
Use: Fuel caps, lamp sockets, coil bobbins, connectors, headlight reflectors, tooth brushes (PET), high-quality packaging (PET)

 

High-performance plastics

LCP (Liquid Cristal Polymers)

Trade names: Vectra, Zenite
Keywords: High chemical and heat resistance (temporary up to 300 °C), high tensile strength, flame retardant, short cycle times
Grades: Unreinforced, reinforced/filled etc.
Use: Mechanically, thermally and electrically stressed components for various industries such as connectors, chip carriers, coil bobbins

PSU, PES (polysulfone, polyether sulfone)

Trade names: Udel, Ultrason, Radel
Keywords: Solid, stiff, high operating temperatures (PSU up to 160 °C, PES up to 200 °C), excellent hydrolysis resistance, good chemical resistance
Grades: Unreinforced, reinforced/filled etc.
Use: Pump components, gaskets, medical devices, sterilizable components, pipe fittings, membranes, microwave dishes

PEEK (polyether etherketone)

Trade names: Gatone, Victrex
Keywords: Highest heat resistance (over 300 °C), high hydrolysis and radiation resistance, flame retardant, excellent chemical resistance
Grades: Unreinforced, filled/reinforced etc
Use: Mainly used in the aerospace industry, medical engineering, electrical and automotive industries due to its excellent thermal, chemical and mechanical properties

PPS (polyphenylene sulfide)

Trade names: Fortron, Ryton, Tedur
Keywords: Hard and stiff, flame retardant, excellent chemical resistance, operating temperatures up to 240 °C
Grades: Rarely unreinforced, mostly filled/reinforced, lubricated, conductive etc.
Use: Coil bobbins, housings for the electrical and electronic industry, pump components, bearing bushings, running wheels

PEI (polyetherimide)

Trade names: Ultem
Keywords: Excellent metallization and plating properties, good radiation resistance, very low emission of flue gases, operating temperatures up to 170 °C
Grades: Unreinforced, reinforced/filled
Use: Installation/interior parts in aircrafts, under-the-hood automotive applications, highly stressed sliding components, bearing bushings, gears, capacitor/transformer parts

PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride)

Trade names: Hylar, Kynar, Solef
Keywords: Solid, stiff, tough, high chemical and stress resistance (> 100 °C)
Grades: Unreinforced, rarely reinforced/filled
Use: Pump components, pipes, valves, fittings, cable coatings, films

PTFE, PFA, FEP, ETFE and other fluoroelastomers

Trade names: Dyneon, Teflon, Tefzel
Keywords: Highest chemical resistance, insoluble in most solvents, excellent electrical isolation, heat resistant up to 250 °C
Grades: Unreinforced
Use: Sliding and guidance components, gaskets, piston rings, bellows, cable coatings, parts for the chemical industry

 

PU and other TPE (thermoplastic elastomers)

TPE-U (polyurethane elastomers)

Trade names: Desmopan, Elastollan, Estane, Irogran, Pellethane
Keywords: From tough and hard to tough and flexible, high abrasion resistance, good hydrolysis resistance, good resilience and damping characteristics, good low-temperature flexibility, good resistance to micro organisms, transparent grades available
Grades: Unreinforced, more rarely reinforced/filled
Use: Damping components, hydraulic tubing, tooth belts, gaskets, bushings, bellows, caster coatings, shoe soles

TPE-E (polyester/polyether elastomers)

Trade names: Hytrel, Arnitel, Lomod
Keywords: High (impact) toughness, tough and hard, good abrasion resistance, good chemical resistance, relatively high operating temperature
Grades: Unreinforced
Use: Industrial wheels, tubes, pipes, gaskets, V-belts, gears, membranes, castors

TPE-A (polyamide elastomers)

Trade names: Pebax, Grilamid, Zytel FN
Keywords: From tough and hard to tough and flexible, low surface resistance due to high moisture absorption
Grades: Unreinforced
Use: Pipes, tubes, bellows, windshield wiper blades, flexible gears, pump membranes, sport shoes, balls

TPE-V, TPE-S elastomers

Trade names: Milastomer, Santoprene, Sarlink, TPE-S: e.g. Evoprene, Megol, Multiflex, Thermolast K
Keywords: Tough and hard or tough and elastic depending on the grade, hard to soft surfaces, good resilience, good weather resistance, easy processing
Grades: Unreinforced, modifiable for good adhesion to PE, PP, PS, PA, POM and other raw materials
Use: Tubes, bellows, tool and sporting goods handles, door and window seals, cable coatings, films for interior automobile linings, scuba-diving equipment

 

Important! (Disclaimer)

The trade names listed are registered brands of the respective raw material producers. The information above is given for information only and without responsibility. It was compiled in all conscience. Errors and incomplete information excepted.