Plastic Material Guide

Material Guide
Material Guide
Material Guide
Material Guide
Material Guide


This is our plastics material guide designed to find, describe & compare the appropriate plastic material for various applications by material properties as well as cost. Included in this guide are 10 sections: general physical/mechanical and chemical properties, tensile strength, flexural strength, impact strength and hardness, dielectric properties, heat deflection temperature, maximum operating temperature, chemical resistance, UV and visible light transmission, and cost comparison.

Thermoplastics included in this material guide: Acetal/Delrin®, Acrylic/Plexiglass (Plexiglas®, Acrylite®, Optix®, Lucite®, Perspex®, Chemcast®), 5% Borated PE, Kydex®/Boltaron®, LDPE, HDPE, HIPS (High Impact Styrene), Nylon, Polycarbonate( Lexan®/Makrolon®), PETG Polypropylene, PEEK, Polysulfone, PTFE (Teflon®), PVC, UHMW-PE.

Thermosets included in this guide: Corrugated Fiberglass, FRP Wall Liner, Structural FRP, GPO-3 Glastic®, Micarta/High Pressure Laminate Phenolics (G-7 SIlicone Phenolic, G-9 Melamine Phenolic, G-10/FR4 Epoxy, G-11/FR5 Epoxy, LE Linen Phenolic, CE Canvas Phenolic, X Paper Phenolic).

Chemical Resistanceof Plastic
Some chemicals may react with a given polymer by changing its color with out affecting its mechanical capabilities, while other materials may actively degrade or dissolve it. Manufacturer chemical compatibility data should be reviewed for each given chemical compound. Chemical Compatibility data may be available upon request.

Dielectric Strengthof Plastic
Dielectric Strength is displayed as volts per mil (1/1000 inch). The dielectric strength of an insulating material is equal to the maximum electric field strength/stress that it can withstand without experiencing failure of its insulating properties(without breaking down). ATSM D-149

Flexural Strengthof Plastic
Flexural Strength is defined as a material's ability to resist deformation under load. The flexural strength represents the highest stress experienced within a given material at its moment of rupture. It is measured in terms of stress by applied force in pounds per square inch. ATSM D-790

Light Transmission of Plastic
This document lists both Visible and UV light transmission characteristics. It refers to the amount of light a material allows through it. UV light transmission is based on the nm range of UV light transmitted. Visible light transmission is the amount of visible light transmitted based on the D65 Illuminant scale where 100% transmission allows through 6500k lumens.

Heat Deflection Temperatureof Plastic
Heat Deflection Temperature is the temperature at which a material deforms under a specified load. The temperature is increased at 2 °C or 35.6°F /min until the specimen deflects 0.25mm/.01in. The deflection temperature test results are a useful measure of relative service temperature for a polymer when used in load-bearing parts. However, the deflection temperature test is a short-term test and should not be used alone for product design-ATSM D-149.

Izod Impact Test (Notched)of Plastic
The IZOD Impact Test determines the impact resistance of a sample material. This test involves an arm held at a specific height, which when released hits the sample and breaks it. From the energy absorbed by the sample, its impact energy is determined. A notched sample is used to determine impact energy and notch sensitivity indicating the energy required to break the notch. ATSM D-256

Maximum Continuous Operating Temperatureof Plastic
Maximum operating temperature is the highest temperature at which a material will maintain its mechanical stability.

Rockwell Hardness Scaleof Plastic
The Rockwell Scale is a general method for measuring the bulk hardness of metallic and polymer materials. Although hardness testing does not give a direct measurement of any performance properties, hardness of a material correlates directly with its strength, wear resistance, and other properties. Rockwell hardness testing is an indentation testing method. To start the test, an indenter is pushed into a sample at a preset minor load. A major load is then applied and held for a set time period. The force on the indenter is then decreased back to the minor load. The Rockwell hardness number is calculated from the depth of the permanent deformation of the indenter into the sample. ATSM D-785

Tensile Strengthof Plastic
Tensile strength (Ultimate Tensile Strength) is calculated as the maximum stress that a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled before failing/tearing/breaking. The listed values are measured in pounds per square inch. ATSM D-638

UV Resistanceof Plastic
UV Resistance refers to a material’s ability to resist degradation from absorbing UV radiation. Materials that are not UV stable will change both in appearance and molecular structure when exposed to UV, and over time can become brittle, crack, change , color, warp etc.