Engineering plastics

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  • Wear resistant
  • Chemical resistant
  • Easy to process

What are engineering plastics?

Engineering plastics are plastics specifically designed for functional rather than aesthetic purposes. So these materials have special properties that make them suitable for various engineering applications. On this page, you will find everything you need to know about engineering plastics.

Properties of engineering plastics

Engineering plastics have properties that make them suitable for different engineering applications. Here are some of the important properties commonly found in engineering plastics.

✓ Impact resistant
Engineering plastics have excellent strength and stiffness, making them resistant to high mechanical loads and stresses.

✓ Durable
These plastics are known for their resistance to wear, abrasion and impact, making them very durable even after excessive use.

✓ Chemical-resistant

Technical plastics are resistant to various chemicals such as acids, bases and solvents.

✓ Heat resistance
Many engineering plastics can withstand high temperatures without deforming or losing their mechanical properties.

✓ Good electrical insulation
Certain engineering plastics have particularly high electricity-insulating properties.

✓ UV-resistant
Some engineering plastics are UV-resistant, making them resistant to degradation and maintaining their properties when exposed to sunlight.

✓ Lightweight
Many engineering plastics are very strong for their light weight.

✓ Machinability
Many engineering plastics are easy to process or machine yourself.

Common types of engineering plastics

To make a good choice among the various types of engineering plastics, it is useful to know more about their properties. Below, you will find more about the different types of engineering plastics.

Polyethylene (PE)

Polyethylene’s toughness, chemical resistance, abrasion resistance and weldability make it a suitable choice for a wide range of applications, including those for the food industry. By varying the molecular weight in production, many types of PE can be manufactured. LDPE, LLDPE, MDPE, HDPE 300, HDPE 500, HDPE 1000 are the most common. With these different variants, engineers and manufacturers can choose the most suitable type of PE to meet their specific needs and design requirements.

Polyethylene (PE) in brief:

  • Tough
  • Chemical resistant
  • Wear-resistant
  • Weldable
  • Suitable, for example, in the food industry
  • Recyclable
  • Poor UV light resistance without additives
  • Difficult to glue or stick

Polyethylene in our product range

Our product range includes polyethylene (PE) in the variants HDPE 500 and 1000.

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PVC is a rigid material with a high chemical resistance. This material glues well and has favourable electrical insulation properties. This makes PVC an ideal material for various applications. It is important to use UV stabilisers or additives to protect PVC from the degrading effects of UV radiation when you are going to use this board outdoors. Note that precautions should always be taken to avoid exposure to toxic fumes when PVC is burnt or raised to a high temperature in certain processes.

PVC in brief:

  • Rigid material
  • Chemically resistant
  • Easy to glue
  • Our PVC does not contain plasticisers
  • Recyclable
  • Without additives, poor UV light resistance
  • The toxic substance chloride can be released during combustion

PVC in our product range

You will find a wide range of (solid) PVC in our product range.

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Polycarbonates (PC)

Polycarbonate is known for its exceptional impact resistance and toughness, which surpasses Acrylic. These sheets are available in transparent and glass-like clarity, making them suitable for applications where optical quality is important. Polycarbonates also have good fire resistance, and low flammability. It is important to choose UV-resistant polycarbonate sheets to ensure long-term performance and prevent yellowing and brittleness due to exposure to UV light. Makrolon® and Lexan are two leading brands known for their reliable and high-quality polycarbonate products.

Polycarbonate (PC) in brief:

  • Extremely impact-resistant (tougher than Acrylic)
  • Glass-clear variant available
  • Fire class B-s1, d0
  • UV-resistant (unique in our range! This is not standard)
  • Also known as Makrolon® and Lexan
  • Recyclable
  • Can yellow under UV light without additives
  • Is not scratch-resistant

Polycarbonate in our product range

In our product range you will find clear, tinted and opal white variants of polycarbonate (PC) sheets.

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Polyoxymethylene (POM)

Polyoxymethylene (POM) has good: chemical resistance, dimensional stability, a wide temperature range, and excellent machinability. This makes POM appropriate for use in applications such as the food industry. POM is therefore a versatile engineering plastic suitable for various applications. Especially for applications requiring precision, durability, chemical resistance and resistance to extreme temperatures. POM only becomes moderately brittle below zero degrees, and can even be stressed above 100 degrees Celsius. As a result, it can also be sterilised. This is useful for example in hospitals and laboratories. POM is sensitive to UV light.

Polyoxymethylene (POM) in brief:

  • Chemically resistant
  • Suitable, for example, in the food industry
  • Highly dimensionally stable
  • Large temperature range
  • Can be machined well: milling and turning
  • Recyclable
  • Sensitive to UV light
  • Pricey material

Alternatives to polyoxymethylene (POM) in our product range

You will not find polyoxymethylene in our range. As an alternative to polyoxymethylene, you will find solid PVC or PE in our range. These are slightly less dimensionally stable and can withstand lower temperatures.

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Polymethylmethacrylate (Acrylic)

Acrylic is UV-resistant, crystal clear, has low water absorption, good weather resistance and has the ability to collect static charges. The latter is only not useful in electrical appliances where an electrical discharge can have adverse effects.

Polymethylmethacrylate (Acrylic) in brief:

  • UV-resistant
  • Crystal-clear
  • Low moisture absorption
  • Weather-resistant
  • Recyclable
  • Can become statically charged
  • Not 100% scratch-resistant

Polymethyl methacrylate (Acrylic) in our product range

You will find many variants of polymethylmethacrylate (Acrylic) sheets in our product range.

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Nylon (PA)

Nylon (PA) is wear-resistant and has damping properties that allow it to handle both dynamic loads and high static pressure. In addition, nylon (PA) is chemical resistant, making it suitable for use in, for example, the food industry. Fillings and reinforcements with, for example, fibreglass are possible. This makes the material extremely strong. Nylon absorbs moisture, which means that the dimensions do not always remain exactly the same. This also makes nylon unsuitable for use as an electrical component. Nylon is not inherently UV-resistant.

Nylon (PA) in brief:

  • Filling and reinforcement with, for example, fibreglass is possible
  • Chemical-resistant
  • Wear-resistant and cushioning
  • Suitable, for example, in the food industry
  • Not inherently UV-resistant
  • Absorbs moisture so that dimensions are not exact

Alternatives to nylon (PA) in our range

You will not find nylon in our product range. As an alternative to nylon, you will find HDPE 500 and 1000 in our range. These are also wear-resistant, but slightly less hard.

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Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene (PP) is a harder technical plastic than polyethylene (PE). Polypropylene can also tolerate higher temperatures than polyethylene (PE). Like a number of other technical plastics, polypropylene is also not inherently UV-resistant. Polypropylene has good heat-insulating properties and shows high elasticity. After loading is removed, this sheet will therefore return to its original shape. This also makes polypropylene (PP) very suitable for use in the food industry.

Polypropylene (PP) in brief:

  • Harder than polyethylene (PE) and can withstand higher temperatures
  • Good heat insulation
  • Elastic material
  • Suitable, for example, in the food industry
  • Recyclable
  • Not inherently UV-resistant
  • Poor temperature resistance

Alternatives to polypropylene (PP) in our range

You will not find polypropylene in our product range. As an alternative to polypropylene, you will find PE in our range as a good alternative. PE is somewhat less elastic.

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Acetal (POM C)

Acetal (POM-C) is distinguished by its dimensional stability. This makes it very suitable for precision applications, for instance. Acetal also has a wide temperature range. It only becomes brittle to a limited extent at temperatures below zero and can even be stressed above 100 degrees Celsius. This also allows it to be sterilised, which in turn makes it useful in hospitals and laboratories. The “C” in “POM C” stands for copolymer. This material is also sensitive to UV light, but has excellent chemical resistance. As a result, acetal (POM C) can also be used in the food industry. Furthermore, acetal is easy to machine, such as milling and turning.

Acetal (POM C) in brief:

  • Chemically resistant
  • Distinguished by its dimensional stability
  • Temperature resistant
  • Can be machined well: milling and turning
  • Suitable, for example, in the food industry
  • Recyclable
  • Sensitive to UV light
  • Pricey material

Alternatives to acetal (POM-C) in our product range

You will not find acetal in our product range. As an alternative to acetal, you will find PE or Solid PVC and possibly HDPE 500 and HDPE 1000 in our range.

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Delrin is an A-brand name for the material polyoxymethylene (POM), which falls into the POM-H class. This “H” stands for homopolymer. Delrin offers superior mechanical strength, stiffness, hardness and creep resistance. “Creep” means that a material deforms slowly when subjected to a long-term low load. Another key advantage of Delrin is its excellent chemical resistance. Furthermore, Delrin is highly dimensionally stable, making it suitable for precision applications. Delrin also has a wide temperature range, becoming moderately brittle below zero degrees, and can even be stressed above 100 degrees Celsius. This allows you to sterilise Delrin, which is useful in hospitals and laboratories, for example. Finally, Delrin is also easy to chip by milling or turning, for example.

Delrin in brief:

  • A-brand of POM (POM Delrin)
  • Homopolymer -> higher mechanical strength, stiffness, hardness and creep resistance
  • Chemically resistant
  • Suitable for e.g. the food industry
  • Highly dimensionally stable
  • Large temperature range
  • Can be machined well: milling and turning
  • Recyclable
  • Sensitive to UV light
  • Pricey material

Alternatives to Delrin (POM) in our product range

You will not find Delrin in our product range. As alternatives to Delrin, you will find Solid PVC, PE and HDPE 500 and HDPE 1000 in our range.

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Applications of plastic engineering products

Engineering plastics are used in various sectors because of their unique properties. Globally, for example, they are commonly used for mechanical plastic units, or as chemical and heat-resistant plastic components. Below are some examples of applications, but be aware that these are only a small selection of all the possible applications of plastic engineering products.

  • Mechanical plastic units
  • Conveyor belt components
  • Machine parts such as gears
  • Road plates
  • Bottom plate of a trailer
  • Gripper in a production line
  • Ship parts such as a pulley
  • Cutting blocks, planks
  • Equipment housing
  • Wear strips
  • Guide
  • Chemical and heat resistant plastic components
  • Water tanksDrip trays
  • Fuel and diesel tank
  • Laboratory parts
  • Engine parts
  • Surgical tools

Did you know that…
Engineering plastics are also often used for electrical insulation parts?

How engineering plastics are made

There are three ways engineering plastics are made. These methods are:

Extrusion → A continuous process in which the viscous plastic material is forced to flow through a die (mould) and rolled to create a sheet in the desired size with the right thickness. This technique is often used to create thinner sheet thicknesses.

RAM extrusion → This is not a continuous process like normal extrusion. In RAM extrusion, a fixed amount of material is fed through a RAM and thus forced into the correct sheet shape.

Casting → This is simply pouring viscous plastic into a mould. This creates a stress-free material. In engineering products, this is often used for the larger sheet thicknesses.

Buy engineering plastics in sheets online

You can order your engineering plastics in these simple steps:

  • Choose product Go to the product page of the engineering plastic of your choice
  • Enter desired dimensions Enter your desired shape and dimensions in the calculator. Or upload your own (DXF file) line drawing when you order a specific shape!
  • Add ready-made additions You can even add drill holes or a cut-out from the sheet!
  • Order Add the engineering plastics to your shopping basket, and order now!

Not sure yet which engineering plastics you want, and want to see them for yourself first? Then order a sample! You can do this via the product pages of the engineering plastics you are interested in.



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