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What Are the Different Types of Plastics That Exist Today?

What Are the Different Types of Plastics That Exist Today?

The US plastic products manufacturing industry has a staggering $104 billion market size. Plastics are very important to packaging, construction, textiles, consumer products, transportation, and more.

But do you know the different types of plastics that exist today? Do you know the advantages of each type and the best plastics for different jobs?

The following guide will explain the various kinds of plastics available.  Read on to learn about their specific uses and advantages.

Acrylic Plastic

Optical devices and products typically use acrylic plastic. It’s a transparent thermoplastic that is light and resistant to shattering. Other products include acrylic mirrors and acrylic plexiglass.

Some acrylic plastics get made colored and fluorescent. They can also be resistant to abrasion and bullets. They’re UV-tolerant and don’t produce glare or static.

PC Plastic

Polycarbonate is a durable and transparent engineering plastic. It’s as clear as glass and much stronger. Polycarbonate sheets get worked, molded, and cold-formed with little effort.

The plastic sheets can get cut on-site without prior forming and fabrication. Polycarbonate plastic product examples include DVDs, sunglasses, riot gear, and greenhouses.

PE Plastic

Polyethylene is the most common plastic type of them all. It gets fabricated in differing densities that each produce distinctive physical properties.

Low-density polyethylene makes products such as plastic bags, food containers, and disposable packaging. Medium-density polyethylene makes things like shrink film, screw closures, and carrier bags.

High-density polyethylene is more rigid. It’s used for things like plastic bottles, snowboards, and boats. Ultra-high density Polyethylene is more abrasion-resistant. It’s used in military armor, hydraulic seals, and as a biomaterial for various implants.

PP Plastic

PP plastic is a thermoplastic polymer. It’s the second-most produced synthetic plastic in the world.

Its popularity and heavy use are because of polypropylene’s flexibility. It also does not crack under reoccurring stress. The plastic is tough, heat resistant, acid resistance, and affordable.

Polypropylene sheets help create lab equipment, car parts, medical devices, and much more. Different T Slot Accessories help manufacturers work with this flexible plastic.

PETE Plastic

Polyethylene Terephthalate has outstanding resistance to water and organic materials. This type of plastic is also recycled very easily.

It’s almost impossible to shatter and has a great strength-to-weight ratio. You can find PETE plastic material in the fibers of clothing and food containers.

PETE plastic also gets used in very essential products. Examples include engineering resins and carbon nanotubes.

PVC Plastic

PVC plastic can either be rigid or flexible. The plastic also blends well with other materials. Products like kiosks, displays, and exhibits often use foamed PVC material.

The rigid version gets used in things like doors, windows, and bottles. The flexible type gets used in things such as plumbing products and medical tubing.

ABS Plastic

ABS plastic is shiny, processable, and impact resistant. It gets made in a wide range of thicknesses.

Automotive and refrigeration industries often use ABS plastic because it’s cheap. It’s also found in products like boxes, protective headgear, luggage, and kid’s toys.

Understanding Types of Plastics

Now you know the most common types of plastics used in manufacturing today. You also know their special properties and the products they’re used in.

Remember this guide and choose the right plastic for your next product or job! Check out our technology category for more fascinating information.

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