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Raw Materials - Polymers

 Content

1) Thermoplastics
1.1   Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and Other Specialist Styrenics
1.2   Aramids PI Aromatic Polyamide
1.3   Cellulosics CA, CAB, CAP, CN
1.4   Ethylene Vinyl Acetate EVA
1.5   Expanded Polypropylene (EPP)
1.6   Fluoroplastics PTFE FEP
1.7   Nylons (Polyamides) PA
1.8   PEEK™ (Polyaryletheretherketone)
1.9   Polybutene-1 (PB-1)
1.10 Polycarbonate PC
1.11 Polyacetals POM
1.12 Polyesters (Thermoplastic) PETP, PBT, PET
1.13 Polyethylene (High Density) HDPE
1.14 Polyethylene (Low Density) LDPE, LLDPE
1.15 Polypropylene PP
1.16 Polyphenylene Oxide PPO
1.17 Polyphenylene Sulphide PPS
1.18 Polymethylpentene PMP
1.19 Polystyrene (General Purpose) GPPS
1.20 Polystyrene (High Impact) HIPS
1.21 Polyvinyl Chloride PVC
1.22 Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN) & Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA)
1.23 Thermoplastic Elastomers TPE, TPR

2) Thermosets
2.1 Allylics DAP, DAIP, ADC
2.2 Alkyds AMC
2.3 Epoxies EP
2.4 Furan
2.5 Melamines/Ure (Aminos) MF, UF
2.6 Phenolics PF
2.7 Polyurethane cast elastomers (EP)
2.8 Unsaturated Polyester UP
2.9 Vinyl Esters

3) Bio-Based and Degradable Polymers

3.1 Feedstocks, Production and the UK Market
3.2 Case Study: Compostable bags for organic waste
collection

3.3 Standards for Compostability

 materials suppliers


Polymers - Thermoplastics

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and Other Specialist Styrenics

Properties:
Rigid, opaque, glossy tough, good low temperature properties, good dimensional stability and easily electroplated, low creep.

Applications:
Telephone handsets, rigid luggage, domestic appliance housings (food mixers), electroplated parts, radiator grills, handles, computer housings.

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Aramids PI Aromatic Polyamide

Properties:
Rigid, opaque, high strength, exceptional thermal and electrical properties (up to 480'C), resistant to ionising rediation, high cost.

Applications:
Aerospace components, reinforcing fibres, high temperature resistance foams, chemical fibres and arc welding torches.

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Cellulosics CA, CAB, CAP, CN

Properties:
Spectacle frames, toothbrushes, tool handles, transparent wrapping, metallised parts (reflectors etc), pen barrels.

Applications:
Spectacle frames, toothbrushes, tool handles, transparent wrapping, metallised parts (reflectors etc), pen barrels.

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Ethylene Vinyl Acetate EVA

Properties:
Flexible (rubbery), transparent, good low temperature flexibility (-70'C), good chemical resistance, high friction coefficient.

Applications:
Teats, handle grips, flexible tubing, record turntable mats, beer tubing, vacuum, cleaner hosing.

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Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) 

Properties:
Closed-cell foam with high structural strength to weight ratio, excellent energy management, resilient, good chemical resistance, durable, buoyant, multiple impact resistance, recyclable.

Applications:
Automotive seating, bumper and door components, floor levelers, stowage systems, consoles, pillars, side impact protection. Durable packaging, furniture, consumer products lead a host of other applications.

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Fluoroplastics PTFE FEP

Properties:
Semi-rigid, translucent, exceptional low frictioin characteristics, superior chemical resistance, impervious to fungi or bacteria, high temperature stablilty (260'C), low temperature toughness (-160'C), good weathering resistance and electrical properties.

Applications:
Non-stick coating, gaskets, packings, bearings, high and low temperature electrical and medical applications, laboratory equipment, pump parts, thread seal tape.

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Nylons (Polyamides) PA

Properties:
The majority of nylons tend to be semi-crystalline and are generally very tough materials with good thermal and chemical resistance. The different types give a wide range of properties with specific gravity, melting point and moisture content tending to reduce as the nylon number increases.

Applications:
Nylon fibres are used in textiles, fishing line and carpets. Nylon films is used for food packaging, offering toughness and low gas permeability, and coupled with its temperature resistance, for boil-in-the-bag food packaging.

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PEEK™ (Polyaryletheretherketone)

Properties:
Rigid opaque (grey) material with a unique combination of properties, which include exceptional chemical, wear, electrical and temperature resistance, as well as dimensional stability and numerous processing capabilities

Applications:
PEEK™ polymer is used typically as a replacement for machined metals in a wide variety of high performance end-use applications. These range in diversity from components for cars, aircraft, industrial pumps, valves and seals, to silicon wafer carriers, connectors and sterilisable surgical instruments and in the medical implants market.

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Polybutene-1 (PB-1)

Properties:
PB-1 is obtained by polymerisation of butene-1, with a stereo-specific Ziegler-Natta catalyst to create a linear, high molecular, isotactic, semi-crystalline polymer.

Applications:
A major application area for polybutene resins is seal-peel or easy-open packaging. Typical examples include carton liners (e.g. cereal packaging) and packs for pre-packed delicatessen products like cold meats, cheeses and smoked salmon.

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Polycarbonate PC

Properties:
Polycarbonates are strong, stiff, hard, tough, transparent engineering thermoplastics that can maintain rigidity up to 140oC and toughness down to -20°C or special grades even lower.

Applications:
In recent years Polycarbonate blends have become increasingly commercially important. PC is widely used in blends due to its excellent compatibility with a range of polymers.

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Polyacetals POM

Properties:
Rigid, translucent, tough, spring-like qualities, good stress relaxation resistance, good wear and electrical properties, resistant to creep and organic solvents.

Applications:
Business m/c parts, small pressure vessels, aerosol valves, coil formers, clock and watch parts, nuclear engineering components, plumbing systems, shoe components.

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Polyesters (Thermoplastic) PETP, PBT, PET

Properties:
PBT, PET and PBT Blends are engineering plastics with excellent processing characteristics and high strength and rigidity for a broad range of applications.

Applications:
Engineering polymers are used in the manufacture of a wide range of components, including under bonnet parts, exterior parts (window wiper holders and exterior mirror housing).

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Polyethylene (High Density) HDPE

Properties:
Flexible, translucent / waxy, weatherproof, good low temperature toughness (to -60'C), easy to process by most methods, low cost, good chemical resistance.

Applications:
Chemical drums, jerricans, carboys, toys, picnic ware, household and kitchenware, cable insulation, carrier bags, food wrapping material.

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Polyethylene (Low Density) LDPE, LLDPE

Properties:
Semi-rigid, translucent, very tough, weatherproof, good chemical resistance, low water absorption, easily processed by most methods, low cost.

Applications:
Squeeze bottles, toys, carrier bags, high frequency insulation, chemical tank linings, heavy duty sacks, general packaging, gas and water pipes.

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Polyphenylene Oxide PPO

Properties:
Rigid, opaque, good dimensional stability at high temperature and humidity conditions, difficult to process (blended to ease injection moulding), tough.

Applications:
Coffee pot and washing m/c parts (where high temperature and moisture are critical), replacement for die castings, drink vending machines, microwave components.

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Polyphenylene Sulphide PPS

Properties:
Rigid, opaque non-burning continuous use at 240'C, good chemical resistance, good electrical insulator, moisture resistant, rarely used unfilled.

Applications:
Chemical pumps, hair dryer grills, non-stick cookware (alloyed with PTFE), medical equipment, lamp bulb bases, TV and automotive components.

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Polymethylpentene PMP

Properties:
Rigid, tough, lightweight (density 0.83 gm/cm), chemical resistant, additives are required for outdoor use, highly permeable to gases, transparent crystalline material.

Applications:
Medical ware, syringes, lamp covers, (good heat resistance), radar applications, encapsulation, microwave food packaging.

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Polypropylene PP

Properties:
Rigid, opaque, good dimensional stability at high temperature and humidity conditions, difficult to process (blended to ease injection moulding), tough.

Applications:
Coffee pot and washing m/c parts (where high temperature and moisture are critical), replacement for die castings, drink vending machines, microwave components.

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Polystyrene (General Purpose) GPPS

Properties:
Brittle, rigid, transparent, low shrinkage, low cost, excellent X-ray resistance, free from odour and taste, easy to process.

Applications:
Toys and novelties, rigid packaging, refrigerator trays and boxes, cosmetic packs and costume jewellery, lighting diffusers, audio cassette and CD cases.

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Polystyrene (High Impact) HIPS

Properties:
Hard, rigid, translucent, impact strength up to 7 x GPPS, other properties similar.

Applications:
Yoghurt pots, refrigerator linings, vending cups, bathroom cabinets, toilet seats and tanks, closures, instrument control knobs.

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Polyvinyl Chloride PVC

Properties:
Compatibility with many different kinds of additives - PVC can be clear or coloured, rigid or flexible, formulation of the compound is key to PVC's "added value".

Applications:
Window frames, drainage pipe, water service pipe, medical devices, blood storage bags, cable and wire insulation, resilient flooring, roofing membranes, stationary, automotive interiors and seat coverings, fashion and footwear, packaging, cling film, credit cards, synthetic leather and other coated fabrics.

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Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN) & Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA)

Properties:
Rigid, transparent, tough, resistant to greases, stress cracking and crazing, easily processed, resistant to food stains.

Applications:
Drinking tumblers, hi-fi covers, lenses, water jugs and toothbrush handles, kitchen and picnic ware, radio dials, TV set screens, washing machine trims.

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Thermoplastic Elastomers TPE, TPR

Properties:
Flexible, clear, elastic, wear resistant and impermeable.

Applications:
Soles and heels for sports shoes, hammer heads, seals, gaskets, skate board wheels, synthetic leather fabrics, silent running gears.

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Polymers - Thermosets

Allylics DAP, DAIP, ADC

Properties:
Hard, transparent, abrasion resistant, good electrical insulation (even in humid conditions), good chemical/mechanical properties and dimensional stability.

Applications:
Optical coatings, face shields, sealants for metal castings, critical long-term high reliability electrical parts (e.g. radomes, connectors, circuit breakers, switches).

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Alkyds AMC

Properties:
Rigid, tough, heat resistant, good arc and tracking resistance, good long term, dimensional stability, fungus resistant, good colour stability.

Applications:
Automotive distributor caps, circuit breakers, switch gear, coloured appliance housing.

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Epoxies EP

Properties:
Rigid, clear, very tough, chemical resistant, good adhesion properties, low curing, low shrinkage.

Applications:
Adhesives, coatings, encapsulation, electrical components, cardiac pacemakers, aerospace applications.

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Furan

Properties:
Rigid, brittle, opaque, high strength at elevated temperatures, good chemical resistance, self extinguishing, low smoke emissions.

Applications:
Chemical plant (competitive with stainless steel) foundry cases and moulds, specialised insulating foams, lining of tanks, etc. for alkali resistance.

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Melamines/Ure (Aminos) MF, UF

Properties:
Hard, opaque, tough, scratch resistant, self extinguishing, free from taint and odour, wide colour range, resistant to detergents and dry cleaning solvents.

Applications:
Decorative laminates, lighting fixtures, dinnerware, heavy duty electrical equipment, laminating resins, surface coatings, bottle caps, toilet seats.

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Phenolics PF

Properties:
Hard, brittle, opaque, good electrical and heat resistance, resistant to deformation under load, low cost, resistant to most acids.

Applications:
Ashtrays, lamp holders, bottle caps, saucepan handles, domestic plugs and switches, welding tongs and electrical iron parts.

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Polyurethane cast elastomers (EP)

Properties:
Elastic, abrasion and chemical resistant, impervious to gases, can be produced in a wide range of hardness.

Applications:
Printing rollers, solid tyres, wheels, shoe heels, car bumpers, (particularly suited to low quantity production runs).

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Unsaturated Polyester UP

Properties:
Rigid, clear, chemical resistant, high strength, low creep, good electrical properties, low temperature impact resistance, low cost.

Applications:
Boat hulls, building panels, lorry cabs, compressor housing, embedding, coating.

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Vinyl Esters

Properties:
Rigid, translucent, good corrosion resistance, low viscosity.

Applications:
Chemical tanks, ducts, piping, process equipment (particularly in corrosive chemical environments).

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Bio-Based and Degradable Polymers

An overview of Bio-Based and Degradable polymers examining the key differences and benefits of these new materials Click Here to see the page

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