Top 10 most popular thermoplastics for extrusion

At Plastifab, we know extruded thermoplastics. One of the first questions people ask when engaging us for a project is what thermoplastic we recommend. Here are our top 10 most recommended thermoplastics that are ideal for extrusion molding (in alphabetical order):

  • ABS: This thermoplastic is made of acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. It’s known for its toughness and impact strength, even at low temperatures.
  • ACETAL: This is one of the most popular thermoplastics because it has good operating temperatures, has received FDA approval for contact with food products, has high mechanical strength, resistance to chemicals, low moisture absorption, and natural lubricity.
  • ACRYLIC (PMMA): This plastic is characterized by its attractive, glossy surfaces with excellent color availability. It resembles glass in appearance but is much tougher, making it a perfect substitute for glass in land and marine applications.
  • DELRIN: A product from DuPont, this thermoplastic is great for extrusion molding and, when formed, has excellent mechanical properties. It can also compete with metals in many applications.
  • NYLON: This was the first engineering resin. It has outstanding wear resistance and low frictional properties but is known to absorb moisture. This absorption affects its dimensional stability, so it’s not recommended for moist or wet environments.
  • PEEK: This engineering thermoplastic serves many applications where thermal, chemical, and combustion properties are critical to performance. Its strength and rigidity make it tougher over a wide range of operating temperatures.
  • Polypropylene (PP): This thermoplastic is a byproduct of petroleum refining. It’s approved for contact with food, has good insulating properties, and is used extensively in electrical applications.
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): This is used in various consumer and commercial applications and works in some of the most demanding environments. Its key properties include excellent chemical resistance, low moisture absorption, and good flammability.
  • Polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF): This product is often recommended for extrusion molding in applications with high requirements for purity, mechanical properties, and creep resistance.
  • TPE (Hytrel): TPE is often called “thermoplastic rubbers.” It has the advantages of both rubbery and plastic material. It is commonly used in transportation, construction, industrial products, and consumer goods.

For help picking the perfect thermoplastic for your next project or part, contact a Plastifab Rep today.

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