This technical information has been contributed by
Maryland Thermoform Corporation

Major Plastic Materials

Plastic Fabricating

ABS: Available in utility, virgin, fire rated, coextruded, conductive and anti static grades.

ABS/PVC ALLOY : Similar to ABS with improved characteristics, higher heat deflection, temperature fire rated grades available - medium to high costs. Primary use is products.

FLOCK: A covering or coating to a substrate. Substrate usually polystyrene. Available only in virgin grades. Some stock colors. Primary use is packaging specifically in cosmetic and jewelry industry. Medium to high cost.

HIGH DENSITY POLYETHYLENE: Excellent for a wide range of temperatures, excellent impact resistance and very flexible. Excellent chemical resistivity. Low coefficient of friction. Mid-range in costs. Primary use is packaging.

LOW DENSITY POLYETHYLENE: Available in virgin grade and some colors. Excellent chemical resistivity, extremely flexible. Medium range in costs. Primary use is packaging.

PETG/PET/RPET/APET: Available in colors, utility, virgin and recycled grades. Wide range of costs. Excellent for medical use: Gamma Radiation, ETO Sterilization acceptable. Polyester based materials primarily used for packaging applications.

POLYPROPYLENE: Very similar to polyethylene, however, better in qualities in almost all areas. Lower impact resistance when compared to HDPE. Polypropylene is higher in cost than polyethylene. Excellent for many medical applications. Gamma Radiation and ETO Sterilization. Primary use is packaging.

POLYSYRENE: Most widely used material. Available in almost any form and grade. Utility, virgin, coextruded, conductive anti static. Inexpensive material. Gamma Radiation Sterilization acceptable. Packaging and product applications.

PVC: Polyvinyl Chloride. Most commonly used clear material. Colors also available. Inexpensive material. Recycled grades available. Not suitable for sterilization. Primarily used for packaging applications.

GENERAL: Most materials can be modified by the extrusion company to make substantial improvements to their physical properties. Enhancements can be made to improve impact resistance, allow more flexibility, improve cold crack resistance, improve clarity, ease denestability (silicone coat), allow in or printing adhesion (corona treating), and receive a fire rating.

Constant changes in resins, costs and availability are the "norms" in this industry. Many barrier materials and specialized plastics are also done on a project-to-project basis.

This technical information has been contributed by
Maryland Thermoform Corporation

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