How to Select Right Plastic Material for Your Project

These days, people are more inclined to use products made of plastic. Modern plastics are made of organic chemicals and a wide-range of formulations are used to increase their durability. Plastics are also used in the textile industry to make fashionable clothes. The versatility of plastic materials comes from its ability to shape, mould and laminate them.

There are many household plastic products suppliers in South Africa that offer high-quality products at very competitive prices. In this article you will find effective guidelines on how to select the best plastic material. The details are illustrated below:

Plastic Containers

If your project is making the plastic containers then you should choose polypropylene or PP. PP is usually used for manufacturing food-storage containers because it is heat resistant, impervious to oils and other chemical solvents and it doesn’t leach chemicals. For all these reasons the food remains safe. Another great option for making plastic containers is polyethylene (PE).PE usually has low strength, hardness and durability. PE usually has a milky white colour. It is generally used for making medicine bottles and milk and detergent containers. PE is highly resistant to various chemicals, but the only drawback is, it has a low melting point.

The Mechanical Parts

One of the most common resins that is used to make mechanical parts is nylon or polyamide (PA). In this process PA is mixed with molybdenum to get a slippery surface for easy motion. However, using nylon-to-nylon gear trains is not recommended, as they make the plastics stick together. PA is highly recommended for making the mechanical parts as it is highly resistant to wear and abrasion and has good mechanical properties at elevated temperatures. Nylon or PA is also ideal for filament and 3D plastic printing. The only drawback is it absorbs water over-time.

Polyoxymethylene or (POM) is another great option for manufacturing mechanical parts. It is a type of acetal resin that is used to make Dupont’s Delrin, a valuable plastic for gears, screws, wheels and more. POM has a high tensile strength, stiffness, durability and hardness. However, the only issue with POM is, it can degrade with alkali and hot water and it can be difficult to bond together.

Tool cases and Hardware

If you have a project of manufacturing hardware and tool cases then you should go for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. ABS is lightweight and it can be strengthened and hardened by adding glass fibres. However it is more expensive than styrene, but it lasts much longer. ABS is also used for 3D-fused deposition modelling of rapid prototypes.


If you are entitled with projects of manufacturing injection-moulding of resins that have the soft, elastic properties of rubber then Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is a great option. TPU comes in special formulas to achieve high elasticity, durability and a low-temperature performance. TPU is also used for manufacturing power-tools, caster-wheels, cable insulation and sporting goods.

In conclusion, it can be said that apart from the above mentioned options you can also use PMMA to make the transparent parts like clear lenses, windows and acrylic products.

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