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Below is a list of a few of the types of plastic materials available to us, and some of the advantages, disadvantages and applications of each:
- Acrylic - also known by it's brand name of Perspex, or Plexiglas, this material is extremely versatile and adaptable. Available in a wide range of colours, they are half the weight of glass, impact resistant and extremely durable. It can even have a mirrored surface applied, making it ideal for use in contemporary furniture and point of sale retail shelving and podiums.
- Polycarbonate is commonly used in eye protection and other lighting and viewing applications. Shatterproof, impact resistant and virtually unbreakable, polycarbonate is a safer alternative to glass.
- Nylon - if wood is the most versatile natural material, nylon is probably the most useful synthetic one. Your home is full of products containing nylon, from sheets to toothbrushes, umbrellas to alarm clocks. In a CNC context, we CNC sheets of nylon into intricate parts such as gears for machinery.
- PTFE, or Polytetrafluoroethylene to give it its full name, is also known by its biggest brand name Teflon. As PTFE is chemically inert, it is compatible with anything and has numerous uses. We can CNC complex components for use throughout markets such as Aerospace, Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Telecommunications.
- HDPE, or High-density polyethylene, is a hard-wearing plastic with many practical applications from chemical-resistant piping systems to kitchen chopping boards
- LDPE, or Low-density polyethylene, is a cheaper alternative to HDPE and is less rigid, but retains the excellent corrosion resistance. Suitable for use as parts of computer hardware, general purpose containers and corrosion-resistant worksurfaces, we have even used it to create a motorbike luggage rack for one client.
- PVC, or Polyvinyl Chloride is the third most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer, after polyethylene and polypropylene. It is a very durable and long lasting construction material which comes in a range of colours, and either rigid or flexible.
- PVC Foamboard - this is manufactured from a mix of PVC and polyurea, and the result is a board that is solid and very rigid, but less than half the weight of solid PVC. It is primarily used in the manufacture of signs and displays, but is also ideal for scale models, theatrical props and yachts.
- Polypropylene, also known as PP or polypropene, is rugged and unusually resistant to chemical solvents, acids and bases. It has applications in packaging, laboratory equipment and semiconductor equipment and components, among others.