What are Engineering Plastics and Materials?

18 August 2016

Plastic products occupy every domestic quarter, every commercial district, and every branch of every industry. We see them as door panels in the automotive industry, as thin-shelled plastic water bottles, and everything in-between. Of course, a lowly water bottle is designed merely as a food-neutral container, something that can be disposed of and hopefully recycled. Engineering plastics occupy a loftier classification, a realm that’s defined by toughened chains of specially tailored polymers.


What are Engineering Plastics and Materials?

They’re synthetic polymers that have been specially designed to function in adverse conditions. An engineering polymer is reinforced so that it’s mechanically strong and chemically resistant. Those attributes are documented during the conceptualization stage so that toughened properties can be incorporated into the final material. These material characteristics include but are not limited to heat resistance, UV impedance, and robust physical durability. The latter attribute branches further to accommodate elasticity, deformation, and compressibility, all of the material virtues that classify the polymer as fit for the harshest environment.


Examples of Toughened Polymers Reside Here

A quickly compiled list of top-notch engineering polymers begins with the nylon class:

  • Nylon 6
  • Nylon 6-6
  • ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
  • Polycarbonate
  • Polyethylene
  • PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

The list further divides into other materials, forms that are dictated by the molecular weight and configuration of long-chained polymer molecules. PET is an example of this statement. The acronym refers to polyethylene terephthalate, an engineering plastic used in pipes and plastic bottles.


Tailored to Deliver Specific Properties

All of these materials are open to further processing, the injection of additives and chemical compounds that will emphasize one or more mechanical attribute while another is left in peace. In our previous passage, PET is one of the most popular materials on the globe. This is because the plastic is lightweight, food-neutral, and transparent when its first processed. These three properties make the plastic an excellent food and beverage containment solution. Conversely, polycarbonate is renowned for its strong backbone, a mechanically strong substructure that can withstand great stress. Used in everything from spectacle lenses to bulletproof glass, the transparent plastic is rigid and impact-resistant. On the environmental side, the material is a perfect match for a high-temperature domain.

The high-performance build incorporated within this toughened plastics faction exists to replace corroded metals and substitute heavier materials with a polymer-reinforced profile that can function imperturbably in any harsh setting.

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