Plastic: Identifying the Material

Polyethylene

Copolymer polypropylene – waxy feel, will whiten under areas of stress, burns easily, hard to scratch with your finger nail and floats

Homopolymer polypropylene – homopolymer is identical to copolymer polyprop but has a more translucent look and is impossible to scratch with your finger nail

HDPE 300 grade – feels slightly greasy, stiff, easy to mark the surface, floats, less swarf when cutting than higher weight polyethylene grades such as PE500 grade

HMWPE 500 grade – smoother finish than HDPE, PE500 grade cuts more cleanly than HDPE, floats and is easy to mark

Polycarbonate PC – translucent straw colour, when hit polycarbonate makes a metallic sound

PETG – translucent, flexible, dull sound, PETG is easy to mark

Acetal POM – its appearance is very glossy, clean edges and hard. Acetal also has a rather pungent scent

PTFE – feels heavy and slippery, PTFE is easy to cut

For information on any of the above materials as sheet plastic supply including data sheets visit Partwell Group's plastic sheet category, to view example components machined in house visit our plastic parts website section.

Call 01254 295707 for a quotation on any of Partwell plastic stocks.

7th February 2012, 12:13