Plastic Material Differences
During the planning and design phase of a plastic injection molding project, it is very important to choose the plastic material that is best for the part application. There are literally thousands of plastic resin compounds available today, and they have different performance characteristics. Some are more rigid, some are more flexible, and some are more heat or UV resistant, just to name a few. So, knowing how the part will be used helps determine the appropriate plastic material.
Despite having the availability of thousands of resins, most practical plastic part applications can have the performance characteristics satisfied by a much smaller number of choices. At ICOMold, we offer a choice of around 300 different resins, but in reality, the majority of our projects can be satisfied with one of about 20 materials.
Along with our partner Plastic Sample Kits, LLC (PSK), we have developed a kit containing 20 of the most common plastic materials, so you can actually feel and compare their performance. The kit is a great tool for comparing plastic materials to ultimately select the best material for your project.
Injection molding materials perform differently in terms of sink, warp, and fill. Single part material samples don’t allow you to compare how one plastic molding material performs against another with the same geometry. The Plastic Sample Kit contains 20 hexagonal discs, each made of a different material and color. The material name is actually molded into the discs so you know which one you’re holding in your hand. The disc materials are split into 5 different categories: Crystalline, Amorphous, Blends, Thermoplastic Elastomers, and Glass Filled Polymers.
The 20 discs in the kit are each made of a different material, in a different color, but from the same mold. Since they all came off the same injection mold tooling, they are intentionally designed to point out differences between the materials, so you can compare them. In other words, areas on some discs that look like “mistakes” actually illustrate how different materials behave in certain situations. Each one also has 5 different surface finishes, so you can see how each finish looks and feels on each material. They allow you to compare:
- Flexibility of living hinges
- Ribs and bosses of different thicknesses for sink testing
- Different draft angles and material flash
- Heat stake and self-tapping screw compatibility
- Susceptibility to knit lines
Each kit contains a puck made out of the following materials:
- ABS + 20GF
- PA 66
- PA 66 + 33GF
- PC + ABS
- PC + PBT
- PMMA (Acrylic)
- POM (Delrin)
- PP + 33%GF
- TPE – 80A