5 of the Most Common Plastic Injection Molding Materials

The names of common materials for plastic injection moldings can sound intimidating. Learn the names, abbreviations, and basics of the five most common plastic injection molding materials. Choosing the right material and injection molding company also means understanding proper application requirements, which changes between prototyping and production. Decide for yourself what material is best for your circumstances using the information below.

Acrylic (PMMA)

PMMA, or acrylic, is also known as Polymethyl Methacrylate. This is a thermoplastic that can be an alternative to glass. It provides a lighter-weight and is also strong and clear. PMMA’s excellent transparency allows a high percentage of light to pass through it.

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

ABS, or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, is a thermoplastic with a low melting point. It’s engineer grade and easy to mold. Additionally, its opaque polymer supports colorants, making it available in different textures and surface finishes. If you need a plastic injection with strength and impact resistance, this is the one for you.

Nylon Polyamide (PA)

Polyamides, or PA, are materials that can be either natural or synthetic. Nylon, a type of polyimide, is an example of a synthetic form. This can make injection molding difficult, unfortunately. Polyamide is prone to shrinkage and less adequate filling.

Polycarbonate (PC)

Polycarbonates, or PC’s, are strong and tough. Additionally, they have a naturally transparent property. These properties are similar to PMMA’s, but they maintain their physical properties over a wider temperature range. A benefit to this plastic is that it remains strong and keeps its color after pigmentation.

Polyethyelene (PE)

Polyethylene is the most commonly used plastic of the five most common plastic injection molding materials. There are three main types:

  • High density (HDPE, PEHD)
  • Low density (LDPE)
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET, PETE)

PE is the only commercial polymer selected due to its density. Although these three types differ in terms of their respective hardness, flexibility, melting point, and optical transparency, they all keep their chemical resistance.


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