A-Level Thermoplastics List

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  • Thermoplastics
    • ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene).
      • Excellent impact resistance. Excellent aesthetic qualities. Easy to paint and glue. Good toughness. Scratch-resistant. Lightweight and durable.
      • Uses - kitchen products, mobile telephone cases, PC monitor cases, safety helmets, toys, some car parts and domestic telephones
    • CA (Cellulose Acetate)
      • Tough and rigid. Lightweight with good strength. Transparent and non-flammable.
      • Uses - photographic film, handles for cutlery, cupboard door knobs, frames for glasses.
    • Nylon (Polyamide)
      • Hard, tough, resistant to wear with a low coefficient of friction.
      • Uses - bearings, gears, curtain rail fittings, clothing.
    • Acrylic (Polymethyl  methacrylate)
      • Food-safe. Tough. Hard. Durable. Easily machined.
      • Uses - light units, illuminated signs, lenses for car units.
    • PP (Polypropylene)
      • Lightweight. Food-safe.Good impact resistance. Good chemical resistance.
      • Uses - kitchen products (food containers), medical equipment, string and rope.
    • HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene)
      • Good impact resistance. Good strength. Lightweight.
      • Uses - Toys and refrigerator linings.
    • PS (Polystyrene)
      • Lightweight. Rigid. Colourless. Low impact strength.
      • Uses - packaging, disposable cups/plates and containers.
      • Expanded polystyrene
        • Floats. Good sound and heat insulator. Lightweight. Low strength.
        • Uses - packaging, disposable cups, sound and heat insulation.
    • LDPE (Low Density Polyuthylene)
      • Low density (lightweight). Low stiffness and rigidity. Good chemical resistance.
      • Uses- detergent bottles, toys and carrier bags.
    • HDPE (High Density Polyuthylene)
      • High density. Good stiffness. Good chemical resistance.
      • Uses - crates, bottles, buckets and bowls.
    • uPVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
      • Good chemical resistance. Good resistance to weathering. Rigid. Hard. Tough. Lightweight. Can be coloured.
      • Uses - pipes, guttering, bottles, window frames.
      • PVC (un-plasticised, flexible)
        • Good chemical resistance. Good resistance to weathering. Rigid. Hard. Tough. Lightweight. Can be coloured.
        • Uses - flexible hose, e.g. hose pipes, cable insulation.
    • PET (Polyethylene Teraphthalate)
      • Moderate chemical resistance.
      • Uses - fibres used to make a wide range of clothing, blow-moulded bottles for beers and soft drinks, electrical plugs and sockets, audio and video tapes, insulation tapes.
    • PC (Polycarbonate)
      • Good chemical resistance. Expensive material.
      • Uses - very tough - used for protective shields, e.g. safety glasses, safety helmets, hairdryer bodies, telephone parts, vandal-proof street-light covers.
    • PBI (Polybenzlmidazole)
      • Heat resistant. Good wear resistance. Hard.
      • Uses - protective apparel, e.g. firefighter suits.


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