Types of materials

  • Created by: Lidyblue
  • Created on: 21-05-17 14:17


Acylic - Rigid, colourful, easy to form. Commonly used for point of sales. Can't be printed on but, vinyl graphics can be applied to it.

HIPS (high impact polystyrene) - Ideal for vacuum forming with moulds made of MDF board. Used for plant/food trays. Comes in many colours.

Styrofoam - Good for 3d work. can be cut using a hotwire or with a scalpel.

PP (Polyropylene) - Versatile. Comes in many colours and transparent. Tearproof thanks to its live hinge. Can be used for packaging instead of card and can be printed on.

PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) - can be vacuum formed, but mainly used in the sign industry because of its excellent UV stability. Don't use under a laser cutter because it is toxic and you will die.

LDPE (low density polyethylene) - Soft and comes in many colours. Used for carrier bags and domestic bottles.

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Smart materials

Thermochromic pigment - Pigment that reacts with heat. Used for safety for products like baby spoons or for novelty items like mugs and whatever.

Photochromic pigments - Pigment that reacts with light. Used on those fancy glasses that turn into sunglasses outdoors.

Phosphorescent pigment - The pigment absorbs light and releases it during the dark. Used for signs in the dark and novelty items.

There's also new plastics that are biodegradeable in water now and are made of starch based ingredients. Not always the solution because they use up plants we could be eating.

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Cartridge card ( 120gsm) - Offwhite, expensive. Can take watercolour and markers. Sometimes marker ink can bleed through the paper. Can be used for packaging too.

Corrugated card - Inexpensive. Used for packaging and boxes for fragile items. Comes in different thicknesses called "flutes" with E flute being the thinest, and A being the thickest.

Mounting board (1000gsm) - Very high quality. Made of two layers; top layer is coloured and high quality, bottom layer is a lower quality and unprinted.

Key terms:

GSM - Grams Per Square Metre. Represents the weight of the paper.

Coated cardstock - Paper has been printed on with a finish like gloss,matt and silk.

Uncoated cardstock - Paper that has not been printed on. Less expensive that coated cardstock

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