Common Plastics & their Applications

Common Plastics - Beck (1980) and Campbell (1996)

Phenolics Distributor caps, transmission valve bodies, switches, thrust washers, appliance pump impellers and housing, encapsulated electrical components.
Melamine Dinnerware, circuit breakers and switch gears, utensil handles, small appliance housings and appliance knobs.
Alkyds Automotive ignition equipment, electrical and electronic insulator, furniture, lamps, table tops, bowling bowls, and playground equipment.
Epoxies Adhesives, casting structural components, coatings, laminating, and "potting"(encapsulation of other parts within plastic).
Polyesters Automotive parts, building panels, chemical storage tanks, and complete car bodies.
Silicones Gaskets, seals, bonding, waterproofing, and insulating varnishes.
Thermoplastics Applications
ABS Luggage, safety helmets, some furniture parts, telephones, sporting goods, appliances, and can be chrome electroplated for uses in automotive trim, kitchen and bathroom faucets, and numerous plumbing parts Window panes (buildings and aircraft), taillights, machinery button enclosures, and outdoor signs and lighting.
Acrylics Window panes (buildings and aircraft), taillights, machinery button enclosures, and outdoor signs and lighting.
Nylons (Polyamides) Cams, gears, bushings, bearings, valve seats, hair combs and brushes, packaging, clothing, parachute cloth, and sports equipment.
Polycarbonates Appliance housings, power tool housings, safety helmets, high impact materials.
Polypropylene Automotive, housewares, appliances, medical and packaging fields; a widely used, low cost material.
Polystyrene Styrofoam, containers for food and produce, other packaging containers, refrigerator liners, insulation.
Polyvinylchloride (PVC) Rigid- water supply and sanitary systems, duct systems, house siding, and flashing Flexible- furniture, briefcases, floor tile, garden hose, shower curtain, and raincoats.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0633602. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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Pennsylvania State University
Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics
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