Material Properties

Choice of materials for construction plastics

The possibilities for plastics used as industrial materials are endless. Technical plastics make existing applications faster, more precise, lighter, more cost-effective and require less maintenance. If they are used correctly, the results will be incomparable.

Four steps for selection materials

  1. You are familiar with the application sector, but do you also know the application and requirements exactly?
  2. Analysis of the stresses that material is subjected to.
  3. Choice of material based on specific properties
  4. Selecting the manufacturing process

Do you have any other questions?


Thermal properties

Due to their thermal properties, plastics can be used as materials for many applications. The thermal conductivity is usually low, which has multiple advantages, such as an insulating effect. The specific heat capacity of plastics is also of interest. Plastics differ in their heat resistance (HDT), the Vicat softening temperature and in the melting and glass transition temperature. It is therefore important which maximum or minimum usage temperature a specific plastic has. Thermoplastics also have a relatively high linear expansionYou should also consider this when making a selection.

Temperature resistance is a key feature of plastics. Depending on the characteristics, thermoplastics are therefore divided into standard, construction plastics and high-performance plastics.

You will need to answer these questions:
What thermal stresses will the material be subjected to in use?

Mechanical properties

The mechanical parameters of a plastic play a decisive role in many applications. The mechanical properties include the strength of a material, its malleability, rigidity and toughness.

All parameters focus on the reaction of the material to external stress: How great is the resistance, how strong the transformation and the resistance to deformation and how high is the work capacity of the plastic?

A distinction is made between brittle-hard plastics, tough plastics, and soft or elastic plastics. Their reaction to external stress is tested using different test methods. However, the pertinent influences in the application are not only short-term loads. The transformation behaviour in particular is also influenced by time, temperature and humidity and the velocity of the stress.

What mechanical stresses will the material be exposed to?

Chemical exposure

The chemical resistance of a substance is defined by the influences of temperature, the concentration of agents, the residence time and various mechanical stresses. Individual tests are always recommended for specific applications. From a chemical point of view, the contact temperature, the contact time and the concentration are important when choosing materials.

Which chemical influences should be expected?

Electrical Properties

The resistance that plastic can offer is measured by the ratio of the applied voltage (volts) and the resulting current (amperes). This so-called surface resistance also depends on external influences such as air humidity or surface contamination. When choosing material, it is therefore crucial to know where the product will be used. The range of different characteristics of surface resistance is astonishingly high for plastics.

The dielectric strength measures the resistance to high voltage. It goes without saying that the material must absolutely have an insulating effect. Plastics have advantages over other materials. Nevertheless, the choice of a plastic needs to be carefully analysed, especially for thin-walled building components.

In order to be able to evaluate the insulating effect of individual materials, the tracking resistance will often be checked.

Which electrical loads can be expected?

Other properties

The right choice of material can also depend on other requirements: Optical requirements, fire behaviour, radiation and weather resistance, tribological behaviour, such as the sliding capability of the material. Thermoplastics are fascinatingly versatile and are ready for challenges.

Are additional stresses relevant?

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