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plastic moulding material selection guide

To help you select the right plastic for your mouldings, this plastic moulding material selection guide lists the most common plastic material types available together with an overview of basic properties of each plastic when in natural colour unfilled grade. This guide also lists typical trade names, costs & uses for mouldings made from each type of plastic material.


Toolcraft have worked with a very wide range of plastic materials over the years and are able to help you select the right material for your moulding project. We have some very knowledgeable suppliers as well.


Plastic Material Types and Abbreviations
Common Material Trade Names
Key Characteristics
Typical Applications
Acetal, Polyacetal or Polyformaldehyde
Delrin / Hostaform / Celstran / Kepital
POM 1.42 Natural - opaque white, very tough, low-med.cost
Gears and bearing; taps and aerosol valves
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
Novodur / Lustran / Starex / Terluran
ABS 1.06 Natural opaque and tough, low - medium cost
Telephone handsets + vacuum cleaner housings

Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate


ASA 1.19

Transparent. High UV stability, low – medium cost.

Conservatory parts, outdoor applications like antenna covers, roof vents

Cellulose Acetate
Cellidor / Dexel / Tenite Acetate
CA 1.20 Transparent, tough, flexible to rigid, high cost
Spectacles frames and screwdriver handles
Polyamide 6 (Nylon)
Promyde / Badamid / Akulon / Polyram / Vampamid / Ravamid / Denyl
PA6 1.14 Almost opaque/white, very tough, med-high cost
Bushes, bearings, curtain runners + combs
Polyamide 6.6 (Nylon)
Makamid / Badamid / Akulon / Domamid / Vydyne / Technyl
PA6.6 1.14 Almost opaque/white, rigid+tough, med-high cost
Levers, housings, handles etc
Polyamide 11+12 (Nylon)
Badamid / Grilamid / Rilsan
1.18 Opaque to clear, rigid + tough, very high cost
Air filters, safety masks, spectacle frames etc
Polyester - Thermoplastic
Ultradur / Rynite
Naturally cream. Rigid + stable, medium - high cost
Electrical sockets, housings and parts
Trirex / Infino / Calibre / Makrolon
PC 1.20 Transparent, very tough and resilient, high cost
Street lamp covers and safety helmets
Polyethylene - Low Density
Alkathene / Escorene
LDPE 0.92

Opaque white. Natural waxy feel. Tough+flexible, low cost
Kitchenware and many sealing lids + closures

Polyethylene - High Density
Eraclene / Hostalen / Stamylan
HDPE 0.96

Opaque white. Natural waxy feel. Tough + stiff, low cost
Chair seats and milk crates

Polyether Sulphone
PES 1.37 Clear, tough, v.high chemical resistance+cost
Valve seat linings, metal replacement parts etc
Polymethyl methacrylate (Acrylic)
Diakon / Acrypet
PMMA 1.18 Transparent and brittle, low - medium cost
Lenses; car light housings and reflectors
Capilene / Innovene / Appryl / Escorene / Novolen / Moplen
PP 0.91

Translucent to opaque white. Natural waxy look.

Tough + stiff, low cost
Beer crates and spade handles

Polyphenylene Oxide
Noryl / Thermocomp / Vamporan
PPO 1.07 Opaque. Tough + stable, high cost
Electrical parts requiring tight tolerances
Polyphenylene Sulphide
Torelina / Fortron
PPS 1.65 Brown, v.good heat resist., v.high strength+cost
Fuel system parts, guides, bearings etc
Polystyrene - General Purpose
Empera / Styron
GPPS 1.00 Transparent to white and brittle, low cost
Cosmetics packaging and ball-point barrel pens
Polystyrene - High Impact
Altech / Empera
HIPS 1.05 Natural translucent and tough, low cost
Food containers; cotton reels; toys - model kits
Polyvinyl Chloride
Doeflex / Evicon / Nakan / Apex
PVC 1.30 Transparent to opaque; tough + flexible, low cost
Shoe soles and electrical insulation

Polyvinylidene Fluoride


PVDF 1.78

Opaque white. High chemical resistance, very high cost.

Filter systems.

Styrene Acrylonitrile
Lustran / Luran / Starex
SAN 1.07 Transparent and brittle, low cost
Table and picnicware

Styrene Methyl Methacrylate

Nova / Dylark

SMMA 1.07

Transparent. Good dielectric transmission & UV stability, very good for thick sections, low cost.

Satellite dish covers.

Thermoplastic Elastomer / Rubber
Arnitel / Evoprene / Santoprene / Thermolast
1.10 Transparent to cream. Tough & flexible, high cost
Electrically insulated parts, seals + bushes


For more help with plastics view our ultrasonic welding of plastics or injection moulding troubleshooting guides.

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