POSTINDUSTRIAL – Regenerated Plastic
PE is available in different types, which are designated according to their density. HDPE stands for “high density polyethylene”, LDPE means “low density polyethylene” and LLDPE is “linear low-density polyethylene”. All PE types are very resistant to water, moisture and most organic solvents. PE is white or colourless and can be coloured in virtually any colour. Polymer of ethylene is one of the types of plastic that is produced in greatest quantity. PE is used for e.g. bags, film, multi-layer foil, beer and milk crates, pipes, fuel tanks, toys, household goods and many other things.
It is in the same family as polyethylene but is stiffer than HDPE and maintains its mechanical properties better at higher temperatures. It has good chemical resistance. PP is white or colourless and can be coloured in virtually any colour. PP has a density of about 900-910 kg/m3. In other words, PP floats in water. PP can be found in most applications, especially in the automotive industry, packaging items, multi-layered foil, technical parts, toys and medical supplies. Polymer of propylene is one of the types of plastic that is produced in greatest quantity.
It is hard, stiff, brittle, clear as glass, excellent electrical insulation. Can be produced in an impact-resistant version that is slightly mat. Used for e.g. drinking glasses and for many technical applications. Polymer of styrene. As cellular plastic, it is called EPS, expanded polystyrene.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, ABS
ABS is a polymer, based on acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene in the form of a composite, in which an elastomeric phase (polybutadiene) is finely dispersed in a thermoplastic phase (acrylonitrile-styrene copolymer). It is impact-resistant, stiff, with a fine surface but poor weather resistance (degraded by sunlight). Available with different feature combinations by changing the proportions of its constituent components and by varying the degree of polymerisation, the chemical bond between the two phases, etc. The main applications are the production of housings for electrical appliances, telephones and computers, automotive equipment and toys (e.g. Lego bricks).
Very tough, strong and relatively rigid. Exceptionally resistant to impact, virtually unbreakable. Glossy and transparent. Not resistant to strong acids and bases or to many solvents. Used for protective screens and sight glass, parapets for bridges, light panels, domes, machine parts, recycled bottles for milk drinks and CDs. Co-polymer of carbon dioxide and bisphenol A or another divalent.
A well-known trade name is Nylon. Nylon is composed of monomers by means of amide bonds. The substance is therefore often called polyamide. In 1939, the US company DuPont was the first to begin industrial production of the substance. It was particularly relevant for women’s stockings and it replaced silk in the manufacture of parachutes. The advantage of nylon/polyamide is that it has a good wear resistance, it is elastic and resistant to creasing, it has high tensile strength, it is thermoplastic and can be easily mixed with other types of fibre. It does not shrink significantly and also has good recovery ability in carpets. The disadvantages are that polyamide easily absorbs dirt and static electricity and it degrades quickly in sunlight. It is very resistant to petrol, oil and many solvents, but it cannot be exposed to hot water for longer periods. Polyamide is most suitable for blended products. It is used for machine parts, oil filters, oil and petrol hoses, furniture hinges, laminate foils for gas-tight packaging, and kitchen appliances.
POM is a highly crystalline thermoplastic, which occurs both as homopolymer and copolymer. 780,000 tons are produced globally every year, the majority of which is injection moulded into components in the mechanical/transport, electro-technical, furniture and leisure sectors. POM combines a number of technically important properties such as stiffness, hardness and impact resistance, as well as dimensional stability at higher temperatures. POM also possesses good resilient properties and excellent wear and friction properties.