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What Material Is Suitable for Your Plastic Prototype


 Rapid Prototyping



There are many choices of plastic available for rapid prototype. How to select the best one to meet your needs? Here shares some general plastics info for reference.

 

ABS

Description: this low cost engineering plastic offers exceptional mechanical and surface strength for a wide range of parts used in high-impact application

Properties: one of the popular China Rapid Prototyping CNC material, cut easily, thermal and dimensional stability. It also can be painted and glued for adding versatility, lager and complex parts with undercuts can be easily made in sections and glued.

Finish Available: Machine Finish, Smooth Finish, Sand Blasting, Polishing Finish, Painted or Grey Primered, Electroplated.

Weaknesses: Not suitable for Petroleum-based oils, paints and solvents. Moderate heat, moisture and chemical, weathering resistance. Can easily scratch. Flammable with high smoke generation.

 

PC

Description: Unfilled Poly Carbonate (PC) is a tough and durable, transparent engineering thermoplastic notable for its high impact resistance, temperature resistance and optical properties.

Properties: High Impact resistance, Good Dimensional Stability, Excellent strength retention at elevated temperatures, Low coefficient of thermal expansion, Good Dimensional Stability. Good electrical insulator and having Heat resistant and Flame retardant properties.

Finish Available: Machine Finish, Smooth Finish, Sand Blast, Mirror Polish, Vapor Polishing , Translucent finish (Foggy look like Lamp Shade), Painted or Grey Primered.

Weaknesses: Subject to cracking due to stress, Moderate resistance to Chemicals, Low scratch-resistance.

 

Acrylic

Description: Also known as PMMA (Poly Methyl-Meta Acrylate) is an amorphous thermoplastic material with very good optical properties. Acrylic is often used as a glass substitute.

Properties: Excellent optical clarity, Good Abrasion Resistance, Excellent environmental stability, Good Heat Resistance, Good Chemical Resistance. Flammable but low smoke emission.

Finish Available: Machine Finish, Smooth Finish, Mirror Polish, Flame Polish ,Translucent Finish, Painted or Tinted finish

Weaknesses: Poor impact resistance, Subject to stress cracking, Not suitable for use with chlorinated or aromatic hydrocarbons. Brittle nature, PMMA swells and dissolves in many organic solvents.  

 

Acetal

Description: Acetal also known as POM (Poly Oxy Methylene) is an engineering Thermoplastic often used for precision components that require high stiffness, low friction and excellent dimensional stability.

Properties: Excellent abrasion resistant Good working temperature, Glossy appearance, Excellent durability Self-lubricant Good stiffness, strength & Hardness. Wide range Chemical resistance (including many solvents). Good Electrical and Dielectric properties.

Finish Available: Machine finish, Smooth Finish, Sand Blast, Polished finish

Weaknesses: Very difficult to bond, Poor resistance to acids, Flammable and High Specific Gravity. Difficult to paint. Large and thin parts with irregular wall section are prone to warp.

 

Nylon

Description: Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers known generically as PA Poly Amides. Nylons (Polyamides) comprise the largest family of engineering plastics with a very wide range of applications. Nylons are generally Strong, Tough and Wear Resistant.

Properties: Excellent abrasion resistance, High elongation, Good resistance to fuels, oils and solvents but is affected by acids and strong bases. Good Toughness, High Tensile Strength, High Impact Resistance, Good Dimensional Stability.

Finish Available: Machine Finish, Smooth Finish, Sand Blast.

Weaknesses: High Moisture absorptivity degrades electrical and mechanical properties. Attacked by strong Acids, Bases, Oxidizing agents. High Notch sensitivity.

 

PP

Description: Poly Propylene is semi-opaque thermoplastic widely used in variety of applications. Polypropylene has good resistance to fatigue. PP offers a combination of outstanding physical, chemical, mechanical, thermal and electrical properties.

Properties: Excellent resistance to fatigue. Lightweight with good combination of toughness and flexibility. Resists most alkaline and Acids. Low moisture Absorption and Non-Toxic. Good Impact Resistance. Retains stiffness and flex.

Finish Available: Machine Finish, Smooth Finish, Sand Blast.

Weaknesses: Hard to Glue. Degraded by UV radiation, Attacked by chlorinated solvents and aromatics. Large and thin wall sectioned parts are prone to deformation or warping after machining.

 

For more information about the prototype material selection, please feel free to contact China Rapid Prototyping team at sales@teamrapidtooling.com


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