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There are many materials used in thermoplastics the most familiar are listed below.

ABS

Good general-purpose material, very tough yet very hard and rigid, good impact and electrical. Available in gauges from .040 to .475 with several extruded textures. Comes opaque and can be provided in custom colors to match client brands.

ABS/PC

A blend or alloy of ABS and polycarbonate that thermoforms and weathers well, has good color retention, is very hard and has excellent impact.

ABS/PVC

Flame retardant, tough.

Acrylic

Outstanding weather resistance, excellent optics and electrical properties, poor impact, high gloss and deep luster. Available in standard gauges from .080 to over 1″. Available in clear, transparent and opaque colors.

Acrylic, cell cast

Excellent optics and hot strength, more expensive.

Acrylic, continuous and extrusion cast

Large volume use and best price, good optics.

Acrylic film

3 or 6 mil film for laminating, decorating, and weathering of extruded ABS.

DR acrylic

Modified acrylic with higher impact properties.

Acrylic/PVC

A blend of acrylic and PVC that is a tough, chemical-resistant material that weathers well and is flame resistant. Available in custom colors.

HDPE (high-density polyethylene)

Crystalline, very tough materials, good weather resistance with UV inhibitors, resistant to many chemicals. Available in standard gauges from .040 to .500. Available in opaque custom colors. Tough and stiff. Good low temperature. Economical.

HMWPE (high molecular weight)

Excellent environmental stress crack properties, thermoforms well, good low temperature.

HIPS (high impact polystyrene)

Good general-purpose material, rigid. Available in clear but usually opaque custom colors from .030 to .350, low cost.

PVC (vinyl)

Good general-purpose material, good abrasion and chemical resistance. Available in clear but usually opaque custom colors from .030 to .125.

TPO

A great alternative for replacement of composites and comes in several grades that have “paint” like appearance.  The melt strength of PP has been modified so you can form deep drawn parts which was very difficult in the infancy of the thermoforming grades.

Expanded PVC

Stiff, light, flat, thermoformable. Available in stock colors and gauges, generally 3 and 6 mm but others are available.

PETG

Clear, higher impact than acrylic, easy to form. Available in gauges from .030 to .500.

Please let us know if you need specific information on materials listed or not listed above.  We are here to help!

UV and Paint replacement

For the most part these topics may be discussed in the same conversation.

Most of our materials have high aesthetics for replacing paint and multi-layer extruded product.  These materials could be ASA, acrylic or higher-grade substrate material.  Multi extruded product allows accomplishing the goal in the most cost-effective method.

Some materials that require UV resistance mainly to avoid color shift rather than promote gloss and/or depth of perception – a UV package is added to the entire substrate as an additive.  A good example of this would be HMWPE.  This package can range in price and the number of hours (which equates to years) is what drives the cost and minimums. Typically, a 3-5-year package is normal.

Color shift of a material that is protected may range from 1-5 delta E whereas the same product, not protected, may have a shift in the range of 15-25+ delta E.  These are generic statements; color, base material and time all affect these results (based on 2500 hours QUV test data).  The above is meant to make a general point that the extra cost of adding protection does offer results.

Gloss retention is also an important factor when discussing color shift.

Many of the developments involving paint replacement take in QUV/color shift, gloss retention, depth of image, and scratch and mar resistance.  The material suppliers continue to improve their alternatives to the premium of painting a part.

Please contact us for more information on this topic