Creative Mechanisms workshops a variety of plastics when it comes to building and prototyping new products. However, not all plastics are created equal, and certain plastics serve different purposes. Because of this, we carefully choose which materials we use through our manufacturing process.
Plastics can be categorized in many different ways, with each type being useful for specific purposes based on their unique properties. Here is a breakdown of the different types of plastics, as well as how and why they are commonly used.
Several plastics fall under the umbrella of polyolefins, with one we most commonly use being polypropylene. An incredibly cost-effective material, PP plastic is found in bottle tops, living hinges, and even car parts and furniture. It is a recyclable and reusable material, one of the reasons that Creative Mechanisms uses PP for many of our product design and prototyping projects. Many also consider PP to be the safest plastic on the market, which is another reason it is so popular.
Other common types of polyolefins include both high- and low-density polyethylene. HDPE is frequently used in plastic milk containers and cleaning product containers, while LDPE is often present in plastic wrapping. While LDPE is softer and much more flexible, HDPE has its advantages, including being able to withstand higher temperatures.
Despite having polyethylene in the name, a common type of plastic known as polyethylene terephthalate (PETE) is actually considered to be a polyester. It’s used in almost everything, from clothing to food packaging. These long-chain polymers have become more and more popular in engineering and manufacturing thanks to their heat- and stain-resistant qualities.
PS plastics have various uses, as it is found in anything from CD cases to to-go boxes to cosmetic supplies. PS and ABS, another member of the Styrene family of plastics, are both commonly used in our manufacturing, as it provides a great middle-ground material for a variety of potential new products.
Other Types of Plastics
Acrylics, polycarbonate, nylon, and other plastics not covered in the categories mentioned above will fall under this umbrella. These plastics can be used for products that will undergo severe wear and tear over their lifespan. Some plastics in this category may have scratch-resistant qualities, while others may be chosen for low-friction qualities.
When you choose Creative Mechanisms to help with your product manufacturing, we can help you determine which materials will be the most effective for your products’ intended purpose. For more insight on what plastics we use or to schedule an appointment with our team, contact Creative Mechanisms today.