Plastics Product Guide

Plastics are a widely used material for a broad use of applications. Plastic has a huge selection of different types, shapes, and sizes. Plastic materials are organic, synthetic or processed polymers that are supplied as raw materials or stock shapes. They typically consist of thermoplastic or thermosetting resins and can be made into many forms. Stock shape forms include: sheets, plates, rods, tubes, films, and extruded profiles.

Check out our Plastic Information and Cross Reference Chart.


ABS has perhaps the best balance of properties when cost is a factor. It has good chemical and stress-resistance as well as a combination of toughness with rigidity and creep resistance.

Hardness, Rockwell R103-112
Tensile Strength Yield (psi)6160-6500
Melt Flow18-23 g/10min
Max Service Temperature (Max in air)190-192
Flammability, UL94HB


Acetal provides high strength and stiffness coupled with enhanced dimensional stability and ease of machining. As a semi–crystalline material, acetal is also characterized by a low coefficient of friction and good wear properties–especially in wet environments. Because acetal absorbs minimal amounts of moisture, its physical properties remain constant in a variety of environments. Low moisture absorption results in excellent dimensional stability for close–tolerance machined parts.

In high moisture or submerged applications, acetal bearings outperform nylon 4 to 1. Acetal is ideally suited for close tolerance mechanical parts and electrical insulators which require strength and stiffness. It also offers resistance to a wide range of chemicals including many solvents.

Delrin, a homopolymer acetal, is also manufactured and stocked in rod and plate. It offers slightly higher mechanical properties than Acetron® GP Acetal, but may contain a low–density center, especially in larger cross–sections. Copolymer acetal also offers better chemical resistance than homopolymer acetal.

ColorNatural and Black
Durometer Hardness, Shore D85
Tensile Strength9,500 psi
Water Absorption 24 hrs0.20%
Tensile Elongation at break30%
Shear Strength8,000 psi
Specific Gravity1.41
Continuous Service Temperature (Max in air)180° F
Dielectric Strength420 v/mil


Plexiglass sheet is a common reference term for acrylic sheets. When spelled as Plexiglas® (one S) it refers to the Arkema brand name. When spelled as plexiglass (two SS’s), the user is not being brand specific and is considered to be looking for a generic acrylic sheet.


Acrylic plastic refers to a family of synthetic, or man-made, plastic materials containing one or more derivatives of acrylic acid. The most common acrylic plastic is polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), which is sold under the brand names of Plexiglas, Lucite, Perspex, and Crystallite. PMMA is a tough, highly transparent material with excellent resistance to ultraviolet radiation and weathering. It can be colored, molded, cut, drilled, and formed. These properties make it ideal for many applications including airplane windshields, skylights, automobile taillights, and outdoor signs. One notable application is the ceiling of the Houston Astrodome which is composed of hundreds of double-insulating panels of PMMA acrylic plastic.

Rockwell HardnessM-93
Tensile Strength10,000 psi
Water Absorption 24 hrs. @ 73°F0.2
Compressive Strength (yield)17,000 psi
Specific Gravity1.19
Maximum Continuous Service Temperature160° F (71° C)
Dielectric Strength430 v/mil
Forming Temperature300°F
Refractive Index1.49
Light Transmission, Total92%


HDPE (high-density polyethylene) offers excellent impact resistance, light weight, low moisture absorption, and high tensile strength. HDPE is also non-toxic and non-staining and meets FDA and USDA certification for food processing.

Rockwell Hardness & Brinell @ 73°FD69
Tensile Strength @ 73°F4600
Water Absorption 24 hrs.0.03
Compressive Strength (10% Deformation)3100
Shear Strength @ 73°F3380
Maximum Continuous Service Temp-in air (max)180
Maximum Continuous Service Temp-in air (min)-78
Approximate Melting Temperature °F260


This is superior engineering material for many diverse applications, the primary use as a bearing material, without lubrication, (under low PV limits) up to the point where a self-lubricating or superior wear material becomes necessary. It has replaced bronze, brass, steel, aluminum, and others. High impact resistance and not subject to embrittlement or deterioration. High heat distortion temp, excellent vibration resistance. Intermittent 330 deg F, continuous to 230°F.

Tensile Strength12-400
Water Absorption (24 hrs)1.2
Compressive Strength (yield)12,000
Maximum Continuous Service Temperature-40 to 212
Dielectric Strength400


PVC has excellent corrosion resistance and weather resistance. The working temp is 33 deg F to 160 deg F. and the forming temperatures of 245 deg F. It is good electrical and thermal insulator and has a self-extinguishing per UL Test 94. PVC applications are almost unlimited. It’s the most widely used member of the vinyl family. It is excellent when used for corrosion-resistant tanks, ducts, fume hoods, and pipe. Ideal for self-supporting tanks, fabricated parts, tank linings, and spacers. It is not UV stabilized.

Tensile Strength7,000
Water Absorption (24 hrs).05
Compressive Strength (yield)10,830
Dielectric Strength552


UHMW-PE is ultra high molecular weight polyethylene. UHMW is lightweight and longwearing, providing excellent performance in packaging equipment. Key benefits of UHMW include abrasion and impact resistance. Additional features include: low coefficient of friction, chemically inert, self-lubricating, FDA/USDA approved, and machinable. UHMW lessens the noise of bottles, cans, and conveyor chains. Packaging lines with UHMW components run quietly.

The low coefficient of friction allows it to release food particles and other substances preventing build-ups and bottle-necking. UHMW causes no undesirable taste, smell, or discoloration. This material requires no special care and can be cleaned with water, steam, detergents, or disinfectants.

ColorWhite (Virgin) or Green/Black Marbled (reprocessed)
Rockwell HardnessR64
Tensile Strength4,750 psi
Elongation at break325%
Shear Strength3,500 psi
Density.034 lbs/cubic inch
Water Absorption (24 Hours)<0.01%
Continuous Service Temperature (Max in air)160° F

PHENOLIC Grade L.E. (Linen Electric)

Phenolics, hard and dense plastics are produced using heat and pressure applied to layers. Phenolic Grade LE provides good mechanical & electrical strength. LE has a low moisture pickup and dissipation factor and is great in ALL electrical properties. Recommended for intricate high strength parts. Has a continuous operating temperature @ 250°F.

Hardness, Rockwell MM100
Tensile Strength (lengthwise/crosswise)13,000/9,00
Compressive Strength (psi)37,000
Max Operation Temp °F285
Water Absorption 24 Hours (%)1.8


Machine-grade polycarbonate has a high-impact strength and a continuous temperature use of 250°F. Its strength, impact resistance and transparency also make it an ideal material for certain transparent structural applications such as sight glasses and windows. This material is a good choice for electrical applications, because of its high elasticity and good dimensional stability.

Hardness, Rockwell M75
Tensile Strength (psi)10,500
Compressive Strength (psi)11,500
Flammability, UL941 (HB)
Water Absorption 24 Hours (%).2
Continuous Service Temperature (Max in air)250

SEABOARD® HDPE for Boating

HDPE Seaboard® marine sheet is a high density polyethylene sheet formulated to meet the specific requirements of marine and other outdoor environments. Special post-production treatment enhances its ability to withstand the effects of salt water, moisture and direct sunlight.

Features and Benefits:

  • High degree of stability
  • Inertness to marine environments
  • Good flexibility and toughness
  • Good dielectric properties

TEFLON® (PTFE Virgin grade)

Teflon Rods & Teflon Sheets (Virgin Grade) have astonishing chemical resistance and ultra high-purity. Self-lubricating and with a low friction coefficient, Teflon PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) sheets and rods work well for the manufacturing of high-temperature seals, insulators and bearings used in semiconductor, aerospace & chemical processing industries.

Hardness, Shore DD50
Melting Temp °F635
Tensile Strength (psi)3,900
Compressive Strength (psi)3,500
Max Operation Temp °F500
Water Absorption 24 Hours (%)1.8
Continuous Service Temperature (Max in air)< .01

Alcobra Metals states that all technical data is for comparison purposes only and is NOT FOR DESIGN. It has been compiled from sources we believe to be accurate but cannot guarantee. Please consult an Engineer.

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