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The Crucial Guide/Data to Plastic Raw Materials for Injection Molding

The Importance Roles of Material Selection

In the intricate world of product development, the right choice of material can be a defining factor in the success of your final product. Whether you’re manufacturing automotive parts, medical equipment, toys, or any other goods, every product demands a suitable material with the right specifications to ensure performance, longevity, and safety. With the rise in technology and materials science, we’re presented with an array of choices, each with its unique properties and implications for your product’s performance.

When you embark on this selection journey, several factors come into play. A keen understanding of the functionality of your product is crucial. Different materials offer varied levels of strength, flexibility, flame level, and resistance to heat and chemicals, influencing the functionality and durability of your product. For instance, a product exposed to high temperatures may require a material with high heat resistance like Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK), while a flexible product may be best suited to a material like Polypropylene (PP).

  • Processing Performance:
    The choice of plastic will consider processing methods, such as injection molding, blow molding, extrusion, rotational molding, and more. Different types of plastics are suitable for different processing techniques. Moreover, the processing performance of the material, such as its fluidity, can impact the quality of the final product and production costs. For example, materials with good flowability often lead to products with smoother surfaces and fewer defects, which in turn reduces waste and improves production efficiency.
  • Product Functional Requirements:
    This includes the physical forces that the product needs to withstand (such as impact, tension, bending, etc.), temperature requirements (e.g., whether it needs to be heat-resistant or cold-resistant), and whether the product needs to have certain special properties, such as fire resistance, electrical insulation, UV resistance, chemical corrosion resistance, and so on. Specific performance requirements often dictate the choice of material. For instance, if a product needs to have excellent flexibility, materials like elastomers may be chosen. If a product needs to operate in high-temperature conditions, heat-resistant plastics like PPS (Polyphenylene sulfide) may be selected.
  • Product Design:
    The appearance of the product, including color, gloss, transparency, and the complexity of the design, might influence the choice of plastic. Some plastics are easier to color, while others can produce better surface effects. For example, if a high degree of transparency is required, materials like polycarbonate (PC) or polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) might be chosen.
  • Cost Considerations:
    The cost differences between various types of plastics might also be an important consideration. Assuming all other needs are met, a less costly material is typically selected. It is important to note, however, that while some materials might be cheaper to purchase, they may be more expensive to process, or they may result in a higher percentage of defective products, so a total cost analysis is usually required.
  • Environmental Factors:
    An increasing number of enterprises and consumers are starting to care about the environmental impact of products, including environmental protection during production, the recyclability of the product, and the handling of the product after disposal. Some plastics (like PET) are easy to recycle, while some plastics (like PVC) might produce harmful substances when disposed of. Therefore, environmental compliance, product lifecycle assessment, and waste disposal considerations are playing an increasingly important role in material selection.
  • Compliance:
    The standards and regulations that a product needs to comply with can influence the choice of plastic. This is particularly true for products intended for specific applications, such as food contact materials, children’s toys, medical devices, etc. Certain materials are approved for these uses while others are not, and the relevant laws and regulations vary widely around the world.
  • Industry-specific Requirements:
    Different industries may have specific requirements for plastic materials. For instance, the automotive industry often demands materials that can withstand high temperatures, resist UV radiation, and meet strict safety standards. In contrast, the medical industry requires plastics that can tolerate sterilization processes, resist bacteria, and be biocompatible. The electronics industry might seek materials with good electrical insulating properties, while the food industry necessitates materials that are safe for food contact.

By the end of this comprehensive guide, you will have a deeper understanding of the significance of material selection, the diverse range of plastic materials available for injection molding, their unique specifications, and how to choose the best fit for your product. Let’s delve deeper into this intriguing world of materials science and its impact on your product’s success

Decoding Plastic Material Classifications

Classifications can occur based on several factors including chemical structure, polymer type, temperature resistance, and performance characteristics, among others. Such systems allow for a quick comparison of materials, easing the decision-making process in material selection, and ensuring that the chosen material meets the requirements of the specific application,see below 5 classifications method.

  1. Classification by Thermal Behavior:
    Plastics are typically classified into two types based on their heated behavior: Thermoplastics and Thermosetting Plastics. Thermoplastics soften when heated and can be molded, retaining their shape when cooled. This process can be repeated. On the other hand, thermosetting plastics become permanently set once heated and molded; they cannot be reshaped by heating again.
  2. Classification by Source:
    Plastics are also categorized into two types based on their origin: Natural and Synthetic. Natural plastics are derived from natural sources, such as rubber, chitosan, starch, etc. Synthetic plastics are created via chemical synthesis methods, which include polymers like Polyethylene (PE), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polypropylene (PP), etc.
  3. Classification by Use and Performance:
    Plastics are categorized into General, Engineering, and Special Plastics based on their performance and application fields. General Plastics include Polyethylene (PE), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polypropylene (PP), etc. Engineering Plastics consist of Polycarbonates, Polyamides (Nylon), etc., while Special Plastics include Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK), Liquid Crystal Polymers, etc.
  4. Classification by Structural Characteristics:
    Plastics can be classified into Linear, Branched, Cross-linked, and Networked based on their molecular structure. The performance varies significantly among different structural plastics.
  5. Classification by Filling and Reinforcing Materials:
    Plastics can be categorized into Unfilled Plastics, Filled Plastics, Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastics, Short Fiber Reinforced Plastics, Long Fiber Reinforced Plastics, etc., based on their filling and reinforcing materials.

Internationally, the most common way to classify plastics is based on their thermal behavior, i.e., they are divided into Thermoplastics and Thermosetting Plastics.

This classification method is based on the behavior characteristics of plastics after heating. Thermoplastics will soften and can be reshaped when heated to a certain temperature, and they will harden and maintain shape after cooling, this process is reversible. Common thermoplastics include Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), and others.

On the other hand, thermosetting plastics, after initial heating and shaping, undergo a chemical reaction and cure, permanently fixing their shape, and they do not soften upon reheating. Common thermosetting plastics include Epoxy Resins, Phenol Formaldehyde Resins, and others.

This classification method has a direct relationship with the processing and application of plastics, and therefore it is widely used in industrial production.

Below are some topical thermoplastic raw materials and its spec., please take those factors into your consideration before which raw material to choose:

Plastic MaterialDuctilityShrinkage Rate (%)FluidityRecyclabilityFire RatingMelting Point (°C)Durability
ABSMedium0.5-0.7HighYesHigh105-125High
PE(HDPE)High1-4MediumYesHigh130-137High
PE(LDPE)High2-3HighYesMedium105-115High
PE(LLDPE)High2-3HighYesHigh120-125High
PPHigh1.5-2.5HighYesMedium130-171High
PVCLow0.2-0.6LowYesHigh75-90High
PSLow0.2-0.8MediumYesHigh100-130Medium
PCHigh0.5-0.7MediumYesHigh155-165High
POMMedium2.0-3.5MediumYesMedium165-175High
PUHighN/AN/ANoMediumN/AMedium
PESHigh0.7-1.0MediumNoHigh260-280High
PETLow1.2-2.0LowYesHigh240-260High
PA(PA6)Medium0.8-2.5MediumYesHigh220-230High
PA(PA66)Medium0.8-2.5MediumYesHigh260-275High
PSUMedium0.5-0.7LowYesHigh280-345High
PPOMedium0.6-1.0MediumYesHigh265-275High
TPUHighN/AN/AYesMediumN/AHigh
TPEHighN/AN/AYesMediumN/AHigh

Below are some topical thermoplastic raw materials and its spec., please take those factors into your consideration before which raw material to choose:

Thermosetting Plastic MaterialDuctilityShrinkage Rate (%)FluidityRecyclabilityFire RatingMelting Point (°C)Durability
Epoxy Resin (EP)MediumVariesMediumNoHighDoes not meltHigh
Phenol Formaldehyde Resin (PF)LowVariesMediumNoHighDoes not meltHigh
Melamine Formaldehyde Resin (MF)LowVariesMediumNoHighDoes not meltHigh
Urea Formaldehyde Resin (UF)LowVariesMediumNoHighDoes not meltMedium
Silicone ResinMediumVariesMediumNoHighDoes not meltHigh
Thermosetting PolyestersMediumVariesMediumNoHighDoes not meltHigh
Alkyd ResinMediumVariesMediumNoMediumDoes not meltMedium
Epoxy Phenolic ResinMediumVariesMediumNoHighDoes not meltHigh
Linseed Alkyd ResinMediumVariesMediumNoMediumDoes not meltMedium
Formaldehyde Alkyd ResinMediumVariesMediumNoMediumDoes not meltMedium
Alcohol Acid ResinMediumVariesMediumNoMediumDoes not meltMedium
Phenol Alkyd ResinMediumVariesMediumNoHighDoes not meltHigh
Rigid Polyurethane FoamLowVariesLowNoMediumDoes not meltLow
Polystyrene Phthalate ResinLowVariesMediumNoHighDoes not meltHigh
Polystyrene Alkyd ResinLowVariesMediumNoHighDoes not meltHigh
Phthalic ResinLowVariesMediumNoHighDoes not meltHigh
Phthalate ResinLowVariesMediumNoHighDoes not meltHigh
Isocyanate ResinMediumVariesMediumNoHighDoes not meltHigh
Phthalimide ResinLowVariesMediumNoHighDoes not meltHigh
Phthalone Amine ResinLowVariesMediumNoHighDoes not meltHigh

Please note that the information provided above is for reference only and may not represent all types or brands of plastic. Different manufacturers and brands may offer slightly different products. The specific characteristics may vary according to the product’s type, manufacturing process, additives, etc.

This classification method is based on the behavior characteristics of plastics after heating. Thermoplastics will soften and can be reshaped when heated to a certain temperature, and they will harden and maintain shape after cooling, this process is reversible. Common thermoplastics include Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), and others.

On the other hand, thermosetting plastics, after initial heating and shaping, undergo a chemical reaction and cure, permanently fixing their shape, and they do not soften upon reheating. Common thermosetting plastics include Epoxy Resins, Phenol Formaldehyde Resins, and others.

This classification method directly relates to the processing and application of plastics, and therefore it is widely used in industrial production.

Spotlight on the Giants: The Top 10 Raw Plastic Manufacturers Worldwide

When it comes to sourcing raw plastic materials, understanding the market landscape and the major players is essential. To this end, we have compiled a list of the top 10 raw plastic manufacturers worldwide, renowned for their quality, innovation, and commitment to sustainability.

  1. BASF SE
    With headquarters in Germany, BASF SE stands out with a diverse portfolio of high-performance plastics and an unwavering commitment to innovation and sustainability. They are famous for their Ultramid® polyamides (PA) and Ultraform® polyoxymethylene (POM) which are highly valued in multiple industries.
  2. Dow Inc.
    One of the world’s most extensive plastic producers, the U.S.-based Dow Inc. provides a vast array of top-tier materials. Their highly sought-after products include TYRIN™ Chlorinated Polyethylene (CPE) and DOW™ Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) resins, essential to many applications.
  3. LyondellBasell
    As one of the world’s largest plastics, chemicals, and refining companies, the Netherlands-based LyondellBasell excels at generating key materials to tackle contemporary challenges. Their polypropylene (PP) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) products are widely used and highly regarded.
  4. SABIC
    Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) is renowned for their top-notch polymer production. Their most recognized products include Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Polypropylene (PP), and their specialty ULTEM™ Resins.
  5. ExxonMobil Chemical
    ExxonMobil Chemical is known for their consistently high-quality materials and technical leadership. They provide an extensive range of materials, with their Santoprene™ thermoplastic vulcanizates and Achieve™ advanced PP being amongst the most popular.
  6. DuPont
    U.S.-based DuPont is revered for their continuous innovations in material science. Among their standout products are Delrin® acetal homopolymer and Hytrel® thermoplastic polyester elastomer.
  7. INEOS
    INEOS, a leading plastic material manufacturer in Europe, is known for producing a broad range of products, including Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polypropylene (PP), and Polyethylene (PE).
  8. Formosa Plastics Corporation
    One of Asia’s premier plastic manufacturers, Formosa Plastics Corporation is noted for its diverse array of PVC, PE, and PP products. They are also acknowledged for their commitment to eco-conscious manufacturing practices.
  9. Reliance Industries
    This Indian multinational conglomerate provides a robust and diverse portfolio, particularly within its plastics division. Their mainstay products include ranges of polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE).
  10. LANXESS
    Germany-based LANXESS specializes in high-tech plastics for various applications. Their product portfolio includes notable entries like Durethan® polyamides (PA) and Pocan® polybutylene terephthalates (PBT).

Each of these manufacturers brings unique strengths to the table, offering a wide range of high-quality plastic materials. As you embark on your journey of material selection, consider the rich offerings of these companies and how they align with your specific product requirements. In the next section, we’ll explore the leading plastic manufacturers in China, further expanding your knowledge of the global plastic supply landscape.

Pioneers in the East: Top 10 Chinese Plastic Manufacturers

China’s prominence in the plastic industry is no secret. With a multitude of manufacturers producing high-quality raw materials, it is essential to recognize these key players in your sourcing process. In this section, we highlight the top 10 Chinese plastic manufacturers, each known for their top-notch materials, innovative technologies, and commitment to sustainability.

  1. China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina)
    ChemChina is one of the largest chemical corporations in China, known for its diverse range of products. Their strong foothold in polymer production makes them a go-to supplier for a variety of plastics like PVC, PE, and PP.
  2. China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec)
    Sinopec is one of the world’s largest oil refining, gas, and petrochemical conglomerates. Their extensive range of plastic materials, particularly polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), are highly sought after in the global market.
  3. PetroChina Company Limited
    As the largest oil and gas producer in China, PetroChina also holds a significant position in the plastic industry. Their renowned polyethylene (PE) products cater to a wide range of applications.
  4. Anhui Guofeng Plastic Industry Co., Ltd.
    Guofeng Plastic is well-known for its PVC and PET products. They are particularly recognized for their environmentally friendly manufacturing processes and high-quality materials.
  5. Jiangsu Yangnong Chemical Group Co., Ltd.
    Yangnong Chemical Group specializes in agricultural plastic products. Their exceptional quality polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is widely used in various agricultural applications.
  6. Zhejiang Hengyi Group Co., Ltd.
    A leading polyester and chemical fiber manufacturer, Hengyi Group’s PET products are acclaimed globally for their excellent quality and durability.
  7. Kingfa Science & Technology Co., Ltd.
    Kingfa is a pioneer in the development of high-performance plastics, with a focus on biodegradable and eco-friendly materials. They are best known for their advanced polylactic acid (PLA) and polybutylene succinate (PBS) products.
  8. Fujian Zhongjing Petrochemical Co., Ltd.
    Zhongjing Petrochemical excels in the production of polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE). Their advanced technology and commitment to quality make them a preferred supplier in the plastic industry.
  9. Wanhua Chemical Group Co., Ltd.
    Wanhua Chemical is globally recognized for their production of isocyanate and polyurethane (PU) products. Their innovative, high-quality materials have a wide range of applications.
  10. Tongkun Group Co., Ltd.
    Tongkun Group is a global leader in the polyester industry, offering top-quality PET products. Their high-quality materials and advanced production processes make them a prime choice for many manufacturers.

Each of these manufacturers brings unique strengths and products to the table, contributing significantly to the global supply of plastic raw materials. As you deepen your understanding of material selection, considering the offerings of these top Chinese companies can provide additional insights into your product development process. In the final section, we’ll provide guidance on how to approach us for expert advice on plastic raw material selection for your specific product needs.

Guiding You Through the Material Maze: Reach Out to HITOP

The diversity of plastic raw materials and their vast applicability have revolutionized countless industries. From automotive to aerospace, medical to packaging, toys to electronics, and even the humble household appliances – the ubiquity of plastics is undeniable. With an array of materials available, understanding what best suits your unique product specifications can be daunting.

Consider the breadth of industries that plastic materials have impacted:

  • Automotive:
    From lightweight components that improve fuel efficiency to durable parts that ensure longevity.
  • Aerospace:
    Materials that can withstand extreme conditions while maintaining lightness for flight.
  • Medical:
    Biocompatible plastics that are safe for human contact, and crucial for life-saving devices.
  • Packaging:
    Flexible, robust, and cost-effective materials essential for preserving and protecting goods.
  • Toys:
    Safe, durable, and colorful plastics that bring joy to children of all ages.
  • Electronics:
    High-performance materials that provide electrical insulation and heat resistance.
  • Household Appliances:
    Plastics that offer durability and aesthetic appeal at a lower cost.
  • Food and Beverage:
    Food-grade plastics that maintain freshness and safety.
  • Construction:
    Materials that offer strength, durability, and resistance to environmental factors.
  • Agriculture:
    Lightweight, weather-resistant plastics that increase farming efficiency.
  • Sporting Goods:
    Durable and flexible materials that enhance performance and safety.
  • Furniture:
    Plastics that offer design flexibility, durability, and cost-efficiency.
  • Marine:
    Materials resistant to saltwater and UV radiation, are essential for marine applications.
  • Energy:
    Plastics are used in solar panels, wind turbines, and other renewable energy technologies.
  • Telecommunications:
    Materials that insulate and protect essential communication hardware.
  • Textile:
    Synthetic fibers offer durability and versatility in clothing and accessories.
  • Cosmetics:
    Safe, flexible, and aesthetically appealing plastics for packaging cosmetic products.
  • Pharmaceuticals:
    High-grade plastics for drug delivery devices and sterile packaging.
  • Rail Transportation:
    Durable, lightweight plastics for interior and exterior train components.
  • 3D Printing:
    High-precision materials that allow for detailed and efficient production.

Navigating this complex landscape of materials and applications requires an expert guide. That’s where we, HITOP, step in. With over 25 years of experience in the injection molding industry, we understand the nuances of each material and can advise the best fit for your specific product and industry.

Our team at HITOP will analyze your product requirements, consider the functional needs, evaluate the cost-effectiveness, study the environment of use, and guide you through the regulatory constraints to suggest the most suitable raw material.

Remember, choosing the right plastic raw material is not just a decision – it is the bedrock of your product’s success. Leverage our expertise to optimize your product performance and durability. Don’t venture into the material maze alone. Contact HITOP today – your trusted partner in choosing the perfect raw material for your product.

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