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Properties of Plastics

 PolystyrenePolypropylenePolyethylenePolycarbonate
AbbreviationPSPPHD-PE High Density
LD-PE Low Density
PC
Optical
Features
transparent, bright surface 90 % light permeability
(with 400-800nm)
translucent, bright surface translucent to opaque, wax-like surface transparent, 88% light transmission (at 400 - 800nm)
General
Mechanical
Properties
low elongation at break and heat resistance, excellent electrical insulating features, not suitable for high centrifigal forces high tensile strength at break, insensitive to tension cracks, high rigidity relatively low tensile strength at yield and surface hardness, high viscosity, soft to rigid, sensitive to tension cracks, water repellent displays high levels of mechanical optical, electrical, and thermalproperties, autoclavable and gamma capable
Autoclaving not suitable products made from PP can be autoclaved up to 121°C without significantly impairing their mechanical properties. Users are to test for themselves if autoclaving may have any effect on other characteristic product features so as to influence the individual application concerned. not suitable products made from PC can be autoclaved up to 121°C without significantly impairing their mechanical properties. Users are to test for themselves if autoclaving may have any effect on other characteristic product features so as to influence the individual application concerned.
Max usage temperature160 - 70°C100 - 110°CHD-PE 70 - 80°C
LD-PE 60 - 75°C
115 - 125°C
Short term max usage temperature275 - 80°C120 - 140°CHD-PE 90 - 120°C
LD-PE 80 - 90°C
125 - 140°C
Suitable for application in temperature ranges below zero2 not suitable suitable for limited applications1 suitable for limited applications1 down to -80°C
Density g/cm³1.050.90HD-PE 0.95
LD-PE 0.92
1.19
Flammabilityinflammableinflammableinflammableinflammable
Ignition temperature1300 - 400°C300 - 360°C350 - 360°C380 - 450°C
Humidity absorption<0.1%<0.1%<0.1%0.1 - 0.3%
General chemical resistance PS is resistant to salt solutions, laching solutions, non-oxidising acids as well as alkalis and alcohol. Fuel, etheric oils, strong oxidising agents and aromatic substances lead to the formation of cracks in PS. PP is resistant to aqueous solutions of inorganic salts, acids, organic solvents up to 60°C. Alcohols, esters, and ketones do not 'attack PP either. Aromatic and halogenised carbon dioxides, oxididising substances such as concentrated nitric acid and with higher temperature fat, oil and wax make PP swell. PE is highly resistant to chemicals. The chemical resistance of HD-PE is generally higher than that of LD-PE. Aqueous solutions, leaching solutions, alcohol, oil as well as water and salt solutions do not 'attack' PE. Concentrated, oxidising acids such as nitric acid and halogens have a decomposing effect. PC is resistant to higher concentrations of mineral acids, many organic acids (e.g. carbonic, oelic and citric acid) oxidation and reduction agents, neutral and acidic saline solutions, a number of fats and oils, saturated aliphatic and cycloaliphatic hydrocarbons and alcohols, except for methanol. PC is destroyed by lyes, ammonia gas, its solution and amines. PC is soluable in a number of industrial solvents, Other organic compounds such as benzene, acetone and carbon tetrachloride tend to make it expand or swell.
Disposal PS is a pure hydrocarbon compound and thus environmentally neutral during disposal. Incineration does not yield any harmful substances. PP is a pure hydrocarbon compound and thus environmentally neutral during disposal. Incineration does not yield any harmful substances. PE is a pure hydrocarbon compound and thus environmentally neutral during disposal. Incineration does not yield any harmful substances. PC is a pure hydrocarbon compound and thus environmentally neutral during disposal. Incineration does not yield any harmful substances.
1 - Suitability depending on the plastic material and the nature of load applied.
2 - Caution: Plastics start to become brittle at temperatures below zero. The suitability of products intended for use in these temperature ranges should be tested prior to application. These notes serve as a guideline only and do not constitute any confirmation of warranted quality.