Choosing a Plastic for Your Application


Which Industrial Plastic is Best for Your Application?
Aztec Plastic helps you choose the right one


  • We offer a wide range of thermoplastic materials
  • Our experts determine the which plastic fits your requirements best

With so many industrial plastic options, each with different characteristics, it can be challenging to know which one is the best for your application. Although there are a large variety of industrial plastic materials, the primary category is known as thermoplastic. 

Thermoplastic material 

Thermoplastics can be softened and melted back to their liquid state, allowing them to be molded without damaging their physical properties. There are numerous advantages of using thermoplastics:

  • Strength
  • Bendability
  • Shrink resistance
  • Ability to be shaped and reshaped
  • Recyclable
  • Chemical resistance
Thermoplastic examples

Examples of where thermoplastics are used include some of the most common industrial plastic parts in the manufacturing, medical, and electronics industries.  

  • PEEK (polyetheretherketone) can be found in piston parts, pumps, electrical cable insulation, medical implant device components, and metal replacement applications. PEEK is wear resistant, mechanical and chemical resistant, and heat resistant with a maximum working temperature of 500°F. PEEK’s exceptional tensile strength, biocompatibility, low water absorption and low coefficient of friction make it a popular thermoplastic in many industries. 
  • PAI Torlon has the highest tensile strength among non-filled, moldable materials. It also has a maximum working temperature of 500°F. Torlon’s high strength, low friction, and great bearing characteristics make it suitable as a material for electrical connectors, bearing cages, gears, and impellers.
  • PEI Ultem is a strong and rigid thermoplastic used mostly in electronics and reusable medical devices because of its ability to tolerate repeated steam sterilization. Not only is it resistant to long term exposure to heat, but it is also flame, chemical, and arc resistant. PEI Ultem is often used for applications requiring tight tolerances and low warp.

What to consider when choosing the right plastic 

Which thermoplastic you utilize for your product is largely determined by your industry and intended application. Here are some of the top factors to consider:

Final product—The function of your end product will determine whether the plastic you require needs to be rigid, flexible, high strength, chemical resistant, food grade, medical grade, and the list goes on. Choosing the wrong plastic can mean that your product does not function properly or may cause hazards. 

Injection molding process—Different plastics and resins have varying melting points, cooling points, viscosity, and other characteristics. The desired plastic injection molding or machining process will play a role in deciding which thermoplastic material is best for your product. 

Work within your budget—Once you understand the requirements of your final product and plastic injection molding process, you can choose the plastic that meets your budget. At Aztec Plastic, we’ll make sure you are not paying extra for qualities that you don’t need.

Aztec Plastic designs, engineers, and builds plastic components for medical devices, consumer products, the aerospace and defense industry, the automotive industry, agriculture, and more. Visit our industries page to see which type of plastic is best for your industry.


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