What Type of Plastic

At Bluemay we produce a wide range of plastic fasteners using injection moulding techniques and manufactured from a range of polymers to meet the client’s specific requirements.

Most people think of plastic as just that, and don’t consider that this generic term actually covers a wide range of different materials with different properties. People realise that there is a difference between metals such as copper and steel and that whilst you would use copper for such things as cables for its electricity conducting properties, you would not use it for structural work such as buildings as it is to soft and expensive.

The same applies to ‘plastics’ in that there are different types with different properties and not all are suitable for all applications. Plastics, or to give them their correct name, polymers, fall into three categories, thermoplastics, thermosetting plastics and elastomers. These groupings describe the mouldable properties of the materials and are the first stage in selecting a suitable type for the application.

Thermoplastics become liquid when heated and set to a fixed form at normal temperatures. They are the most flexible of the group of polymers as they can be reheated and reformed many times. They are also generally relatively flexible in their final form.

Thermosetting plastics have a similar property in that most become liquid when heated and can then be moulded. However once this process has happened the molecules form fixed structural bonds and when they have ‘cured’ they cannot be remoulded. The advantage of these types of plastics is that the finished material is very tough and rigid.

The final type of polymer is an elastomer. This again is heat formed but the final product is very flexible and as its name implies has similar properties to rubber.

Whilst most of these types of plastics can be formed by injection moulding, only thermo plastics and thermo setting plastics are suitable for producing fasteners such as plastic nuts and plastic bolts.

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