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Plastic Material Basics

In this section we will explain about the world of plastic materials…

First most people do not realize there are two types of plastics.

One is called a thermoset and the other is a thermoplastic. See the menu buttons for each of these concepts that explain it a little more in depth. The main difference is that with thermoset the plastic has had thermal energy added and the molecular reaction will cross link  the molecular chains together and it can not be re-melted. Kind of like boiling an egg once it’s boiled you can not un-boil it. But thermoplastic material can be re-melted and used over and over.  That is only one reason it is the material of choice for most packaging applications…. But wait there is more…

Thermo plastics can be divided into a few more sub-categories. They are called Amorphous and Semi- Crystalline and engineering grades. See the sub-menu buttons for some more detailed information.

And Oh!!By the Way….what we call plastic material does not have real plastic properties !!!! Yikes!!!! you say, how can that be?… Well in most cases the correct term would be more accurate if we called it an elastomeric material. The concept of plastic is only a phase used in the molding process when the material is molten. Once the thermal energy in the material is removed and  we are in a solid state it will not be reformed like it could when it had heat energy in it and it was molten….

Hey we have an idea ! Want to impress your friends?

Tell them you are a speedreader?  See the next menu button for the pictures that convey this concept . Remember "Pictures  are worth 1,000 words"... so lets do the math see three pictures in one second...there 60 seconds in a minute and you just saw 3,000 words in second so you can say you can read 180,000 words a minute... don't buy it? oh well, we tried :)

Look at the pictures anyway it communicates another Outlaw Concept better and you will be able to make more sense of some of the problems we have in molding later.

The Plastic Material is one of the key ingredients in cost and performance. Having a good part design that minimizes the part weight will go along way with helping your product be competitive in the market. In most cases the material is over half the cost of your part and represents the highest potential for cost savings. In this section  we will give you the Outlaw Solutions and Concepts basics for material selection and the strategy for obtaining the best pricing.