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Plastic Materials: An Overview of Properties & Applications

Few materials influence our daily lives more than plastic. As consumers, we don’t often stop to think about how a huge percent of the objects we use are made from plastic. In my office alone I count 32 individual plastic objects – and that’s not counting my pencils, pens and binders. Plastic manufacturers, however, must be acutely aware of the vast range of plastic materials and applications, as they are constantly designing and fine tuning new products with specific shape, strength, transparency and chemical properties. With the countless number of products – from disposable packaging to critical automotive parts – that can be made from plastic, it’s no wonder there are such a wide range of plastic materials, all with a very distinct set of properties. Understanding the difference between, say, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride is crucial for engineering products that will withstand their environments. Acrylic could never provide the strength and structural support of PVC, but polyvinyl chloride would be a clumsy and unattractive replacement to acrylic point of purchase displays. Let’s take a look at the most important polymer types and their properties.

Vacuum Forming: a Cost-effective, Versatile Plastic Molding Alternative

Vacuum forming is a simpler process than injection molding, involving less equipment for the production of parts and requiring less tooling. Vacuum forming companies offer services that are economical yet still give customers the desired design flexibility for a wide range of plastic products because of low-cost tooling modifications. If you are looking for a cost-effective process for creating three-dimensional plastic products with sharp, precise details plus the option for trim and other visually appealing decoration, vacuum forming might just be the ticket. Known as a thermoforming process because it utilizes heat to make the plastic sheet or film pliable enough to form over and around a mold, vacuum forming serves industries such as food, cosmetics, medical, electronics, consumer products, toys, athletic equipment, appliance, automotive, office supplies, etc. The packaging industry deserves a separate mention because it relies heavily on vacuum formed items such as blister packs, inserts, trays and clamshells, all of which act to hold products in place as part of overall packaging protection, plus offer aesthetic appeal.

R&D Molders, Inc. Takes In-Mold Labeling To Next Level

Georgetown, TX, May 7, 2009- R&D Molders, Inc. challenges industry standards with what industry observers are calling the first In-Mold Labeled or IML, round canister with a wall thickness of approximately 0.055′ capped with an injection molded, one-of-a-kind closure. R&D Molders, Inc. partnered with Minatech, Inc. to achieve this new industry benchmark using a custom-engineered 6 axis Fanuc Robotic Cell for the canister, and a 300-ton Toyo injection molding machine for the closure.