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    Engineering Plastics: An Overview

    2024-03-11

    Plastics have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. From household items to industrial machines, plastics play a vital role. Within the domain of plastics, engineering plastics hold significant importance due to their superior properties compared to traditional plastics.


    Coherent Market Insights explores more about engineering plastics in Engineering Plastics Market.


    Introduction to Engineering Plastics


    Engineering plastics, also known as high-performance plastics, are a group of plastic materials that have better mechanical and/or thermal properties than the common plastics like polyethylene and polypropytarphene. Engineering plastics include plastic materials like polyamides (nylons), polycarbonates, polyacetals (poyoxymethylene), polyetherimide, polysulfones, and Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) oxides.


    These plastics are specifically engineered for uses that require greater strength, rigidity and heat resistance than typical commodify plastics. Some key properties of engineering plastics include high strength and rigidity, resistance to solvents and chemicals, ability to withstand high temperatures without degradation. Due to their superior properties, engineering plastics find wide application in transportation, electrical & electronics, consumer goods, industrial machinery, healthcare, and other sectors.


    Major Types of Engineering Plastics


    There are various types of engineering plastics available based on their chemical composition and properties. Some of the major and widely used engineering plastics include:


    - Polyamides (Nylons): Known for their high strength, rigidity, abrasion resistance and ability to operate at high temperatures. Commonly used grades are nylon 6, nylon 6,6 and nylon 11/12. Find application in gears, bearings, nuts and bolts etc.


    - Polycarbonates: Have high impact strength, heat resistance and transparency. Used in applications requiring optical clarity like lenses and lighting fixtures. Also used in electronics parts and automotive components.


    - Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS): Combines the properties of acrylonitrile and styrene with polybutadiene rubber. Known for its toughness, strength and moldability. Commonly used in housings for appliances, power tools, and electronic devices.


    - Polyacetals: Excellent bearing material with low friction coefficient. Has self-lubricating properties. Used in gears, pulleys, slides and bushings. Find wide usage in automotive, machine building and precision engineering industries.


    - Polyetherimide: High strength, stiffness and dimensional stability coupled with excellent heat, chemical and fire resistance. Used in wire and cable insulation, electrical and automotive components.


    - Polysulfones: Have high strength, toughness, rigidity and ability to withstand heat and chemicals. Well suited for filtration and separation applications due to its permeability. Also used in medical devices.


    - Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS): Combines heat resistance, chemical resistance and dimensional stability. Used in autoclave applications, valves, filters and electronics parts.


    Key Areas of Application


    With their superior mechanical and thermal properties compared to commodity plastics, engineering plastics have replaced traditional materials like metals in many applications. Some key application areas include:


    - Automotive: Components like gears, pistons, alternators, engine covers, air ducts, brake components are commonly made from engineering plastics like nylon, ABS and polycarbonate.


    - Electrical and Electronics: Housings for appliances, connectors, circuit breakers, switches, cables and wires extensively use engineering plastics like polycarbonate, nylon, PBT and LCP.


    - Industrial Machinery: Gears, bearings, pulleys, guide rails, cams used in machines extensively use engineering plastics like acetal, nylon and PTFE for their self-lubricating properties.


    - Consumer Goods: Housings for power tools, 3D printers, toys, gadgets, sports equipment commonly use engineering plastics like ABS for their strength and moldability.


    - Medical Devices: Components used in medical, surgical and dental equipment utilize engineering plastics like PEEK and PPS for their biocompatibility and chemical resistance.


    - Aerospace: Structural components, fasteners, insulators and seals used in aircrafts and spacecraft leverage properties of high performance plastics like PEEK and polyimides.


    Market Outlook


    The automotive industry's evolution towards lightweight vehicles is driving the demand for engineering plastics globally. For more details on the engineering plastics market outlook, refer to the comprehensive market research report published on Coherent Market Insights. The report analyzes the global engineering plastics market in detail covering factors influencing its growth, key players, future opportunities and projections. Overall, the engineering plastics market is poised to grow at a steady pace led by the Asia Pacific region owing to increasing automotive production and transition towards electric vehicles. Stringent environmental regulations regarding fuel efficiency and emissions will further propel the replacement of metals with engineering plastics across major industries in the coming years.


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