safety of plastic

Basics of ABS Plastic

ABS plastic is a very unique and versatile material. It belongs to class of thermoplastics. Mainly there are three basic components associated with ABS plastic in its composition. These include acrylonitrile, Butadiene and styrene. Each one of these components exhibits specific properties and characteristics. Polybutadiene provides toughness in the ABS plastic while styrene offers the characteristics of rigidity. The presence of acrylonitrile imparts the properties of chemical resistance in the ABS plastic. These unique and versatile properties make the ABS plastic very suitable to be utilized in numerous applications.

The applications range from consumer goods to auto industry parts and from electronic components to children toys. The process of molding and extrusion of ABS plastic can be easily carried out.ABS plastic have the ability and characteristics to maintain its shape and size when subjected to stress and heat. In the processes of manufacturing and prototyping ABS is consider much suitable because it offers balanced characteristics of flexibility and strength. Moreover it also provides very smooth surface finish and ease in post processing methods. Want to know about ABS palstic parts, please go to ABS injection molding to know more.

Background Related to Safety of ABS Plastic

The safety of ABS plastic is of significant importance keeping in view its utilization. There are regulatory standards devised for the manufacturing and processing of ABS plastic to ensure that the produced ABS plastic is safe. The exposure of ABS plastic to the high temperature raises major safety concern because it involves the release of styrene. In order to address this issue, safe limits have been defined by the regulatory bodies for the exposure of styrene in the applications involving food contact. These regularity bodies include the followings.

  • Food and Drug Administration
  • European Food Safety Authority

Research and development is going on to identify the harms, hazardous and risks which are linked with ABS plastic. This is to ensure the safety of ABC plastic to utilize in numerous applications.

Is ABS Plastic Safe

Chemical Composition of ABS Plastic

The chemical composition of ABS plastic is important and vital to understand the versatile characteristics and safe utilization of ABS plastic in numerous sectors. There are multiple monomers which combine and compose to form ABS which is a copolymer. This is essentially carried out by the polymerization process. Followings are the details of the three monomers which compose ABS plastic.

  1. Acrylonitrile

The chemical structure of this monomer possess nitrile group and has below mentioned specifications.

  • It provides chemical resistance to ABS plastic
  • It is a colorless liquid
  • It bears a specific odor
  • It offers heat stability to ABC stability
  • The nitrile group provides toughness and rigidity
  1. Butadiene

This is a rubbery substance which has conjugated double bonds. The processing of butane or butene results in the production of this petrochemical substance. This monomer has the below mentioned specifications.

  • This substance is a synthetic rubber
  • It provides flexibility to ABS plastic
  • The double bond of butadiene offers impact resistance to ABS plastic
  • It imparts resilience in the ABS plastic
  1. Styrene

This substance is derived from the processing of ethylene and benzene. This monomer has the following characteristics.

  • Styrene is a colorless liquid
  • It offers better gloss and shiny surface finish to ABS plastic
  • During the manufacturing process it provides ease of processing to ABS plastic
  • It provides the properties of rigidity to the ABS plastic

Process of Polymerization of ABS Plastic

The process of emulsion polymerization is adopted generally to carry out polymerization of ABS plastic. There are several steps involved in the emulsion polymerization which is described below.

Preparation of the emulsion

In this step the monomers including acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene are emulsified in water by utilizing the help of the followings.

  • Stabilizers
  • Surfactants

As a result of this process very small droplets of monomers mixture are produced which are dispersed in water.


In this important step two kinds of initiators are added in the emulsion mixture. Generally these initiators are the followings.

  • Azo compounds
  • Peroxides

After the addition of these initiators required temperature is provided in the presence of the activators. This will result in the decomposition of the initiators. Subsequently this decomposition will produce free radicals. These radicals are essentially the reactive species with unpaired electrons.


In the propagation step, the free radicals which were produced in the initiation step attack the double bonds which are present in the monomers including acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. This attack will initiate a chain reaction in which monomers start to add with each other in proper sequence. Subsequently, as a result of this,polymer chains are produced which are in the continuously growing phase?


In this last step of polymerization the growing chains of polymerization are terminated. This is carried out by either one of these below mentioned methods.

  • Coupling termination in which polymer chains are combined with each other
  • Introducing a terminating agent in the reaction mixture which terminates the growth of polymer chains by reacting with them.

Details of Structure of ABS plastic

Polymer chains are produced as a result of polymerization process. These chains are comprised of three types of monomers which include followings.

  1. Acrylonitrile
  2. Butadiene
  3. Styrene

These units are randomly distributed along the polymer chains. However, the required properties and characteristics of resulting ABS plastic product define the ratio of these monomers in the polymer chains. Generally ABS plastic contains the following composition in its structure.

  • 20-30% acrylonitrile
  • 5-30% butadiene
  • 40-60% styrene

Processing of ABS Plastic

The processing of ABS plastic after polymerization is very important step. The processing of ABS plastic is normally carried out by following processing methods.

  • Blow molding
  • Injection molding
  • Extrusion process

Important Characteristics of ABS Plastic

The significant properties and characteristics of ABS plastic are as follows.

  • Heat stability and resistance to chemicals
  • Impact resistance and good toughness
  • Ease of processing and rigidity
  • Excellent durability
  • Lightweight material
  • Smooth surface finish
  • Excellent tensile strength
  • Good flexural strength
  • Ease of molding
  • Good machinability
  • ABS plastic is Recyclable
  • It gives good electrical insulation
  • Provides dimensional stability

Keeping in view the above mentioned characteristics and properties of ABS plastic it is consider very suitable to be utilized in numerous industries where durability and unique properties are required.

ABS plastic

Concerns Involving Safe Utilization of ABS Plastic

ABS plastic is extensively utilized in many sectors because of the balanced range of properties and characteristics that it offers. However, there are some concerns regarding the safe utilization of ABS plastic. These concerns involve the followings.

  1. Exposure to Chemicals during Manufacturing Process

The production process of the ABS plastic includes following three chemicals in general.

  • Styrene
  • Acrylonitrile
  • Butadiene

There are great chances that workers in the manufacturing setups are exposed to above mentioned chemicals during the production process of ABS plastic. These chemicals can cause the risk and danger to the human health and safety. So it is very important to ensure that these chemicals are properly controlled. In above mentioned chemicals, styrene is categorized as most harmful and is classified as possible carcinogen. This classification is based on the exposure levels of styrene and is declared harmful by health agencies.

  1. Leaching of the Chemicals during Utilization

Styrene monomer has the ability to leach from the plastic. Generally it happens when ABS plastic comes in contact with the following substances.

  • Solvents
  • Fatty foods
  • Oils

The contact and exposure of styrene with above mentioned substances pose potential risks to the human body and can create various health problems. These risks include the followings.

  • Respiratory issues
  • Potential carcinogenic effects with long and chronic exposure

The long exposure of acrylonitrile and butadiene may also raise safety concerns related to the human health. These concerns involve the followings.

  • Adverse reproductive effects (proved in animal studies)
  • Potential carcinogenic effects
  1. Biodegradability issue

The fact that ABS plastic is not biodegradable creates adverse impact on the environment safety. This is because; the persistence of ABS in the environment will become the reason of long term ecological impacts. Moreover, disposal processing of ABS plastic needs to be carried out in a proper way. Because, environmental pollution can be produced if disposal of ABS plastic is not monitored and done properly. Environmental pollution because of ABS plastic mainly includes the followings.

  • Potential marine pollution
  • Landfill accumulation
  • Littering

Control and Measures to Ensure That Is ABS Plastic Safe?

In order to ensure the safety of ABS plastic it is mandatory to control the steps and processes involved in its production. The implementations of safety measures are also necessary to ensure its safe utilization. Generally following measures are taken to make sure the safety of ABS plastic.

Control Measures Related To Production

The selection of raw material and testing of raw material plays an important role in ensuring the safety of ABS plastic. After that extensive testing of this raw material must be carried out to make sure that raw material adheres to the performance and safety standards. The testing of chemical composition of ABS plastic is also necessary on regular basis to ensure the followings.

  • Formulation of ABS plastic is consistent
  • Chemical composition is free from harmful contaminations

In addition to above mentioned parameters, the control of temperature during processing of ABS plastic is also important. Temperature control during the processing methods such as extrusion and injection molding ensure the following.

  • Integrity of the material is retained
  • Material does not release any harmful substances

Moreover, certain colorants and stabilizers are added in ABS plastic as additives and they need careful selection and close monitoring. This control is carried out to so that leaching of chemicals and toxic compounds can be prevented. The identification of the inconsistencies, defects and issues throughout the production cycle is necessary to make sure that safety is not compromised. Comprehensive testing protocols are implemented to ensure this aspect. The regulation of the manufacturing processes is ensured by adhering to the following international standards.

  • ISO 14001 for environmental management
  • ISO 9001 for quality management

Safety Measures and Environmental Considerations

ABS plastic bears excellent mechanical strength which prevents its breakage and consequently prevents hazards. Chemical resistance property of ABS plastic reduces the chances of harmful reactions during its utilization.ABS plastic is much compatible with other materials including adhesives and paints. This ability avoids the unintended chemical interaction which can compromise the safety of ABS plastic. The automotive components based on ABS plastic involve temperature in their applications. This temperature can cause the release of toxic fumes but ability of ABS plastic to withstand moderate temperature prevents this hazard.

Recyclability and disposal of ABS plastic are important factors which make impact on the environmental safety. So it is necessary to devise sustainable practices for recycling of ABS plastic. Subsequently, encouraging the recycling of ABS plastic will reduce the adverse impact on the environment. The utilization of ABS plastic products must be subjected to the implementation of the regulations and standards devised by the regulatory bodies such as FDA.

ABS injection molding


ABS plastic is a renowned thermoplastic which bear important properties and characteristics including tensile strength and durability. The applications of ABS plastic are found in many sectors ranging from automotive industry to electronics. The safety of ABS plastic depends on many factors including its chemical composition, production and manufacturing cycle and environmental considerations such as biodegradability and recycling.

In general, ABS plastic is considered safe to be utilized in many applications if its manufacturing and disposal is carried out according to protocols, regulations and standards devised by the regulatory authorities. There are certain factors which can accelerate the decomposition of ABS plastic. These factors include sunlight, high temperature environment and chemicals. So it is important to avoid exposure of ABS plastic to these factors. ABS plastic material must be used for the purpose they are manufactured for to prevent any harm and hazards created by non-specified applications.

Finally if you want to know more safety of plastics, please go to Is TPE safe, Is TPU safe, is silicone safe to know more about safety of other plastics materials.

TPE cup

What is TPE? Is TPE Safe?

The properties and characteristics of two separate groups are combined to form thermoplastic elastomers. These two groups are the followings.

  1. Thermoplastics (Upon heating these will melt and can also be molded)
  2. Elastomers (They shows elastic characteristics)

Moreover; these materials show the elastic properties similar to the rubber materials. This combination of properties is of important consideration because it enables these materials to be processed through numerous methods including extrusion, blow molding and injection molding. In this way these materials are manufactured effectively and efficiently.

Is TPE safe

The Structure of TPE (Basics)

Generally, there are three segments of the basic structure of thermoplastic elastomers.

  1. Structure of Block Copolymer
  2. Separation of the micro phase
  • Crystalline and amorphous portion

1. Block Copolymer Structure:

In general, thermoplastic elastomers are comprised of two different kinds of segments. These two segments or blocks are termed as hard segments and soft segments.

Hard segments: The hard segments of TPE provides basis for the mechanical properties of TPE. Consequently, these segments offer strength and stiffness to the thermoplastic elastomers. The hard segments of TPE are normally composed of thermoplastic blocks. These thermoplastic blocks have crystalline or glassy structure.

Soft Segments: The soft segments of TPE give the basis to provide elastic characteristics to the thermoplastic elastomers. The major properties and characteristics provided by these segments include followings.

  1. Elasticity
  2. Flexibility

The properties are governed by the rubber material present in the soft segments. The basic constituents are the followings.

  • Ethylene propylene
  • Polyethylene
  • Polypropylene

2. Separation Of the Microphase

The structure of thermoplastic elastomers at the microscopic level is of significant importance. The basic portions of TPE which are hard segments and soft segments have the tendency to lose joining at microscopic scale. The separation of these segments is crucial to characteristics and properties of the thermoplastic elastomers. The mechanical properties of TPE are directly affected by this separation. The thermoplastic phase of TPE ensures the structural integrity while the rubbery phase upholds the elastic nature of TPE. Subsequently the variation in mechanical characteristics of TPE including hardness, tensile strength and elongation is controlled by the nature and extent of separation of the microphase.

  • Crystalline And Amorphous Portion

There are two portions of hard segments of TPE. These portions are termed as crystalline and amorphous region. In order to achieve the required characteristics and properties these regions of hard segments of TPEs are tailored during the manufacturing process. The crystalline portion offers properties of strength and rigidity while amorphous portion gives characteristics of impact resistance and flexibility. 

The Prime Question, Is TPE Safe?

Thermoplastic elastomers possess unique characteristics and they can be easily processed for manufacturing. Because of these advantages, utilization of TPEs has been increased in various sectors and industries. Consequently, by the expansion of the utilization of TPEs, the question regarding the safe usage of thermoplastic elastomers arises.

Generally, if thermoplastic elastomers are being utilized in appropriate manner and not violating the regulatory standards, they are considered safe. So TPE is safe to be used in numerous applications because they are engineered in such a way that they do not contain any harmful substance and are nontoxic as well. However, some perceptions are there which consider that thermoplastic elastomers are not safe to be used in certain contexts. go to TPE injection molding page to know more.

Potential Concerns Regarding Usage of TPEs

Followings are the potential concerns which need to be addressed regarding utilization of thermoplastic elastomers.

1. Biocompatibility

Thermoplastic elastomers are readily utilized in medical sector and food industry. In food industry TPEs are used for manufacturing of food containers while in medical sector they are utilized to produce various medical implants and to form pharmaceutical packaging. Keeping in view the sensitivity of these utilizations, some specific biocompatibility test of TPEs must be carried out prior to their usage in such vital areas. These certain tests will ensure that thermoplastic elastomers will not release any harmful substances inside the body when subjected to utilization. Following two parameters need to be carried out carefully to ensure that TPEs are safe:

  • Proper formulation
  • Adequate testing for biocompatibility
  • Chemical Additives

This parameter is of significant importance regarding the safety of thermoplastic elastomers. This concern is related to the formulation of the TPEs which may pose risks if not properly checked and tested as per regulatory limits. Following chemical additives are included in certain thermoplastic elastomers mainly to uplift their characteristics.

  • Stabilizers
  • Flame retardants
  • Plasticizers

It is pertinent to mention that certain flame retardants and plasticizers tends to disrupt the hormones. Mainly phthalates and brominated compounds are included in this category. The adverse effects of these chemicals are directly related to the health concerns. It is important to eliminate the risks which are posed to human health by these chemical additives utilized in thermoplastic elastomers. Keeping that in view the role of manufacturers is very important in this context because they to ensure at all costs that chemical additives being utilized in TPEs are in full compliance with safety standards and regulatory limits.

2. Recycling of TPEs (A process full of challenges)

There are numerous challenges which are to be faced and overcome during the recycling of TPEs. This is because of these two main reasons.

  1. Chemical additives used in TPEs
  2. Numerous kinds of formulations

Generally, the quality of recycled thermoplastic elastomers is inferior as compared to new manufactured TPEs. This is because of the mixed plastics which are also contaminated as well most of the times. Consequently, these low quality TPEs cannot be utilized in certain applications and ultimately this leads to waste management problems.

3. Environmental Impact

There are two types of sources from which thermoplastic elastomers are derived.

  1. Bio based sources
  2. Petroleum based sources

The processing and cultivation of TPEs which are bio-based need energy, water and land. However, these are less relied on fossil fuels. While the processing and extraction of TPEs which are petroleum based provides contribution in greenhouse gas emission and consumption of fossil fuel. Thermoplastic elastomers are recyclable, lightweight and provide significant energy efficiency during processing. Because of these characteristics TPEs are more environment friendly as compared many other materials.

Although, TPEs offer many soft corners for environment it may have some adverse effects on the environment as well. This happens usually because of the improper disposal of the thermoplastic elastomers. This is of significance importance because thermoplastic elastomers can contain following harmful substances.

  • Chemical additives
  • Contaminations

Consequently, improper disposal of TPEs will result into environmental pollution.

Silicone cup

Misconceptions Regarding Safety of TPEs

There are some misconceptions as well which leads to the creation of the perception that thermoplastic elastomers are not safe. These misunderstandings are quite different from the actual concerns. These misconceptions are as follows.

  1. Lack of Awareness and Outdated Information

The important factor to create the perception that thermoplastic elastomer is safe or not is awareness. This awareness includes following two important parameters.

  1. The knowledge of specific kind of TPEs being utilized in various products and items
  2. The understanding of rules and regulatory standards which are in place and re being implemented to ensure the safety of thermoplastic elastomers

So, subsequently lack of awareness of the above-mentioned parameters will lead to the misconception that thermoplastic elastomers are not safe. Moreover, there is continuous advancement in the fields of polymer chemistry and material science. This advancement is leading towards the enhanced and improved safety profiles of thermoplastic elastomers. It is important to base the perception about the safety of TPEs on updated and authentic information. Because, misinformation or outdated information will ultimately produce misconceptions regarding safety of thermoplastic elastomers and mistrust about plastic materials.

  1. Confusion with Other Materials Which Release Harmful Substances

Most of the times, thermoplastic elastomers are confused with other materials which release harmful substances. This confusion normally arises between TPEs and following two materials.

  1. Thermoset plastics
  2. Thermoplastic Polyurethane

Confusion with Thermoset Plastics

Thermoset plastics tend to emit harmful and dangerous substances during the following processes.

  • Production process
  • Degradation process

Thermoset plastics differ from TPEs due to followings:

  1. Thermoset plastics shows irreversible chemical reactions
  2. Re melting and reshaping cannot be done

While on the other hand thermoplastic elastomers show the quite opposite behavior.

TPE shose

Confusion with Thermoplastic Polyurethane

The addition of diisocyanate with polyol chemical additives will lead to the production of thermoplastic polyurethane. TPU is created which provides the following characteristics and properties.

  • Elasticity and shape memory
  • Resilience and Flexibility
  • High toughness
  • Good impact resistance
  • Enhanced durability
  • Excellent resistance to Oil and other contaminations
  • Resistance to extreme weather conditions

Thermoplastic Polyurethane tends to emit certain chemicals based on the following factors.

  • Formulation and composition of thermoplastic Polyurethane
  • Type and nature of chemical additives

The dangerous and harmful materials released by the thermoplastic Polyurethane includes the followings.

  • Flame retardants
  • Plasticizers
  • Stabilizers

These chemicals pose potential threat to human life if they are released in the open environment and then inhaled or ingested. Go to TPU injection molding page to know more about TPU.

Confusion with Poly Vinyl Chloride

PVC tends to emit dangerous materials when some typical conditions exist.

These conditions can exist during the following stages.

  • During the production of PVC
  • During the utilization of PVC
  • During the disposal of PVC

PVC is often confused with thermoplastic elastomers. This confusion is mostly based because of the unawareness of the following parameters.

  • Safety profiles of the materials
  • Chemical composition of the material
  • Impact of the material on the environment

The detailed comparison and explanation is presented below to elaborate the difference between PVC and TPEs and how the confusion arises.

Comparison with Thermoplastic Polyurethane, Thermoplastic Elastomers and Thermoplastic Polyurethane

The detailed comparison how thermoplastic elastomers differ from thermoplastic polyurethane is presented below.

Comparative Data of PVC, TPU, and TPEs

Poly vinyl chloride Thermoplastic Polyurethane Thermoplastic elastomers
Toxicity and Plasticizers Addition.

Flexibility of PVC is gained by the addition of certain chemicals including phthalates. These health issues mainly include reproductive abnormalities. Medical devices and toys of children plays the role of carriers for these  abnormalities

Toxicity and chemicals Addition.

Thermoplastic polyurethane possesses isocyanates in its composition and formulation. It is pertinent to mention that these isocyanates behave in the harm way in following manners.

  1. Sensitizers
  2. Respiratory irritants

Consequently, these are potential risk factors keeping in view the human health and safety. When processing or production of TPUs is carried out these dangerous substances can be released. So proper safety measure needs to be adopted to ensure safety.

Advancement in material science and polymer chemistry has made it possible to design thermoplastic elastomers which are phthalates free. This leads to eliminating concerns about the harmful addition of these additives and toxicity being created by them. Consequently, when the formulation of the TPEs is free of phthalates it means it will not affect the human life in harmful way.
Impact on Environment

When the emission of harmful substances and waste management is taken into account, PVC tends to raise concerns regarding safety of the environment. The reality which describes that PVC is not biodegradable plays vital role in it. Moreover, it can release harmful substances during process of disposal and manufacturing.

Impact on Environment

Thermoplastic polyurethane tends to leave adverse effects on environment depending on their mishandling during disposing process. They needed to be carefully recycled so that isocyanates can be prevented to be released in the environment.


Thermoplastic elastomers provide less adverse impact on the environment because TPEs can be recycled and ultimately can be reused for numerous applications. Although thermoplastic elastomers are also not biodegradable but they are generally thought to be more environment friendly.

Approval of the Regulatory Bodies

There are many restrictions which have been imposed on the utilization of PVC. The basis of these strict measures is the addition of dangerous materials in PVC.

Approval of the Regulatory Bodies

Thermoplastic polyurethane must comply with the regulation standards devised by REACH (Europe) and FDA (USA).


Before the usage and application of thermoplastic elastomers in numerous industries and sectors controlled testing is carried out. These tests are governed by the regulatory bodies to make sure the compliance with ultimate safety measures.


Thermoplastic elastomers proved to have versatile characteristics and found their utilization in many important areas. Generally, TPEs are considered safe to be utilized in numerous applications when their manufacturing is carried out in a proper way. The concerns which need to be addressed regarding the safety of the thermoplastic elastomers include their biocompatibility, challenges faced during their recycling, their impact on the environment and nature of the chemicals being added in TPEs. These concerns can be effectively addressed by ensuring the correct and transparent formulation of the product, by adhering to standards established by regulatory bodies and by carrying out proper waste management.

Thermoplastic elastomers are being extensively utilized in food industry, consumer goods and medical sector. Among these entire medical sectors is most important because it involves the sensitive factor of the human health. These applications are using thermoplastic elastomers considering its non-toxic nature. The advance research and development are focused on making the thermoplastic elastomers safer along with enhanced mechanical characteristics and properties. This will ultimately broaden the scope of TPEs applications by ensuring its safety.

plastic material for injection molding

Injection molding materials are used in our life all the day on the world. Undstand the molding materials. See how strong they are. Find creative uses such as toys, blocks, and gears. Every material has its unique advantages. This blog makes it easier for you to choose the best ones!

What Are The Most Common Plastic Materials For Injection Molding?


ABS is an example of plastic injection molding materials. This material’s tensile strength is 44 MPa. It has high impact strength. The density is 1.04 g/cm³. It has a melting point of 220°C. That assists it to take the required shape. They use ABS for LEGO bricks. This material resists heat. It is very sturdy.

ABS turns out to be particularly suitable for injection molding. It is used in the production of many toys. The electrical insulation characteristic of the material used in ABS is fairly good. It is widely used in manufacturing. Know about about ABS injection molding.

Injection molding materials


Polypropylene is light. It weighs 0.91 g/cm³. Its tensile strength is 30 MPa. This plastic is quite chemical resistant. They shape it at a temperature of 160°C. The material is flexible. Plastic injection molding materials like this are used in containers. It has low absorption of moisture.

It is used to make ropes. The surface is smooth. This plastic can also be recycled. Polypropylene can handle heat. It’s strong and durable. Learn more about Polypropylene injection molding.


Polycarbonate is tough. Its tensile strength is 70 MPa. The density is 1.20 g/cm³. Its melting point is 267°C. This material is clear. They use it for lenses. Polycarbonate is shatterproof.

It blocks UV rays. Plastic injection molding materials like this are lightweight. Many gadgets use it. It has high impact strength. Polycarbonate is heat resistant. This plastic can be used in many different ways. Learn more about Polycarbonate injection molding.


Nylon is very strong. Its tensile strength is 75 MPa. The density of this material is 1.15 g/cm³. The melting point is 220°C. Plastic injection molding materials such as Nylon are wear-resistant.

They use it for gears. This plastic absorbs water. It’s tough and flexible. For instance, bearings are better made from nylon. The surface is smooth. It can be easily colored. This material is durable. It is commonly employed in textiles. Learn more about Nylon injection molding.


Polystyrene is clear. It has a density of 1.05 g/cm³. The tensile strength is 35 MPa. This plastic is rigid. Finally, they shape it at a temperature of 200 degrees Celsius.

Plastic injection molding materials like polystyrene are lightweight. It is used for cups. This material insulates well. The plastic is brittle. They use it in packaging. It’s easy to shape. Polystyrene is cost-effective. Many products use it. It can be recycled.


PEEK is very tough. It has a tensile strength of 90 MPa. The density of this material is 1.32 g/cm³. The melting point is 343°C. PEEK resists chemicals. Plastic injection molding materials like PEEK are used in aerospace. This plastic is highly resistant. It handles heat well. PEEK is lightweight.

It is widely used in many medical devices. It’s wear-resistant. The material is durable. PEEK is especially suitable for highly stressed areas. Learn more about PEEK plastic injection molding.


PVC is common. Its density is 1.38 g/cm³. The tensile strength is 50 MPa. Plastic injection molding materials like PVC resist water. They shape it at 160°C. PVC is rigid. They use it for pipes.

The material insulates well. It is durable. PVC can also be flexible at times. This plastic is cost-effective. It is used in many building materials. It’s easy to shape. PVC is versatile.


Acetal is strong. It has a tensile strength of 70 Mega Pascal. This plastic’s density is 1.41 g/cm³. The melting point is 175°C. Acetal is smooth. Plastic injection molding materials like Acetal are used for gears. This material resists wear. It’s tough and rigid. Acetal is suitable for bearings. They mold it easily. The plastic is durable. This is applied in many fields. Acetal is reliable. Lear more about POM injection molding.


TPE is soft. Its density is 1.2 g/cm³. The tensile strength is 10 MPa. Plastic injection molding materials such as TPE are flexible. It is shaped at 200°C. TPE is used for grips. The material is elastic.

It feels rubbery. This plastic resists fatigue. TPE is easy to color. It’s used in toys. The material is comfortable. They often use it in handles of objects such as receptacles and furniture. TPE is versatile. Learn more about TPE injection molding.


HDPE is sturdy. It has a density of 0.95 g/cm³. The tensile strength is 30 MPa. Plastic injection molding materials like HDPE are tough. They shape it at the temperature of 130°C. HDPE is used for bottles. Learn more about HDPE injection molding.

The material resists impact. It’s lightweight. This plastic is durable. HDPE is suitable for pipes. It doesn’t absorb water. The material is recyclable. Many containers use it. HDPE is reliable.

Below are most ten injection molding materials used in the world, if you want to know more plastic materials, please go to another injection molding materials page, there are more materials for you to select.

Material Density (g/cm³) Melting Point (°C) Tensile Strength (MPa) Flexural Modulus (GPa) Impact Resistance
ABS 1.04 200 40-60 2.1 High
Polypropylene 0.91 160 30-40 1.5 Moderate
Polycarbonate 1.20 270 60-70 2.2 Very High
Nylon 1.15 260 70-100 3.0 High
Polystyrene 1.05 240 30-50 3.2 Low
PEEK 1.30 340 90-100 4.0 Very High
PVC 1.38 200 40-60 2.6 Moderate
Acetal 1.41 175 60-80 2.9 High
TPE 1.15 230 20-30 1.0 Very High
HDPE 0.95 130 20-30 1.0 Moderate

Table on The Most Common Plastic Materials For Injection Molding!

plastic injection molding materials

What Are The Key Factors In Choosing Injection Molding Materials?

Tensile Strength

Tensile strength measures force. It helps pick materials. ABS withstands 4,400 psi. Nylon has 12,400 psi. The higher the psi, the sturdier the plastic is. Machines employ kN in determination of strength.

50 kN is good. This tests whether plastic is breakable. Stronger plastics last longer. Plastic injection molding materials like polycarbonate have 9,000 psi. Choose the best one.

Thermal Stability

Materials must endure heat. Nylon withstands 170°C. Polyethylene handles 120°C. Stability matters for molds. Thermocouples measure heat. The number reads °C.

Do not melt at high °C. PP resists 140°C. Select the one with the high limit. PEEK resists 250°C. Choose right for the job.

Impact Resistance

Impact strength matters. It shows material toughness. ABS has 300 J/m. Polycarbonate has 850 J/m. This means it’s strong. Tests use joules (J). Energy consumed up to the point when a material fractures is taken into account. Materials with high J/m are also said to be tough. They survive hits better. Plastic injection molding materials like nylon have 400 J/m. Choose wisely.


Materials bend differently. Flexibility matters. TPU bends easily. It has 550% elongation. Polypropylene (PP) bends 200%. Machines test it. They use Mpa. PP has 35 Mpa.

The flexible plastics do not burst quickly. PVC bends 80%. Check elongation rates. Higher is better. Pick the right one.

Chemical Resistance

Plastics resist chemicals differently. PP resists acids well. PE resists bases. Tests use pH scale. Higher pH means stronger base. Plastic injection molding materials like nylon resist 10 pH.

They use tests to check resistance. Good resistance lasts longer. PVDF resists 12 pH. Choose the material depending on usage.

Shrinkage Rate

Shrinkage rate affects size. Nylon shrinks 1.5%. PP shrinks 2%. Low shrinkage keeps shape. Measurements use %. Machines check dimensions. Shrinkage varies by material. ABS has 0.7% shrinkage. Select low rates for accuracy. Polystyrene shrinks 0.6%. Ensure it fits well.

UV Resistance

UV rays damage plastics. UV stabilizers help. HDPE has good resistance. UV tests measure exposure. Machines use nm. UV stabilizers block rays. Nylon resists UV poorly.

PP resists better. They add stabilizers. Pick UV-resistant plastics. It is more resistant to degradation by sunlight.

Moisture Absorption

Moisture changes plastic. Nylon absorbs 3%. It affects strength. PP absorbs less, 0.03%. Tests use %. Machines measure absorption. Low moisture keeps strength. PBT absorbs 0.1%.

Choose low-absorbent materials. Plastic injection molding materials remain tough and long-lasting. It matters for performance.

Surface Finish

Surface finish affects looks. Smooth finishes matter. Machines measure roughness. Ra units show it. Lower Ra, smoother surface. ABS has good finish. Polishing improves it. PP can be shiny. They measure roughness with Ra. Aim for smooth finishes. It looks better.

injection molding material selection guide

How Does The End-Use Application Influence Material Selection?


Load Capacity

The strength of the plastic is high and it can hold up to 50 kg. ABS is the material. This part must be sturdy. Structural components require high MPa. It won’t bend easily.

The strength matters. PSI shows how strong. That does help to keep things safe. Plastic injection molding materials handle load stress well. Load stress is important.

Chemical Contact

Some plastics handle H₂SO₄. HDPE is used here. This plastic resists chemicals. It’s very important. Tanks need it. They must endure exposure. Corrosion can damage. That is why we are selective. The resistance is high. Safety matters a lot.

Temperature Range

Heat is tough! 150°C is the limit. PEEK works well. This plastic handles heat. Engine parts use it. They have to remain strong all the time. Thermal stability matters. It won’t melt.

That keeps everything safe. Plastic injection molding materials are used widely. The range of use is quite broad.

Mechanical Stress

Strong plastic is key. 100 MPa handles pressure. PC is great here. This plastic resists impacts. Machines need it. They won’t crack easily. Stress testing is vital. That’s how we check. It does not melt under pressure. Strong is best!

Wear Resistance

Plastic must last long. UHMWPE is super strong. This material fights wear. Moving parts love it. They slide easily. Friction is low. That keeps them working. The wear rate is small. It helps parts last. Long life is best. Plastic injection molding materials ensure durability.


Plastic lasts 10 years. PTFE keeps it new. This material resists aging. It is necessary that parts be tough. They survive time. Tests check durability. That’s how we know. Life span is important. It remains hard, enduring for a long time. That is why we select it.

How Do Mechanical Properties Impact Material Choice?

Elastic Modulus

Stretching of the materials used in plastic injection molding such as PP or ABS is possible. The modulus is 2000 MPa. It explains how rigid some of the materials used are.

This aids in the strengthening of various parts. They hold their shape. That makes toys safe. Elasticity is relevant to each product.

Yield Strength

PP and PC can flex. Yield strength is 30 Mpa. This means they do not want to be broken. Components like gears require this. It assists them to have a long life. That keeps machines working. Plastic injection molding materials help them stay in shape.

Fatigue Resistance

PA and PBT are high. The fatigue resistance is 5000 cycles. This assists toys to have a long durability. It stops cracks forming. Some parts such as hinges require it. They move often. This makes them durable. It keeps toys fun. Kids enjoy playing longer.


HDPE and PVC are strong. It is 70 Shore D in hardness and is safe on surfaces. This assists toys to be resistant to scratches. Some parts such as buttons remain smooth. It matters for durability. Kids can play safely. Playtime is fun.


PVC and PETG are capable of stretching. Ductility is 30%. This helps parts flex. They don’t break easily. It matters for straps. This keeps toys flexible. Kids can bend them. That makes play safe. Plastic injection molding materials make stretching and twisting enjoyable.

Shear Strength

Nylon and PC are tough. Shear strength is 60 MPa. It aids in preventing parts from being cut. This matters for gears. They stay intact. That makes machines safe. Kids play confidently. There is always fun and safety.


ABS and PP are strong and can withstand force. Toughness is 300 J/m². It means they can take punishment. This helps toys not to get damaged. Kids play roughly. That makes toys long-lasting. It matters for wheels. They handle drops well. Playtime is always safe.

Compression Strength

PEEK and PSU are robust. Compressive strength is 90 MPa. It aids a part to bear pressure. This is particularly important for blocks. They don’t squash easily. Kids can stack them.

That makes building fun. Toys stay in shape. Plastic injection molding materials keep playtime safe and creative.

Thermoset and Thermoplastic

How Important Are Aesthetic Properties In Material Selection?

Color Options

Plastic colors can be vivid. They include RGB, CMYK, or Pantone codes. This makes toys fun. Each of the shades has a number associated with it. They include #FF0000, #00FF00, and #0000FF. It assists children to choose favorites. Some common types include PP and ABS.

Surface Texture

Plastic textures feel different. Some are glossy; others have rough surface. Kids love exploring these. The surface roughness (Ra) also changes. It is from 0.8 to 3.2 µm. This helps grip. Materials like HDPE or PETG have distinct surface characteristics. They’re great for small hands!

Gloss Level

Glossy plastics shine. Some have 85 GU (Gloss Units). It makes toys sparkle. This catches a child’s eye. Matte options, about 10 GU are smooth. They all come in handy. It depends on the toy. Possible choices are PMMA and PC.


Transparent plastics are fun. Some are 90% clear. Children are smart enough to see through them. They can locate concealed toys. Each transparency level helps. Some examples include PS and PC. These make playtime exciting. They are also very strong and secure!


Opaque plastics block light. Some have 100% opacity. This hides surprises inside. It keeps toys mysterious. Different levels add fun. Materials such as POM and PVC seem to be ideal for use. They create bright colorful blocks. These keep kids engaged. They’re so interesting!


It’s cool to have patterns on plastics. Dots, stripes, or stars are fun. This assists toys to be noticeable. Every design employs the use of a mold. Types include 2D and 3D. It’s fun to touch. TPE and PP are versatile materials.

Surface Uniformity

Uniform surfaces look neat. Plastic must be even. This is expressed in terms of microns. Such values as 0.5 to 1.5 µm provide smoothness. Kids love touching them. Other materials like ABS or PET should be used. They make perfect toys.

Scratch Resistance

Scratch-resistant plastics last long. Some score 9H on the hardness scale. It keeps toys pretty. Kids can play freely. PC and Nylon are strong materials. They resist marks well. Each toy stays shiny.


Selecting plastic injection molding materials is enjoyable! ABS and Nylon are strong materials. They assist in making toys and gears safe. That keeps playtime exciting. For further information, please visit PlasticMold. Get the best materials today!