Hey guys, today I’m going to share information about the top 10 high impact resistant plastics.
Plastic Materials have a wide array of applications, and some of them are also used extensively in heavy industries like industrial, construction, military applications, and automotive. Those demanding applications require plastics with extraordinary impact resistance and toughness. As the name implies, impact resistance is the ability of a material to withstand both fracture and deformation when subjected to temporary force.
High impact resistant plastics such as Polycarbonate, ABS, UHMW, and PPSU have fantastic toughness and offer unique benefits hard to find in metals, allowing them to perform in challenging circumstances. It is also important to note that the impact resistance of plastic material is highly temperature-dependent. That makes choosing the right end-use temperatures extremely important.
Top 10 High Impact Resistant Plastics –
ABS is an amorphous thermoplastic that is also opaque in nature. It is one of the toughest thermoplastic out there with applications found in automotive parts, toy building blocks, electrical and electronic components, and even appliances. Apart from having extraordinary impact resistance, it also has the ability to maintain toughness in low temperatures.
Other salient features are good mechanical strength, low cost, good weldability, decent insulating properties, outstanding corrosion resistance, excellent surface brightness, great abrasion resistance, sturdy structure, excellent resistance to dilute acid and alkalis, low melting also helps in easy usability for injection molding and 3D printing.
Few limitations would be poor weathering resistance, meager resistance for solvents like ketones, esters, and aromatic, and poor UV resistance without protection.
Polycarbonate is also known for its outstanding impact strength and rigidity. Another very handy attribute of polycarbonate is that it is transparent. Because of its incredible toughness is often used as an alternative to glass for both lightweight (sunglasses and skylights) and heavy applications (Bulletproof glasses and protective gears).
The common applications for polycarbonate also fall in the same bracket. It is extensively used in applications where transparency and high impact resistance is a priority – DVDs, automotive components, protective gear, Blue-rays, eyewear, greenhouses, medical devices, etc.
Some of the salient features of polycarbonate are stability in toughness even at -20°C, excellent mechanical retention at up to 140°C, good steam sterilization resistance, easy weldability, and processability great abrasion resistance, also good flame retardancy.
Certain drawbacks with polycarbonate are readily affected by chemicals like hydrocarbons and bases, low fatigue tolerance, and proper during is must before processing.
The most popular polycarbonate variants include Lexan® by SABIC or Makrolon® by Bayer MaterialScience.
HDPE or high-density polyethylene comes from the polyethylene family boasting excellent impact and tensile strength, high melting point, and low cost. It is used for making a variety of products like consumer goods such as ice trays, dustbins, food packaging, etc. Packaging applications like bulk containers, bottles, crates, etc. Wires and Cables, and Pipes for drainage, cable protection, industrial uses, large inspection chambers, gas, water, sea downspout, etc.
Apart from having great impact strength, HDPE also has a fabulous strength to density ratio of 0.93 to 0.97 g, easy malleability and moldability, corrosion resistance, and is easily recyclable. However, high flammability and high thermal expansion can be a drawback.
Below are the mechanical properties of HDPE:
Tensile Strength, Yield at 23 C
|MPa||23.0 – 29.5|
Tensile Strength, Break at 23 C
|MPa||30.5 – 33|
Tensile Modulus at 23 C
|MPa||900 – 1550|
Flexural Strength, Yield
71 – 159 (20)
PAI or polyamide-imide, also known as (Torlon®), is high-impact strength, stiff, and tough plastic material that can remain dimensionally stable in elevated temperatures in which other thermoplastics lose their mechanical properties. Parts made from PAI will show high impact strength and high compression and tensile strength, ensuring good mechanical loading capability.
Torlon® is also known for its high thermal stability, good chemical resistance and supreme wear properties in temperature up to 275°C., good machinability, excellent heat defecation temperature, excellent coefficient of thermal expansion, and outstanding tribological and wear performance.
PAI is generally found in aerospace components, semiconductor machinery, and pump and valve parts.
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PETG, also known as polyethylene terephthalate glycol, is a clear copolymer and thermoplastic with very good impact resistance, excellent durability, moldability, and chemical resistance. It’s a more profound variation of PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) with low molding temperatures making it extremely easy to mold, heat bent, and vacuum formed into various geometries.
It boasts excellent impact resistance on par with ABS. Still, cost-effective, good thermal stability, outstanding chemicals resistance, fast thermoforming cycle – brake formable up to 0.080″ thickness, less overheating issue compared to PET.
Talking about some limitations, PETG is susceptible to scratches, poor moisture resistance, inaccuracies with parameters, and environmental problems.
Below are the general properties of PETG:
|Density||0.0455 – 0.0462||lb/in^3|
|8.7 – 9.57||KSI|
|6.95 – 7.67||KSI|
|Elongation||102 – 115||% strain|
|90.4 – 95.2||ft.lbf/in^2|
|0.292 – 0.306||10^6 psi|
|1.92 – 2.31||KSI/in^0.5|
|90.4 – 95.4||ft.lbf/in^2|
|Hardness||14.4 – 15.9||HV|
Noryl is a batch of modified resins comprising amorphous blends of polyphenylene oxides (PPO) or polyphenylene ether (PPE) resins with polystyrene. It was originally developed by General Electric plastic in 1966. The company was later acquired by SABIC, which now owns the Noryl trademark.
The salient features of Noryl include very good impact resistance, high heat resistance, good electrical insulation properties, affordability, excellent hydrolytic stability, good processability, low density, and outstanding dimensional stability.
Because of Noryl’s good mix of mechanical and chemical properties, it is suitable for various applications in electronics, machinery, coatings, and electrical equipment. It has also been speculated that Noryl can be a replacement for polycarbonate for making Blu-ray Discs.
One of the most popular Noryly applications was the molded case of the original Apple II computer.
PTFE or polytetrafluoroethylene is a high-performance and versatile fluoropolymer made up of carbon and fluorine atoms. It is known for its good impact resistance and outstanding electrical insulating properties. It is generally available in three forms – granule, water-based dispersions, and fine powder.
Other salient PTFE properties are chemical inertness, low coefficient of friction (static 0.08 and dynamic 0.01), great high and low heat resistance, excellent chemical resistance, outstanding dielectric constant, and insulating pressure.
Certain drawbacks associated with PTFE are low radiation resistance, creep and abrasive sensitivity, and corrosive to toxic fumes.
PTFE is used to make numerous products in various industries like engineering, chemicals industry, automotive, medical, and electrical & electronics. Some common applications are non-strick surfaces, plugs, fittings, impellers, autoclaves, flexible printed circuit boards, electrical insulation, etc.
Another fluoropolymer on the list is PVDF, or Polyvinylidene Fluoride is a semi-crystalline, highly inert, tough, and stable thermoplastic fluoropolymer. Apart from having good impact resistance, it also boasts properties like good thermal stability, high crystallinity, and excellent chemical resistance.
Its applications include electrical and electronics applications such as high-temprature wirings, home appliances, and industrial power control systems. Filtration equipment like housings, filters, membranes, etc., are also made from PVDF.
Tensile Strength @23°C
Mpa – ASTM – D638
W/m.k – ASTM C177
|20-25@ 1mm thick||
kV.mm – ASTM D149
Elongation at Break @23°C
Continues working temperature
Coefficient of friction
Limiting Oxygen Index
Polyphenylsulfone or PPSU is a high-performance, amorphous, heat resistant, and transparent polymer. It is known for high impact resistance, high flexural and tensile strength, good chemical resistance, and excellent hydrolytic stability. It has superior mechanical properties but is utilized very little compared to other thermoplastics owing to the high cost.
PPSU is a great choice for parts that are exposed to high temperatures and corrosive environments. Examples are medical device parts, automobile parts, pipe fittings, battery containers, aerospace, and nursing applications. Polyphenylsulfone has no melting point because of its amorphous nature and exhibits tensile strength up to 55 MPa (8000 psi).
It has supreme thermal and mechanical properties, but most unfilled grades are unsuitable for outdoor applications because of poor UV, ozone, and weathering resistance.
Interesting Read – How to Choose the Right Lubricants For Plastic Parts?
TPE or Thermoplastic Elastomers are a blend between rubber and thermoplastics. Thus it consists of both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. It exhibits good impact strength with being resistant to low and high temperatures (-30d°C to +150°C), good thermal properties, and material stability.
Some advantageous properties include outstanding flexural fatigue resistance, good electrical properties, strong tear, abrasion resistance, high impact strength and elongation, alow specific gravity, outstanding resistance to weathering and chemicals, and recyclability.
TPE’s are commonly used in the automotive industry, medical applications, roofing materials, and most importantly, shoe soles. It is also showing a rapid adoption in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry.
Some typical applications of TPE are Cables & Wires, grip & handles, Plugs & Seals, and Power & Hand Tools.
1. How to improve a plastic material’s impact strength?
Ans. There are three main methods often used by manufacturers to improve or enhance a plastic’s impact strength:
- Copolymer Addition – Modified during the synthesis of plastic polymers. Here we’re bonding long carbon chains or materials with bonds of soft molecular structure that can be bonded to the main chains of polymer, effectively lowering the Tg temperature of plastic polymers. That will enhance the impact resistance room temperature and low temperature but will compromise on plastic’s tensile strength and modulus.
- Polymer Blending – Addition of impact modifier to plastic polymers to the insufficient impact resistance and dispersing them with a twin-screw extruder. Generally, thermoplastic elastomer or rubber is chosen as a type of impact modifier
- Addition of glass fibers -Glass fibers are generally coated with silanes surface coating to enhance the bonding force between the glass fiber surface and plastic polymers.
2. Which are the 7 types of plastics?
Ans. Below are the 7 types of plastics:
1) Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE)
2) High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
3) Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC or Vinyl)
4) Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
5) Polypropylene (PP)
6) Polystyrene (PS or Styrofoam)
3. Which are the two main types of plastics?
Ans. The two main types of plastics – Thermoplastics and Thermosets.
4. Which is the most commonly used plastic in the world?
Ans. Polyethylene is the most common plastic in the human world with more production than other plastics materials in the world. The main reason for that is all its forms – HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene), LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene), LLDPE (Linear Low-Density Polyethylene) are used in many applications throughout several industries worldwide.
5. Which is the softest plastic material?
Ans. LDPE is the softest plastic material. It has a very low density and thus is often considered the go-to material for packaging applications.
Suggested Read –
- What is Rotational Molding | Rotational Molding Process | Advantages & Disadvantages | Best Material for Rotational Molding
- Polystyrene Repeat Unit | Polystyrene Properties
- Mechanical Properties of Plastic Materials | The Definitive Guide
- What is a Plastic Pallet? | The Definitive Guide
- Thermal Properties of Plastics | The Ultimate Guide
- Plastics Vs. Polymers | What are the Differences?
- What is Injection Molding Wastage? | Remedies to Reduce Plastic Waste
- What is Liquid Plastic? | Liquid Plastic Vs. Resin | An In-Depth Guide
Final Thoughts –
That was all I wanted to say about high-impact resistant plastics. The impact resistance is a must take care of for any application to ensure the premium quality of the products—so detailed research before choosing the right plastic materials for your use.
Kindly share your views and questions in the comment box.
Have a fantastic day 🙂