Plastics are materials characterised by low elasticity, so subjected to a load they tend to deform permanently. They are classified according to their thermal resistance into:
- plastics for engineering (e.g. PA, POM and PET) with thermal resistance between 100 and 150°C
- high performance plastics (e.g. PTFE, PEEK, PSU, PPS, PVDF, and PI) with thermal resistances of over 150°C.
The only thermal subdivision is, however, very limiting as each plastic material has features that make it a valuable support for the production of both simple components such as bushes and of increasingly complex details. There are plastic materials with high load resistance and others with a very low friction coefficient. Some have a high resistance to sanitising products, while others have a more general chemical resistance. There are also strongly hygroscopic plastics (which dilate according to the absorbed moisture) and others offering high thermal dilatability or subject to hydrolysis in the presence of hot water or steam. Lastly, some plastics are filled with special additives that make them even more suitable for some applications. To choose the right plastic material for gaskets, guides or other details, you need to be a professional. That's why ATP technicians are constantly researching plastics, their uses and new developments making this knowledge available to their customers.