Materials for the implementation of plastic products

Cell foam, reinforced plastic, polyurethane or PDCPD? The different materials serve different purposes and have different properties. Which material suits your product the best?

Read about different plastic materials

EPP
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EPP

EPP is cellular polypropylene. Products made of EPP are machine-moulded into their final shape. During the manufacturing process, EPP granules are pre-expanded with air and led into the mould though pipes. The granules fill the mould entirely with the help of pressure and steam. The manufacturing process is controlled and monitored automatically. The products get their final shape and size during oven hardening.

Typical properties of EPP in the final product:

  • Modifiable density from 30 to 80kg/m³
  • Properties vary according to density
  • Functional properties within range of  -40 … +120°C
  • Good heat insulation properties
  • Excellent durability and shock absorbency
  • Good recovery properties after dynamic or static stress
  • Low water absorbency
  • Good chemical solvents resistance
  • Easy to clean, machine-washable
  • Can be recycled and reused

The typical mould material is aluminium.

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EPS
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EPS

EPS is cellular polystyrene ("Styrox") that is expanded, closed-cell polystyrene plastic used extensively in construction for its durability and heat insulation properties. EPS is an excellent material for packaging, logistics containers and demanding technical components. EPS is also available as a biodegradable version.

Typical properties of EPS in the final product:

  • Modifiable density from 18 to 100kg/m³ välillä
  • Properties vary according to density
  • Functional properties within range of -40 … +75 °C
  • Good heat insulation properties
  • Very shock-absorbent
  • Low water absorbency
  • Can be recycled and reused

The typical mould material is aluminium.

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Reinforced plastics
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Reinforced plastics

Reinforced plastic composites are thermoset plastics reinforced with glass or artificial fibres or other fillers. Reinforced plastic can be used in individual items as well as in industrial production of large volumes. The material can be manufactured into lightweight seamless structures with excellent durability and rigidity. A reinforced plastic product gets its final shape and colour directly in the mould. When needed, light and durable materials, such as carbon fibre or Kevlar, can be used in special structures.

Typical properties of in the final product:

  • Suitable for large and demanding items
  • Excellent strength versus weight
  • Very light, excellent durability and rigidity
  • Good heat resistance: optimal properties for indoor and outdoor use
  • Excellent surface properties: can be painted and glued
  • Excellent corrosion, acid and alkali resistance
  • Virtually unlimited moulding options
  • Good electricity insulation properties
  • Low mould costs per item

The typical mould material is reinforced plastic.

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Hard integrals
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Hard integrals

Hard integrals are cell plastics that consist of a sandwich structure, in which the hard surface and micro-cell core form optimal strength, lightness, rigidity and strength versus weight properties for each structure. The wall thickness can be varied within the same structure from 6 to 30mm avoiding the formation of suction marks on the outer surface. Various traditional materials, such as wood or metal, can be incorporated into the product during the manufacturing stage.

Typical properties in the final product:

  • Virtually unlimited moulding options
  • Good post-processing properties (like wood)
  • Good acoustic properties
  • Good impact strength and durability due to dense surface layer
  • Suitable for painting and serigraphy
  • Average density of final product from 300 to 700kg/m3
  • Fire classification UL-94 VO (5.9mm wall thickness)

The typical mould materials are epoxy and aluminium.

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RIM/RRIM
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RIM/RRIM

Massive and flexible micro-cell polyurethane RIM and reinforced RRIM are materials with excellent strength, heat resistance and impact strength properties. RIM and RRIM are suitable for health technology devices and transportation equipment. They are mechanically strong and can be used in thin wall components and their wall thickness can be varied.

Typical properties of RIM/RRIM in the final product:

  • Accurate measuring properties
  • Good post-processing properties (like wood)
  • Excellent durability
  • Good electricity insulation and corrosion resistance properties
  • Suitable for painting and serigraphy
  • Can be protected against EMI
  • Recommended wall thickness 4 to 10mm
  • Fire classification UL-94 VO (4mm wall thickness)

The typical mould materials are epoxy and aluminium.

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Elastomer
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Elastomer

Polyurethane elastomers (polyester and polyether) are rubber-like materials. They can be either solid or cell-like depending on the final product demands.

Polyurethane elastomers have excellent properties such as strength, good durability, good gas, oil and aromatic hydrocarbon resistance and oxygen and ozon tolerance.

Typical properties in the final product:

  • Ability to add different surface patterns with a mould
  • Possibility to use stiffeners
  • Good corrosion resistance and impact strength
  • Good shock-absorbing properties
  • Reduces noise and vibaration
  • Ease of handling
  • Products are dyed throughout or IMC painted
  • Maintains elasticity within range of -25…+70°C
  • Average density of final product  800 to 1200kg/m3

The typical mould materials are epoxy and aluminium.

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Elastic integrals
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Elastic integrals

Elastic integral plastics have properties that are suitable for device and machine manufacturing, furniture industry, transportations equipment, medical and research devices and leisure products. The products are flexible, durable and have good tearing resistance properties. Depending on the series size, the products can be produced either dyed throughout with the desired final colour or IMC mould painted.

Typical properties in the final product:

  • Ability to add different surface patterns with a mould
  • Integral structure reduces noise and vibration
  • Flexible and durable
  • Maintains elasticity within range of -25…+70°C
  • Average density of the final product variable from  200 to 700kg/m³

The typical mould materials are epoxy and aluminium.

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Flexible and rigid polyurethane foams
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Flexible and rigid polyurethane foams

Flexible and rigid polyurethane foams are polyurethane cell plastic materials that are used for example in furniture. The cell foam has an open structure throughout and it does not for a hard surface layer. The elasticity of flexible foam padding can be freely adjusted by altering the amount and mixing ratio of the material. The mechanical properties of rigid foam can be improved by altering its density.

Typical properties in the final product:

  • Virtually unlimited moulding options
  • Adjustable elasticity of flexible foam polyurethane
  • Availability of IMO fire classified flexible foam products
  • Rigid foams are light and durable

The typical mould materials are epoxy and aluminium.

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Foil technique
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Foil technique

Foil technique facilitates the manufacturing of impressive product without post-processing painting or upholstery. The separate surface layer is cast on top polyurethane foam, and it gives the product finished appearance and is pleasant to touch. The surface layer may consist of either soft or rigid plastic film.

Typical properties in the final product:

  • Finished appearance
  • Pleasant to touch
  • Adjustable rigidity, sound absorption and lightness

The typical mould materials are epoxy and aluminium.

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PDCPD
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PDCPD

Polydicyclopentadiene PDCPD is a two-component, liquid plastic raw material with low viscosity. It has excellent impact strength, elasticity, lightness, corrosion resistance and painting properties. In addition to good mechanical properties, it is can be processed with more freedom of design compared to for example sheet structures. PDCPD is suitable for the manufacturing of large-scale specifically shaped items.

Typical properties in the final product:

  • Exellent impact strenght properties
  • Good heat resistance: optimal properties for indoor and outdoor use
  • Excellent surface quality, can be painted and glued
  • Excellent corrosion, acid and alkali resistace
    Virtually unlimited moulding options

The typical mould materials are aluminium and steel.

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