Advanced engineering plastics such as Ultem® and PEEK are stronger and stiffer than traditional plastic materials. Their mechanical properties can be further enhanced by including chopped glass or carbon fiber reinforcements in their formulations.
Material data sheets provide values for strength and stiffness based on ASTM and/or ISO test methods. Although data sheets provide useful information for comparing materials, it is important to recognize that the mechanical property values for a polymer will vary based on both temperature and strain rate (the speed at which a plastic material deforms). Plastics tend to be stronger and stiffer at high strain rates and/or low temperatures. Conversely, they tend to be less strong and stiff at low strain rates and/or high temperatures.
Additionally, it is important to recognize that data sheets report the strain response of a plastic material under load over a relatively short period of time. Polymers will continue to deform when subjected to loads over long periods of time. This deformation is referred to as creep strain. Creep strain tends to be more pronounced at higher loads and/or elevated temperatures.
Review the list of Curbell’s high strength plastics and compare properties to find the best material for your application.
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