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Everything You Need to Know About Acetal Plastic Products

Everything You Need to Know About Acetal Plastic Products
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Acetal resin is a high-performance thermoplastic. It is also called polyoxyethylene (POM) and has excellent mechanical properties. This material is frequently used to manufacture precision parts because of its low friction, high stiffness, and good dimensional stability. Moisture, solvents, and other neutral chemicals have little effect on acetal resin due to their excellent resistance. It can, therefore, be applied in environments where these factors are present. Additionally, this plastic demonstrates exceptional fatigue strength, which allows it to be utilized under conditions involving cyclic loads or alternating stress levels. Moreover, the low coefficient of friction and high wear resistance contribute significantly towards its usefulness for smooth and steady movement applications. All these features combine to make acetal plastics widely applicable across many industries.

What is Acetal Plastic, and How is it Made?

What is Acetal Plastic, and How is it Made?

Understanding Acetal.

Polyacetal or polyoxyethylene (POM), or acetal, is a high-performance engineering thermoplastic primarily characterized by its excellent mechanical properties. This material is manufactured by polymerizing formaldehyde or trioxane into long homopolymer or copolymer acetal chains. The homopolymer type has higher tensile strength and rigidity than the copolymer type, exhibiting improved thermal stability and resistance to degradation. Both types have good resistance against moisture, solvents, and many neutral chemicals, thus making them suitable for precision parts used in aggressive environments. In addition to this, it also shows a low friction coefficient and fatigue resistance; hence, it can be applied where smoothness and reliability are required in mechanical performance based on my rewrite.

The Manufacturing Process of Acetal Plastic

Its manufacturing process must pass through some critical stages to achieve the required qualities and performance characteristics of acetal plastic.

  1. Polymerization: In this first step, formaldehyde or trioxane is polymerized. Depending on the type of acetal plastic desired, anionic, cationic, or coordination polymerizations can be used to carry out this process.
  2. Purification: The resulting polymer is then purified to eliminate residual monomers and by-products. This enables getting a high-purity polymer with consistent mechanical properties.
  3. Extrusion and Pelletizing: Later on, the cleaned-up polymer is melted down before being extruded into thin strands that are eventually cut into small equal-sized pellets. Such pellets are used as raw materials in molding and extrusion processes.
  4. Compounding: At this point, additives like stabilizers, lubricants, and colorants can be mixed with the polymer pellets to vary the final acetal plastic properties. This allows for customization according to specific application needs.
  5. Injection Molding or Extrusion: Compounded pellets are fed into either injection molding machine or extrusion equipment where;
  6. Injection Molding: They are melted down and then injected into molds, after which they cool down and solidify, taking on the desired shape.
  7. Extrusion: Continuous profiles are formed by pushing the molten polymer through a die which are then cut to length.
  8. Post-Processing: Acetal plastic parts produced may undergo additional treatments such as annealing them to relieve internal stresses, machining them when they need precision parts, or surface finishing them in order to improve appearance as well as performance after molding or extruding.

Technical Parameters

  • Polymerization Temperature: Normally 80°C – 150°C depending on method of polymerization
  • Melt Temperature: Melt temperature ranges from 190°C – 230°C for injection molding.
  • Mold Temperature: Optimum mold temperatures should fall between 80°C – 120°C to allow adequate cooling time and dimensional stability
  • Compounding Ratio: Generally, additives are compounded at ratios between 0.1% and 5% for desired property enhancements.

This well-arranged process ensures that acetal plastic attains its exceptional mechanical properties, making it suitable for use in many high-performance applications.

Types of Acetal: Copolymer and Homopolymer

Copolymer Acetal – Copolymeric acetals are formed by copolymerizing formaldehyde with other comonomers like ethylene oxide. Such an acetal has better resistance to hydrolysis and greater dimensional stability. Its structure as a copolymer prevents the formation of crystalline regions that might degrade when in contact with water or subjected to temperature fluctuations.

Homopolymer Acetal—Poxyethylene (POM) is typically used as the homopolymeric acetal, which is prepared through polymerization of formaldehyde into repeating units of -CH2O-. The homopolymer’s tensile strength, rigidity, and melting point are higher than those of its counterpart made by copolymerization. At the same time, it may suffer from quicker degradation due to moisture absorption and decreased dimensional stability at elevated humidity levels. Homopolymers provide the maximum mechanical strength and stiffness required for gear systems, bearings, or precision components.

Why Choose Acetal Plastic for Your Projects?

Why Choose Acetal Plastic for Your Projects?

Exploring the Benefits of Acetal

Acetal plastic is a material that has several advantages and can be used for many high-performance applications. A key benefit of acetal is its low friction and good wear characteristics, which are necessary for parts like gears or bearings that move continually. Another advantage of this type of plastic is that it has high strength and rigidity so even when subjected to mechanical stress, the component will still be durable and reliable. Excellent dimensional stability implies that over time, sizes do not change much, thus making it perfect for precision components, while chemical resistance against fuel solvents, among other industrial chemicals, coupled with low moisture absorption, enables performance under different environmental conditions such as high moisture or chemically aggressive ones. All these features contribute towards selecting acetal plastics whenever there is a need for an engineering application where performance plus dependability are paramount.

Mechanical Properties of Acetal Plastic

Being strong, stiff, and tough simultaneously makes acetal plastic suitable for a wide range of engineering uses. Its tensile strength ranges from 60 to 70 MPa, ensuring that it performs well under stress. The material has a flexural modulus of 2.6-3.2 GPa, which gives it enough rigidity for load-bearing applications. Impact resistance is also one of its many good qualities, typically having values around eight kJ/m² showing how tough this stuff can be when loads are changing rapidly on it. Hardness may fall between 85 and 120 on the Rockwell scale, meaning hard enough not to get worn down easily by friction with other surfaces. Acetals low coefficient of friction (0.2 – 0.35) further enhances its suitability for sliding applications where least resistance is desired. These unique mechanical properties make these materials a preferred choice where dimensional stability coupled with high strength are required in critical components.

Comparing Acetal to Other Plastics

When evaluating acetal next to other commonly used engineering plastics, like nylon and polyethylene, there are some very obvious differences. Acetal has better dimensional stability than nylon; it also has lower moisture absorption as well. This means that if you need something to be precise or if it’s going to get wet a lot, then acetal is the way forward. When it comes down to strength, though… Polyethylene just can’t compete with acetal – nor can any other type of plastic out there, for that matter! Acetals are much more robust, bear loads more efficiently, and don’t deform under mechanical stress nearly as quickly or easily as most polymers will. On the one hand, we have excellent chemical resistance from PE, but on the other hand, an even more comprehensive range of solvent/chemical immunity coupled with lower fuel/lubricant environments COF (coefficient of friction) & WR (wear resistance) belong to Acetals. This really shows us that these materials were built for high precision/high power situations where everything needs to work all the time without fail.

How Does Acetal Plastic Perform Under Different Conditions?

How Does Acetal Plastic Perform Under Different Conditions?

Dimensional Stability of Acetal

No other material can match the dimensional stability of acetal plastics. They do not absorb moisture easily because they have a low thermal expansion coefficient and high resistance to it. When exposed to different temperatures or humidity levels, most substances tend to swell or shrink, but acetal does not; it maintains its shape and size very well under such conditions, which makes it useful for many things. This is achieved through low water absorption rates as well as their being less affected by thermal expansion than any other material known, hence still keeping the accuracy of parts even in extreme environments where precision is critical for proper functioning, thus making them excellent when used in applications requiring tight tolerances throughout various operating ranges.

Thermal Properties and Melting Point of Acetal

Acetal plastic displays excellent thermal attributes and maintains stability throughout a wide temperature range. This stuff has a melting point of about 165 degrees Celsius (329 degrees Fahrenheit), which means that it can preserve its structural integrity even when subjected to high temperatures. At around 110 x 10^-6 per degree Celsius (between -40 degrees and 80 degrees), the material’s coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) is low enough to keep notable dimensions changes from happening when different heat levels are applied.

Usually, acetal has a relatively poor thermal conductivity that measures approximately 0.31 W/(m·K). This level of conductivity does not allow heat retention and, therefore, can be used in situations where thermal insulation is required. Additionally, it often possesses a heat deflection temperature under load (1.8 MPa) close to 110 degrees Celsius (230 degrees Fahrenheit), which implies that it can resist mechanical stresses With this level of conductivity, it does not allow heat retention, and therefore, can be used in situations where thermal insulation is required, such as.t elevated temperatures without changing shape.

Because of its superior heat-resistant properties, acetal remains the best choice for applications demanding accurate and dependable performance over wide-ranging thermic conditions. Whether used in electrical insulators for cars or machine parts that bear heavy loads, acetal promises durability and operation consistency.

Chemical Resistance of Acetal

Acetal plastic is used in many industries because it can withstand many chemicals. It has outstanding solvent resistance; for example, it does not react with alcohols, glycols, or hydrocarbon-based solvents. Alkalis are another thing that acetal can handle, along with most weak acids. Some exceptions exist — strong acids will eat away at the material, as will oxidizing agents and chlorinated hydrocarbons. By being so resilient against these substances, which may be encountered in any given environment, where durability would otherwise be compromised by them alone or together over time — such as its ability to resist degradation from exposure to different types of chemicals — acetal plastics ensure longer-lasting components that can survive in multiple settings.

What Are the Applications for Acetal Plastic?

What Are the Applications for Acetal Plastic?

Common Industries Using Acetal

The acetal plastic is used in many industries because it has great mechanical strength and chemical resistance. The automotive industry uses this material for fuel system components, wiper systems, and lock mechanisms. In electrical applications like insulators or connectors manufacturing, electronics also prefer acetal due to its excellent dielectric properties and dimensional stability while making precision parts. Moreover, medical equipment such as gears, bearings, conveyor belts, etc., need low friction with high wear resistance; therefore, they should be made from materials that meet food safety standards set by authorities, so it is widely applicable in medical devices, too. Such examples show how versatile and tough acetal can be under demanding conditions in different industrial settings.

Specific Applications of Acetal Plastic

  1. Fuel System Parts: Within the automobile industry, fuel system parts are made from acetal plastic because of their strong resistance to chemicals and strength, which is mechanical. Technical parameters are 70 MPa tensile strength and elongation at a break of 20%; this ensures that they can last long even when exposed to fuels or lubricants.
  2. Electrical Insulators and Connectors: Acetal plastics have greater than 20 kV/mm dielectric strength together with less than 0.25% water absorption; hence, they are suitable for making electrical insulators and connectors used in electronics manufacturing where stable electric performance under different humidities is required.
  3. Precision Parts for Medical Devices: Acetal plastics’ low friction coefficient (0.2) makes them ideal for use as gears and bearings, among other things, in moving precision parts within medical devices due to their high wear resistance. Also, they comply with ISO 10993 biocompatibility standards, making such components suitable for critical applications in healthcare.
  4. Conveyor Belts in Food Processing: Components made from acetal plastics used on conveyor belts during food processing excel mainly because they can resist abrasion well. Moreover, these materials satisfy FDA food safety requirements since their melting point is approximately 175°C, so they don’t deform after being subjected to harsh cleaning methods applied within environments where foods are handled.
  5. Wipers Systems And Lock Mechanisms: Automotive wiper systems as well as lock components need durable materials that can withstand fatigue caused by cyclic loads; acetal plastic offers this feature since it has a constant behavior even when loaded repeatedly under different conditions (fatigue strength at one million cycles: 40 Mpa) besides being wear resistant too

Machining and Processing Acetal

Unique properties of the acetal plastic necessitate special approaches during its machining and processing to give the best result. When machining this material, it must be cut using sharp-edged tools that move at high speeds so as to make clean cuts without causing any damage to it. Because acetal softens when exposed to high temperatures, cooling should be done frequently to keep its dimensions stable, and coolants can be applied for this purpose. Standard machines for drilling, milling, and turning can be used for acetal.

Concerning processing, injection molding or extrusion methods may be employed on acetal. The recommended temperature range for injection molding is between 180°C – 200°C, but overheating should not occur because degradation will occur. However, drying should not be avoided before processing since mechanical properties and surface finish must be retained throughout its usage. Also, the low friction coefficient of acetal enables easy release from molds, thus making production more accessible.

In summary, knowledge about machine and process acetals guarantees high-quality components that can perform consistently in various applications.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Acetal Plastic?

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Acetal Plastic?

Detailed Look at the Benefits of Acetal

Polyoxyethylene or acetal plastic possesses many attractive properties that make it suitable for use in a wide range of applications. Firstly, it has good mechanical characteristics such as being strong with a high tensile strength and impact resistance that makes them ideal for making precision parts that must be able to withstand harsh conditions; secondly, they also have a low friction coefficient coupled with excellent wear resistance that promotes smoothness during operation and avoids the need of lubrication for movable mechanisms too much. Besides these features, another important thing about this substance is its dimensional stability since it does not absorb moisture easily, nor does it expand much when subjected to different temperatures, thus ensuring accurate measurements are maintained, especially where close tolerances have been specified. Additionally, the outstanding chemical inertness displayed by POM towards solvents, fuels, and other substances increases the lifetime expectancy of items used within aggressive surroundings. Finally, the ease of machinability inherent in acetal plastics allows for economical production methods where large quantities are required.

To sum up, combining strength with stability, low friction and wear resistance, and chemical inertness make polyacetal one of the most versatile materials available in various industries, such as the automotive sector, electronics industry, and machinery manufacturing.

Possible Disadvantages of Acetal Plasticcombining

Despite having countless advantages, acetal plastic also has some disadvantages that must be considered. First, strong acids and bases can degrade acetal, thus limiting its use in some chemical environments. Furthermore, it does not have good UV resistance and is hence not very suitable for outdoor applications where exposure to sunlight is likely to last long. Also, the flammability rating of acetal may fail to meet strict safety requirements needed for certain uses, thus making it necessary to provide additional fire-proof treatments. Finally, under continuous stress, this material can exhibit creep problems, which might affect its dimensional stability over time in high-load applications. However, because of these drawbacks notwithstanding them being many and varied too – acetal is still widely used because it has numerous advantageous features.

Solutions to Overcome Limitations

There are several ways to approach the limitations of acetal plastic. For instance, when it comes to solid acids and bases, they can use protective coatings or select alternative materials with greater chemical resistance so that degradation is less likely to occur. You can also prevent it from being damaged by ultraviolet light outside by using stabilizers or additives designed for shielding against UV rays, thereby enhancing its UV resistance. Flame retardant additives may be added to the polymer or an external fire-resistant coating to meet flammability standards. If continuous stress causes creep problems, then reinforcing agents like glass fibers should be incorporated by designers, or structural changes should be made to distribute stresses evenly throughout the material instead of having them concentrated at one point alone. These measures will significantly boost performance reliability while widening its application areas in demanding industries.

Reference sources

Polyoxymethylene

Polymer

Plastic

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What are the material characteristics of acetal plastic products?

A: Also known as polyoxymethylene (POM), acetal plastic has good wear properties, low friction, and excellent dimensional stability. It is a high-strength, semi-crystalline engineering thermoplastic with high stiffness. Additionally, it exhibits low moisture absorption and good creep resistance.

Q: In what applications is acetal plastic commonly used?

A: Acetal is used in precision parts, gears, bushings, bearings, and automotive components. Its low coefficient of friction, coupled with excellent wear properties in an engineering setting, makes it appropriate for precision parts or any other application that requires low wear and tear.

Q: How do acetal properties differ from those of nylon or other engineering plastics?

A: Acetals have better dimensional stability but lower moisture absorption than nylons. Although both belong under the category of engineering thermoplastics, where specific needs demand these features more often than not – such as being less slippery while also having more excellent resistance to wearing off over time in elevated temperatures (creep resistance) – then it becomes necessary that we choose one over another depending on our usage scenario.

Q: What distinguishes homopolymer from copolymer acetal?

A: Delrin is an example of homopolymeric acetals, while copolymeric ones include materials like Celcon. They differ mainly in their machinability, especially in humid environments, whereby copolymers exhibit higher levels of thermal degradation resistance alongside ease of machining during such conditions.

Q: Are Delrin and POM plastic the same thing?

A: Delrin refers specifically to a brand name for acetal homopolymer—one type among many variations available under this parent group called polyoxymethylene or POM plastics. These types have well-developed mechanical strength, so they are often used where precision parts have to be made and high wear resistance is also required.

Q: What are the unique physical properties of acetal plastic material?

A: Good wear properties, low coefficient of friction, and excellent dimensional stability make acetal plastic material unique. Moreover, it has a wide range of engineering applications because of its high tensile strength, stiffness, low moisture absorption, etc.

Q: What industrial use grades of Acetal are there?

A: There can be different forms of acetal, like Delrin and other homopolymer acetals, copolymer acetals, and custom ones made for specific performance needs, such as improved wear or food contact requirements; usually, suppliers such as Emco Industrial Plastics supply them in sheets, rods, or machined plastic parts.

Q: How does the temperature range affect the use of acetal plastic material?

A: Acetal plastics have a wide temperature range within which they retain their mechanical properties. However, some physical properties may change when exposed to high temperatures for too long. Thus, it is necessary that you know what temperatures your application requires before selecting an acetal.

Q: Why is acetal often used in injection molding?

A: Some reasons why people prefer using acetal for injection moldings include its ease of machining feature, dimensional stability (maintains size), lubricity (low friction), and high stiffness; this allows the creation of very accurate shapes with tight tolerances, which are essential during mass production where precision matters most.

Q: Are there any environmental considerations when using acetal plastic?

A: While being outstanding in many ways, UV radiation or humidity, if exposed to them, might not be good for the performance characteristics of an item made from this type of plastic. Hence, one should ensure that it meets all environmental standards required so as to not only increase its life but also enhance its durability.

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LIANG TING
Mr.Ting.Liang - CEO

Greetings, readers! I’m Liang Ting, the author of this blog. Specializing in CNC machining services for twenty years now, I am more than capable of meeting your needs when it comes to machining parts. If you need any help at all, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. Whatever kind of solutions you’re looking for, I’m confident that we can find them together!

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