Acetal is a versatile plastic material known for offering superior strength and stiffness. This can make it a useful tool for companies in a wide array of industries. In fact, just about every manufacturing or industrial facility may be able to benefit from parts or components made with this material in some way. Acetal sheets in particular can be incredibly versatile and strong for an array of different uses
If you’re looking for a strong, durable thermoplastic for your company’s custom parts and applications, here’s a guide to the applications, attributes, and benefits of acetal sheets.
Attributes of Acetal Sheets
Acetal sheets are sometimes also referred to as POM or Polyoxymethylene. The semi-crystalline engineering thermoplastic is mostly known for its high strength and stiffness. However, it also displays excellent dimensional stability and can be easily machined for a wide array of purposes. Here’s a more specific rundown of each of these features.
First, we’ll dive into the high strength and stiffness of acetal sheets. This material is actually one of the strongest and stiffest thermoplastics currently available. More specifically, acetal sheets offer a low coefficient of friction. So it is able to maintain its appearance and dimensions extremely well when placed in environments where it will be exposed to excessive wear.
This strength and stiffness is paired with high dimensional stability, meaning that it is able to hold its original shape even when exposed to various environmental factors that might cause other materials to change form or shape. More specifically, acetal sheets offer incredibly low sensitivity to moisture, so these materials are well suited for use in wet environments. The material also provides good electrical properties, allowing it to hold up well against heat and conductive materials. And it is even resistant to a wide range of chemicals, including many solvents. So it can be cleaned effectively and is able to hold its original properties in various industrial settings where chemicals are present.
Ease of machining is another major attribute that draws people to use acetal sheets in various applications. This easy machinability makes it an excellent choice for complex parts — especially in instances and applications where tight tolerances may be required in order for parts to fit into larger systems.
Applications for Acetal Sheets
Because of all the powerful attributes listed above, acetal sheets may be useful in a wide variety of industrial applications. It is especially beneficial in applications where strength, toughness, and low moisture absorption are essential for parts or components to hold their shape over time.
There’s no shortage of specific examples of how this material may be used. But it is especially common in the production of small, rigid parts for machinery or industrial equipment. For example, it is often used to produce gears, valve parts, jigs, and bushings. Since acetal holds its exact shape even when exposed to friction, moisture, or chemicals, the material is still able to work as part of a larger system of components even when exposed to less than ideal elements.
When it comes to acetal sheets, the material’s strength and ability to withstand wear from friction also make it perfect for use in manufacturing facilities or construction settings. For example, it may be used to produce flat machinery parts in food production equipment. Or it could make a perfect wear pad for various heavy machinery.
These are just a few of the specific instances where the powerful attributes of acetal sheets may come in handy. It’s also commonly used in a huge range of different industries, including aerospace, automotive, machine shops, conveying equipment, packaging, sporting goods, electronic semiconductors, and watercraft components.
Benefits of Acetal Sheets
Acetal is one of many thermoplastics that can offer strength, stability, and versatility. But the exact combination of specific qualities make acetal sheets especially well suited for the applications listed above.
Strength is clearly one of the most powerful attributes of acetal plastic materials. However, acetal sheets really stand out from the crowd when displaying their strength in extreme environments, like those where they’re exposed to excessive moisture or high temperatures. Since acetal sheets display especially low rates of moisture absorption, this material is able to outperform other thermoplastics like nylon in applications where the material may be submerged in water or exposed to high rates of humidity.
Additionally, acetal sheets offer excellent rigidity and stability in a wide array of environments. The material offers strong mechanical properties. So it is able to hold its original form incredibly well even when exposed to excessive friction or even potentially corrosive chemicals. This is essential for those who need plastic components to fit into larger pieces of machinery or equipment. If one component wears prematurely or loses its shape, it can throw the entire system off. But with acetal, you can count on each part to hold its original form for an extended period of time.
If you’re ready to reap the benefits of acetal sheets, Polymershapes can help. We’re proud to carry acetal from industry-leading manufacturers like Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials, the producer of Acetron®. Thanks to our quality fabrication and machining equipment, we offer acetal in a variety of shapes and sizes, including sheet, rod, hexagonal rod, square rod, and tube. We even offer different grades of this material to suit specific needs. In addition to our extensive inventory of acetal and other performance plastics, our local facilities offer a “one-stop shop” for additional value-added services like custom conversion and fabrication. To get started reaping the benefits of acetal sheets, visit our website to find and reach out to your local branch today.