Plastics for High-Temperature Applications
Question: What material can a product be constructed of in order to withstand damage, abuse, harsh conditions, low temperatures, high temperatures, and everything in between?
Okay, we may be biased, but we truly believe that plastics are the most prolific, universally-effective materials that exist; designed for the most delicate of medical applications and the most demanding of aerospace operations (and so much more), they’ve played a pivotal part in the evolution of every industry.
Yet many people often wonder if plastics are suitable for certain applications or environments. Frequently, people ask if plastics can be used for high-temperature applications, and the answer is yes, they absolutely can.
Some plastics are inherently heat-safe, such as acrylics and polycarbonates, because they are clear materials. Others can easily be made heat-safe with additives, such as titanium oxide and other chemicals. These plastics are often used as vinyl siding, exteriors doors, or virtually anything that will be directly exposed to the sun.
Another option is the addition of UV stabilizers, which can keep plastics from changing colors while protecting them from degradation or erosion. Again, the possible applications here are almost limitless.
Whichever specific material or additive you choose depends largely on the specific application. What qualities of the end product are you looking for? Will extrusions be involved? How high will the heat be? Some materials do better in higher temperatures and other conditions, so these all play a part. In most cases, though, there will be a plastic material that meets all of your specifications.