Acetal is a thermoplastic made from POM (polyoxymethylene) resin. Acetal has excellent dimensional stability, and is easy to machine to close tolerances due to its unique properties. These properties include moisture absorption, high tensile strength and low creep. Acetal’s physical properties remain constant in a variety of environments and in temperatures up to 180ºF. These factors, along with its excellent abrasion resistance, make acetal plastic one of the most widely used engineered plastics on the market. Acetal plastic is a popular option for replacing parts that are traditionally machined from metals.
Acetal Homopolymer & Acetal Copolymers
Two primary versions of acetal are available, those are homopolymer and copolymer. Chemically they are roughly 90% identical, however each acetal variety offers its own unique benefits. In addition filled versions of acetal are available to help meet specific application requirements. Our plastics experts are here to answer your questions, contact us today.
Benefits of Acetal Homopolymer:
- Thermoforms easily
- Can be used in a wide variety of applications
- Impact resistant
- Good chemical resistant
- Low moisture absorption
- Stiffer than acetal copolymers, with higher flexural modulus at ambient temperature and in elevated temperature applications
- Higher impact strengths, at both ambient temperature and low temperatures
- Roughly 10-15% higher tensile strength than copolymers
- Higher continuous use temperature than copolymers (95°C vs. 90°C)
Benefits of Copolymer
- More flexible and pliable than homopolymer
- Resistant to cracking at lower temperatures
- No moisture absorption
- FDA compliant
- Can be welded
- Can be bonded
- Greater dimensional stability than acetal homopolymer, due to lower crystallinity
- Better chemical resistance with high pH solutions (bases)
- Lower centerline porosity (see below) in extrusions
Other trade names for Acetal include: Celcon®, Delrin®, Ensital®, Pomalux®, Polyacetal®, POM (PolyOxyMethylene) Sustarin®, Tecaform®, Ultraform®, Unital®, and ZL 900.
General Feature of Acetal Plastic Shapes
- Excellent for general purpose parts in wet environments
- Machines to tight tolerances
- Homopolymer and Copolymer versions available to fit different applications
- Filled versions available including PTFE and lubricants*
- Available in FDA and USDA compliant grades
Acetal Plastic ApplicationsIn addition to its general properties, acetal is resistant to a wide range of neutral chemicals, solvents, and hydrocarbons. Common applications for acetal plastic include:
- Bearings, bushings, rollers, and gears
- Wear pads and wear strips
- High speed conveyor lines
- Valves and manifolds
- Scraper blades in food processing applications
- Orthotic and Prosthetic applications, especially upper and lower limb prosthetics
- Food Processing applications requiring FDA compliance for food contact
- High moisture environments
Acetal Plastic for Bearings
Testing by manufacturers has shown that acetal bearings can outperform nylon bearings 4 to 1 in high moisture or submerged applications. Individual testing for your applications should always be done first. Contact us today for assistance with material selection and testing.
Online Plastics is your direct distributor for all your acetal plastic material needs. We continue to stock acetal plastic from all the top US manufacturers. Contact us for more information, or request a quote today.
DuPont™ Delrin® Acetal Resin
DuPont™ Delrin® acetal homopolymer resin is a highly-crystalline engineering thermoplastic that industry leaders specify for high load mechanical applications, such as gears, safety restraints, door systems, conveyor belts, healthcare delivery devices and components across a diverse range of products and industries.
Delrin® acetal (Polyoxymethylene POM) combines low friction and high wear resistance with the stiffness and strength needed in parts designed to replace metal. It provides a wide operating temperature range (-40°C to 120°C), good colorability and good mating with metal and other polymers, as well as dimensional stability in high precision molding.
When compared to acetal copolymer, Delrin® acetal homopolymer offers higher tensile strength, stiffness, and creep resistance, and significantly higher impact resistance, allowing for thinner and lighter part design, shorter molding cycles and the potential for cost reductions.
Online Plastics distributes Delrin® Acetal Resin in acetal sheet, acetal rod, and acetal tube forms.
Acetal Centerline Porosity
Most common in thicker extrusions and extruded rods, centerline porosity is visible as a lighter-shaded discoloration of the material, running down the center of the extrusion/rod for its entire length. In extruded slab, centerline porosity appears as a line along the center of each cut edge; in extreme cases, the slab may appear to be two separate pieces glued or laminated together. The main cause of this porosity difference is shrinkage caused by thermal inconsistencies. As it is extruded, the outer skin of the acetal cools and shrinks faster than the interior part of the extrusion. As the interior cools and shrinks, the solidified outer skin restricts the change in interior volume, causing voids to form in the remaining space.
Extreme centerline porosity is undesirable for cosmetic reasons. In some applications, it may compromise structural integrity and present a route for leakage of gas or liquids. The more porous area may also provide a place where build-up or foreign matter can occur, allowing bacteria to grow.
If you are looking for an acetal with no centerline porosity, Online Plastics is a stocking distributor of Quadrant Engineered Plastics. Quadrant’s Acetron® GP is made through their proprietary manufacturing process to create an acetal with no centerline porosity. Acetron® GP is available in acetal sheet and acetal rod formats.
*Ask Online Plastics about filled acetal grades. Fillers can add and enhance properties to meet specific application needs. Fillers include PTFE and glass fibers that add dimensional stability to acetal sheet and acetal rod applications. Acetal is also available with proprietary internal lubricants that provide enhanced wear resistance.