With the utilization of new polymeric materials, it is possible to make transparent plastic profiles that combine the aesthetical and clearness features of glass, as well as excellent technical properties.
Technopolymers, coupled with technological production processes, allow to achieve transparent plastic profiles with complex shapes and thin wall sections.
In order to achieve such results, the project of the new profile is analyzed and dimensioned with scrutiny before the making of the extrusion tooling.
It is therefore of utmost importance to select the most suitable transparent plastic material
A brief history of transparent plastic
The introduction of transparent plastics allowed the creation of new products starting from 1870 with the patented of celluloid for photographic film. Subsequently with cellophane for bags, nylon for yarns and synthetic fabrics, PET for bottles, and polypropylene for packaging.
In recent times, transparent plastics has been applied to furnishings: tables, chairs, lamps, and decor items
Today, new transparent technopolymers allow for more technical applications: resins resistant to high and low temperatures, sterilization, UV rays, and materials suitable for making sheets, lenses, car lights, lamps, anti bullet shields, and even space helmets for astronauts.
Transparent plastic profiles: which polymers are better?
There are several transparent plastic materials, however some like polycarbonate, polymethacrylate (Plexiglas), acetate, PETG and Nylon, for their clearness quality and mechanical properties, are most suitable for extrusion of yarns and transparent plastic profiles.
PMMA polymethacrylate (Plexiglas) is widely used for its purity, normally it is more transparent than glass (approx. coefficient 0.93) and polycarbonate PC for its considerable mechanical properties.
Both products can be utilized with a transparent finishing, in various degrees of opacity, or light diffusing. This is essential for extruded profiles applied to lighting, furnishing, and decor
Additives can be formulated with transparent technopolymers to improve its properties. For example, UV resistance, weathering, self-extinguishing, high impact strength, or other as required.
It is understood that the polymer has to be selected on the basis of the characteristics of the final product. For this reason, before making a new plastic profile, we evaluate with scrutiny the most suitable raw material while planning eventual extrusion tests.
Only in this manner it is possible to take use of the transparency and the technical properties of the new technopolymers that are irreplaceable in highly technical applications.
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