Materials Guide

Choosing the right material for your next project is a very important decision. Before final selection, you must consider a number of items such as the mechanical properties of the material, manufacturing characteristics, appearance, intended application, part complexity, and cost. Different plastics and metals can behave very differently and affect the overall outcome and life of a product.

Vamco offers a wide variety of plastics and metals to choose from when creating a new molded or machined product. While we work with a vast number of different materials we find that the materials listed below often meet a customer’s needs the best.

Injection Molding

Material name Abbreviation Trade names Description Applications
Acetal POM Celcon, Delrin, Hostaform, Lucel Strong, rigid, excellent fatigue resistance, excellent creep resistance, chemical resistance, moisture
resistance, naturally opaque white, low/medium cost
Bearings, cams, gears, handles, plumbing components, rollers, rotors, slide guides, valves
Acrylic PMMA Diakon, Oroglas, Lucite, Plexiglas Rigid, brittle, scratch resistant, transparent, optical clarity, low/medium cost Display stands, knobs, lenses, light housings, panels, reflectors, signs, shelves, trays
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene ABS Cycolac, Magnum, Novodur, Terluran Strong, flexible, low mold shrinkage (tight tolerances), chemical resistance, electroplating capability, naturally opaque, low/medium cost Automotive (consoles, panels, trim, vents), boxes, gauges, housings, inhalors, toys
6 (Nylon)
PA6 Akulon, Ultramid, Grilon High strength, fatigue resistance, chemical resistance, low creep, low friction, almost opaque/white, medium/high cost Bearings, bushings, gears, rollers, wheels
6/6 (Nylon)
PA6/6 Kopa, Zytel, Radilon High strength, fatigue resistance, chemical resistance, low creep, low friction, almost opaque/white, medium/high cost Handles, levers, small housings, zip ties
Polycarbonate PC Calibre, Lexan, Makrolon Very tough, temperature resistance, dimensional stability, transparent, high cost Automotive (panels, lenses, consoles), bottles, containers, housings, light covers, reflectors, safety, helmets and shields
- Low Density
LDPE Alkathene, Escorene, Novex Lightweight, tough and flexible, excellent chemical resistance, natural waxy appearance, low cost Kitchenware, housings, covers, and containers
- High Density
HDPE Eraclene, Hostalen, Stamylan Tough and stiff, excellent chemical resistance, natural waxy appearance, low cost Chair seats, housings, covers, and containers
Polyphenylene Oxide PPO Noryl, Thermocomp, Vamporan Tough, heat resistance, flame resistance, dimensional stability, low water absorption, electroplating capability, high cost Automotive (housings, panels), electrical components, housings, plumbing components
Polypropylene PP Novolen, Appryl, Escorene Lightweight, heat resistance, high chemical resistance, scratch resistance, natural waxy appearance, tough and stiff, low cost. Automotive (bumpers, covers, trim), bottles, caps, crates, handles, housings
- General purpose
GPPS Lacqrene, Styron, Solarene Brittle, transparent, low cost Cosmetics packaging, pens
- High impact
HIPS Polystyrol, Kostil, Polystar Impact strength, rigidity, toughness, dimensional stability, naturally translucent, low cost Electronic housings, food containers, toys
Styrene Acrylonitrile SAN Luran, Arpylene, Starex Stiff, brittle, chemical resistance, heat resistance, hydrolytically stable, transparent, low cost Housewares, knobs, syringes
Thermoplastic Elastomer/Rubber TPE/R Hytrel, Santoprene, Sarlink Tough, flexible, high cost Bushings, electrical components, seals, washers

CNC Machining and Mold Making

Material Description
7075 Aluminum 7075 Aluminum is one of the strongest aluminum alloys with a strength comparable to many steels. It has good fatigue strength and typical machinability. Due to its high strength, low density, thermalproperties, and its ability to be highly polished, 7075 is VAMCO’s choice for use in our aluminum mold tool manufacturing.
P20 Mold Steel P20 Mold Steel is a versatile, low-alloy tool steel that is characterized by good toughness at moderate strength levels. The steel is VAMCO’s most commonly steel for our plastic injection mold cavities and tooling.
S7 Shock-Resisting Tool Steel S7 Shock-Resisting Tool Steel is an air or oil hardening tool steel that is characterized by very high impact toughness. The combination of strength and high toughness makes it a candidate for a wide variety of tooling applications. It can be used successfully for both cold and hot work applications.

Don’t know what material to use?

Request a Quote to get help with material selection and every other part of the manufacturing process. We at Vamco believe in partnering with our customers not just selling to them. We work with our customers, guiding them through the process until they get the products they need.