Virgin plastics is one of the most used types of plastics today. These resins are produced from petrochemical feedstock such as crude oil or natural gas. Unlike recycled plastic resins these resins are not processed or used before, and are used for making several daily use items including consumer electronics, machine parts, machine housing, and so on. Over the years, there have been several regulations on limiting the use of virgin plastic resins, still, they are in demand owing to the durability and structural integrity offered by them. HDPE, polypropylene, LDPE, and LLDPE are four important types of virgin plastic resins used across various industries. The post concentrates on their properties and applications.
An In-depth Overview of Four Important Virgin Plastic Resins Used in Various Industries
The following plastic resins are widely utilized by injection molding, extrusion molding, profile extrusion, film manufacturing, as well as compounding industries. Their typical properties make them a perfect fit across industries.
High Density Polyethylene (HDPE): This is also known as polyethylene high density (PEHD). This thermoplastic polymer is widely used for making corrosion-resistant piping, plastic lumber, and so on. Made from ethylene monomer, this polymer is well-known for its properties, and is also one of the most popular recycled plastic resin. The following properties of this resin have contributed to its high popularity.
- High strength-to-density ratio
- Strong intermolecular forces and high tensile strength than LDPE
- High specific strength than LDPE
- High temperature resistance
Owing to its properties, HDPE finds applications in the water industry, where pipes constructed from HDPE are used for the transportation of wastewater, potable water, and so on. A few other applications of HDPE include:
- Ballistic plates
- Food storage containers
- Geothermal heat transfer piping systems
- Natural gas distribution pipe systems
Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE): This polymer is made of several small and large side chains, and exhibits high retention as well as flexibility at various temperatures. The following beneficial properties of the polymer have been put to use for a long time.
- LDPE offers excellent corrosion resistance and has low moisture permeability.
- It offers excellent resistance to concentrated and dilute alcohols, acids, esters, and bases.
This virgin plastic is widely used for producing the following:
- Flexible machine parts
- Machine and weldable parts
- Corrosion resistant parts
- General purpose containers and trays
- Hardware packaging
Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE): It is one of the most flexible types of virgin plastic resins. Basically, it is a blended form of LDPE, and has better tensile strength, flexibility, and conformability. The following properties of this polymer shows its increasing use across industries:
- LLPDE is softer and pliable.
- It is blended with other plastic films to improve their strength.
- It exhibits tremendous strength, and is suitable for applications which may withstand high impact.
This polymer is mainly used in the production of plastic sheets and bags as well as the following products
- Containers and buckets
- Geomembranes and cables
- Pipes and buckets
- Covers and lids
Polypropylene: It is one of the widely used forms of virgin plastic resins. Produced from the monomer propylene, this thermoplastic polymer is distinguished by its white color, and rugged construction. Widely used in labeling and packaging, the polymer also finds applications in medical, clothing, and other industries.
This material offers a brilliant combination of mechanical, physical, thermal, and electrical properties. They are summarized below:
- The plastic is flexible while being tough. This property makes it a perfect engineering plastic.
- Polypropylene offers excellent fatigue resistance.
- It is resistant to organic solvents and fats at regular room temperature, which is why it is used to store bases and non-oxidizing acids.
- In addition to the above-discussed properties, the polymer also offers excellent scratch resistance, and weldability.
The above-discussed advantages of these polymers make them ideal for the following applications:
- Rigid packaging
- Garment hangers
- Furniture trim
If you are planning to invest in any of the above-discussed virgin plastic resins, it is important to ensure that they are of high quality and sourced from a reliable supplier. Mid Continent Plastics is one of the leading suppliers of high-quality and certified virgin plastic resins.