CNC Machining Plastic materials

We provide instant quotes for more than 200 kinds of plastic and compare the prices of different processing materials for you.

ABS
ABS

ABS

ABS is a copolymer made up of three monomers: acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. The combination of these monomers provides ABS with a unique set of properties, including high impact resistance, good heat resistance, and excellent dimensional stability.


Mechanical properties  
Ultimate tensile strength 27.6 – 55.2 MPa
Yield strength 18.5 – 51 MPa
Young’s modulus 1.1 – 2.9 GPa
Elongation at break 10 – 50 %
Hardness 5.6 – 15.3 HV
Thermal properties  
Maximum service temperature 61.9 – 76.9 °C
Thermal expansion coefficent 84.6 – 234 10^-6/ºC
Thermal conductivity 0.188 – 0.335 W/(m⋅°C)
PMMA
PMMA

PMMA

PMMA also known as acrylic, is a tough and transparent material that resists UV radiation and weather. It can be easily colored, shaped, and used for various applications in construction due to its attractive appearance.


Mechanical properties  
Ultimate tensile strength 55 – 83 MPa
Yield strength 64 -80 MPa
Young’s modulus 2.76 – 3.3 GPa
Elongation at break 3 – 6.4 %
Hardness 64 – 105 HRM
Thermal properties  
Maximum service temperature 70 – 80 °C
Thermal expansion coefficent 50 – 90 10^-6/ºC
Thermal conductivity 0.19 – 0.2 W/(m⋅°C)
PE
PE

PE

PE (Polyethylene) is a popular thermoplastic polymer known for its exceptional properties. This lightweight, durable, and versatile material is widely used in various applications, as it can be easily processed into different shapes and sizes.


Subtypes Ultimate tensile strength Yield strength Young’s modulus Elongation at break Hardness
HDPE 22.1 – 31 MPa 26.2 – 31 MPa 1.07 – 1.09 GPa 500 – 700 % 7.9 – 9.9 HV
UHMW-PE 38.6 – 48.3 MPa 21.4 – 27.6 MPa 0.894 – 0.963 GPa 200 – 500 % 3.4 – 8.3 HV
Nylon
Nylon

Nylon

Nylon, a synthetic thermoplastic polymer, requires careful consideration during machining to avoid overheating, which can lead to issues like melting, warping, or damage.


Subtypes Ultimate tensile strength Yield strength Young’s modulus Elongation at break Hardness
Nylon 6 64.7 – 79.1 MPa 51.2 – 63.8 MPa 1.58 – 1.97 GPa 200-300 % Shore D70
Nylon 6 30% GF 113 – 138.1 MPa 111 – 137 MPa 6.5 – 8.1 GPa 2.81 – 4.05 % Shore D92
Nylon 66 30% GF 90 MPa 90 MPa 5 GPa 10 – 14 % Shore D76
Nylon 6 FR 82 MPa 82 MPa 3.8 GPa 3 % Shore D83
Nylon 12 80 MPa 80 MPa 1.9 GPa 200% Shore D78
Nylon 66 76 MPa 50 – 80 MPa 1.85 GPa 50% Shore D82
PEEK
peek

PEEK

PEEK (Polyetheretherketone) is a unique engineering plastic known for its outstanding properties, including high-temperature resistance, self-lubrication, ease of processing, and exceptional mechanical strength.


Mechanical properties  
Ultimate tensile strength 70.3 – 103 MPa
Yield strength 87 – 95 MPa
Young’s modulus 3.76 – 3.95 GPa
Elongation at break 30 – 150 %
Hardness 26.1 – 28.5 HV
Thermal properties  
Maximum service temperature 239 – 260 °C
Thermal expansion coefficent 50 – 60 10^-6/ºC
Thermal conductivity 0.24 – 0.26 W/(m⋅°C)
PC
pc

PC

Polycarbonate is a strong and tough plastic with flame retardant and antioxidant properties. It has excellent impact strength, transparency, and mechanical properties.


Mechanical properties  
Ultimate tensile strength 60 – 72.4 MPa
Yield strength 59- 70 MPa
Young’s modulus 2 – 2.44 GPa
Elongation at break 50 – 120 %
Hardness 17.7 – 21.7 HV
Thermal properties  
Maximum service temperature 101 – 144 °C
Thermal expansion coefficent 120 – 137 10^-6/ºC
Thermal conductivity 0.189 – 0.218 W/(m⋅°C)
PP
pp

PP

PP (Polypropylene) boasts remarkable chemical resistance, a high melting point, and low density. When machining PP using CNC, it’s crucial to use a sharp cutter with a high front angle and a low cutting speed. These measures prevent the material from overheating and melting.


Subtypes Ultimate tensile strength Yield strength Young’s modulus Elongation at break Hardness
PP Homopolymer   19 – 30 MPa 0.7 – 1.2 GPa min. 50 %  
PP 23 – 33 MPa 30 – 32 MPa 0.9 – 1.6 GPa 8 – 12 % 65 – 102 HRR
PP+GF(30%) 68 – 85 MPa   6.5 – 7 GPa 2.1 – 3.4 % 110 HRC
PET
pet

PET

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a thermoplastic material, is a viable option for CNC milling and lathing processes due to its good machinability and versatility. With proper tooling and cutting parameters, PET can be easily shaped and formed, making it ideal for creating prototypes, custom parts, and containers through CNC machining.


Mechanical properties  
Ultimate tensile strength 50 – 90 MPa
Yield strength 47 – 90 MPa
Young’s modulus 2 – 3 GPa
Elongation at break 20 – 300 %
Hardness 80 – 96 HRM
Thermal properties  
Maximum service temperature 60 – 115 °C
Thermal expansion coefficent 40 – 60 10^-6/ºC
Thermal conductivity 0.15 – 0.28 W/(m⋅°C)
PEI
pei

PEI

PEI (Polyetherimide) is a tough and durable material known for its high melting point and abrasive characteristics. By utilizing specialized cutting tools and techniques, it can be effectively cut and shaped to produce high-quality parts with precise tolerances.


Subtypes Ultimate tensile strength Yield strength Young’s modulus Elongation at break Maximum service temperature
PEI Ultem 1000 125 MPa 125 MPa 3.1 – 3.3 GPa 12 – 35 % 170 °C
PEI Ultem 2300 30% Glass Filled 135 MPa 135 MPa 5.3 GPa 4 % 170 °C
POM
pom

POM

POM (Polyoxymethylene) is a thermoplastic material renowned for its high stiffness, low friction, easy cutting, and excellent dimensional stability. However, machining POM can be challenging due to its high melting point and susceptibility to chipping or cracking if the cutting parameters are not carefully controlled.


Subtypes Ultimate tensile strength Yield strength Young’s modulus Elongation at break
Acetal Copolymer(POM-C) 60 – 70 MPa 60 – 67 MPa 2.5 – 2.7 GPa 30 – 32 %
Acetal Copolymer (POM-C) FDA 70 MPa 66 – 70 MPa 2.8 – 3 GPa 32 – 40 %
Acetal Homopolymer (POM-H) 60 – 89.6 MPa 48.6 – 72.4 MPa 2.5 – 4 GPa 15 – 75 %
Acetal Copolymer (POM-C) ESD 39 MPa 45 MPa 2.5 – 2.7 GPa 40 – 50 %
PVC
pvc

PVC

PVC is strong, durable, and resistant to chemicals, weather, and fire. However, machining it can create harmful dust and fumes that may be unsafe for workers. To keep workers safe, use proper safety equipment and ventilation during the process.


Mechanical properties  
Ultimate tensile strength 46 – 58 MPa
Yield strength 53 – 58 MPa
Young’s modulus 2.18 – 3.41 GPa
Elongation at break 25 – 80 %
Hardness 13.7 – 16.6 HV
Thermal properties  
Maximum service temperature 85 – 100 °C
Thermal expansion coefficent 112 – 149 10^-6/ºC
Thermal conductivity 0.133 – 0.144 W/(m⋅°C)
PTFE
ptfe

PTFE

When machining PTFE, using the right cutting tools is crucial because PTFE has a low friction coefficient, which can lead to overheating and deformation of the tool. To overcome this, carbide cutting tools are commonly employed as they are durable and can withstand heat effectively.


Mechanical properties  
Ultimate tensile strength 25 – 31 MPa
Yield strength 14 – 41.4 MPa
Young’s modulus 0.39 – 2.25 GPa
Elongation at break 300 – 450 %
Hardness 50 – 65 Shore D
Thermal properties  
Maximum service temperature 250 – 270 °C
Thermal expansion coefficent 7 – 20 10^-6/ºC
Thermal conductivity 0.23 – 0.5 W/(m⋅°C)

How to Make the Right Choice

There are several important elements to take into account when choosing plastic materials for CNC machining to make sure the finished product fulfills your expectations. Here are some factors to take into account when choosing a plastic material:

Mechanical Properties: Select a plastic material with the proper mechanical qualities, such as strength, hardness, and wear resistance, depending on the project’s requirements. ABS, polyurethane, and other popular polymers have good mechanical qualities.

Chemical Resistance: To avoid corrosion or distortion, you must use a plastic material with strong chemical resistance if your parts must come into contact with chemicals. Both polypropylene and polyethylene can withstand chemicals well.

Temperature Resistance: You must select a plastic material that can tolerate the necessary temperature range if your component will be used in a high- or low-temperature environment. For instance, PA66 (nylon 66) is well suited to withstand high temperatures.

Electrical Properties: You may want to use a plastic material with good insulating characteristics, such as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), for applications that call for effective electrical insulation.

Transparency and Color: Choose a transparent or tinted plastic material, like polycarbonate (PC), if you require a specific color or level of transparency for a component.

Cost considerations: The price of various plastic materials will differ, therefore you must choose the best material in accordance with your project budget.

Machinability: Consider the material’s machinability, taking into account its cutting capabilities, abrasion resistance, and ease of shaping into the appropriate shape.

Environmental considerations: With more and more projects focusing on the environment, you can minimize your environmental impact by choosing plastic materials that are recyclable or biodegradable.

choose cnc plastic material

Plastic Standard and other

Plastic materials are often regulated and standardized to ensure their safety, quality, and environmental impact. One of the well-known standards organizations that sets standards for plastic materials is the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Other

Materials are an essential basic capability in the industry, and their development can promote technology and innovation and society’s development. The current trend of material development is to be more environmentally friendly and energy-saving.

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