Plastics Material: Plastics Classification

Thermoplastics & Thermosets Plastics

Plastic can be classified by "the permanence or impermanence of their form" into two main categories: 1. Thermoplastic  2. Thermosetting Plastic.

  • ThermoplasticsIt can be divided into A. General Plastics and B. Engineering Plastics based on utility, there's also multiple kinds of C. Thermoplastic Compounding.

    A. General Plastics: Low cost, widely applied, available for mass production, can be used to manufacture electronic appliances and daily supplies. Based on crystallinity, thermoplastics can be then categorized into a. Semi-Crystalline Plastics and b. Amorphous Plastics.
    a. Semi-Crystalline General Plastics including: Polyethylene (PE, HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE...), Polypropylene (PP)
    b. Amorphous General Plastics including Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Polystyrene (PS), PolyvinyChloride (PVC), Poly(vinylidene chloride) (PVDC), Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)

    B. Engineering Plastics: 
    a1. Semi-Crystalline general engineering plastics including Polyamide (PA), Polyoxymethylene (POM), Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT)
    a2. Amorphous general engineering plastics including Polycarbonate (PC), Polyphenylene oxide (PPO)
    b1. Semi-crystalline advanced engineering plastics including Polyimide (PI), Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS), Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP), Polytetrafluoroethene (PTFE), Polyetheretherketone (PEEK), Polyarylate (PAR)
    b2. Amorphous advanced engineering plastics including Polysulfone (PSF), Polyether Sulfone (PES), Polyethylene Imine (PEI), Polyamide Imide (PAI)

    C. Thermoplastic Compounding:
    Polyphenylene oxide/Polystyrene (PPO/PS), Polycarbonate/Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (PC/ABS), Polycarbonate/Polybutylene Terephthalate (PC/PBT), Polycarbonate/Polyethylene Terephthalate (PC/PET), Polyamide/Polypropylene (PA/PP). Others including alloy, blends, and compounds, etc.

  • Thermosets Plastics
    Including:Phenolic Resin (PF), Urea Resin (UF), Melamine (MF), Epoxy Resin (EP), Unsaturated Polyester (UP), Polyurethane (PU), Silicone (SI), Polydiallyl Phthalate (PDAP), etc.


plastic classification by categories