Acetal Sheets

Further Information about Acetal Sheets

Last Modified: 22nd Apr 2016

Acetal sheet is a very popular engineering plastic and is chosen for a variety of reasons. Acetal sheet is a semicrystaline engineering plastic and it is a polymer manufactured by polymerisation of formaldehyde. 

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Manufacturers produce engineering plastics that are slightly oversize in either diameter and/or thickness. This oversize tolerance, which is listed in the tables below, is provided to assist customers to produce very accurate items within the size shown and remove any minor surface imperfection.

Acetal Sheet Tolerances:
Nominal Thickness Tolerance in mm
1 -0.1 to +0.1
2 -0.15 to +0.15
3 - 4 -0.2 to +0.2
5 -0.25 to +0.25
6 -0.3 to +0.3
8 - 10 +0.2 to +0.9
12 - 16 - 20 - 25 +0.3 to +1.5
30 - 40 - 50 +0.5 to +2.5
60 - 70 - 80 - 90 - 100 +0.5 to +5.0

 


Advantages of Acetal Sheet:

Acetal sheet is an engineering plastic that has many advantages and customers have several reasons as to why they choose this material over others such as:

  • It is a good engineering plastic for machining and is one of the best as it is highly easy to machine leaving a smooth and high quality surface. This plastic will suit modern high speed efficient CNC machines
  • High precision and close tolerance component can be produced as this plastic is an exceptional engineering plastic for dimensional stability
  • Acetal sheet absorbs almost no moisture and offers good creep resistance so it will remain accurate over a long duration and over a huge range of environments
  • Acetal sheet has high mechanical strength, hardness and stiffness which all helps Acetal sheet become an engineering plastic that can often replace and be substitute for steel or other metallic materials
  • Acetal sheet is a great engineering plastic for is sliding abilities and has a lower coefficient of friction than Nylon Sheet

Applications of Acetal Sheet:

  • Acetal sheet has a range of possible applications and is particularly used in the food preparation industry since it has such a low moisture absorption. Due to this it has gained Food & Drug Administration approval. In addition its brilliant sliding abilities which help with very low friction and hard wearing food safe components
  • It is also one of the engineering plastics chosen within the automotive industry due to its long term dimensional stability and through its toughness it provides solutions for designers to help them produce long lasting and very durable parts
  • It is also used in marine applications, this environment suits acetal because the low moisture absorption results in components that will not expand or change dimension due to any contact with water

Grade Options for Acetal Sheet:

There are two different grade options for acetal available. The most common and popular is the co-polymer grade.

  1. Co-polymer grade Acetal has a marginally better chemical resistance and can help in any food production applications
  2. Homopolymer grade has lower thermal expansion along with slightly improved mechanical strength, stiffness and hardness that may help in specific environments. This grade is approximately 10% more expensive and size availability range is more limited.

Temperature Values for Acetal Sheet:

  • Optimum long term service temperature range of approx plus 100°C
  • Maximum short term temperature range of approx plus 130°C
  • Melt temperature of plus 165°C
  • Minimum operating temperature of between -30°C and -50°C.

Did you know?

Acetal emits a very distinguishing and unusual odour during machining which is unique. At the moment acetal is currently unable to be bonded with any adhesives/glues available.


Summary:

Acetal sheet is probably one of the best materials for machining, giving an excellent finish both on manual and CNC Machines. It has very low moisture absorption making it the appropriate grade for food contact and where dimensional stability is necessary. Acetal sheet has an ideal combination of high mechanical strength, hardness and toughness which gives it amazing sliding properties, wear resistance and electrical insulation.


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