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Materials: Plastic
Chemical resistance

Physical and chemical properties of plastics vary greatly according to their composition.

The kind of application determines which plastic to select. Many factors have to be taken into consideration: exposure time and concentration of chemicals, thermal stress (e.g., autoclaving), exertion of force, exposure to UV radiation, and aging, which may be caused by the action of detergents, or other environmental factors.

A careful evaluation of the necessary properties by the user is of prime importance. The recommendations listed here are based on technical literature and information provided by the manufacturers of raw materials. They were prepared carefully and are intended as general guidance. However, they cannot replace suitability testing performed by the user under actual working conditions.

With regard to chemical resistance, plastics are classified as follows:

+ = Excellent chemical resistance

Continuous exposure to the substance does not cause damage within 30 days. The plastic may remain resistant for years.

o = Good to limited chemical resistance

Continuous exposure to the substance causes minor damages, some of which is reversible, within 7-30 days (e.g., swelling, softening, decrease of mechanical strength, discoloration).

– = Poor chemical resistance

Not suitable for continuous exposure to the substance. Immediate(!) damage may occur (loss of mechanical strength, deformation, discoloration, cracking, dissolution).

Abbreviations of the described plastics (to DIN 7728)

PS        Polystyrene
SAN      Styrene-acrylonitrile 
            copolymer
PMMA   Polymethyl methacrylate
PC        Polycarbonate
PVC      Polyvinyl chloride
POM     Polyoxymethylene
PE-LD   Low-density polyethylene
PE-HD  High-density
            polyethylene
PP        Polypropylene

PMP     Polymethylpentene
ECTFE  Ethylene-chlorotrifluoro-
            ethylene copolymer
ETFE    Ethylene-tetrafluoro-
            ethylene copolymer
PTFE    Polytetrafluoroethylene
FEP      Perfluoroethylene-
            propylene copolymer
PFA      Perfluoroalkoxy
            copolymer

PUR    Polyurethane
FKM    Fluoro elastomer
EPDM  Ethylene-propylene-
           diene-rubber
NR      Natural rubber
SI       Silicone rubber