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Materials: Plastic
Physical properties

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.

Physical properties

physical properties of plastics
  Max. operating temperature
(°C)
Brittle temperature
(°C)
Micro wave suitability* Density
(g/cm3)
Elasticity Transparency
 PS  70  -20 no 1.05 rigid transparent
 SAN  70  -40 no 1.03 rigid transparent
 PMMA  65 to 95  -50 no 1.18 rigid transparent
 PC 125 -130 yes 1.20 rigid transparent
 PVC  80  -20 no 1.35 rigid transparent
 POM 130  -40 no 1.42 good opaque
 PE-LD  80  -50 yes 0.92 very good translucent
 PE-HD 105  -50 yes 0.95 good translucent
 PP 125     0 yes 0.90 moderate translucent
 PMP 150     0 yes 0.83 moderate transparent
 ETFE 150 -100 yes 1.70 moderate translucent
 PTFE 260 -200 yes 2.17 very good opaque
 FEP 205 -100 yes 2.15 moderate translucent
 PFA 260 -200 yes 2.17 moderate translucent
 PUR  80  -30 yes 1.20 very good transparent
 FKM 220  -30 - - very good -
 EPDM 130  -40 - - very good -
 NR   80  -40 no 1.20 very good opaque
 SI 180  -60 no 1.10 very good translucent

 *Observe chemical and temperature resistance

Sterilization*

sterilization of plastics
  Autoclaving*
at 121 °C, (2 bar),
acc. to DIN EN 285
β/γ-radiation
25 kGy
Gas
(ethylene oxide)
Chemical (formalin, ethanol)
 PS  no yes no yes
 SAN  no  no yes yes
 PMMA  no yes no yes
 PC yes1) yes yes yes
 PVC  no2)  no yes yes
 POM yes1) yes (restricted) yes yes
 PE-LD  no yes yes yes
 PE-HD  no yes yes yes
 PP yes yes (restricted) yes yes
 PMP yes yes yes yes
 ETFE yes  no yes yes
 PTFE yes  no yes yes
 FEP/PFA yes  no yes yes
 PUR yes3)  - yes yes
 FKM yes  - yes yes
 EPDM yes  - yes yes
 NR  no  no yes yes
 SI yes  no yes yes

 * Before autoclaving, labware must be carefully cleaned and rinsed with destilled water.
   Always remove covers from containers!
1) Frequent autoclaving may reduce mechanical stability.
2) With the exception of PVC tubing, which is autoclavable up to 121 °C.

3) Frequent autoclaving reduces elasticity.