Plastic sheet and plastic film are flat pieces of plastic formed to a precise thickness for use in specific applications. Products differ in terms of materials, properties, and dimensions.

Types of Plastic Sheet and Plastic Film

The GlobalSpec SpecSearch Database contains listings on a variety of plastic types. Some of the most common are polypropylene, polycarbonate, and polyvinyl chloride.

  • Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer that is used in packaging, textiles, stationary, laboratory equipment, and plastic parts. It is rugged and unusually resistant to many chemical solvents, acids, and bases.
  • Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic polymer used in electronics, construction, data storage, automotive, aircraft, and security applications. It is a very durable transparent material with a high impact resistance but a low scratch resistance.
  • Polyvinyl chloride is a thermoplastic polymer widely used in construction because it is cheap, durable, and easy to assemble. It can be made softer and more flexible by the addition of plasticizers. It is a controversial material because of the toxins it may liberate during its production and lifetime.

The choice of a chemical type determines a product’s thermal, mechanical, electrical, and optical properties. Fillers also have a large impact on a plastic’s properties. Choices include aramid fibers, chopped fibers, carbon fillers, glass powders, metal powders, and other mineral or inorganic materials. Unfilled products are also available.

Sizes and Features

Size is generally the key specification to consider for most plastic shape uses. Dimensions include overall thickness, overall width, and overall length.

In terms of features, some plastic sheets and plastics film provides anti-static control, protection against electrostatic discharge (ESD), and shielding from electromagnetic interference (EMI) or radio frequency interference (RFI). Other plastic sheets and plastic films are flame retardant, flexible, dampened, or approved by organizations such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Plastic sheet and plastic film that provides electrical and/or thermal insulation is also available.


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