Perfluoroalkoxy (PFA)

A member of the fluorocarbon family of plastics, in which perfluoroaklyl side chains are connected to the carbon-fluorine backbone of the polymer through flexible oxygen linkages.



Phenol-furfural is produced by reacting furfural, a distillation of oat hulls, corn cobs and other organic waste, with formaldehyde, to make a resin suitable for compression and transfer molding into electrical items such as thermostats and magneto heads for aircraft.  In 1923 Durite Plastics, Inc. began production of the phenol-furfural Durite, which was also widely used for paints.


Phenolic (Phenol Formaldehyde) (PF) (Bakelite)

Phenolics are a family of thermosetting resins made by reacting a phenol with an aldehyde, most commonly formaldehyde. The most famous phenol formaldehyde material is Bakelite, discovered in 1907 and subsequently developed as the first synthetic plastic.



A thermoplastic resin made by the polymerization of an acrylic compound such as methyl methacrylate.


Polyamid-Imid (PAI)

A family of polymers based on the combination of trimellitic anhydride with aromatic diamines. These resins are used for laminating, prepregs and electrical components.


Polybutylene (PB)

A group of crystalline polymers based on butene-1, which were first developed in 1965. Their properties are similar to those of polypropylene and linear polyethylene, with superior toughness, creep resistance and flexibility. Early applications were in the areas of pipes, wire coating, gaskets and heavy-duty packaging films.


Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT)

Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) is a thermoplastic polyester produced by the polycondensation of dimethyl terephthalate and butanediol whose main features are stability under load, low surface friction, low water absorption, and good electrical properties.


Polycarbonate (PC)

Polymers derived from the direct reaction between aromatic and aliphatic dihydroxy compounds with phosgene, or by the ester exchange reaction with phosgene-derived precursors.


Polyester Fiber

Generic name for a manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is any long chain of synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of an ester of a dihydric alcohol and terephthalic acid.


Polyester Thermoplastic

Polyester is a general term encompassing all polymers in which the main polymer backbones are formed by the esterification condensation of polyfunctional alcohols and acids. Thermoplastic polyesters become pliable above a specific temperature and return to a solid state upon cooling.


Polyester Thermoset

Polyester is general term encompassing all polymers in which the main polymer backbones are formed by the esterification condensation of polyfunctional alcohols and acids. Thermoset polyesters form irreversible chemical bonds during the curing process.


Polyetheretherketone (PEEK)

Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is a high-strength, radiation-resistant engineering plastic whose structure combines both ether and ketone groups.


Polyetherimide (PEI)

Polyetherimide (PEI) is a strong, high-temperature, amorphous, thermoplastic material characterized by having both ether links and imide groups in its molecule. PEI was first commercialized in 1982 by General Electric (now Sabic Innovative Plastics), and known by its trade name, Ultem.


Polyethersulfone (PES)

A high-temperature engineering thermoplastic consisting of repeating phenyl groups linked by thermally stable ether and sulfone groups.


Polyethylene (PE)

Polyethylenes are a family of resins obtained by polymerizing ethylene gas, creating a thermoplastic polymer consisting of long hydrocarbon chains.


Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is a strong, stiff synthetic fiber and resin, and a member of the polyester family of polymers.  PET is produced by the polymerization of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid. PET is the most widely recycled plastic.


Polyimide (PI)

In 1963, DuPont developed the first polyimides which were condensation polymers derived from pyromellitic dianhydride and aromatic diamines. Due to rings of four carbon atoms bound tightly together, the material is said to possess a greater resistance to heat than any other unfilled organic material.


Polymethyl Pentene (PMP) (TPX)

A polyolefin first reported by G. Natta in 1955 but not introduced commercially until 1966 when Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) marketed the resin under the tradename TPX. Polymethyl Pentene (PMP) is available both as a monomer and a polymer.


Polyphenylene Ether (PPE)

Polyphenylene Ether (PPE) was developed in response to marketplace demands for a second source for General Electric’s Polyphenylene Oxide (PPO) (Noryl).


Polyphenylene Oxide (PPO)

A thermoplastic, linear, non-crystalline polyether obtained by the oxidative polycondensation of 2,6 dimethylphenol in the presence of a copper-amine complex catalyst. PPO was discovered in 1956 by John Hay and introduced in 1965-1966 by General Electric (now Sabic Innovative Plastics) under the tradename Noryl.


Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS)

A crystalline polymer having a symmetrical, rigid backbone chain consisting of recurring para-substituted benzene rings and sulfur atoms. A variety of different grades suitable for slurry coating, fluidized bed coating, electrostatic spraying as well as injection and compression molding are offered by Phillips Petroleum Co. under the trade mark Ryton.


Polyphenylene Sulfone (PPSU)

An engineering thermoplastic developed by Union Carbide and introduced in 1977 under the tradename Radel. Polyphenylene Sulfone (PPSU) is chemically similar to polysulfone, but has higher impact resistance along with good heat resistance, good chemical resistance, low creep and good electrical properties.


Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic resin made by polymerizing propylene with suitable catalysts, generally aluminum alkyl and titanium tetrachloride mixed with solvents. Polypropylene is most commonly processed by injection molding. It is used in a wide variety of applications including packaging and labeling, textiles (e.g., ropes, thermal underwear and carpets), dishwasher safe food containers, laboratory equipment, loudspeakers, automotive components, and polymer banknotes.


Polysulfone (PSU)

A family of sulfur-containing thermoplastics introduced in 1965 by Union Carbide, based on benzene rings or phenylene units linked by three different chemical groups – a sulfone group, an ether linkage and an isopropylidene group.


Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) (Teflon)

The oldest member of the Fluorocarbon family of plastics. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) was developed by Dr. R. J. Plunkett in 1938 and marketed as Teflon.


Polyurethane (PUR)

A large family of polymers with widely varying properties and uses, all based on the reaction product of an organic isocyanate with compounds containing a hydroxyl group.


Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is the most important member of the vinyl plastics family. It is made by polymerization of vinyl chloride with peroxide catalysts.


Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF)

A member of the fluorohydrocarbon resin family. Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) is thermally stable at high temperatures. It is stronger and more abrasion resistant than other fluorocarbons and is easier to process on conventional thermoplastic equipment.


POM Copolymer

Variation of Polyoxymethylene (POM) denoting a polymer of two chemically distinct monomers.


POM Homopolymer

Variation of Polyoxymethylene (POM) polymer resulting from the polymerization of a single monomer.


PP Copolymer

Variation of Polypropylene (PP) denoting a polymer of two chemically distinct monomers.


PP Homopolymer

Variation of Polypropylene (PP) polymer resulting from the polymerization of a single monomer.


PS Acrylonitrile (SAN)

A variety of styrene (vinyl benzene) polymer. Polystyrene Acrylonitrile (SAN) is formed by the polymerization of styrene and acrylonitrile.


PS Block Copolymer (PSBC)

A variety of styrene (vinyl benzene) polymer. Block copolymers possess chains composed of shorter homo-polymeric chains or “blocks,” which are linked together. These blocks can be either regularly alternating or random.


PS Butadiene (SB)

A variety of styrene (vinyl benzene) polymer. PS Butadiene (SB) was first introduced in 1965 as an elastic, amorphous, thermoplastic material characterized by a linear block copolymer structure of polystyrene and butadiene. SB provides many rubber-like properties and can be processed by all known thermoplastic manufacturing techniques.


PS General Purpose (GPS)

A variety of styrene (vinyl benzene) polymer. In general purpose grade polystyrene, a balance is attempted to obtain good heat resistance, reasonably high setting up temperature, good flow properties and reasonable impact strength.


PS High Impact (HIPS)

A variety of styrene (vinyl benzene) polymer. High-impact grades are produced by adding rubber or butadiene copolymers.


PS Maleic Anhydride (SMA)

A variety of styrene (vinyl benzene) polymer. Increased impact strength is achieved by polymerizing the monomers in the presence of polybutadiene creating a terpolymer.


PUR Thermoplastic

A member of the polyurethane family of polymers, all based on the reaction product of an organic isocyanate with compounds containing a hydroxyl group. In their final state, thermoplastics are capable of being repeatedly softened by an increase of temperature and hardened by a decrease of temperature.


PUR Thermoset

A member of the polyurethane family of polymers, all based on the reaction product of an organic isocyanate with compounds containing a hydroxyl group. In their final state, thermosetting plastics are substantially infusible and insoluble. They cannot be resoftened by heat.