Injection molding is globally recognized for its versatility and wide range of applications. This broad success is primarily attributable to the extensive array of materials compatible with injection molding.

A common inquiry we encounter is about the optimal plastic resin for specific projects. The truth is, there isn’t a singular answer. The “best” resin is subjective and depends on the unique circumstances of each project. Fortunately, there are thousands of plastic injection molding resins with similar, yet distinct properties, providing a plethora of potential solutions.

The selection of the appropriate plastic material starts with a thorough understanding of the part’s intended function and the environmental conditions it will encounter. Variables such as temperature fluctuations, moisture, chemical exposure, UV light, and more can significantly influence the part’s performance. Additionally, factors like strength, durability, flexibility, color, and cost should be taken into consideration. With an extensive range of choices available, it can be overwhelming to determine the ideal material for your project.

Whether you’re involved in medical plastic injection molding, manufacturing molded components for the automotive industry, or any other sector, the experts at Senses are here to assist you every step of the way. From initial design to efficient production, our team is well-equipped to provide guidance and support, ensuring a seamless transition from concept to finished product. Trust us to help you navigate the complexities of material selection and achieve the best possible outcome for your project. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Exploring the Top 10 Materials for Plastic Injection Molding

Dive into the realm of plastic injection molding with these ten commonly used materials:

  • Acrylic (PMMA)
  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
  • Nylon (Polyamide, PA)
  • Polycarbonate (PC)
  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • Polyoxymethylene (POM)
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polystyrene (PS)
  • Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE)
  • Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)

Each of these plastic materials boasts distinct characteristics and strengths, making them uniquely suitable for various injection molding applications.

Acrylic (PMMA)

Acrylic Injection Molding

Acrylic, also known as Poly(methyl methacrylate) or PMMA, is a commonly used thermoplastic known for its excellent transparency, stability, and weather-resistance. Acrylic is often used as a lightweight, impact-resistant alternative to glass and is commonly used in applications such as windows, displays, and light fixtures. Acrylic materials not only absorb and disperse light but also have good optical properties, providing clear lines of sight. Additionally, acrylic is used in artistic and architectural applications, with its stability and malleability allowing it to be shaped into a variety of forms and designs.

Advantages of Acrylic are:

  1. Optical Clarity: Acrylic has exceptional transparency, allowing for high light transmission. It can even rival the clarity of glass, making it suitable for applications where visual aesthetics are important.
  2. Impact Resistance: Despite its lightweight nature, acrylic is highly impact resistant. It is more durable than glass and less prone to breakage, making it a safer option for certain applications.
  3. Weather Resistance: Acrylic exhibits excellent weatherability, retaining its clarity and color stability even when exposed to sunlight and harsh environmental conditions. It has good resistance to UV radiation, preventing yellowing or degradation over time.
  4. Versatility: Acrylic can be easily shaped, molded, and fabricated into various forms, including sheets, tubes, and complex designs. It offers design flexibility and can be customized to meet specific project requirements.
  5. Chemical Resistance: Acrylic has good resistance to many chemicals, including common household cleaners and solvents. It is less susceptible to chemical damage and degradation compared to other plastics.

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)


ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is a thermoplastic plastic widely used in injection molding processes, particularly when manufacturing durable, lightweight, and rigid parts. The physical properties of ABS include strength, toughness, and heat resistance. Its high impact resistance and toughness make it an ideal choice for automobile parts, toys, consumer electronics, household appliances, and many other products.

Advantages of ABS are:

  1. Good Mechanical Properties: ABS has excellent hardness and rigidity. Its tensile strength, impact resistance, abrasion resistance, and fatigue resistance are all quite excellent.
  2. Ease of Processing: ABS can be easily processed through injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, welding, bonding, and other processes.
  3. Stability: ABS has good dimensional stability and surface smoothness, making it particularly useful in the manufacture of precision parts.

Nylon (also known as polyamide or PA)

Nylon (also known as polyamide or PA) is a wear-resistant, impact-resistant, and heat-resistant thermoplastic plastic widely used in injection molding due to its excellent mechanical properties and chemical stability. Nylon plastics have high tensile strength and elongation, making them ideal for manufacturing many products such as gears, bearings, automotive parts, consumer electronics, and sports equipment.

Advantages of Nylon are:

  1. Strength and Wear Resistance: Nylon has very high tensile strength and impact strength, making it an ideal material for manufacturing high-load parts such as gears and bearings.
  2. Heat Resistance: Nylon has excellent heat resistance and can maintain its mechanical and electrical properties within a certain temperature range.
  3. Chemical Stability: Nylon has good resistance to many chemicals, making it an ideal choice for applications in chemical equipment and automotive parts.

Although nylon boasts excellent mechanical properties and chemical stability, it doesn’t offer the best resistance to strong acids and bases when compared to other plastics. Additionally, its strength, while admirable, falls short of the robustness inherent to polypropylene, and it can’t rival the impact resistance of polycarbonate. When it comes to injection molding, working with nylon can present certain challenges. It tends to be prone to shrinkage, which may result in inadequate mold filling. However, these limitations can often be managed with appropriate process controls and mold design.

Polycarbonate (PC)


Polycarbonate (PC) is a robust, clear thermoplastic material that offers a unique combination of toughness, optical transparency, and heat resistance. Known for its high-impact resistance, it is commonly used in products where durability is required. Despite its strength, PC is easy to work with in injection molding applications, exhibiting good flow characteristics and dimensional stability. However, its sensitivity to UV radiation and certain solvents requires careful consideration in applications with exposure to these elements.

Advantages of PC are:

  1. High Impact Resistance: Polycarbonate exhibits excellent resistance to impact, making it perfect for items that require durability.
  2. Heat Resistance: PC can withstand high temperatures, maintaining its properties in applications where other plastics might degrade.
  3. Good Processability: Due to its thermoplastic nature, PC is easy to shape and mold, particularly in injection molding processes.

Polyethylene (PE)

Polyethylene (PE) is one of the most widely used plastics in the world. Due to its flexibility, toughness, and low cost, it is extensively used in packaging applications such as plastic films, bags, bottles, and containers. Polyethylene is known for its excellent resistance to chemicals, moisture, and impact, making it suitable for a variety of environments.

Advantages of PE are:

  1. Durability: Polyethylene is incredibly durable and can withstand significant physical stress, making it ideal for heavy-duty applications.
  2. Chemical Resistance: It offers excellent resistance to a variety of chemicals, preventing corrosion or degradation in a variety of environments.
  3. Affordability: It’s one of the most affordable plastics, making it an economical choice for many applications.

Polyoxymethylene (POM)

Also known as Acetal, Polyoxymethylene (POM) is an esteemed engineering plastic. Its distinctive characteristics include exceptional rigidity harmonized with thermal stability, in addition to a low friction coefficient. As a plastic material, POM exhibits minimal water absorption and reliable chemical resistance. Aesthetically, POM plastics present a naturally opaque and white appearance.

Advantages of POM are:

  1. Excellent Rigidity: POM is highly rigid, making it suitable for parts that require strength.
  2. Thermal Stability: POM maintains its properties over a wide range of temperatures, making it suitable for applications exposed to various environmental conditions.
  3. Low Coefficient of Friction: This property allows for smoother motion in parts, reducing wear and tear.
  4. Low Water Absorption: POM's low water absorption makes it suitable for applications that come into contact with moisture or are used in humid environments.
  5. Good Chemical Resistance: POM can withstand exposure to many common chemicals, making it suitable for use in various industrial applications.

Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene (PP) is a highly coveted material in the realm of thermoplastic injection molding, with significant application in the food storage and packaging sector. Its chemical inertness ensures no harmful substances leach into food products, ensuring their safe consumption. The material's resilience to hot water cleaning and its strong resistance to both chemicals and moisture render it suitable for numerous use-cases.

Advantages of PP are:

  1. Strength and Toughness: PP has incredible impact strength and toughness, giving products made from it excellent resistance to impact and bending.
  2. Chemical Resistance: PP has excellent chemical stability and does not react with most acids, bases, and organic solvents, making it an ideal material for storing or transporting such chemicals.
  3. Moisture Resistance: This material has a good resistance to moisture, making it especially suitable for packaging applications, particularly in the food industry.
  4. Heat Resistance: PP can be cleaned at high temperatures and even sterilized, making it an ideal choice for applications that require repeated cleaning or sterilization, like reusable food containers.
  5. Recyclability: PP is easy to recycle, which contributes to environmental protection and sustainable development.

PP exhibits remarkable impact strength, elasticity, and toughness, leading to durable, high-performance products. Additionally, its recyclability aligns with global sustainable initiatives, while its inherent flexibility allows for the creation of 'live hinges,' capable of withstanding numerous bending cycles without damage.

Polystyrene (PS)

In the realm of injection molding resins, two varieties of polystyrene are predominantly employed: High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) and General Purpose Polystyrene (GPPS). GPPS exhibits a clear and transparent appearance, contrasting with the opaque characteristic of HIPS. GPPS is often used in applications where visual clarity is important, such as packaging materials and consumer goods. On the other hand, HIPS finds widespread application in creating durable entities like hard cases for toolboxes and bodies of power tools.

Advantages of PS are:

  1. Low cost: Compared to many other types of plastics, the production cost of polystyrene is lower, making it useful in many low-cost applications.
  2. Physical properties: Polystyrene has excellent electrical insulation properties, weather resistance, and has good rigidity and hardness.
  3. Corrosion resistance: Polystyrene is resistant to many common chemicals, allowing it to be used in various environments.
  4. Radiation stability: Particularly in the medical industry, PS has minimal degradation under gamma radiation, and is therefore widely used in the production of medical devices.

Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE)

Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) are a class of materials that combine the properties of thermoplastics and elastomers. They exhibit both the flexibility and elasticity of rubber, as well as the processability and recyclability of thermoplastics. TPEs are known for their excellent resilience, durability, and resistance to weathering, chemicals, and UV radiation. They can be easily molded and formed into various shapes, making them suitable for a wide range of applications.

Advantages of TPE are:

  1. Flexibility and Elasticity: TPEs exhibit excellent flexibility and elasticity, allowing them to stretch and recover their original shape. This property makes them suitable for applications requiring rubber-like qualities.
  2. Processability: TPEs can be easily processed using conventional injection molding, extrusion, and blow molding techniques. They have good flow properties, enabling intricate and complex designs to be produced efficiently.
  3. Durability: TPEs have high mechanical strength and abrasion resistance, making them resistant to wear and tear even under demanding conditions. They can withstand repeated flexing and stretching without cracking or breaking.
  4. Weather Resistance: TPEs have good resistance to weathering, including exposure to UV radiation, ozone, and extreme temperatures. They can maintain their physical properties and appearance over a wide range of environmental conditions.
  5. Chemical Resistance: TPEs exhibit excellent resistance to chemicals, oils, greases, and solvents, making them suitable for applications where contact with such substances is expected.
  6. Soft-Touch Feel: TPEs can be formulated to have a soft-touch feel, providing a comfortable and ergonomic grip. This feature is particularly desirable for applications where tactile comfort is important, such as in handles and grips.
  7. Recyclability: TPEs are recyclable and can be melted and reprocessed without significant degradation in performance or properties. This contributes to their sustainability and reduces waste in manufacturing processes.

Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)

Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) is a versatile material that combines the properties of plastic and rubber. It is a class of thermoplastic elastomers known for its exceptional durability, flexibility, and resilience. Although TPU may be more expensive compared to other resins, its unique characteristics make it indispensable for certain applications, such as protective wire and cable sheaths. Additionally, TPU offers enhanced grip for products that require a secure hold in the hand.

Advantages of TPU are:

  1. Soft-Touch Feel: TPU can be formulated to have a soft-touch feel, providing a comfortable and pleasant tactile experience. It is commonly used in applications where a smooth and soft surface is desired, such as phone cases, handles, and grips.
  2. Processability: TPU is easily processed using conventional injection molding, extrusion, and blow molding techniques. It has good flow properties, allowing for the production of complex shapes and intricate designs.
  3. Wide Range of Hardness: TPU can be formulated to achieve a wide range of hardness levels, from soft and flexible to rigid and tough. This versatility allows for customization to meet specific application requirements.

How to Choose Material for Your Plastic Injection Molding Project

Selecting the right material for your plastic injection molding project is crucial for achieving optimal results. With a wide range of materials available, each with its unique properties and characteristics, it can be challenging to make the right choice. Factors such as part function, environmental conditions, strength requirements, and cost must be carefully considered.

At Senses, we understand the importance of material selection in injection molding. Our team of experts will guide you through the process, taking into account your project's specific needs and requirements. We offer a comprehensive range of injection molding materials, including ABS, PC, PP, TPE, and more.

Whether you need a material with high impact resistance, chemical resistance, flexibility, or transparency, we have the expertise to help you choose the ideal material for your project. Our goal is to ensure that your plastic injection molding project is a success, delivering high-quality, durable, and cost-effective parts.

Trust Senses for all your plastic injection molding needs. Our experienced team is ready to assist you in selecting the perfect material for your application. Contact us today to discuss your project and explore the possibilities. You can also reach out to us via email at We look forward to partnering with you!