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Know your Surface: Different Types of Plastics

Plastics…we tend to think of them in one big generic term. In reality there are many different subcategories–each with their own important properties. One such element is surface energy. As discussed in a prior post, different plastics inherently bond more or less than others. As a result of this, adhesive choice is crucial.

But there is more to adhesive choice than just surface energy. Flexibility, chemical resistance, and out-gassing of the different plastics–not to mention use factors such as service temperature–also affect adhesive choice. Because of that it is important to understand what type of plastic the label is adhering to, and how the product as a whole will be used.

To help identify and understand some of the key properties that makes the plastics different, we’ve included the below chart with the plastics categorized by their recycling code (a useful way for quickly identifying plastics):

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