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Thermoplastics for caps and plugs

Which thermoplastic you choose for your caps and plugs will affect their durability, flexibility and ability to withstand different temperatures. Whether you are looking for masking pull plugs, threaded caps or blanking caps, each will require a different choice of material.

What are thermoplastics?

Thermoplastics are plastics that become soft when they are heated and solidify when cooled. Injection moulding tends to use thermoplastics, heating up the material, then injecting it at high pressure into a mould.


Why use caps and plugs?

Caps and plugs are ideal to protect products throughout their lifecycle. There are three main uses for caps and plugs to protect products:

  • During the finishing process in manufacturing, caps and plugs are used to mask products
  • Caps and plugs will protect the products from damage when in storage and transportation
  • End products will need caps and plugs to finish them as well as providing protection

How resistant to temperature are thermoplastics?

In the applications above, the temperature that the plastic component will need to withstand will vary. There are three classifications for temperature resistance:

  • Commodity products are temperature resistant up to 70°C
  • Engineering quality plastic caps and plugs can withstand up to 150°C
  • High performance are the strongest plastic components, being able to maintain solidity at over 150°C

What plastics are used for caps and plugs?

There are two main types of thermoplastics used to make caps and plugs. Firstly, amorphous thermoplastics, which are flexible and can be joined onto other materials. And secondly, semi-crystalline thermoplastics which are suited to heavy duty usage, cope well with friction and are resistant to cracking and wear. Nylon and LDPE are both examples of semi-crystalline thermoplastics.

Both types of thermoplastic can be used for commodity, engineering and high-performance purposes.

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