★ Materials ↵back
ABS– Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Plastic-This general purpose terpolymer is flame retardant and impact resistant. ABS was first discovered during WWII and became commercially available in the 1950’s. ABS materials can be processed by standard thermoplastic processing methods.
Acrylic– Acrylate Polymers- Also known as polyacrylates, these plastics are known for their elasticity and impact resistance. Most acrylics fall into the PMMA category and are used as an alternative to glass.
Aluminum– Aluminum is the most popular metal used in cosmetic packaging. It’s durable, easy to manufacture, and has more coloring capabilities than most other materials. Additionally, aluminum is a metal that is very easy to recycle.
AS– Acrylonitrile Styrene Plastic- This material is tough, rigid, and transparent. AS is resistant to greases, stains, and stress cracking. AS is also easy to process. See SAN for more information.
HDPE– High-density Polyethylene Plastic- This material is moisture and chemical resistant and very versatile. It’s also impact resistant, has superior tensile strength, and is FDA approved. In addition to cosmetic packaging, HDPE materials are also used in tank lining.
LDPE– Low-density Polyethylene Plastic- This plastic is most commonly used in dispensing and wash bottles. It is remarkably strong yet still flexible. Typically, LDPE materials are translucent to opaque.
PE– Polyethylene Plastic- This material is best known for its moisture resistance and low cost production. PE is one of the most widely used plastics in the world and billions of pounds are produced each year.
PET– Polyethylene Terephthalate Plastic- Also abbreviated as PETE, this material is lightweight and flexible, making it ideal for one time usage. It’s also the most commonly recycled plastic.
PETE– Polyethylene Terephthalate Plastic- See PET and PETG.
PETG– Polyethylene Terephthalate Plastic- Just like PET and PETE, PETG is a lightweight, rigid plastic material. It serves as a great barrier for moisture and alcohol solvents. It is also fully recyclable.
PMMA– Polymethyl Methacrylate Plastic- PMMA has the greatest surface hardness of all thermoplastics. It’s also very resistant to weathering and UV light and is completely recyclable. PMMA is also very colorable, which affords manufacturers and buyers a lot of creativity.
PP– Polypropylene Plastic- PP materials are BPA-free and very versatile. PP has a very high melting point, making it safe for the microwave and dishwasher. Also, it is easy to add dye to, making it favorable to manufacturers.
PS– Polystyrene Plastic- PS is fairly inexpensive. It has a glassy, rigid appearance and in certain cases is noted to look like crystal. Many manufacturers add rubber or butadiene copolymer to make high impact grades of PS.
SAN– Styrene Acrylonitrile Plastic- This material is a predecessor of ABS and is rigid and transparent. SAN’s easily printable surface makes it a go-to for cosmetic jars and airless bottles, but it’s also useful in kitchenware because of its resistance to fats and oils.
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