Close Up of Different Types of Plastic

It’s a fact that we all use plastics throughout our daily lives. Whether it be the cups or bottles we drink out of, the containers that our food is stored in, the cookware and tools we use or anything in between, it is nearly impossible to avoid plastics.

For something that is so regularly used, many people remain unaware of the different kinds of plastics available to the public that are used on a regular basis.

In this post we will explore several different kinds of commonly used plastics, how they are made, their benefits and common everyday uses.  

PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)

Potentially the most used plastic in everyday life, PET or polyester, is a clear, lightweight and durable plastic.

It is a safe and durable material and is resistant to heavy impact, harsh weather and chemicals. The basic building blocks of PET are ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid, which are combined to form a polymer chain. The resulting spaghetti-like strands of PET are extruded, cooled and cut into small pellets. The pellets are then heated to a liquid that can be easily extruded or molded into items of practically any shape.

It can be rigid or flexible depending on the packaging requirements and is commonly used for packaging foods and beverages that include soft drinks, juice and water bottles, packaging for cooking oils, salad dressing, frozen-meals and more.

Nearly all single-serve and 2-liter bottles of soft drinks and water sold in the United States are made from PET.


Thermoplastics are incredibly versatile and used for a variety of everyday products. They can be fused, cured or set, and the higher the temperature, the more flexible they will become. They can even be heated to a point where they soften and become liquid.

There are several types of thermoplastics, with one of the most well-known being PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride).

PVC can be processed into plastisol and fluidized bed powder and is commonly used for plastisol dip molding and dip coating, as it can be molded into nearly any shape. It is also resistant to chemicals and can be molded for a variety of products that include medical containers, tubing, water and sewage pipes, cables, cleaning solution containers, water bottles and more.

Plastisol Dip Coating

As mentioned above, plastisol is created through the processing of PVC. A plasticizer and stabilizer package are also used to create this dip coating.

This has a variety of uses and has been shown to be extremely effective when used as a coating for tool handles (pliers, screwdrivers, etc.), plumbing fittings, toys and more.

This coating process requires a mandrel (a customer’s product of choice) that is dipped, coated in plastisol and cooled to create a protective coating. The coating is extremely durable, and depending how it is processed, can adhere right to the part and be nearly impossible to remove from a mandrel.

Plastisol Dip Molding

Similar to plastisol dip coating, these moldings come from plastisol. Plastisol dip molding is created with a very similar process as dip coating but can be removed from a mandrel once it is coated.

Once cooled, the part can be safely removed as the solidified material is elastic. When necessary, the process can be repeated multiple times to build the molding to the desired thickness.

Common products that are created with plastisol dip moldings include caps, tips, grips, handles, inflatables, cushions, boots and more.

At Piper Plastics we are proud to have years of experience working with all these plastics and specialize in the creation of plastisol dip coating and molding for our valued clients.

With over 50 years in the plastics business and over 100 years of combined plastisol processing experience, we are the team to call for all your dip molding, dip coating and fluid bed PVC powder coating needs.

We take great pride in our ability to solve your most difficult molding and coating challenges and ask that you give us a call today at 800-966-9919 to get started!

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