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Thermoplastics - Physical Properties

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Typical properties of some common thermoplastics:

For full table with Thermal Conductivity, Specific Heat and Maximum Temperature Limit - rotate the screen!

Thermoplastics - Physical Properties
ThermoplasticSpecific Gravity
- SG -
Tensile Yield Strength
- σy -
(103 psi)

Tensile Modulus
- E -
(103 psi)

Coefficient of
Linear Expansion

- α -
(10-6 in/in oF)
Thermal Conductivity
- k -
(Btu in /ft2h oF)
Specific Heat
- c -
(Btu/lb oF)
Maximum Temperature Limit
ABS 1.08 7.0 340 60 1.35 0.34 180/80
PVC 1.4 8.0 410 30 1.1 0.25 150/65
CPVC 1.54 8.0 420 35 1.0 0.20 210/100
PE 0.95 3.2 120 90 3.2 0.55 160/70
PEX 0.94 2.8 . 90 3.2 0.55 210/100
PB 0.92 4.2 55 72 1.5 0.45 210/100
PVDF 1.76 7.0 220 70 1.5 0.29 300/150
  • 1 psi (lb/in2) = 6,894.8 Pa (N/m2)
  • 1 (Btu/lb oF) = 4,186.8 (J/kg K) = 1 (kcal/kg oC)
  • 1 in/(in oF) = 1.8 m/(m oC)
  • 1 Btu/(lbm oF) = 4186.8 J/ (kg K) = 1 kcal/(kg oC)
  • 1 GPa = 109 Pa
  • 1 MPa = 106 Pa 

Tensile Yield Strength - σy

Tensile yield strength is the maximum engineering stress in psi (or Pa) at which a permanent non-elastic deformation of the thermoplastic material begins.

Yield Point

Yield point is the first point where the specimen yields, where the specimen's cross-sectional area begins to contract significantly, or where the strain can increase without increase in the stress.


Ultimate Tensile Strength - σu

Ultimate tensile strength is the maximum stress the thermoplastic material can withstand before failing, whichever occurs at the higher stress level.

Total elongation at failure of some polymers:

Polymer Elongation at Failure
ABS 5 - 20
Acrylic 2 - 7
Epoxy 4 - 5
HDPE 700 - 1000
Polyamid (Nylon) 6 30 - 100
Polyamid (Nylon) 6/6 15 - 300
Phenolic 0.4 - 0.8
Polyacetal 25
Polycarbonate 110
Polyester 300
Polypropylene 100 - 600
PTFE 250 - 350

Tensile Modulus - or Young's Modulus - E

Tensile modulus or Young's Modulus is the ratio of stress to strain within the elastic region of the stress-strain curve before the yield point.


Thermoplastic Characteristics

ABS - Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene

  • strong and rigid
  • resistant to a variety of bases and acids
  • some solvents and chlorinated hydrocarbons may damage the material
  • maximum usable temperature 160oF (71oC)
  • common as DEV - Drainage, Waste and Vent - pipes

PB - Polybutylene

  • flexible pipe
  • used for pressurized water systems
  • usable for hot and cold water
  • only compression and banded type joints used

PE - Polyethylene

  • flexible pipe
  • used for pressurized water systems - sprinkler..
  • not usable for hot water

PEX - Polyethylene Cross Linked

  • flexible pipe
  • used for pressurized water systems - sprinkler..

PP - Polypropylene

  • lightweight
  • temperature up to 180oF (82oC)
  • highly resistant to acids, bases and many solvents
  • usable in laboratory plumbing

PVC - Polyvinyl Chloride

  • strong and rigid
  • resistant to a variety of acids and bases
  • may be damaged by some solvents and chlorinated hydrocarbons
  • maximum usable temperature 140oF (60oC)
  • usable for water, gas and drainage systems
  • not usable in hot water systems

CPVC - Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride

  • similar to PVC - but designed for water up to 180oF (82oC)

PVDF - Polyvinylidene Fluoride

  • strong and very tough material
  • resistant to abrasion, acids, bases, solvents and much more
  • usable to 280oF (138oC)
  • usable in laboratory plumbing
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Related Topics

Material Properties

Properties of gases, fluids and solids. Densities, specific heats, viscosities and more.

Temperature Expansion

Thermal expansion and expansion coefficients. Expansion pipes and tubes made of stainless steel, carbon steel, copper, plastics and more.

Related Documents

ABS Pipes - Pressure Ratings

Pressure ratings of ABS 1208, ABS 1210, ABS 1316 and ABS 2112.

ASTM D2661 - Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) Schedule 40 Plastic Drain, Waste, and Vent Pipe and Fittings

Nominal pipe size, outside diameter, thickness and weight.

ASTM D2729 - Poly(Vinyl Chloride) (PVC) Sewer Pipe - Dimensions

Dimensions of Poly(Vinyl Chloride) (PVC) Sewer Pipes with belled end.

ASTM F876 - PEX Tube - Dimensions

Dimensions of PEX tubes.

BS 7291 - Thermoplastics Pipes for Hot and Cold Water - Dimensions

Dimensions of thermoplastic pipes - PEX and PB according BS 7291.

Conductive Heat Transfer

Conductive heat transfer takes place in a solid if there is a temperature gradient.

Density vs. Specific Weight and Specific Gravity

An introduction to density, specific weight and specific gravity.

Metals and Alloys - Bulk Modulus Elasticity

The Bulk Modulus - resistance to uniform compression - for some common metals and alloys.

Metals and Alloys - Young's Modulus of Elasticity

Elastic properties and Young's modulus for metals and alloys like cast iron, carbon steel and more.

Modulus of Rigidity

Shear Modulus (Modulus of Rigidity) is the elasticity coefficient for shearing or torsion force.

Pipes and Tubes - Temperature Expansion

Pipes expands when heated and contracts when cooled and the expansion can be expressed with the expansion equation.

Plastics - Recycling Codes and Labeling

Symbol codes and labeling used for recycling plastic products like bottles, containers and packagin.

Polymers - Specific Heats

Specific heat of polymers like epoxy, PET, polycarbonate and more.

PVDF - PolyVinylidene Fluoride Pipes - Supports

Maximum distance between PVDF pipe supports.

Restricted Thermal Expansion - Force and Stress

Stress and force when thermal expansion a pipe, beam or similar is restricted.

Threaded Bolts - Stress Area

Threaded bolts tensile stress area.

Young's Modulus, Tensile Strength and Yield Strength Values for some Materials

Young's Modulus (or Tensile Modulus alt. Modulus of Elasticity) and Ultimate Tensile Strength and Yield Strength for materials like steel, glass, wood and many more.

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