Plastic can be seen everywhere in appliance industry. Its consumption is second only to steel, and is also fastest growing polymer material in recent years. However, competition in home appliance industry is fierce, and profits from products such as refrigerators, washing machines, TVs, and air conditioners are getting lower and lower, and customers are placing higher and higher demands on product performance. Thus, development of high-quality and low-cost plastics for household appliances is a top priority for various manufacturers.
1. Polymer raw materials for housings of household appliances
The vast majority of polymeric materials used in household appliances are plastics, mainly including following types in fig. 1-1.
Fig. 1-1 Plastic for household appliances
1.1 ABS and HIPS
ABS material has excellent comprehensive properties such as high gloss, high impact resistance and chemical stability. ABS plastic is mainly used in production of televisions, refrigerators, air conditioners and other products in field of home appliances, such as air conditioner panels, refrigerator cladding and internal components.
HIPS has good flowability, high surface gloss, and is easy to process to make plastic products with good appearance. Compared to ABS, PC/ABS and PC, HIPS is cheaper and is mainly used in cases and internal components of various home appliances.
Until now, ABS plastic has been preferred polymer material for making parts of household appliances.
1.2 Polypropylene (PP)
Polypropylene materials are used in production of household appliances, firstly, because compared to ABS and HIPS, polypropylene materials are cheaper, have good strength, high chemical stability and good molding characteristics.
Based on polypropylene base material, after a certain modification, higher performance can be obtained, which can meet the performance and appearance requirements of various household appliances. Polypropylene materials are mainly used in TV cabinets, refrigerator door upholstery, refrigerator back covers, washing machine inner and outer drums, bases, etc. So far, its use is second only to ABS and HIPS materials.
Table 1-1 PP modification development trend
1.3 Polycarbonate (PC)
PC polycarbonate has advantages of high transparency, easy coloration, high thermal conductivity and high temperature resistance, but price of PC is relatively high, so it is often modified with ABS to obtain PC/ABS alloy, and combination of combining their respective performance advantages and compensating for related performance defects, PC/ABS alloy materials are mainly used in TV cabinets and home appliance cabinets.
1.4 PS and SAN
Polystyrene (PS) has many advantages, such as:
Ø Good strength, good dimensional stability;
Ø Good rigidity and high surface hardness;
Ø Transparent, easy to color.
These advantages make PS one of most widely used transparent polymer materials in home appliance industry. It is mainly used in transparent parts of household appliances such as fruit and vegetable drawers and egg shelves in refrigerators.
Acrylonitrile styrene resin (SAN) is transparent and easy to color. It is often mixed with PMMA. It is mainly used in various parts of air conditioners, TVs, refrigerators and other home appliances.
In field of materials for housings of household appliances, ABS materials have an absolute advantage due to their excellent complex properties; but when considering choice of plastic materials for household appliances in terms of cost reduction, high impact polystyrene and modified polypropylene are most preferred. best choice.
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