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7 Commonly Used Plastic Materials for CNC Machining

by: Nov 22,2023 268 Views 0 Comments Posted in CNC Machining

ABS Nylon Polycarbonate POM PTFE HDPE PEEK CNC machining


ABS is one of the most common thermoplastic materials with good mechanical properties, excellent impact strength, high heat resistance and good machinability.

ABS's low density makes it ideal for lightweight applications. CNC machined ABS parts are often used as prototypes before injection molding for mass production.

Material properties

2. Nylon

Nylon, also known as polyamide (PA), is a thermoplastic frequently used in engineering applications because of its excellent mechanical properties, good impact strength, and high chemical and abrasion resistance. But it absorbs water and moisture easily.

Nylon 6 and nylon 66 are the most commonly used grades in CNC machining.

Material properties

3. Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic with high toughness, good machining properties and excellent impact strength (better than ABS). It can be tinted but is usually optically clear, making it ideal for a wide range of applications including fluid installations or automotive glazing.

Material properties


POM, commonly known by the trade name Delrin, is the engineering thermoplastic with the highest machinability among plastics.

POM (Delrin) is usually the best choice when CNC machining plastic parts that require high precision, high stiffness, low friction, excellent high temperature dimensional stability and extremely low water absorption.

Material properties

5. PTFE (Teflon)

PTFE, commonly known as Teflon, is an engineering thermoplastic with excellent chemical and heat resistance and the lowest coefficient of friction of any known solid.

Polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon) is one of the few plastics that can withstand operating temperatures above 200°C and is an excellent electrical insulator. However, it has purely mechanical properties and is often used as a lining or insert in components.

Material properties


High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a thermoplastic with a high strength-to-weight ratio, high impact strength and good weather resistance.

HDPE is a lightweight thermoplastic suitable for outdoor use and pipes. Like ABS, it is often used to create prototypes prior to injection molding.

Material properties


PEEK is a high-performance engineering thermoplastic with excellent mechanical properties, thermal stability over a very wide temperature range, and excellent resistance to most chemicals.

PEEK is often used to replace metal parts due to its high strength-to-weight ratio. Medical grades are also available, making PEEK suitable for biomedical applications as well.

Material properties

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