Category Archive: Polymer Film Converting

Polymer Film Guide- Amorphous vs. Semi-Crystalline Films

Researching polymer films can be a difficult task, especially since there is so many different grades, resins, and combinations available. However, breaking down polymer films by molecular structure: amorphous or semi-crystalline can help narrow down the selection to films that will meet property requirements, difficulty of fabrication, and their relative cost. 

The difference between amphorous & semi-crystaline films

Semi-crystalline films have a highly ordered molecular structure with sharp melt points. While amorphous polymers soften gradually when the temperature rises, semi-crystalline plastics do not. Instead, they remain solid until a certain quantity of heat is absorbed. The materials then quickly change into a low viscosity liquid. However,  the sharp melting point of semi-crystalline polymers makes them difficult to thermoform, but ideal for applications that require a high strength, low friction plastic. 

Amphorous

  • Softens over a broad range of temperatures 
  • Easy to thermoform
  • Tend to be translucent or transparent 
  •  Bond well using adhesives & solvents
  • Prone to stress cracking 
  • Poor Fatigue Resistance 

Semi-Crystaline

  • Sharp Melting Point 
  • Difficult to thermoform
  • Difficult to bond using adhesives & solvents 
  • Good resistance to stress cracking 
  • Good Fatigue Resistance  

Imidized

  • Best physical properties above 500ºF
  • Best temperature resistance
  • Good chemical resistance

Types of amphorous polymer films

Commodity

  • ABS 
  • Acrylic 
  • PVC 
  • Polystyrene 

Engineering

High Performance

Types of semi-crystalline polymer films

Commodity

Engineering

High Performance

CS Hyde Company stocks and converts a variety of high performance and engineering films. We also laminate PSA adhesive to hard to bond semi-crystalline films, ideal for peel and stick bonding applications. To learn more about each of the films view our high performance film catalog, or contact us for additional information.