Polyacetal (POM) a.k.a Ertacetal | Polyoxymethylene

Polyoxymethylene (POM), also known as acetal, polyacetal and polyformaldehyde, is an engineering thermoplastic used in precision parts requiring high stiffness, low friction, and excellent dimensional stability. As with many other synthetic polymers, it is produced by different chemical firms with slightly different formulas and sold variously by such names as Delrin, Celcon, Ramtal, Duracon, Kepital and Hostaform.

POM-C otherwise known as Acetal Copolymer is an engineered plastic. The highly crystalline resins are strong, rigid and have a low coefficient of friction in comparison to metals and other plastics. It is also creep resistant and is recommended for applications where dimensional stability is important.

The polymer has good sliding characteristics and resistance to wear, as well as low moisture absorption. The good dimensional stability and particularly good fatigue strength as well as excellent machining ability make POM a highly versatile engineering material, even for complex components.

 

Standard Colours: White / Black

Properties:

  1. Low coefficient of friction to enhance material flow

  2. Long life sliding abrasion application –

  3. often outlasting steel

  4. Chemical and corrosion resistant

  5. Absorbs noise and impact

  6. Moisture repellent

  7. Shatter resistant

Fields of Application:

  • Bearings and gear wheels

  • Isolating parts

  • Precision parts for the mechanical engineering

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Polyacetal is a high crystalline thermoplastic with high strength and rigidity as well as good sliding properties and wear resistance with a low level of moisture absorption. It's good dimensional stability, exceptional fatigue resistance as well as excellent machining properties make Polyacetal a versatile design material also for complex components. POM satisfies high surface finish requirements. Strength, rigidity and dimensional stability can be further improved by adding glass fibres as a filler, although this decreases sliding properties.


A distinction is made between homopolymers (POM-H) and copolymers (POM-C); homopolymers have a higher density, hardness and strength due to their higher degree of crystallinity. However, copolymers have a higher impact resistance, greater abrasion resistance and better thermal/chemical resistance.


The Polyacetal semi-finished products that we offer – from which we also manufacture finished products – are produced from copolymers in an extrusion process.


Main properties
• High strength
• High rigidity
• High hardness
• Good impact resistance, also at low temperatures
• Low level of moisture absorption (at saturation 0.8%)
• Good creep resistance
• High dimensional stability
• Resistant to hydrolysis (up to +60 °C)
• Physiologically safe


Colours
POM-C: natural/black
POM-C + GF: black.


Sliding properties
POM-C has excellent sliding properties and good wear resistance. Combined with its other outstanding properties, POM-C is well suited for use in sliding applications at medium to high loads. This also applies to applications where high levels of humidity or moisture are expected.


Due to the closely spaced static and dynamic coefficient of friction low starting torques can be implemented.

Glass filled types are the exception here as the sliding properties are significantly worse compared to the unfilled types.


Weathering effects
POM-C is not resistant to UV rays. The surface oxidizes when subjected to UV radiation in combination with oxygen and becomes stained or dull. With long-term exposure to UV radiation, the material
tends to become brittle.

Chemical resistance
POM is resistant to weak acids, weak and strong alkaline solutions, organic solvents and petrol, benzene, oils and alcohols.


POM-C is not resistant to strong acids (pH < 4) or oxidising materials.


Behaviour in fire
POM-C is rated as normal flammable. When the source of ignition is removed, POM-C continues to burn, forming droplets. During thermal decomposition, formaldehyde can form. The oxygen index (= the oxygen concentration required for combustion) at 15% is very low compared to other plastics.

Machining
POM-C develops a fragmented chip and is thus ideally suited for machining on automatic lathes, but it is also possible to machine it on cutting machine tools. The semi-finished products can be drilled, milled, sawed, planed and turned on a lathe. It is also possible to cut threads or insert threaded parts in the material. Generally no cooling or lubricating emulsion is necessary.


To limit material deformation due to internal residual stress in semi-finished products, the parts should always be machined from the geometrical centre of the semi-finished product, removing an even quantity of material from all sides.


If maximum dimensional stability is demanded from the finished components, the parts to be manufactured should be rough pre-machined and stored for an interim period or heat treated. The parts can then be completed. More detailed information on interim storage and heat treatment, as well as other information about machining, is provided in the chapter on “Machining guidelines”.

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