Polyoxymethylene (POM), also called polyacetal, acetal or polyformaldehyde, is a plastic (thermoplastic) material used in parts requiring high stiffness, low friction and excellent dimensional stability.
Acetal or polyoxymethylene parts can be manufactured by common thermoplastic resin conversion processes. However, most parts are manufactured by injection moulding and extrusion. The defined melting point of the crystalline resin provides quality injection moulded parts. Small acetal parts can often be injection moulded in multi-cavity or family moulds.
Properties of polyoxymethylene
This synthetic polymer is characterised by high heat and abrasion resistance, hardness, stiffness and good electrical properties. It also has other characteristics such as:
- A high impact strength index.
- Good stability.
- Excellent elastic recovery.
- Resistance to a wide range of organic, alkaline and acidic agents.
- Parts made of POM plastic have a long life with less maintenance.
However, when this material degrades, it generates formaldehyde, a gas with a peculiar odour which, if it is not released into the atmosphere, causes a consequent increase in pressure in the area where it degrades.
Uses of POM plastic
POM is used in high-performance engineering parts, especially those exposed to friction, wear or sliding, such as in the automotive or electronics industries. In addition, this acetal resin has great potential as a plastic with a high capacity for chemical recycling, with little loss of physicochemical properties, despite having number 7 in recyclability. It is therefore 100% recyclable, and the energy from the waste can be recovered in incineration facilities.
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