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.

  • 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 
  • Sharp Melting Point 
  • Difficult to thermoform
  • Difficult to bond using adhesives & solvents 
  • Good resistance to stress cracking 
  • Good Fatigue Resistance  
  • Best physical properties above 500ºF
  • Best temperature resistance

  • Good chemical resistance

Types of amphorous polymer films

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  • ABS
  • Acrylic
  • PVC
  • Polystyrene

Types of semi-crystalline polymer films

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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.