When does plastic sheet or plastic slab become plastic plate

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(Newswire.net — January 7, 2014) Anaheim, CA — The differences between plastic sheet and plastic plate may surprise you. Technically speaking, there is no difference between plastic sheet, plastic block, plastic plate, or even plastic panel. They are all the same thing. In the plastics industry, there are as many different names for plastic as there are types of plastic. Say you are looking for a HDPE plastic slab. What if you are looking for ABS plastic panel? Need some acrylic plastic pane? Chances are you will find all of these materials available and ready to ship. Plastic plate, panel, and pane are all considered plastic sheet in the plastics industry.  A 4” by 6” by 12” slab of PEEK is still a 4” by 6” by 12” sheet of PEEK.


Why is Plastic Sheet and Plastic Plate the same thing?


What it really boils down to is semantics. For example, what do you call soda? Depending on where you are in the world, you might be asking for pop, soda, or cola. Depending on who you are talking to, you might hear the terms plastic sheet, panel, or slab. Just like cola, plastic sheets, panels, or slabs are all the same thing.  The wording you choose usually ties into what you are using the plastic sheet for. For example, if someone is asking for a replacement plastic panel to cover a hole in the wall, would a plastic sheet not do the same thing as a plastic panel? What if you lay a plastic slab down to cover that hole? The hole is still being covered by a flat, quadrilateral shape of plastic. Call the plastic flat panel or plastic sheeting by any name you like, just make sure the dimensions are the size you need. The physical size is what is important, ‘a rose by any other name’.


Slab or plate, sheet or pane, the dimensions stay the same.


Plastic Rod and Plastic Dowel are the same?


Just like plastic sheets, plastic rods also go by different names. Some common names you might hear for a plastic rod are: plastic dowel, plastic round bar, plastic pole or plastic rail. What is a plastic round bar? A plastic bar is a plastic rail. A plastic rail is a plastic rod. Just like with plastic plates, plastic rods go by many names. Say you have a plastic railing. If you took that rail off of its mounts, and mounted it to the floor and ceiling, would it be a plastic bar? The answer is yes and no. The plastic did not morph, it stayed constant. What changed was the application the piece of plastic was used for. So yes the plastic was a rail at first, then a bar, but it is still a plastic rod throughout.


Plastic Bar Versus Plastic Strip


With regards to the term ‘bar’, when purchasing metal strip or plate, if the part is a narrow strip, it is commonly called metal bar. The same can hold true for plastics. Nylon bar, Nylon strip, Nylon plate or Nylon sheet cut to the same size can be called any of these names.


It does not matter what words you use to call the shape of the plastic piece you are looking for. What matters is that you get exactly what you need for your application. When looking for any type of plastic, focus more on what the uses of this plastic will be. What conditions will this sheet or rod endure? What range of temperatures will this sheet or rod be put through?


Describing the uses of the plastic you need are infinitely more valuable than saying you need “a plastic sheet.”



Industrial Plastic Supply, Inc

2240 S. Dupont Drive
Anaheim, CA 92806