Delrin is a type of acetal homopolymer and therefore generally interchangeable with others of the same class. This means that Delrin still offers the same core benefits of general acetal plastics, such as:
Excellent dimensional stability
Friction, fatigue, and abrasion resistance
Low moisture absorbance, leading to strong performance in wet conditions
Desirable electrical properties
Machinability to tight tolerances
FDA & USDA compliance
The main distinctions between Delrin and other acetal plastics stem from its composition as a homopolymer—it has a uniform crystalline structure rather than one incorporating multiple subunits. This leads to better properties in select areas—such as higher stiffness, flex fatigue resistance, and creep resistance—when compared to copolymers. Overall, Delrin offers slight but measurable benefits in terms of mechanical strength.
One negative characteristic specific to Delrin over other acetal plastics is its increased centerline porosity—an inconsistency in the center of the plastic caused by gas escape in the cooling process. While not a concern when the center of a rod is to be drilled out, this property can be problematic in certain food and medical related applications as centerline porosity increases the risk of bacterial growth.
Here’s the main takeaway: While Delrin does have some distinguishing properties, acetal plastics share enough in common that they are often interchangeable based on budget and other project-specific characteristics.
WHAT IS ACETAL PLASTIC USED FOR?
Owing to its strength, rigidity, and stability, acetal plastic is widely desirable across industries for a range of potential uses. In some cases, these physical properties are strong enough that acetal plastics can replace metal components. For these reasons, acetal plastics are common in the following industries:
Food Processing and Packaging Industries
More specifically, these materials are often used to fabricate:
Bushings and Bearings
Electrical Parts and Pads