At Induplast, lately many of our customers' complex projects have been modified by a change of material for some parts, switching from metal to plastic, specifically Delrin®.
But what is Delrin®?
And why is it one of the engineering plastics most required by technical engineers today?
What are its characteristics?
Can it really replace metal?
We are going to try and answer these questions in this post.
Furthermore, if you wish, you can download the material data sheet from the link below.
You have surely seen and touched many objects in daily life manufactured in Delrin®, but you didn't know that it was this smooth and attractive plastic material, until now.
It is a type of engineering plastic with properties very similar to those of metals.
For that reason, it is increasingly replacing metals.
In actual fact, Delrin® is a trade name, commonly known in our industrial environment as acetal/acetal resin and chemically as polyoxymethylene, POM (DIN nomenclature).
But it also has other trade names depending on the manufacturer and with small differences in the formula (for example: CELCON®, DURACON®, TECAFORM®. HOSTAFORM®, etc.)
Delrin® was created by DuPont between 1952 and 1956.
It is an engineering thermoplastic that is self-lubricating and semi-crystalline, with high strength and hardness (up to -40°C), with numerous applications in the majority of our industry's sectors: Mechanical engineering, the food industry, pharmaceuticals, the health sector, electronics, aeronautics and aerospace, automotive, etc.
Delrin® is a nearly unbreakable plastic noted for its lightness and it is very versatile, which makes it a top-class material, even for complex components.
It has a high static and dynamic coefficient.
Its elastic behaviour is similar to that of steel, therefore it is a good substitute for metal in many applications.
It is easy to machine and can be machined on automatic lathes, and is especially recommended for precision machined parts that require high rigidity, low friction and excellent dimensional stability and elastic recovery.
The POM is manufactured in the form of a homopolymer and copolymer (abbreviations: POM-H and POM-C).
The two forms have very similar properties, both are hard polymers with excellent abrasion resistance and a very attractive appearance – they can have a very bright surface.
They are usually highly crystalline and opaque and are usually coloured, although their natural colour is white.
The main difference between the two is that the mechanical characteristics of POM-H are better than those of POM-C, which makes it easier to machine.
However, the strength of POM-H reduces every 10°C, which affects its performance at high temperatures.
Alloys with elastomers, whose impact resistance is multiplied by 10 and have high abrasion resistance, are used for sprockets subject to impact, housings with elastic fasteners, film hinges, fixings on vehicles and on skis, and heavy duty zips.
Examples of standard parts in Delrin® are innumerable:
small gears and other transmission components, rollers, bolts, fitting hooks, belts, knife handles, safety systems, parts for furniture, medical instruments, sports accessories and objects for the home, fruit machine mechanisms, sports and office equipment, among others.
It can be found in watchmaking, dashboards, precision engineering, sliding applications, parts for electrical insulation, components in contact with water due to its low water absorption, and a long list of other applications.
The habits of modern life prevent us from considering the value of the materials that make our life more comfortable, as well as the usefulness of each one of the components that form part of the utilitarian objects that we use every day.
This is the case with Delrin®.
When getting up this morning, you no doubt switched on a coffee machine made of POM material without fully appreciating the usefulness of this material.
And when you left the house, you quickly put on a coat, thanks to a zip made of POM.
You got into your car and were able to arrive at work on time thanks to POM mechanisms throughout the vehicle, whether in the chassis, gears, fuel sender, chains, springs, valves, pump parts, bolts, and numerous other parts that aid daily mobility.
When arriving at the office, you were able to lock the vehicle and keep it safe thanks to a POM locking system.
And so the day will go on and numerous objects manufactured in this quality plastic will pass through your hands.
Who would have thought that Delrin® would be found in nearly everything that surrounds us?

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Download POM data sheet
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