What are the Most Common Material Handling Plastics?

Material handling plastics play an important role in making sure everything, from food to folding chairs, travels safely through manufacturing facilities and onto store shelves. To get the job done, these plastics have to be strong and resist issues like mold, heat and UV rays. That's why the most common plastic material handling equipment found in warehouses and stock rooms is usually made of a few key elements.


While acrylic and plexiglass are commonly used in storefront windows and POP displays, they can also be found in material handling applications. For example, acrylic can be used in light shields and safety sight guards to help conveyor operators view the flow of product without getting in harm's way — or sacrificing the sterility of the products being conveyed. Acrylic has incredible clarity, impact resistance and anti-yellowing qualities that make it a great type of plastic for material conveying equipment.


When it comes to strength, polycarbonate sheet is hard to beat. It's 250 times stronger than glass and 30 times stronger than acrylic, giving it an incredible margin of safety and the ability to handle heavy lifting. Plastic material handling equipment made with polycarbonate has many benefits, including high heat and impact resistance. It's also unaffected by moisture and UV light, so even if it gets wet or is left out in the sun for long periods of time, you can still pick it up, wash it off and have it back to work in no time.


Polypropylene is an economical alternative to HDPE or ABS, providing similar levels of impact, chemical and thermal resistance. But the main reason why pallets and other plastic material handling equipment is made with polypropylene is because this variety of plastic is stress crack resistant. Polypropylene is stiff, yet flexible, so even if it's carrying a heavy load or is moved improperly, it likely won't fracture or break like a wood pallet might. Being able to use the same supplies again and again saves time and money in the long run, so choosing polypropylene, or any of the material handling plastics, is sure to do your business a lot of good.

Learn More About Material Handling Plastics

At A&C Plastics, we want you to make the most informed decision possible when choosing plastic for your project or facility. When you view our material handling plastic industry solutions page, or any of our other information center categories, you'll be able to stock up on knowledge — before you stock up on our high-quality plastics. Contact us today with questions or to receive your custom quote.