Urethane Supply Company
Plastic Repair Gurus
since 1981
800-633-3047

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Plastic Identification

This table shows the plastic most often used in automotive applications. Don't see the symbol on this table? Click here for a more complete listing.

The plastics with the yellow background are thermoset plastics.

Symbol & Type How to identify Typical Usage Suggested Repair Method Repair Tips
PUR, RIM, RRIM Thermoset polyurethane Usually flexible, maybe yellow or gray, bubbles and smokes when attempting to melt. Flexible bumper covers (esp. on domestics), filler panels, rocker panel covers, snowmobile cowls. Method AW-3 w/ urethane (R01) rod or Method AW-2 with Uni-Weld FiberFlex Don't try to melt the base material! Just melt the rod into the v-groove like a hot melt glue.
SMC, UP, FRP, Fiberglass Rigid, polyester matrix reinforced with glass fibers, sands finely Rigid body panels, fenders, hoods, deck lids, header panels, spoilers Method AD-1 - two-part epoxy repair with fiberglass reinforcement. Use backing plate over holes, layer in fiberglass cloth for extra strength.
DCPD, Metton Rigid Material, no fibers, dark gray in color. Large truck and tractor panels and hoods Method AD-1 w/ 2510 PlastiFix two-part methacrylate adhesive Use backing plate over holes, layer in fiberglass cloth for extra strength.
XPE, XLPE, PE-Xb, PEX, Crosslinked Polyethylene Semi-Flexible, waxy or greasy feel, softens when heated but does not melt Gas tanks, kayaks, canoes, trash cans, use is declining Method AW-3 with polyethylene (R04) rod. Use as a hot melt adhesive. Applying filler or painting is difficult or impossible. Browns when heated.
ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) Rigid, often white but may be molded in any color, sands finely. Very pungent odor when heated. Instrument panels, grilles, trim moldings, consoles, armrest supports, street bike fairings. Method AW-1 or N2-1 w/ ABS rod (R03), or Method AD-1 Two-Part epoxy repair PlastiFix is an optimal repair method. Weld repairs may be backed with epoxy for extra strength.
PBT Polybutylene terphthalate Semi-rigid or rigid, sands finely. Automotive panels, electrical connectors, under-hood parts. Method AW-1 or N2-1 with slivers cut from scrap. Crystalline type plastic. Has low coefficient of friction. Use heavy pressure and reinforce with 2045 mesh.
PA, PA-6, PA Polyamide (Nylon) Semirigid or rigid, sands finely Radiator tanks, headlamp bezels, exterior trim finish parts, mirrors, plastic engine parts Method AW-1 with nylon (R06 series) rod. Preheat plastic with heat gun before welding, mix rod completely with base material.
PC + ABS Pulse (Polycarbonate & ABS) Rigid, sands finely, usually dark in color Door skins (Saturn), instrument panels, street bike fairings Method AW-1 or N2-1 with Polycarbonate rod (R07 series), or Method AD-1 adhesive repair Preheat plastic with heat gun before welding.
PC + PBT Xenoy (Polycarbonate blend) Rigid, sands finely, usually dark in color Bumper covers (primarily Ford products, 84-95 Taurus, Aerostar, some Mercedes and Hyundai's) Method AW-1 or N2-1 with polycarbonate rod (R07 series), or Method AD-1 adhesive repairs. Preheat plastic with heat gun before welding.
HDPE Polyethylene Semi-flexible, melts & smears when grinding, usually semi-translucent, waxy or greasy feel. Overflow tanks, inner fender panels, water storage tanks, gas tanks, kayaks, canoes, playground equipment. Method AW-1 or N2-1 with high density polyethylene rod (R12 series) Applying filler or painting is nearly impossible.
PE / LDPE Polyethylene Semi-flexible, melts & smears when grinding, usually semi-translucent, waxy or greasy feel. Smells like a candle when melting. Overflow tanks, inner fender panels, water storage tanks, gas tanks, kayaks, canoes, playground equipment, trash cans. Method AW-1 or N2-1 with high density polyethylene rod (R04 series) Applying filler or painting is nearly impossible.
PP Polypropylene Semi-flexible, melts & smears when grinding, waxy of greasy feel, usually a bit stiffer than PE's Bumper covers (usually blended with EPDM), inner fenders, radiator shrouds, gas tanks, battery cases, interior panels, gas tanks Method AW-1 or N2-1 with (R02 series) or methed AW-2 with (R10 series) Uni-Weld FiberFlex Use 1060FP Filler Prep adhesion promoter when applying two-part epoxy filler
PPE, PPE+PS Polyphenylene Ether Semi-rigid, sands finely, usually off-white or black in color Fenders, exterior trim, rear hatch panels Method AW-1 or N2-1 with slivers cut from scrap or AD-1 Preheat plastic with heat gun before welding.
PPO + PA Noryl GTX (Nylon blend) Semi-rigid, sands finely, usually off-white in color. Fenders (Saturn & GM), exterior trim Method AW-1 or N2-1 with GTX (R15 series) rod or nylon (R06 series) rod. Preheat plastic with heat gun before welding.
PVC Polyvinyl Chloride Rigid, sands finely, Usually white or gray but can be made any color Pipe, siding, window frames, decking, gutters, speed bumps Method AW-1 or N2-1 with PVC (R09 series) welding rod  
TPE Thermoplastic Elastomer Semi-flexible, usually black or gray, melts & smears when grinding. Bumper covers, filler panels, underhood parts. Method AW-2 with Uni-Weld FiberFlex (R10 series) Use 1060FP Filler Prep adhesion promoter before applying two-part epoxy filler.
TPO, EPM, TEO Thermoplastic Olefin Semiflexible, usually black or gray in color, melts & smears when grinding Bumper covers, air dams, grilles, interior parts, instrument panels, snowmobile cowls. Method AW-1 or N2-1 w/ PP (R02 series) rod or TPO (R05 series) rod or method AW-2 w/ FiberFlex (R10 series) rod. Use 1060FP Filler Prep adhesion promoter when applying two-part epoxy filler
TPU, TPUR - Thermoplastic Polyurethane Flexible, sands finely Bumper covers, soft filler panels, gravel deflectors, rocker panel covers Method AW-3 w/ (R01 series) rod or Method AW-2 with (R10 series) FiberFlex rod.  
PETE, PET Polyethylene Terephthalate Flexible, strong Soda bottles, various yarn fibers, headliners, fuse boxes, door panels Methos AW-1 or N2-1 with PET (R13 series) rod Can't make as strong as original part; manufactured in crisscrossed layers and can't be duplicated.

 

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PETE
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HDPE - high density polyethylene
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PVC - polyvinyl chloride
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LDPE - low density polyethylene
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PP - polypropylene
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PS - polystyrene
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Resins not mentioned above, or a combination of plastics.
ID Process
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