Types of Plastic Materials Used for Chairs

Plastic was created as a result of the rising scarcity of raw materials brought about by the process of industrialization. New solutions were required as markets grew and production increased. As a result, early innovators and researchers focused their efforts on replicating existing rare and expensive materials such as mother-of-pearl, ivory, exotic woods, and pricey natural stones such as granite and onyx.

A vast and diversified range of uses quickly emerged, allowing money to be invested in the research and innovation of low-cost materials like plastic that could be mass-produced. As a response, the focus was on enhancing the usefulness and material attributes such as corrosion and wear resistance, excellent thermal stability, and durability.

Plastic is an indispensable material in the furniture industry. And the plastics used in plastic chairs and tables are also improving. In this article, we will take a detailed look into the plastic chair materials commonly used in table and chair manufacturing. Ready? Let’s go.

Thermoplastics and Thermoset Plastics For Chair Manufacturing

a clear chair made of thermoplastic

Source: Pinterest

Thermoplastics have lower melting point temperatures and will soften to a pliable state or melt to a liquid form when heated. This implies that they may be formed into almost any mold or pattern. Furthermore, even intense heat does not affect the nature of the material, therefore even after their material has been formed and cured, it may be melted, heated, or reshaped and remain the same thermoplastic.

Consider a thermoplastic substance such as water. Water can be either a solid or a liquid, as in the case of ice. However, regardless of how many times its physical condition changes, its chemical composition remains constant and it is water.

Thermosets have a high melting point and thermal conductivity, however, when exposed to a certain temp and molded to a solid structure, their composition and structural qualities become constant. They cannot be melted down or returned to their original state. Instead, the substance will char or burn.

Thermoplastic materials:

  • Nylon
  • Acrylic Polycarbonate
  • Polypropylene
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Polyethylene

Materials used in thermosets:

  • Silicone
  • Polyester
  • Melamine
  • Epoxy
  • Polyurethane
  • Formaldehyde of urea

Polypropylene (PP) Chairs

polypropylene chair

Source: Pinteresst

Polypropylene is among the world’s most widely used thermoplastics. Polypropylene is used in a variety of applications, including plastic containers, plastic parts for industrial machinery, and even fibers and fabrics. It is a semi-crystalline stiff thermoplastic that was initially polymerized in 1951 and is now widely utilized in a variety of residential and industrial applications. Today, worldwide demand for polypropylene is projected to be over 45 metric tons, with this amount rising at an exponential rate.

Uses of PP

Polypropylene has a slick, haptic surface, making it perfect for a variety of applications.

  • Making plastic furniture
  • Gears in equipment and automobiles, for example, are examples of low friction uses.

Because it is very resistant to acid corrosion, it is a good choice for packing.

  • cleaning supplies
  • bleaching agents and
  • first-aid supplies

Features of Polypropylene:

Good Chemical stability: Because diluted bases and acids do not react readily with polypropylene, it is an excellent choice for containers containing such liquids as first-aid products, cleaning agents, and more.

Flexibility and Tenacity: Polypropylene exhibits elasticity within a certain range of obfuscation (as do all materials), but it also exhibits plastic deformation early in the deformation, making it a “tough” material. 

Strain Resistance: Polypropylene holds its shape even after extensive torsion, bending, and/or flexing. This characteristic is extremely useful for creating living hinges.

Insulation: It has a high electrical resistance and is ideal for electrical parts.


  • Polypropylene is widely accessible and reasonably priced.
  • Because of its semi-crystalline structure, polypropylene has a higher tensile strength.
  • The surface of polypropylene is quite slick.
  • Polypropylene is very moisture resistant.
  • Polypropylene is chemically resistant to a broad variety of bases and acids.
  • Polypropylene has a high fatigue resistance.
  • The tensile properties of polypropylene are high.
  • Polypropylene has a high electrical insulating capacity.

Drawbacks of Polypropylene

  • Polypropylene has a high heat transfer coefficient, limiting its use in high-temperature situations.
  • UV deterioration is a risk with polypropylene.

Polycarbonate (PC) Chairs

a clear chair made of polycarbonate

Source: Pinterest

Polycarbonate (PC) plastics are a type of amorphous thermoplastic that is inherently transparent. Although they are widely available in a range of hues (some transparent, others not), the raw material provides for almost the same intrinsic light penetration as glass. Polycarbonate plastics are used to make a range of materials, and they are especially beneficial when impact resistance and/or transparency are required.

Polycarbonate is also exceptionally resistant to heat and may be mixed with flame-retardant compounds without causing substantial material deterioration. Polycarbonate plastics are industrial plastics in the sense that they are commonly utilized for more capable, strong materials.

Polycarbonate Properties

Polycarbonate is a technical name for a material with a high property value (PC)

C15H16O2 is the chemical formula.

The temperature of Melting- 288-316 degrees Celsius (550-600 degrees Fahrenheit)

Mold Temperature Typical- Temperatures range from 82 to 121 degrees Celsius (180 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit).

Temperature of Heat Deflection (HDT)- 140°C (284°F) at 0.46 MPa (66 PSI)

Tensile Power- 59 MPa (8500 PSI)

Flexural Stability- 93 MPa (13500 PSI)

Spectral Gravity- 1.19

Rate of Decrease- 0.6 to 0.9 percent (.006 to.009 in/in)

Its unusual lightness is paired with relatively high strength and resilience to a variety of external stimuli.

Another characteristic of polycarbonate is its pliability. It is comparable to aluminum sheet metal in that it can be manufactured at room temperature without cracking or breaking.

Primary Benefits of Polycarbonate:

  • Polycarbonate also ranks highly in sustainability. The panels are totally recyclable and have high durability.
  • Polycarbonate is highly indestructible and vandal-proof, making it an excellent choice for security glazing.
  • Polycarbonate is manufactured in just the same way as an acrylic sheet. It is resistant to unfavorable environmental impacts and chemical components.
  • Installation is simple;
  • Flexibility;
  • processing simplicity;
  • Insulation against sound and heat
  • security.


  • Susceptible to scratches.
  • Polycarbonate sheets are capable of expanding.

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Chairs 

Dining chairs

Source: Pinterest

PET Plastic, or polyethylene terephthalate, is the most widely used thermoplastic in the world, having applications in textiles, films, packaging, electronics, vehicles, and other industries. It offers a remarkable mix of features that make it highly appealing to producers, such as chemical, thermal, mechanical resistance, and dimensional stability.

It is a transparent, semi-crystalline substance that occurs naturally. Its resistance to moisture, excellent strength-to-weight ratio, almost shatterproof (it will not break like glass packaging products), and easy accessibility as an economical and recycled plastic (resin identification number “1”) are some of its most essential properties.

DuPont researchers originally polymerized PET in the 1940s in order to produce polymer materials for use as textile materials. It is created by combining ethylene glycol with terephthalic acid. PET is exceptionally sturdy for its small weight even without additions to boost its strength.


  • Chemical Susceptibility: PET has a high level of resistance to food, water, and natural causes such as bacteria, fungus, and mold. 
  • PET plastic is robust and durable, making it shatterproof. Because it is almost shatterproof, it is utilized as a substitute for glass.
  • Transmittance: It is translucent by nature. However, it does not appear to be as fascinating as other high-transparency polymers like Polycarbonate and Acrylic.


  • PET has a high strength-to-weight ratio. As a result, transportation is simple and economical.
  • It is abundant and affordable when compared to other thermoplastics.
  • It is water-resistant.
  • It has excellent electrical insulating characteristics.
  • PET is strong and fracture-resistant, making it a viable alternative to glass in a variety of applications.


  • PET is that it is not biodegradable.
  • PET is somewhat prone to oxidation.


It is frequently used in the production of plastic bottles for mineral water, liquor, and carbonated beverages.

Non-Oriented PET is frequently thermoformed into packing trays and blisters.

Its rigidity and incredible tensile stability make it an excellent choice for the production of tapes.

It is suitable for food flexible packaging due to a variety of physical qualities combined with chemical inactivity.

Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) Chairs

PVC patio furniture

Source: Pinterest

PVC is a synthetic polymer that was discovered by chance in 1872. Eugene Baumann, a German physicist, subjected vinyl chloride gas to light from the sun. As a result, PVC is a white solid powder.

PVC is now the third most commonly made synthetic plastic polymer. It is extensively used since it is inexpensive and versatile.

PVC is utilized in a multitude of sectors, including construction, electronics, clothes, and, most crucially (in our fully impartial view), the production of one of our beloved rug pads.

PVC is sometimes misidentified as a thermosetting plastic, although it is primarily a thermoplastic.

PVC Properties:

  • PVC has a density of 1.38 g/cm3 and is therefore quite dense.
  • Low cost: Economically efficient and cost-effective.
  • PVC has a long life expectancy of up to 40 years.
  • High strength: It has high strength and stiffness (2.6 N/mm2), which means it takes a lot of power to bend and break it.
  • PVC is an excellent electric insulating since it does not carry electricity, making it ideal for electrical insulation.
  • When PVC sets fire, it slowly inactivates the flames because it contains chlorine and has a low oxygen concentration, both of which are bad for fire.


  • Reasonably Priced and Broadly Available- Because it is so inexpensive to make, it is extensively popular and easily available.
  •  lightweight but long-lasting material. The typical PVC pipe has a life expectancy of 35 years.
  • PVC does not break readily due to the strong connections inherent in its chemical structure.
  • Insulation- PVC is a great insulator that is also fire resistant.


  • Environmental Concerns- Because PVC is non-biodegradable, it is a contaminant in the environment. Because plastic chairs do not degrade, it causes land contamination.
  • Concerns about health and safety- Because of the harmful compounds generated by PVC throughout the manufacture, usage, and disposal processes, it can endanger human health.
  • Heat Sensitivity- Due to its limited thermal stability, PVC is heat sensitive. It degenerates when exposed to high levels of heat on a regular basis.

Polyethylene (PE) Chairs 

Turquoise lounge chair

Source: Pinterest

Polyethylene is a light, long-lasting thermoplastic with a crystalline form that varies. Polyethylene is one of the most frequently used polymers on the planet. It is utilized in a variety of markets for tubes, films, plastic components, laminates, and so on ( automotive, packaging, electrical, etc.).

Polyethylene is created by polymerizing ethylene (or ethene) molecules. The chemical symbol for polyethylene is (C2H4)n.

High-Density Polyethylene is a low-cost thermoplastic with a linear arrangement and little or no branching. It is produced at low temperatures (70-300°C) and pressures (10-80 bar) and is obtained from one of the following sources:

  • Changing natural gas (a methane, ethane, and propane blend) or
  • Catalytic pyrolysis of crude oil to produce gasoline


  • The melting point of HDPE: 120-140°C
  • HDPE density ranges from 0.93 to 0.97 g/cm3.
  • Densely packed Polyethylene Resistance to chemicals:
  • Most solvents are not a match for this material’s resilience.
  • Greater ductility as compared to other types of polyethylene


  • Polyethylene foam has a high resistance to water, grease, solvents, and chemicals.
  • Polyethylene foam is a non – porous foam, which means it is often thicker and sturdier than open-cell foams.
  • The flotation and lightweight properties of this type of froth are two of its primary traits, making it a great alternative for flotation devices.
  • It has strong impact absorbance and vibration dampening properties, making it one of the finest alternatives for packing and transportation purposes since objects are kept safe.
  • The melting point of polyethylene froth is 80 degrees. Because of its heat resistance, it can function effectively in both hot and low temps.


  • Because the production and processing of polyethylene foam take time, it might occasionally be a more expensive alternative for specific applications.
  • Polyethylene foam, depending on its composition, can be brittle or tearable.

Resin Plastic Chairs

Garden resin wicker chairs

Source: Pinterest

Resin wicker, which is commonly used to build patio or deck furniture, is long-lasting, fade-resistant, and simple to care for. With typical use, the finest resin wicker patio furniture is made of high-density polyethylene and can last five to ten years.

Wicker made of resin is not natural. It is constructed of polyethylene resin that is spun into strands and weaved into furniture in the same way as rattan or bamboo is. Because of its longevity and resistance to deteriorating in the sun, the finest resin wicker patio furniture is composed of high-density polyethylene. When looking for resin wicker furniture, look for the HDPE sign, which is a triangle formed by arrows with the number 2 in the middle. If durability is your primary priority, steer clear of low-cost PVC furniture.

HDPE is a better grade thermoplastic that outperforms PVC in terms of strength, durability, and heat resistance. They combine high durability with minimal weight, making outdoor seats and tables considerably simpler to transport. Because certain molded plastic components are hollow, color-changing LEDs can be included.

Benefits of Resin Wicker

  • Resin wicker is more durable than organic fibers like bamboo or rattan because it does not biodegrade fast, and it is less prone to moisture and sun damage.
  • Synthetic wicker is water-resistant, resists mold spores, does not fade or stain, and there is no peeling paint since the color is part of the fabric.
  • Strands of synthetic resin furniture seldom break under normal conditions, but if they do, replacements are simple.


  • Resin wicker is not as aesthetically pleasing as genuine wicker, based on your style.
  • Squirrels and some other rodents bite on items to control the development of their teeth and might even chew on your furniture.

Recycled Plastic Chairs

recycled plastic chairs

Source: Pinterest

The accelerating trend of plastic waste generation, combined with unfavorable disposal, particularly in urban areas, has led to a worldwide environmental threat that has contributed to legislation, poor degradability, income development, rural-to-urban migration, increased consumption, and standard or living costs.

Plastic recycling recuperates scrap or expended plastic and serializes the substance into valuable products. plastic is non-biodegradable. It encompasses melting down carbonated drinks bottles and conjuring them as plastic tables and chairs. Plastics are reprocessed during the production process of plastic items such as plastic sheets, bags, and chairs.

Auxiliary furniture is quite important in the business sector and may be extremely beneficial in the new collaborative work environments that are prevalent in many organizations. It is practically vital in a co-working area to have a light chair that is simple to shift from one side to the other depending on the demands of the time. Even better if it’s a chair constructed from recyclable materials. In this manner, we will meet all of the requirements of ecological furniture: they are versatile and sturdy, as well as being made of recyclable plastic.  

Although polyvinyl chloride scrap has been employed in piping and fittings, its use as an adhesive in bitumen uses has been problematic due to high melting temperatures that hampered mixing due to poor suitability.


  • They aid in the reduction of energy use.
  • It decreases the need for new raw resources.
  • It minimizes water pollution and air pollution (due to landfilling) by eliminating the requirement for traditional trash disposal, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Recycling saves energy and natural resources that would otherwise be used to create plastic from the beginning. 
  • Recycling saves energy and natural resources that would otherwise be used to create plastic from the beginning. 


  • Plastic recycling may be contributing to climate change because as the material is smelted, VOCs are emitted into the atmosphere, causing harm to neighboring animals and plants.

Nylon Chairs 

A Stackable nylon chair

Source: Pinterest

Nylon is a synthetic thermoplastic structural polyamide (a big molecule whose constituents are held together by a certain sort of bond) that was invented in 1935 by American scientist Wallace Carothers, who was employed at the DuPont research center in Delaware at the time. Wallace created Nylon 66, which is a technical term for nylon. During World War II, when organic resources such as rubber, silk, and latex were in limited supply, the need for synthetic materials, and Nylon in specific increased.

Nylon is utilized in a range of applications, including clothes, rubber reinforcement such as automobile tires, rope or thread, and various injection molded parts for cars and mechanical components. It is extremely robust, somewhat resistant to wear and moisture absorption, long-lasting, chemical-resistant, elastic, and simple to clean.

Nylon is a condensed copolymer made up of multiple distinct monomer types interacting with one another. It may be made in a variety of methods, the most common of which is a distillation from crude oil, although it can also be made from biomass. 

Nylon is frequently used as a replacement for low-strength metals. Because of its sturdiness, temperature resistance, and chemical stability, it is the plastic of choice for components in automobile engine compartments.

Benefits of nylon are:

  • Stretchy
  • Simple to mix with other materials
  • Lightweight
  • Quickly dries
  • dirt-resistant
  • Simple to clean
  • It keeps its color


  • It is not long-lasting.
  • prone to tears or runs
  • In extreme temps, it melts. Nylon, although having a high melting point, does not hold up well to an open flame.
  • It does not absorb moisture.

Acrylic (PMMA) Chairs

Comfortable bubble chair with cushions

Source: Pinterest

Acrylic is a clear thermoplastic type of polymer that is most widely known as “plexiglass.” The material, like polycarbonate, is appropriate for use as an impact-resistant substitute to glass. It was originally manufactured in 1928 and was introduced to the market 5 years later by the Rohm and Haas Company. It is widely regarded as one of the clearest polymers on the market. During WWII, it was utilized for submarine submersibles as well as turrets, airplane windows, and canopies, among other things. Soldiers whose eyes were hurt by fragments of broken acrylic fared significantly better than those whose eyes were injured by broken glass.

Acrylic is used for a number of applications in the current era and in general, which often make use of its inherent transparency and the dimensional stability of specific varieties. Acrylic nails, lenses, paint, barricades, medical gadgets, LCD displays, and furniture are examples of common applications. Because of its transparency, it is frequently used for windows, containers, and display enclosures.

Acrylic is a “thermoplastic” (and not a thermoset”), and the term refers to how the plastic reacts to heat. At their melting temperature, thermoplastic becomes liquid. The ability of thermoplastics to be heated to their melting point, chilled, then reheated without substantial deterioration is a key advantage. Instead of melting, thermoplastics such as acrylic liquefy, allowing them to be readily injection molded and then recycled.


  • 30 times the strength of glass
  • 2 times lighter than glass
  • It is less costly. Acrylic is not only less expensive than regular glass, but it is also better to cut to size.
  • Simpler to work with
  • Durable
  • greater transparency
  • Glass is more secure.


  • It is more prone to scratches than glass.
  • It is not heat-resistant.


It’s nearly impossible to envision our existence without plastic- yet utilizing them responsibly is the greatest issue confronting modern designers. Keekea is a plastic chair factory that provides environmentally friendly plastic chair options. Our crew is also always willing to give any information about how to use and dispose of our goods. Please contact us for a free consultation.

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