delrin vs acetal

Delrin vs Acetal: Comparing Polymer Choices

When it comes to selecting the right polymer for your application, it’s essential to understand the key differences between Delrin® and acetal. These two polyoxymethylene (POM) polymers have their own unique properties and characteristics that make them suitable for various industries and purposes.

Delrin®, a homopolymer, and acetal, a copolymer, both exhibit excellent properties that make them highly versatile. However, there are specific factors to consider when deciding between the two, such as their performance under different conditions, chemical resistance, mechanical properties, and more.

In this article, we will delve into the comparison of Delrin® and acetal, understanding their differences, and exploring their key characteristics. By the end, you will have a better understanding of which polymer is best suited for your application.

What is Acetal?

Acetal is a semi-crystalline engineering thermoplastic that is also known as polyoxymethylene (POM). It is a versatile material available in two forms: acetal copolymer and acetal homopolymer. Acetal copolymer consists of a chain of CH2O molecules with additional comonomers added at regular intervals, which disrupts the regular ordering of molecular chains and reduces crystallinity.

Acetal homopolymer, on the other hand, has a uniform backbone composed of repeating units of CH2O, allowing for larger crystalline blocks compared to other POMs. This results in enhanced strength and stiffness.


Key Points:

  • Acetal is a semi-crystalline engineering thermoplastic also known as POM.
  • It is available in two forms: acetal copolymer and acetal homopolymer.
  • Acetal copolymer has additional comonomers that disrupt the regular ordering of molecular chains.
  • Acetal homopolymer has a uniform backbone, allowing for larger crystalline blocks and increased strength.

Characteristics of Acetal

Acetal polymers possess a wide range of properties that make them highly versatile and suitable for various applications. Here’s a closer look at the key characteristics of acetal:

Thermal and Chemical Resistance

Acetal exhibits excellent thermal and chemical resistance, allowing it to withstand harsh environments and demanding conditions. It remains stable even when exposed to high temperatures, making it a reliable choice for applications where heat resistance is crucial. Acetal’s resistance to chemical agents such as solvents, acids, and inorganic compounds further enhances its durability and longevity.

Low Coefficient of Friction

One of the notable properties of acetal is its low coefficient of friction. This characteristic makes it an ideal material for applications involving sliding or rubbing contact, reducing wear and enhancing efficiency. The low coefficient of friction contributes to improved performance and prolonged service life.

Mechanical Properties

Acetal exhibits excellent mechanical properties, including high strength, stiffness, and dimensional stability. Its structural integrity remains intact even under heavy loads and constant stress, allowing it to endure continuous cyclic loading applications effectively. With its superior mechanical strength, acetal provides reliable and efficient performance in various demanding conditions.

Low Porosity

Acetal is known for its low porosity, which means it has a dense and compact structure. This property makes acetal less susceptible to moisture absorption and enhances its resistance to chemical attack. The low porosity of acetal contributes to its overall durability and reliability in challenging environments.

Resistance to Hot Water

For applications where exposure to hot water is a concern, acetal offers significant advantages. It exhibits excellent resistance to degradation caused by prolonged exposure to hot water, maintaining its mechanical properties and structural integrity. This resistance allows acetal to maintain its performance and reliability over an extended period, making it an ideal choice for hot water-related applications.

High Continuous Service Temperature

Acetal can withstand high temperatures without experiencing significant reductions in its mechanical properties. This high continuous service temperature capability is crucial for applications that require exposure to elevated temperatures. Acetal materials ensure reliable performance and durability even in demanding thermal conditions.

Acetal Properties Description
Thermal and Chemical Resistance Exhibits excellent resistance to high temperatures and various chemical agents.
Low Coefficient of Friction Reduces friction and wear, enhancing efficiency and extending product lifespan.
Mechanical Properties Offers high strength, stiffness, and dimensional stability for reliable performance.
Low Porosity Features a dense structure with low porosity, enhancing resistance to moisture and chemicals.
Resistance to Hot Water Resists degradation caused by prolonged exposure to hot water, maintaining performance.
High Continuous Service Temperature Withstands high temperatures without significant mechanical property deterioration.

Acetal’s combination of thermal and chemical resistance, low coefficient of friction, excellent mechanical properties, low porosity, resistance to hot water, and high continuous service temperature make it a versatile and reliable material for various industries and applications.

Acetal Properties

Uses of Acetal

Acetal polymers have a wide range of applications in various industries, including automotive, consumer electronics, and kitchenware. The exceptional properties of acetal make it a versatile material for a multitude of uses.

Acetal in Insulin Pens

One important application of acetal is in insulin pens. Acetal’s excellent chemical resistance and low porosity ensure the safe storage and administration of insulin, providing reliable and precise dosage control.

Acetal in Electrical Connectors

Acetal’s high dielectric strength and excellent electrical properties make it an ideal choice for electrical connectors. Its resistance to moisture, chemicals, and high temperatures ensures reliable and durable connections for various applications.

Acetal in Gears

Acetal is widely used in gear applications due to its high strength, low friction, and excellent wear resistance. The self-lubricating properties of acetal reduce the need for additional lubrication, making it suitable for gears in various devices and machinery.

Acetal in Valves

The chemical resistance and dimensional stability of acetal make it a preferred choice for valve applications. Acetal valves can withstand corrosive environments and offer precise control, making them suitable for use in chemical, pharmaceutical, and industrial applications.

Acetal in Pumps

Acetal’s resistance to wear, chemicals, and low moisture absorption make it an excellent material for pump components. Acetal pump parts provide long-lasting performance, reliability, and efficiency in various fluid handling applications.

Acetal in Consumer Electronics

Acetal is widely used in the manufacturing of consumer electronic devices. Its excellent mechanical properties, dimensional stability, and resistance to heat and chemicals make it suitable for applications such as connectors, switches, and housing components.

acetal applications

From insulin pens and electrical connectors to gears, valves, pumps, and consumer electronics, acetal polymers play a crucial role in numerous industries. Their exceptional properties make them a reliable choice for a wide range of applications.

What is Delrin®?

Delrin® is the trade name for a semicrystalline homopolymer POM developed by DuPont. It is also known as acetal homopolymer. Delrin® stands out for its exceptional properties, making it a popular choice in various industries.

One of the key features of Delrin® is its molecular structure. It has a uniform backbone made up of repeating units of CH2O, which allows for larger crystalline blocks compared to other POMs. This unique structure contributes to the material’s high strength and stiffness.

Delrin® possesses excellent mechanical properties, including low friction and wear resistance, which make it suitable for applications where durability is crucial. It also exhibits high dimensional stability, low moisture absorption, and good chemical resistance.

As a result of its outstanding properties, Delrin® is widely used in various industries, such as automotive, consumer electronics, and industrial manufacturing. It is commonly employed in applications such as gears, bearings, bushings, electrical connectors, and mechanical components that require high performance.

Overall, Delrin® offers a combination of strength, stiffness, and excellent chemical and mechanical properties, making it an ideal choice for demanding applications.

Delrin properties


In conclusion, both Delrin® and acetal have excellent properties and are widely used in various industries. However, when it comes to selecting the appropriate polymer for a specific application, it’s crucial to consider the specific requirements and constraints.

Differentiating between Delrin® and acetal can be done by examining their molecular structures, mechanical properties, and chemical resistance. Delrin® stands out with its semicrystalline homopolymer composition, providing superior strength and stiffness. On the other hand, acetal copolymer offers cost advantages in terms of price and is better suited for continuous high-temperature exposure.

Choosing between Delrin® and acetal ultimately depends on the specific application needs. If continuous cyclic loading is anticipated, Delrin® is the recommended choice. Conversely, if high-temperature exposure is a concern, acetal copolymer is the more suitable option. By carefully considering these factors and consulting with experts, manufacturers and engineers can make an informed decision when it comes to selecting between Delrin® and acetal.


What is the difference between Delrin and acetal?

Delrin is a homopolymer POM, while acetal is available as both a homopolymer and a copolymer. Delrin is better suited for continuous cyclic loading applications, while acetal is more suitable for continuous high-temperature exposure.

What are the properties of acetal?

Acetal has good thermal and chemical resistance, low coefficient of friction, low porosity, and is resistant to both organic and inorganic solvents and acids. It can withstand high temperatures without significant reductions in mechanical properties.

What are some common uses of acetal?

Acetal is used in a wide range of industries and applications, including automotive components, consumer electronics, insulin pens, electrical connectors, gears, valves, pumps, and vehicle fuel tanks.

What is Delrin?

Delrin is the trade name for a semicrystalline homopolymer POM developed by DuPont. It is known for its strength and stiffness.

How do I choose between Delrin and acetal?

The choice between Delrin and acetal depends on specific requirements. If you need a material for continuous high-temperature exposure, acetal is more suitable. For continuous cyclic loading applications, Delrin is the better choice.

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