Materials for Packaging

Materials for Packaging

There are many types of thermoplastic polymer resins used in the thermoforming process today. The best way to determine what type of material is needed for a project is to determine the top three traits the packaging must include. For example, if the product is a fragile high-end retail application, the package must protect and secure the product while increasing the product’s visibly on the retail shelf. Most commonly, PET or PVC would be used for this application.

Once these traits have been defined, research your thermoplastic polymer resin options. The most common materials used in the thermoforming industry are listed below. If you would like to talk to an engineer about the best material for your project, we would be happy to help.  Contact Us.




Main Characteristics: clear, tough, and has good gas and moisture barrier properties


PVC, Vinyl Plastic

Main Characteristics: clear but “dull appearance”, durability, good barrier properties, and affordability


HDPE Plastic

Main Characteristics: semi-transparent, and excellent barrier and rigidity properties


Polypropylene (PP) Plastic

Main Characteristics: mostly colored opaque or translucent, tough, but flexible, and resistant to chemicals


Polystyrene (PS) Plastic

Main Characteristics: mostly colored opaque (can be clear), hard plastic with limited flexibility, and has a relatively low melting point


PLA Plastic

Main Characteristics: clear transparent, biodegradable, alcohol and water resistant, but not suitable for hot filling