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Plastic Material Shrinkage Rates

Plastic material shrinkage is a critical aspect of the plastic manufacturing process. It occurs when the plastic material changes its size or shape due to cooling and solidification processes. The rate of shrinkage varies depending on the type of plastic and the conditions in which it is produced. This page displays a chart that provides an overview of the different shrinkage rates of common plastic materials. The information in this chart can be useful for manufacturers who are looking to understand the behaviour of plastic materials and to make informed decisions about the production process. Whether you are a seasoned professional or a newcomer to the plastic industry, this chart provides valuable insights into the shrinkage behaviour of various plastic materials.

Plastic Material Shrinkage Rates Calculator

This calculator should be used only as a rough guide. It's recommended to always consult the processing data sheets from the material supplier for more accurate information. The differential shrinkage is not taken into account in the calculation.

Material Name Shrinkage % Post Shrinkage Dimension
ABS 0.6
ABS/PC Alloy 0.7
Acetal 1.8
Acrylic 0.6
CAB 0.5
Nylon 6 1.2
Nylon 6 (30% GF) 0.4
Nylon 6/6 1.5
Nylon 6/6 (33% GF) 0.5
Nylon 11 1
Nylon 12 1.4
PEEK 1.1
Polycarbonate 0.6
Polyester PBT 2
PET (semi crystalline) 0.4
PET (amorphous) 0.4
Polypropylene (copolymer) 2
Polypropylene (homopolymer) 1.5
Polypropylene (30% talc filled) 1
Polypropylene (30% GF) 0.5
Polystyrene 0.5
Polystyrene (30% GF) 0.1
PVC P 1.5
PVC U 0.4
SAN 0.6
SAN (30% GF) 0.1
TPE 2.5

Plastic moulding shrinkage is the contraction of a plastic moulding as it cools after injection. Most shrinkage occurs in the mould during cooling, but some shrinkage occurs after ejection, as the part continues to cool. After that, the part may continue to shrink very slightly for several hours or even days until the temperature and moisture content stabilise.

All polymers have different shrink rates depending on many factors. These include amorphous or crystalline materials, cycle times, temperatures, mould design, part shape and wall thickness.

Our chart shows typical shrinkage ratios for the list of materials

Further Considerations for Plastic Shrinkage

Many pigments operate as nucleating additives, which may cause shrinkage to grow in some plastics. Similarly, the shrinkage of polymers containing fillers and fibres in composite materials may differ from those of virgin polymers, with potential for significantly different thermal expansion coefficients. The direction in which fibres align can also become a factor, as shrinking may occur less in one direction, than in the other.

There are several well-defined and standardised approaches to determine the shrinkage of plastic parts. The most internationally used and recognised approaches are:

  • ‣ ISO 294-4, ISO 294-3 (thermoplastic shrinkage).
  • ‣ ASTM D955 (thermoplastic shrinkage).
  • ‣ ISO 2577 (thermoset shrinkage).


This information should be used as an 'on the spot' reference only. Users should always follow the material suppliers processing data sheets. The data is provided “as is” and without any representation or warranty of any kind, including that it is fit for any purpose or of merchantable quality, or functions as intended or at all. Your use of this data is entirely at your own risk and PlastikCity accepts no liability of any kind.

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