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Cellulose Acetate (CA)

CA is a thermoplastic, further classified as a cellulosic plastic. It can have a moderately low tensile strength relative to other thermoplastics in the database. It has two common variants, each represented as a separate material. The material properties section shows ranges encompassing all variants. To see the details of each variant on a separate page, follow the links in the Variant Materials section further below.

Mechanical Properties

Graph bars compare CA to other materials. From top to bottom: cellulosic plastic, thermoplastics, and the entire database.

Elongation at Break

25 to 30 %

Flexural Modulus

1.7 to 2.1 GPa 0.25 to 0.3 x 106 psi

Flexural Strength

40 to 55 MPa 5.8 to 8.0 x 103 psi

Tensile Strength: Ultimate (UTS)

30 to 37 MPa 4.4 to 5.4 x 103 psi

Tensile Strength: Yield (Proof)

26 to 33 MPa 3.8 to 4.8 x 103 psi

Unit Rupture Work (Ultimate Resilience)

8.6 to 8.9 MJ/m3

Thermal Properties

Glass Transition Temperature

230 °C 450 °F

Heat Deflection Temperature At 1.82 MPa (264 psi)

65 to 75 °C 150 to 170 °F

Heat Deflection Temperature At 455 kPa (66 psi)

75 to 85 °C 170 to 190 °F

Specific Heat Capacity

1500 J/kg-K 0.36 BTU/lb-°F

Thermal Conductivity

0.25 W/m-K 0.14 BTU/h-ft-°F

Thermal Diffusivity

0.13 m2/s

Thermal Expansion

14 µm/m-K

Vicat Softening Temperature

100 to 110 °C 210 to 230 °F

Other Material Properties

Density

1.3 g/cm3 81 lb/ft3

Dielectric Constant (Relative Permittivity) At 1 MHz

3.6

Dielectric Strength (Breakdown Potential)

15 kV/mm 0.59 V/mil

Electrical Resistivity Order of Magnitude

16 10x Ω-m

Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI)

17 %

Refractive Index

1.5

Water Absorption After 24 Hours

2.3 %

Followup Questions

Variant Materials

Further Reading

Modern Plastics Handbook, Charles A. Harper (editor), 1999

Plastics Materials, 7th ed., J. A. Brydson, 1999

SPI Plastics Engineering Handbook of the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc., 5th ed., Michael L. Berins (editor), 2000