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Acetal is a general purpose, engineered thermoplastic that also goes by the name polyacetal and polyoxymethylene (POM).

It is commonly used for parts that need a low surface friction as well as needing to be very stiff. It also gives parts good dimensional stability which is the ability of a plastic part to be able to maintain its original dimensions when it is exposed to dramatic changes in temperature and humidity.

There are many different brands of acetal that are sold under various trade names. Each is ever so slightly different to improve specific properties, but one thing that all acetals have in common is that they are either a copolymer or a homopolymer.

The differences are relatively small between the two, but they are measurable.

One of the main difference between the two is the porosity.

Homopolymers potentially have a lower density which can result in a porous centre. This means the part may have small bubbles or voids which allows gases and liquids to seep into the parts. Parts made from copolymers will have little or no voids in their centres which makes them the preferred type for food contact or medical products.