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Abbreviations and Definitions in Plastic Industry



  • Prime = Material meets manufacturers' intended specification and seller will provide a certification stating such. 

  • Pencil Prime = Within range to meet intended prime specification but sold without certs at a slight discount in an abundant resin market.  This word is definitely used too loosely by some brokers.

  • Generic Prime = Prime material with certs provided by seller assuring material meets intended specs, without divulging the resin manufacturer.

  • Wide Spec = Material specs are wider than intended range when material was produced.  Material can range from "good wide spec" to "bad wide spec", from good overall color, to off color, and even caramelized pellets.  This is where an honest experienced broker can really help you save money, and where a dishonest and/or in-experienced broker can shut you down.  Abbreviated as: W.S.; W/S, WS.

  • Off Spec = Same definition as wide spec listed above.  Abbreviated as: O.S.; O/S, OS.

  • Off Grade = Same definition as off spec & wide spec listed above.  Abbreviated as: O.G.; O/G, OG. 

  • Repro = Reprocessed recycled material made into pellets.  Feedstocks are mostly post industrial plastic parts that are ground into small regrind form and then pelletized.  Post consumer repro is made in the same manner but uses feedstocks such as consumer recycled soda bottles.  Repro is sold mostly in natural and black color, and is custom colored at times.  Quality can range quite a bit; a trustworthy broker can really help you here.  Abbreviated as: Repro is an abbreviation of reprocess.

  • Reprocessed = Same as above.  Abbreviated as: Repro

  • Regrind = Recycled scrap than can be cost effective for some users.  Most of it is ground post industrial plastic products with a lesser quality coming via post consumer sources.  This is where an honest experienced broker can really help you save money, and where a dishonest and/or in-experienced broker can shut you down.

  • Custom Compound = Can be as simple as a dry blend of two or more materials such as color concentrate or processing aid, to the common compounds with fillers such as glass, talc, or mineral, to very advanced compounds with nanocomposite blends.


High Density Polyethylene = Abbreviated as: HDPE; H.D.P.E.Low Density Polyethylene = Abbreviated as: LDPE; L.D.P.E.
Linear Low Density Polyethylene = Abbreviated as: LLDPE; L.L.D.P.E.Polypropylene = Abbreviated as: PP; P.P.
Polystyrene = Abbreviated as: PS; P.S.High Impact Polystyrene = Abbreviated as: HIPS; H.I.P.S.
General Purpose Polystyrene = Abbreviated as: GPPS; G.P.P.S.Expandable Polystyrene = Abbreviated as: EPS; E.P.S. 
Poly Vinyl Chloride = Abbreviated as: PVC; P.V.C.Copolymer = Abbreviated as: Copo; Co
Homopolymer = Abbreviated as: Homo; HoPolyethylene Terephthalate = Abbreviated as: PET; P.E.T.
Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol = Abbreviated as: PETG; P.E.T.G.Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene = Abbreviated as: ABS; A.B.S.
Polycarbonate = Abbreviated as: PC; P.C.Styrene Butadine Copolymer = Abbreviated as: SBC; S.B.C.
Styrene Acrylonitrile = Abbreviated as: SAN; S.A.N.Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate = Abbreviated as: ASA; A.S.A
Polyamide = Abbreviated as: Nylon; PAPolyButylece Terephthalate = Abbreviated as: PBT; P.B.T
Polyphenylene Sulfide = Abbreviated as: PPS; P.P.SPolyetherimide = Abbreviated as: PEI; P.E.I
Polyethersulfone = Abbreviated as: PES; P.E.SPolysulfone = Abbreviated as: PSU; P.S.U
Polyphenylene Sulfone = Abbreviated as: PPSU; P.P.S.ULiquid Crystal Polymer = Abbreviated as: LCP; L.C.P
PolyEtherEtherKetone = Abbreviated as: PEEK; P.E.E.KThermoplastic Polyurethane = Abbreviated as: TPU; T.P.U
Thermoplastic Elastomers = Abbreviated as: TPE; T.P.EThermoplastic Vulcanizate = Abbreviated as: TPV; T.P.V



  • Hopper Car - Rail Car = A bulk rail/train car that typically has 4 bulk compartments that hold approximately 50,000 lbs. of resin each.  Abbreviated as: H/C; R/C

  • Bulk Truck = A bulk truck holds approximately 50,000 lbs. of plastic resin (one H/C compartment) and is typically used to ship resin from a H/C to a silo, but it can also use a cyclone unit and blow the resin into gaylord boxes.  Abbreviated as: B/T

  • Hopper Truck = Same as above.  Abbreviated as: HT; H.T.

  • Truckload = A full truckload of resin is refers to a load of resin packaged into bags or gaylord boxes or supersacks and weighs between 40,000 and 45,000 lbs. typically.  Abbreviated as: T/L

  • Less Than Truckload = Refers to when a shipment is less than a full T/L.  Abbreviated as: LTL

  • Pallet/Skid = A pallet/skid will hold one gaylord box that holds approximately 1,000-2,000 lbs. of resin, or approximately fifty 50-lb. bags which weigh between 2,204-2,500 lbs.

  • Gaylord Box = Holds approximately 1,000-2,000 lbs. of resin and fits on a standard pallet.

  • Kilo Bags = Mostly made out of plastic and used for import and export resin.  Typically they hold 25 kilograms which is 55.12 lbs.  Abbreviated as: KGB or KGB's.

  • Bags = Most bags used domestically are paper 50-lb. bags, which come in plain brown color and manufacturers' custom branded and colored bags.

  • Supersacks = Mostly used to ship import resin to the U.S. market via shipping containers.  Supersacks are made of woven PP and weigh 500-750 kilograms each generally. 

Be sure to check out our "Compounding Capabilities" and click on the "Custom Engineering" to submit your detailed requests and customize your own plastic compounds.  Call or Email us for a quote, questions, or for current market information and trends.

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Tag:  Plastic Knowledge
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