Properties of Mylar

Written by catalina bixler
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Properties of Mylar
Mylar is a polymer film used in magnetic audio recording. (cd-rom image by Nokomis from

A particularly strong industrial polyester film developed in the 1950s, Mylar or polythene terephthalate, quickly replaced cellophane during the 1960s. By the 1970s, the handling qualities of Mylar opened new consumer markets including photography, magnetic audio and videotape, electrical components, and medicine. Mylar allows for different applications such as coatings for solar reflective screens on its microscopically textured side (the other side is smooth). The properties of Mylar explain the useful diversity of this 21st century product.

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Service Life

Known for its durability and strength, the service life of Mylar (American product name) depends on how much severe stretching and bending it experiences. Severe flexing is the time required to reach 10 per cent elongation under different humidity and working temperature resulting in decreased service life. Typically, compromising the dimensional stability with too much strain, too much heat, or leaving Mylar in water too long also decreases the service life. Coating or enclosing Mylar prolongs its beneficial uses.

Heat Aging

Recommended temperature for Mylar is 150 degrees Celsius for maximum service while retaining all properties. Severe or extensive heat exposure may require reducing service temperatures to Mylar. Heating Mylar 220 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes costs nearly 10 per cent of its tensile (bend and stretch) strength. Heated for less than a minute at 235 degrees Celsius makes Mylar turn brittle and shatter. Special coatings to the film increases Mylar's resistance to heat.

Hydrolytic Stability

Over exposure to humidity under high temperatures causes decomposition of Mylar reacting to water (hydrolytic stability). Heating Mylar at 160 degrees Celsius for four hours removes any damaging moisture absorbed by the film. Enclosing Mylar in an airtight container ideally frees the plastic film from of any over exposure to unwanted moisture.

Tensile Properties

Mylar's ability to stretch and return to its normal state (tensile strength) makes it a diverse product. Various temperatures affect the typical 38 hundreds ratio before yield and 58 hundreds after yield properties of Mylar. Using manufacturing guides included with the product allows for necessary adjustments and precautions when using Mylar under higher temperatures.


The scale of the load, the time applied, and temperature determines the "creep" or deformation of Mylar film. Under testing, Mylar shows no large levels of creep. In a 212 degree Fahrenheit oven after 4,000 hours, 35 hundred millimetre gauge and 50 45359kg. per square inch Mylar experiences an insignificant creep of 9/10 per cent.

Compressive Properties

Packaged in 1 inch by 1 inch cylindrical tubing, stacking or compressing reveals Mylar recording tape does not buckle, shatter, or fracture when tested under this standard warehousing and shipping application.

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