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Volume Resistivity


Volume Resistivity of Polymers Volume Resistivity of polymers material measures how strongly a plastic material opposes the flow of electric current through a volume of cubic specimen. The lower the resistivity the higher the conductivity (electric charges meet a weak resistance to circulation).

It is also known as electrical resistivity, bulk resistivity, specific electrical resistance, specific volume resistance, or simply resistivity.

Volume Resistivity is measured in units: ohm - meter (Ohm-m or Ohm-cm).

  » Below 105 Ohm.cm the material is considered as conductive.
  » Above 109 Ohm.cm the material is considered as an electrical insulator.

Check out more on Volume Resistivity:

  » Volume Resistivity Values of Several Plastics
  » Importance of Volume Resistivity
  » How to Measure Volume Resistivity?
  » Volume Resistivity Vs Surface Resistivity
  » Factors Affecting Insulation Resistance

Importance of Volume Resistivity


Volumes resistivity can be used as an aid in designing an insulator for a specific application. The change in resistivity with temperature and humidity may be great and must be known when designing for operating conditions.

Volumes resistivity determinations are often used in checking the uniformity of an insulating material, either with regards to:

  » Processing, or
  » Detect the conductive impurities that affect the quality of the material

Volume resistivities above 1021 Ω·cm (1019 Ω·m), calculated from data obtained on specimens tested under usual laboratory conditions, are of doubtful validity, considering the limitations of commonly used measuring equipment.

Applications include:
  » Design of an insulator for a specific application
  » Screening of conductive pastes
  » Define applications for conducting composites


How to Measure Volume Resistivity?


The most usual test methods to determine plastics volume resistivity are ASTM D257, ASTM D4496-04, ASTM D991-89(2005) or IEC 60093 (of course there exist several other methods as well!)

In the usual test, a standard size specimen is placed between two electrodes. For sixty seconds, a voltage is applied and the resistance is measured. Volumetric resistivity is, then, calculated and the apparent value for a 60 second electrification time is given. A 4-inch disk is preferable as the specimen size for the test.

Volume Resistivity Vs Surface Resistivity


The resistance offered by an insulating material to the electric current is the composite effect of volume and surface resistances, which always act in parallel.

  • Volume resistance is the resistance to leakage if the electric current passes through the body of the material.
    • It depends largely on the nature of the material

  • On the other hand, surface resistance, which is the resistance to leakage along the surface of a material, is largely a function of surface finish and cleanliness
    • Surface resistance is reduced by oil or moisture on the surface and by surface roughness
    • And, very smooth or polished surface gives greater surface resistance

The insulation resistance of a dielectric is represented by its “Volume Resistivity” and “Surface Resistivity”.

The range of volume resistivities of different materials is shown below in ‘The Resistivity Spectrum’

The Resistivity Spectrum
Source: Plastics Technology Handbook, Fifth Edition

Values for plastics typically range from 1010 ohm-cm for Cellulose Acetate to about 1019 ohm-cm for a high-performance polystyrene.


Factors Affecting Insulation Resistance


The insulation resistance of most plastics is affected by temperature and the relative humidity of the atmosphere

The insulation resistance falls off appreciably with an increase in temperature or humidity

Even PS, which has very high insulation resistance at room temperature, becomes generally unsatisfactory above 80°C (176°F). Under these conditions, polymers like PTFE and PCTFE are more suitable.

Plastics that have high water resistance are relatively less affected by high humidities.

The longer the voltage is applied (longer electrification times) the higher the volume resistivity that is measured.

The presence of fillers in the polymer will affect the volume resistivity. The type and amount of filler change the volume resistivity.

Find commercial grades matching your target using "Property Search - Volume Resistivity" filter in Omnexus Plastics Database:


Omnexus Plastics Database - Property Search


Volume Resistivity Values of Several Plastics


Click to find polymer you are looking for:
A-C     |      E-M     |      PA-PC     |      PE-PL     |      PM-PP     |      PS-X

Polymer Name Min Value (1015 Ohm.cm) Max Value (1015 Ohm.cm)
ABS - Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene 14.0 16.0
ABS Flame Retardant 14.0 15.0
ABS High Heat 16.0 16.0
ABS High Impact 16.0 16.0
ABS/PC Blend - Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene/Polycarbonate Blend 14.0 17.0
ABS/PC Blend 20% Glass Fiber 16.0 17.0
ABS/PC Flame Retardant 16.0 17.0
ASA - Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate 14.0 15.0
ASA/PC Blend - Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate/Polycarbonate Blend 13.05 15.0
ASA/PC Flame Retardant 14.0 14.0
CA - Cellulose Acetate 12.0 12.0
CAB - Cellulose Acetate Butyrate 13.0 13.0
CP - Cellulose Proprionate 11.0 11.0
COC - Cyclic Olefin Copolymer 14.0 15.0
CPVC - Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride 15.0 16.0
ECTFE - Ethylene ChloroTriFluoroEthylene 16.0 16.0
ETFE - Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene 15.0 17.0
EVA - Ethylene Vinyl Acetate 15.0 15.0
EVOH - Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol 12.0 13.0
FEP - Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene 17.0 18.0
HDPE - High Density Polyethylene 16.0 18.0
HIPS - High Impact Polystyrene 16.0 16.0
HIPS Flame Retardant V0 15.0 16.0
Ionomer (Ethylene-Methyl Acrylate Copolymer) 16.0 16.0
LCP - Liquid Crystal Polymer 16.0 16.0
LCP Carbon Fiber-reinforced -1.0 -8.0
LCP Glass Fiber-reinforced 15.0 15.0
LCP Mineral-filled 12.0 16.0
LDPE - Low Density Polyethylene 0.917 0.940
LLDPE - Linear Low Density Polyethylene 16.0 18.0
MABS - Transparent Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene 13.0 14.0
PA 46 - Polyamide 46 15.0 15.0
PA 46, 30% Glass Fiber 10.0 13.0
PA 6 - Polyamide 6 14.0 14.0
PA 6-10 - Polyamide 6-10 14.0 14.0
PA 66 - Polyamide 6-6 14.0 14.0
PA 66, 30% Glass Fiber 13.0 13.0
PA 66, 30% Mineral filled 12.0 15.0
PA 66, Impact Modified, 15-30% Glass Fiber 12.0 13.0
PA 66, Impact Modified 11.0 15.0
PAI - Polyamide-Imide 12.0 17.0
PAI, 30% Glass Fiber 14.0 17.0
PAR - Polyarylate 16.0 17.0
PARA (Polyarylamide), 30-60% glass fiber 15.0 15.0
PBT - Polybutylene Terephthalate 14.0 17.0
PBT, 30% Glass Fiber 16.0 16.0
PC (Polycarbonate) 20-40% Glass Fiber 15.0 16.0
PC (Polycarbonate) 20-40% Glass Fiber Flame Retardant 15.0 17.0
PC - Polycarbonate, high heat 15.0 16.0
PC/PBT Blend - Polycarbonate/Polybutylene Terephthalate Blend 16.0 17.0
PC/PBT blend, Glass Filled 15.0 16.0
PCTFE - Polymonochlorotrifluoroethylene 14.0 15.0
PE - Polyethylene 30% Glass Fiber 16.0 16.0
PEEK - Polyetheretherketone 16.0 17.0
PEEK 30% Carbon Fiber-reinforced 1.0 8.0
PEEK 30% Glass Fiber-reinforced 15.0 16.0
PEI - Polyetherimide 5.0 18.0
PEI, 30% Glass Fiber-reinforced 15.0 16.0
PEKK (Polyetherketoneketone), Low Cristallinity Grade 1.0 1.0
PESU - Polyethersulfone 15.0 17.0
PESU 10-30% glass fiber 15.0 16.0
PET - Polyethylene Terephtalate 16.0 16.0
PET, 30% Glass Fiber-reinforced 15.0 16.0
PET, 30/35% Glass Fiber-reinforced, Impact Modified 0.0 2.0
PFA - Perfluoroalkoxy 16.0 18.0
PGA - Polyglycolides 1.400 1.600
PI - Polyimide 14.0 18.0
PMMA - Polymethylmethacrylate/Acrylic 14.0 16.0
PMMA (Acrylic) High Heat 15.0 15.0
PMMA (Acrylic) Impact Modified 14.0 16.0
PMP - Polymethylpentene 16.0 18.0
PMP 30% Glass Fiber-reinforced 16.0 17.0
PMP Mineral Filled 16.0 16.0
POM - Polyoxymethylene (Acetal) 14.0 15.0
POM (Acetal) Impact Modified 15.0 16.0
POM (Acetal) Low Friction 15.0 16.0
PP - Polypropylene 10-20% Glass Fiber 16.0 17.0
PP, 10-40% Mineral Filled 16.0 17.0
PP, 10-40% Talc Filled 16.0 17.0
PP, 30-40% Glass Fiber-reinforced 16.0 17.0
PP (Polypropylene) Copolymer 16.0 18.0
PP (Polypropylene) Homopolymer 16.0 18.0
PP, Impact Modified 16.0 18.0
PPA - Polyphthalamide 15.0 15.0
PPA, 30% Mineral-filled 14.0 16.0
PPA, 33% Glass Fiber-reinforced – High Flow 14.0 16.0
PPA, 45% Glass Fiber-reinforced 14.0 16.0
PPE - Polyphenylene Ether 15.0 16.0
PPE, 30% Glass Fiber-reinforced 15.0 16.0
PPE, Flame Retardant 15.0 16.0
PPS - Polyphenylene Sulfide 15.0 16.0
PPS, 20-30% Glass Fiber-reinforced 16.0 16.0
PPS, 40% Glass Fiber-reinforced 16.0 16.0
PPS, Conductive 1.0 3.0
PPS, Glass fiber & Mineral-filled 15.0 16.0
PPSU - Polyphenylene Sulfone 14.0 16.0
PS (Polystyrene) 30% glass fiber 16.0 16.0
PS (Polystyrene) Crystal 16.0 17.0
PS, High Heat 16.0 16.0
PSU - Polysulfone 15.0 17.0
PSU, 30% Glass finer-reinforced 15.0 16.0
PSU Mineral Filled 16.0 16.0
PTFE - Polytetrafluoroethylene 17.0 18.0
PTFE, 25% Glass Fiber-reinforced 16.0 18.0
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), 20% Glass Fiber-reinforced 15.0 16.0
PVC, Plasticized 10.0 16.0
PVC, Plasticized Filled 10.0 16.0
PVC Rigid 15.0 16.0
PVDC - Polyvinylidene Chloride 15.0 16.0
PVDF - Polyvinylidene Fluoride 5.0 14.0
SAN - Styrene Acrylonitrile 16.0 16.0
SAN, 20% Glass Fiber-reinforced 15.0 17.0
SMA - Styrene Maleic Anhydride 16.0 16.0
SMA, 20% Glass Fiber-reinforced 15.0 15.0
SMMA - Styrene Methyl Methacrylate 15.0 15.0
UHMWPE - Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene 16.0 17.0

Find commercial grades matching your target using "Property Search - Volume Resistivity" filter in Omnexus Plastics Database:


Omnexus Plastics Database - Property Search


Disclaimer: all data and information obtained via the Polymer Selector including but not limited to material suitability, material properties, performances, characteristics and cost are given for information purpose only. Although the data and information contained in the Polymer Selector are believed to be accurate and correspond to the best of our knowledge, they are provided without implied warranty of any kind. Data and information contained in the Polymer Selector are intended for guidance in a polymer selection process and should not be considered as binding specifications. The determination of the suitability of this information for any particular use is solely the responsibility of the user. Before working with any material, users should contact material suppliers in order to receive specific, complete and detailed information about the material they are considering. Part of the data and information contained in the Polymer Selector are genericised based on commercial literature provided by polymer suppliers and other parts are coming from assessments of our experts.

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