"What is Polypenco?"

"What is Polypenco?"


Polypenco is a brand name for Polyoxymethylene (POM). It is an engineered thermoplastic used in precision parts requiring dimensional stability and stiffness.

Polyoxymehylene is also known as acetal, polyacetal, and by the brand names Derlin, Celcon, Duracon, and polypenco.

Due to its stiffness and dimensional stability, which is very similar to African blackwood, POM has been used in making bagpipes for over 40 years. Pipe chanters and practice chanters were the first bagpipe parts to be made from the material. Today, a large portion of bagpipe manufacturers offer full sets of bagpipes made from POM. Modern POM sets of bagpipes boast a sound that is more than acceptable when compared to blackwood sets. Some of the top pipe bands in the world play polypenco chanters for their resonance and projection.

Polyoxymehylene is not indestructible. POM is susceptible to oxidation in the presence of some acids and chlorine. This can cause stress cracks and discoloration. This can be caused by the low level of chlorine found in some city water supplies. Good care should be given to POM pipe chanters just as with blackwood chanters.


David Lairson David has been playing the bagpipes for over 20 years. He is an instructor and soloist with the Palm Beach Pipes & Drums and a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Pipe Band. David is active in the Florida competition circuit, and when he is not practicing or playing he works as a computer technician. He currently lives in sunny South Florida.