How to Select the Best Splinting Material for Different Patient Needs

With the amount of available thermoplastics, it can be difficult to determine which would best suit your purposes. We’ve put together this guide for anyone who is new to splinting sheets or wants a quick review of the options available.


Thermoplastic Splinting Material in Three Different Sizes

We currently offer three different thickness options: 1.6mm, 2.4mm, and 3.2mm.


1.6mm - This is the thinnest available, and is reasonably easy to cut when cold. A lightweight thermoplastic splint material, ideal for smaller splints, particularly paediatric or finger based splints.


2.4mm - Difficult to cut when cold, though not impossible. This lightweight splinting material offers support without the bulkiness of a 3.2mm sheet. Ideal for a wide range of applications, primarily static and dynamic splints for the upper limb.


3.2mm - The thickest material available. Use a water bath to heat before cutting. This splinting material is the ideal thickness for maximum support and stability of the injury. We recommend using this for positioning, and for bracing the upper or lower limbs. Also suitable for aiding contractures and abnormal tone.

Solid vs Perforated

Each of our thermoplastic sheets is available in either solid or perforated, however the percentage of perforation will vary depending on the material. The different perforations available include: 1%, 11%, 12%, 15%, and 19%.

Both solid and perforated materials have certain advantages that must be considered when choosing your thermoplastic splinting material. Solid provides maximum support, and requires less consideration when forming the splint. Perforated material will have rougher edges when cut so care must be taken to smooth down all edges. The material must also be stretched evenly to maintain equal hole sizes across the splint. 

While perforated may not be as strong as solid, the material has certain advantages such as the ventilation provided. We recommend using perforated material for a more comfortable splint in summer months as this will allow ventilation and air to reach the skin. Perforated materials also soften up faster when heated without compromising rigidity. Both materials can be used for the same braces.



Take into account the properties of the different thermoplastic splinting sheets available when choosing one to best suit your needs. See the table below for the different properties of our available thermoplastics.


  • Resistance to Stretch - When heated, a thermoplastic with a minimum resistance to stretch requires very little handling. A higher resistance to stretch requires firm handling to conform to the body, meaning it is ideal for larger splints.

  • Drape - Drape refers to how easily the splinting material conforms to a surface when it is heated. A high drape allows for a more precise fit and minimal handling. A low drape offers more stability and easier handling when a larger area requires splinting.

  • Rigidity - Rigidity refers to the splinting material’s resistance to bend. This will naturally be higher for thicker thermoplastics but there is also some difference between the materials themselves.

  • Memory - A thermoplastic sheet with greater memory will be able to more accurately return to its original shape after moulding. Most thermoplastic is able to be reused multiple times but the better the memory, the more frequently they can be remoulded.


    Resistance to Stretch Rigidity Drape Memory
    SecurForm Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate
    SecurEze Maximum Maximum Moderate Moderate
    SecurFit Pro Moderate Moderate Maximum Very Good
    SecurPlast Moderate Moderate Moderate Very Good
    SecurFlex II Moderate Moderate Moderate Very Good


    Should I use whole sheets or precuts?

    We offer a range of splint precuts for all our different materials. 


    There are many benefits to using thermoplastic pre-cut splints rather than whole sheets. Therapists can save time through eliminating the pattern making process and getting right to tailoring the splint to their patient. Space is saved by not having to store multiple whole sheets of thermoplastic to be used. Using precuts is also more accurate, as they are machine cut following a set pattern, and saves material as the machine can maximise the area of thermoplastic used. Occasionally, it may also be cleaner to use a precut if the pattern making process would involve a lot of offcuts or generate a lot of rubbish. Practitioners may also save money by buying precuts rather than a whole sheet depending on how many splints they need.


    See below a list of the precuts we have available, or download our digital Product Guide for more information.

    a) Thumb hole splint

    Splint with thumb hole support

    b) Thumb post gauntlet

    Gauntlet with thumb post

    c) Resting pan mitt

    Hand support resting mitt

    d) Resting pan burns splint

    Splint for burns recovery

    e) Resting pan functional splint

    Functional resting hand splint

    Want more information?

    Get in contact with us about our Brace Yourself Workshops! Join the team at TPC in a hands-on experience run by expert Occupational Health professionals. Our splinting workshops are run once a year and cover the benefits of different thermoplastic materials, and the different types of splints and their uses, with practical application of this knowledge. Learn or refresh your static splinting skills in a safe, easy-paced environment.

    Register your interest now at

    Back to blog