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The World of Plastics 1

The World of Plastics 1

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Published by Allen A. Espinosa

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Published by: Allen A. Espinosa on Mar 17, 2012
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The World of Plastics

Applied Tech. Ed. I Teacher Education Red River College

• • • • Introduction to Plastics Raw Materials to Plastics The Finished Products Special Applications

Introduction to Plastics
• What products in your class are made out of plastic? • The automobile could not be nearly as efficient with out the use of plastics. • What are some of the different characteristics of the various plastics found in a car?

Raw Materials to Plastics
• Celluloid was the first plastic to be made. • 1860 Alexander Parkes produced celluloid and patented the product in 1865. • In 1870 John Hyatt worked out the Parkes’ technical difficulties without any theoretical understanding.

Raw Materials to Plastics cont…
• In 1920 a German chemist Hermann Staudinger developed a theory dealing with the chemical nature of a whole group of substances, natural and synthetic. He called them “macromolecules” Today we call them polymers. • In 1953 he received the Nobel Prize for his discovery. • Staudinger provided the foundation for the world of plastics as we know it today.

Raw Materials to Plastics cont…
• Plastics were produced from natural raw materials. Protein from milk was used to make artificial horn. • Using Rennin, the enzyme obtained from the stomach of a calf, the casein was precipitated, washed, dried and ground. It was then processed coloured and harden to form buttons.

Plastics as a Concept
• Plastics in the broadest sense include organic materials which are based on Polymers which are produced by the conversion of natural products by synthesis from primary chemicals coming from oil, gas or coal.

Plastic Materials
• Composite Materials
– Consist of a continuous matrix , often a resin surrounding a fibrous reinforcing structure. – Typically glass, carbon, boron fibres in the form of continuous filament reinforce woven fabrics.
• • • • Fishing rods Racquets Hockey stick shafts Canoes & boats

Polymeric Materials
• Polymers are classified according to their origin and method of synthesis. • Natural Products
– Cellulose (wood, cotton) horn, rosins, raw rubber – Vulcanized rubber, vulcanized fibre, celluloid

• Synthetic Polymers
– Thermoplastics moldable without undergoing significant change. – Thermosetting plastics are rigid and the molecules are cross-linked in three dimensions. – Elastomers have fewer linkages than thermosets and are rubbery.

Identification Tests
• • • • • • • Transparency Density Thermal Behaviour Flammability Fracture type Solubility Heat conductivity

Thermosetting Plastics
Common Name
Phenolics (Bakelite) Urea Melamine Polyester Epoxy Polyurethane Neoprene rubber

Old Generic Name
Phenol formaldehyde

New Name
Poly (phenol methanol) Poly (carbamide melamine methanol

pan handles, insulation foams Light switches Cups, counter laminates Car bodies, canoes Electrical casting, adhesives, coatings Upholstery foam, skateboard wheels

Urea formaldehyde Melamine formaldehyde Polyester epoxy Polyurethane flexible polychloroprene


Wetsuits, inner tubes food processing seals

Common Name Old Name
Polyethylene High-density Low-density PVC Polyethylene HDPE LDPE Polyvinyl chloride

New Name
Poly(ethene) High-density Low-density Poly(chlorothene)

Washing-up bowls Milk-bottle crates Carrier bags Floor covering Shower curtains rain guttering Suitcases

ABS Acrylic (Lucite) Cellulose acetate

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene polymethylmethac rylate Cellulose acetate

Poly(propenenitril e0 buta-1,3-diene

Poly(methyl 2Car rear lights methylpropenoate) Poly(cellulose ethanoate) Photographic film eyeglass frames


polyethylenetereph Poly(ethene Soft drink bottles thalate polyester benzene- draughtsman’s 1dicarboxylate) drawing film

How can you implement the Coding System?
Application: • The Plastics Coding System is designed to be easy to read at a glance and distinguishable from other marks put on rigid plastic containers by manufacturers for use in processing and identification. • The system uses a triangular-shaped symbol composed of three arrows, with a number in the centre indicating the material from which the bottle is made, as follows:

Recycling?? Coding System





1 = Polyethylene Terephthalate 2 = High Density Polyethylene 3 = Vinyl 4 = Low Density Polyethylene 5 = Polypropylene 6 = Polystyrene 7 = OTHER - all other resins and multi-materials

Recycling Links
• Virtual Recycling Link

• Plastic Recycling

• The Green Pages

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