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Plastics

Plastics

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Published by: Rit Prasad on Apr 11, 2012
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HISTORY The first human-made plastic was invented by Alexander Parkes in 1855 [5]; he called this plastic Parkesine

(later called celluloid). The development of plastics has come from the use of natural plastic materials (e.g., chewing gum, shellac) to the use of chemically modified natural materials (e.g., rubber, nitrocellulose, collagen, galalite) and finally to completely synthetic molecules (e.g., bakelite, epoxy, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene). ABOUT PLASTIC

Plastic is the general common term for a wide range of synthetic or semisynthetic organic amorphous solid materials suitable for the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular weight, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce costs. The word derives from the Greek πλαστικός (plastikos) meaning fit for molding, and πλαστός (plastos) meaning molded.[1][2] It refers to their malleability, or plasticity during manufacture, that allows them to be cast, pressed, or extruded into an enormous variety of shapes—such as films, fibers, plates, tubes, bottles, boxes, and much more. There are two types of plastics: thermoplastics and thermosets. Thermoplastics will soften and melt if enough heat is applied; examples are polyethylene, polystyrene, and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Thermosets do not soften or melt no matter how much heat is applied; an example is polyester. TOXICITY Due to their insolubility in water and relative chemical inertness, pure plastics generally have low toxicity in their finished state, and will pass through the digestive system with no ill effect (other than mechanical damage or obstruction). TOXIC ADDITIVES

However, plastics often contain a variety of toxic additives. For example, plasticizers like adipates and phthalates are often added to brittle plastics like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to make them pliable enough for use in food packaging, children's toys and teethers, tubing, shower curtains and other items. Traces of these chemicals can leach out of the plastic when it comes into contact with food. Out of these concerns, the European Union has banned the use of DEHP (di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate), the most widely used plasticizer in PVC. Some compounds leaching from polystyrene food containers have been found to interfere with hormone functions and are suspected human carcinogens.[9] Moreover, while the finished plastic may be non-toxic, the monomers used in its manufacture may be toxic; and small amounts of those chemical may remain trapped in

dental fillings and sealants. the manufacturing of plastics often creates large quantities of chemical pollutants. and household electronics.[13] In some cases. and was formerly used as a fungicide. which is clear and nearly shatter-proof.[4] Polycarbonate plastic. as a known human carcinogen. and as a polymerization inhibitor in PVC.[14] Also. Type 3 (PVC) can also contain bisphenol A as antioxidant in plasticizers. the molecular bonds that make plastic so durable make it equally resistant to natural processes of degradation. CDs and DVDs. Burning the plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) may create dioxin. It is used in the synthesis of polyesters. With an annual production of 2–3 million metric tonnes.[4] [12]. medical and dental devices. and thermoset plastics can be ground up and used as filler. one billion tons of plastic has been discarded and may persist for hundreds or even thousands of years. though the purity of the material tends to degrade with each reuse cycle. is an organic compound with two phenol functional groups. burning plastic can release toxic fumes.[4] .the product.[10] There are seven classes of plastics used in packaging applications. Type 7 plastics. such as polycarbonate and epoxy resins. plastic recycling programs were common in the United States and elsewhere. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES Plastics are durable and degrade very slowly. ADDITIVES Bisphenol A. vinyl chloride.[9] Bisphenol A is also a precursor to the flame retardant. is used to make a variety of common products including baby and water bottles. Thermoplastics can be remelted and reused. sports equipment. Bisphenol A is used primarily to make plastics. as an antioxidant in some plasticizers. and polyether ketones. It is a difunctional building block of several important plastics and plastic additives. By 1995. commonly abbreviated as BPA. Since the 1950s. it is an important monomer in the production of polycarbonate. The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has recognized the chemical used to make PVC. eyeglass lenses. There are methods by which plastics can be broken back down to a feedstock state. polysulfones. tetrabromobisphenol A. are made from bisphenol A monomer.[9] Some polymers may also decompose into the monomers or other toxic substances when heated. and products containing bisphenol Abased plastics have been in commerce for more than 50 years. It is a key monomer in production of epoxy resins[5][6] and in the most common form of polycarbonate plastic[7].[8] Epoxy resins containing bisphenol A are used as coatings on the inside of almost all food and beverage cans.

for instance as a solvent in flavourings. This material is commonly used to create commercial signs and for constructing plastic containers and reusable packaging. 5 (polypropylene). Additionally. a plasticizer. 2 (HDPE). It has recently found a use among guinea pig. with E number E1518 and Australian approval code A1518. Triacetin is also a component of casting liquor with TG and as an excipient in pharmaceutical products where it is used as a humectant. domesticated hedgehog and other small pet enthusiasts as a component of a type of DIY cage[1]. and as a solvent. It is an artificial chemical compound. TRIACETIN Corrugated sheet is recyclable and is therefore considered by many to be environmentally friendly.[citation needed] Bisphenol A has low acute toxicity. 4 (LDPE). Polyflute or Twinplast.[2] An organophosphate (sometimes abbreviated OP) is the general name for esters of phosphoric acid. it is used by members of the remote-controlled aircraft community to build nearly indestructible [2] SPAD (simple plastic airplane design) model aircraft. rabbit. commonly used as a food additive. Correx. also known under the tradenames of Coroplast. with an oral LD50 of 3250 mg/kg in rats. Corflute. It is a light weight tough material which can easily be cut with a craft knife. Corrugated plastic is also referred to as Twinwall plastic. including . and 6 (polystyrene) do not use bisphenol A during polymerization or package forming. Corrugated plastic or corriboard. Corrugated sheet is recyclable and is therefore considered by many to be environmentally friendly. It is widely used in the packaging of automotive and electronic parts as well as agricultural produce. Corriflute. Phosphates are probably the most pervasive organophosphorus compounds. refers to a wide range of extruded twinwall plastic sheet products produced from high impact polypropylene resin with a similar make up to corrugated fiberboard.[13] but it is an endocrine disruptor. Many of the most important biochemicals are organophosphates.Types 1 (PET). and for its humectant function.

waterski boots. usually with additives like wax and resin. with the remainder being ethylene. metal surfaces. EVA foam is used as padding in equipment for various sports such as ski boots. and fishing rods. hockey. boxing.DNA and RNA as well as many cofactors that are essential for life. EVA has little or no odor and is competitive with rubber and vinyl products in many electrical applications. are usually made from EVA. barrier properties. herbicides. PVAc copolymer are adhesives used in packaging. mixed martial arts. Organophosphates are widely used as solvents. coated paper. EVA is one of the materials popularly known as 'expanded rubber' or 'foam rubber'. EVA emulsions are polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) copolymers based on vinyl acetate (VAM) internally plastized with vinyl acetate ethyleen (VAE). phosphoric acid can form triesters whereas carboxylic acids only form monoesters. The precursors to such esters are alcohols Ethylene vinyl acetate (CAS# 24937-78-8. It is a polymer that approaches elastomeric materials in softness and flexibility. Esterification entails the attachment of organic groups to phosphorus through oxygen linkers. Being a triprotic acid. low-temperature toughness. EVA is also used as a clinginess-enhancing additive in plastic wraps. textile. hot glue sticks. It is typically used as a shock absorber in sports shoes. bookbinding for bonding plastic films. and nerve gases. The weight percent vinyl acetate usually varies from 10 to 40%. hot-melt adhesive water proof properties. stress-crack resistance. . wakeboard boots. and EP additives. also known as EVA) is the copolymer of ethylene and vinyl acetate. Organophosphates are also the basis of many insecticides. The material has good clarity and gloss. yet can be processed like other thermoplastics. plasticizers. Organophosphates are widely employed both in natural and synthetic applications because of the ease with which organic groups can be linked together. and resistance to UV radiation. Hot melt adhesives.

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