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Resins are valued for their chemical properties and associated uses, such as the production of varnishes, adhesives and food glazing agents. They are also prized as an important source of raw materials for organic synthesis, and as constituents of incense and perfume. Plant resins have a very long history that was documented in ancient Greece by Theophrastus, in ancient Rome by Pliny the Elder, and especially in the resins known as frankincense and myrrh, prized in ancient Egypt. These were highly prized substances, and required as incense in some religious rites. Amber is a hard fossilized resin from ancient trees. More broadly, the term "resin" also encompasses a great many synthetic substances of similar mechanical properties (thick liquids that harden into transparent solids), as well as shellacs of insects of the superfamily Coccoidea. Other liquid compounds found in plants or exuded by plants, such as sap, latex, or mucilage, are sometimes confused with resin, but are not chemically the same. Saps, in particular, serve a nutritive function that resins do not. There is no consensus on why plants secrete resins. However, resins consist primarily of secondary metabolites or compounds that apparently play no role in the primary physiology of a plant. While some scientists view resins only as waste products, their protective benefits to the plant are widely documented. The toxic resinous compounds may confound a wide range of herbivores, insects, and pathogens; while the volatile phenolic compounds may attract benefactors such as parasitoids or predators of the herbivores that attack the plant. The word "resin" has been applied in the modern world to nearly any component of a liquid that will set into a hard lacquer or enamel-like finish. An example is nail polish, a modern product which contains "resins" that are organic compounds, but not classical plant resins. Certain "casting resins" and synthetic resins (such as epoxy resin) have also been given the name "resin" because they solidify in the same way as some plant resins, but synthetic resins are liquid monomers of thermosetting plastics, and do not derive from plants. The English word originates from the late 14th century Old French resine, from L. resina "resin," from Greek rhetine "resin of the pine," of unknown earlier origin.
The resin produced by most plants is a viscous liquid, composed mainly of volatile fluid terpenes, with lesser components of dissolved non-volatile solids which make resin thick and delta-3 carene and sabinene, the monocyclic terpenes limonene and terpinolene, and smaller amounts of the tricyclic sesquiterpenes, longifolene, caryophyllene and delta-cadinene. Some resins also contain a high proportion of resin acids. The individual components of resin can be separated by fractional distillation. A few plants produce resins with different compositions, most notably Jeffrey Pine and Gray Pine, the volatile components of which are largely pure n-heptane with little or no terpenes. The exceptional purity of the n-heptane distilled from Jeffrey Pine resin, unmixed with other isomers of heptane, led to its being used as the defining zero point on the octane rating scale of petrol quality. Because heptane is highly flammable, distillation of resins containing it is very dangerous. Some resin distilleries in California exploded because they mistook Jeffrey Pine for the similar but terpene-producing Ponderosa Pine. At the time the two pines were considered to be the same species of pine; they were only classified as separate species in 1853. Some resins when soft are known as 'oleoresins', and when containing benzoic acid or cinnamic acid they are called balsams. Oleoresins are naturally occurring mixtures of an oil and a resin; they can be extracted from various plants. Other resinous products in their natural condition are a mix with gum or mucilaginous substances and known as gum resins. Many compound resins have distinct and characteristic odors, from their admixture with essential oils.Certain resins are obtained in a fossilized condition, amber being the most notable instance of this class; African copal and the kauri gum of New Zealand are also procured in a semi-fossil condition.
Solidified resin from which the volatile terpene components have been removed by distillation is known as rosin. Typical rosin is a transparent or translucent mass, with a vitreous fracture and a faintly yellow or brown colour, non-odorous or having only a slight turpentine odour and taste. It is insoluble in water, mostly soluble in alcohol, essential oils, ether and hot fatty oils, and softens and melts under the influence of heat, is not capable of sublimation, and burns with a bright but smoky flame. This comprises a complex mixture of different substances including organic acids named the resin acids. These are closely related to the terpenes, and derive from them through partial oxidation. Resin acids can be dissolved in alkalis to form resin soaps, from which the purified resin acids are regenerated by treatment with acids. Examples of resin acids are abietic acid (sylvic acid), C20H30O2, plicatic acid contained in cedar, and pimaric acid, C20H35O2, a constituent of galipot resin. Abietic acid can also be extracted from rosin by means of hot alcohol; it crystallizes in leaflets, and on oxidation yields trimellitic acid, isophthalic acid and terebic acid. Pimaric acid closely resembles abietic acid into which it passes when distilled in a vacuum; it has been supposed to consist of three isomers.
The hard transparent resins, such as the copals, dammars, mastic and sandarac, are principally used for varnishes and adhesives, while the softer odoriferous oleo-resins (frankincense, elemi, turpentine, copaiba) and gum resins containing essential oils (ammoniacum, asafoetida, gamboge, myrrh, and scammony) are more largely used for therapeutic purposes and incense. Resin in the form of rosin is applied to the bows of stringed instruments (e.g. violin, rebec, erhu, sarangi, etc.), because of its quality for adding friction to the hair. Ballet dancers may apply crushed rosin to their shoes to increase grip on a slippery floor.Resin has also been used as a medium for sculpture by artists such as Eva Hesse, and in other types of artwork.In the early 1990s, most ten-pin bowling ball manufacturers started adding resin particles to the covers of bowling balls. Resin makes a bowling ball tackier than it would otherwise be, increasing its ability to hook into the pins at an angle and (with correct technique) making strikes easier to achieve.
Synthetic resins are materials with a property of interest that is similar to natural plant resins: they are viscous liquids that are capable of hardening permanently. Otherwise, chemically they are very different from the various resinous compounds secreted by plants (see resin for discussion of the natural products). The synthetics are of several classes. Some are manufactured by esterification or soaping of organic compounds. Some are thermosetting plastics in which the term "resin" is loosely applied to the reactant or product, or both. "Resin" may be applied to one of two monomers in a copolymer (the other being called a "hardener", as in epoxy resins). For those thermosetting plastics which require only one monomer, the monomer compound is the "resin." For example, liquid methyl methacrylate is often called the "resin" or "casting resin" while it is in the liquid state, before it polymerizes and "sets." After setting, the resulting PMMA is often renamed acrylic glass, or "acrylic." (This is the same material called Plexiglas and Lucite).
Types of synthetic resins:
The classic variety is epoxy resin, manufactured through polymerization-polyaddition or polycondensation reactions, used as a thermoset polymer for adhesives and composites. Epoxy resin is two times stronger than concrete, seamless and waterproof. Accordingly, it has been mainly in use for
Chemistry Structure of unmodified epoxy prepolymer resin. Its purpose is to extract one or more dissolved components from a surrounding aqueous environment. See also AT-10 resin. Ion exchange resins are used in water purification and catalysis of organic reactions. Epoxy has a wide range of applications. The contained extractant is supposed to enhance the capacity of the resin particles. which constitutes 75% of resins used. epoxy and polyurethane resins are used in interiors as well. Since 2000. is the unsaturated polyester resins. . is a thermosetting polymer formed from reaction of an epoxide "resin" with polyamine "hardener". it has a simple chain structure with the repeat unit of form -[CH2O]-. Solvent Impregnated Resins (SIRs) are porous resin particles. chromatography and liquid-liquid extraction. melamine resin. Acetal resin: Another synthetic polymer sometimes called by the same general category. however. into which a polymerization catalyst is added and mixed. Synthetic casting "resin" for embedding display objects in Plexiglass/Lucite (PMMA) is simply methyl methacrylate liquid. is acetal resin. Certain ion exchange resins are also used pharmaceutically as bile acid sequestrants. Solvent impregnated resins (SIRs) are commercially available (macro)porous resins impregnated with a solvent/an extractant. Epoxy: It is also known as polyepoxide. The amine (NH) groups react with the epoxide groups of the resin during polymerization. A large category of resins. mainly as hypolipidemic agents. a liquid extractant is contained within the pores of (adsorption) particles. causing it to "set" (polymerize).industrial flooring purposes since the 1960s. In this approach. The polymerization creates a block of PMMA plastic ("acrylic glass") which holds the display object in a transparent block. however. the extractant is an organic liquid. a typical hardener. n denotes the number of polymerized subunits and is in the range from 0 to about 25 Structure of TETA. which contain an additional liquid extractant inside the porous matrix. The basic principle combines adsorption. although they may be used for purposes other than lowering cholesterol. By contrast with the other synthetics. mainly in Western Europe. Usually. including fiber-reinforced plastic materials and general purpose adhesives.
Pierre Castan of Switzerland and Dr. Epoxy coatings are also widely used as primers to improve the adhesion of automotive and marine paints especially on metal surfaces where corrosion (rusting) resistance is important. The resin consists of monomers or short chain polymers with an epoxide group at either end. S. for example triethylenetetramine (TETA). Metal cans and containers are often coated with epoxy to prevent rusting. choice of resin and hardener compounds. driers and other "white goods". The chemistry of epoxies and the range of commercially available variations allows cure polymers to be produced with a very broad range of properties. formerly Hexion. epoxies are known for their excellent adhesion. whereas others simply require time and ambient temperatures. Epoxy resins are also used for decorative flooring applications such as terrazzo flooring. the amine groups react with the epoxide groups to form a covalent bond. Most common epoxy resins are produced from a reaction between epichlorohydrin and bisphenol-A. Castan's work was licensed by Ciba. that is. of Switzerland. Variations offering high thermal insulation. Fusion Bonded Epoxy Powder Coatings (FBE) are extensively used for corrosion protection of steel pipes and fittings used in the oil and gas industry. due to UV exposure. are available. good-to-excellent mechanical properties and very good electrical insulating properties. Each NH group can react with an epoxide group from distinct prepolymer molecules. Ciba's epoxy business was spun off and later sold in the late 1990s and is now the advanced materials business unit of Huntsman Corporation of the United States. Devoe-Reynolds. protective coating with excellent hardness. Applications The applications: The application for epoxy-based materials are extensive and include coatings. known as chalk out. History The first commercial attempts to prepare resins from epichlorohydrin were made in 1927 in the United States. and is thus rigid and strong. although epoxies are typically electrically insulating).O. Some formulations benefit from heating during the cure period. especially for foods like tomatoes that are acidic. cast aluminium applications and reduces exposure and flammability issues associated with solvent-borne coatings. These systems generally use a 4:1 by volume mixing ratio. Greenlee's work was for the firm of Devoe-Reynolds of the United States. Many properties of epoxies can be modified (for example silver-filled epoxies with good electrical conductivity are available. Credit for the first synthesis of bisphenol-A-based epoxy resins is shared by Dr. The process of polymerization is called "curing". and the ratio of said compounds. so that the resulting polymer is heavily crosslinked. and colored aggregate flooring. the process can take minutes to hours.Epoxy is a copolymer. . was sold to Shell Chemical (now Momentive Specialty Chemicals. or thermal conductivity combined with high electrical resistance for electronics applications. and can be controlled through temperature. which went on to become one of the three major epoxy resin producers worldwide. Paints and coatings Two part epoxy coatings were developed for heavy duty service on metal substrates and use less energy than heat-cured powder coatings. and concrete reinforcing rebar. potable water transmission pipelines (steel). They are usually used in industrial and automotive applications since they are more heat resistant than latex-based and alkyd-based paints. which was active in the early days of the epoxy resin industry. cast steel. Resolution Polymers and others). In general. These are referred to as the "resin" or "compound" and the "hardener" or "activator". Polyester epoxies are used as powder coatings for washers. and dry quickly providing a tough. Dr. Ltd. it is formed from two different chemicals. Epoxy paints tend to deteriorate. When these compounds are mixed. Dr. though the latter may be replaced by similar chemicals. The hardener consists of polyamine monomers. Their low volatility and water clean up makes them useful for factory cast iron. and other thermosetting resins are also used for glass-reinforced plastic). adhesives and composite materials such as those using carbon fiber and fiberglass reinforcements (although polyester. Greenlee of the United States in 1936. vinyl ester. chemical and heat resistance. chip flooring.
bicycles. Electrical systems and electronics Epoxy resin formulations are important in the electronics industry. Normal gelcoat formulated for use with polyester resins and vinylester resins does not adhere to epoxy surfaces. stone. The cured epoxy is an electrical insulator and a much better conductor of heat than air. and other chemistries. The chemical reactions in both cases are exothermic. switchgear. Such epoxies are commonly used in optics. and then over-coated with conventional or two-part polyurethane paint or marine-varnishes that provide UV protection. snowboards. They are also sold in boat shops as repair resins for marine applications. winding-to-winding. automobiles. wood and other traditional materials. generators. There are two main areas of marine use. giving the component a stable and longer life than unpotted product. Epoxy resins are used to bond copper foil to circuit board substrates. acrylic. They can be made flexible or rigid. and are a component of the solder mask on many circuit boards. Flexible epoxy resins are used for potting transformers and inductors.and chemical-resistant than those cured at room temperature. Epoxies typically are not used in the outer layer of a boat because they deteriorate by exposure to UV light. and generally improves the efficiency and either lowers the overall cost or shortens the lead-time for many industrial processes. In the electronics industry epoxy resins are the primary resin used in overmolding integrated circuits. glass. and other industrial production aids. By using vacuum impregnation on uncured epoxy. transparent or opaque/colored. and optoelectronics. The second area is that their strength. winding-to-core. particularly if a lot of catalyst is used. which must be mixed immediately before use. fast setting or slow setting. Epoxy materials tend to harden somewhat more gradually. Epoxy adhesives are better in heat and chemical resistance than other common adhesives. epoxy adhesives cured with heat will be more heat. They can be used as adhesives for wood. while polyester materials tend to harden quickly. fiber optics. boats. and making printed circuit boards. skis.Adhesives: Epoxy adhesives are a major part of the class of adhesives called "structural adhesives" or "engineering adhesives" (that includes polyurethane. The strength of epoxy adhesives is degraded at temperatures above 350 °F (177 °C). Epoxy resins are excellent electrical insulators and protect electrical components from short circuiting. but usually produce stronger and more temperature-resistant composite parts.) These highperformance adhesives are used in the construction of aircraft. typically as a pack containing separate resin and hardener. They are more expensive than polyester resins and vinyl ester resins. laminates. Industrial tooling and composites Epoxy systems are used in industrial tooling applications to produce molds. . Because of the better mechanical properties relative to the more common polyester resins. transistors and hybrid circuits. metal. though epoxy adheres very well if applied to polyester resin surfaces. cyanoacrylate. and insulators. This "plastic tooling" replaces metal. bushings. The largest volume type of circuit board—an "FR-4 board"— is a sandwich of layers of glass cloth bonded into a composite by an epoxy resin. Consumer and marine applications Epoxies are sold in hardware stores. castings. Transformer and inductor hot spots are greatly reduced. "Flocoat" that is normally used to coat the interior of polyester fibreglass yachts is also compatible with epoxies. Epoxy adhesives can be developed to suit almost any application. They are often used during boat repair and assembly. epoxies are used for commercial manufacture of components where a high strength/weight ratio is required. fixtures. and winding-to-insulator air voids are eliminated. and other applications where high strength bonds are required. master models. gap filling properties and excellent adhesion to many materials including timber have created a boom in amateur building projects including aircraft and boats. Some epoxies are cured by exposure to ultraviolet light. and are employed in motors. golf clubs. and some plastics. Epoxy resins are applied using the technology of resin dispensing. transformers. Epoxies are also used in producing fiber-reinforced or composite parts. dust and moisture. In general.
by pouring layers on top of each other to form a complete picture. As adhesives. are relatively brittle unless reinforced. etc. although the 'hardeners' tend to be more chemically active and should be protected from the atmosphere and moisture.  Art Epoxy resin. c) Ionically. Epoxy resins typically require a precise mix of two components which form a third chemical. by contrast. The majority of the epoxy systems sold are produced by these formulators and they comprise over 60% of the dollar value of the epoxy market. and accounts for more than 30% of the total worldwide market.. The rate of the reaction can be changed by using different hardeners. so long as the hardening proceeds at an acceptable pace. Epoxies are also used as a structural glue. polyester resins are much cheaper. colorants. or by controlling the temperature. While it is common to associate polyester resins and epoxy resins. These modifications are made to reduce costs. polyester resins are usually made available in a 'promoted' form. Epoxies. so there is another group of companies that purchase epoxy raw materials from the major producers and then compounds (blends. such that the progress of previously-mixed resins from liquid to solid is already underway. However. By contrast. often Methyl-Ethyl-KetonePeroxide (MEKP). By contrast. because the cured resins are physically so close to the bonding surfaces that they are hard to separate. mixed with pigment. Materials like wood. accelerators. and have low adhesion. Until they are mixed the two elements are relatively inert. their properties are sufficiently different that they are properly treated as distinct materials. Polyester resins are typically low strength unless used with a reinforcing material like glass fibre. which greatly reduces their utility as adhesives and in marine repair. Industry As of 2006. epoxies bond in three ways: a) Mechanically. These commodity epoxy manufacturers mentioned above typically do not sell epoxy resins in a form usable to smaller end users. are inherently strong. somewhat flexible and have excellent adhesion. the epoxy industry amounts to more than US$5 billion in North America and about US$15 billion worldwide. because the bonding surfaces are roughened. polyester resins can only bond using the first two of these. The final product is then a precise thermo-setting plastic. thickeners. the ratio may be anything from 1:1 or over 10:1. or otherwise customizes) epoxy systems from these raw materials. because the epoxy resins form ionic bonds at an atomic level with the bonding surfaces. but in every case they must be mixed exactly. The only variable available to the user is to change the rate of this process using a catalyst. by adding flexibilizers. to improve performance. carbon. Depending on the properties required. so it is usual to mix small amounts which can be used quickly. As a result a typical formulator sells dozens or even thousands of formulations—each tailored to the requirements of a particular application or market. may be used as a painting medium. adhesion promoters. and others that are 'low-tech' are glued with epoxy resin.Large quantities of mix will generate their own heat and greatly speed the reaction. etc. Typical fiber reinforcements include glass. This last is substantially the strongest of the three. and to improve processing convenience. which may change the nature of the final product. . epoxy is used as a structural matrix material which is then reinforced by fiber. modifies. Kevlar. b) By proximity. which is very toxic. The Chinese market has been growing rapidly. Aerospace applications In the aerospace industry.). silica. viscosity reducers. so that small amounts of catalyst are preferable. It is made up of approximately 50–100 manufacturers of basic or commodity epoxy resins and hardeners. The rate of cure of polyesters can therefore be controlled by the amount and type of catalyst as well as by the temperature. These companies are known as "formulators". The presence of the catalyst in the final product actually detracts from the desirable properties. Biology Water-soluble epoxies such as Durcupan   are commonly used for embedding electron microscope samples in plastic so they may be sectioned (sliced thin) with a microtome and then imaged. There are hundreds of ways that these formulators can modify epoxies—by adding mineral fillers (talc. albeit very slowly. alumina. and boron.
When the resin is fresh. almost to the level of 2005. usually white or yellowish. polyethylene amine) There are also specialised types: chelating resins (iminodiacetic acid. The current epoxy market is experiencing positive growth as the global economy revives. Most typical ion-exchange resins are based on crosslinked polystyrene. When in . The material has a highly developed structure of pores on the surface of which are sites with easily trapped and released ions.exchange capacity of the resin and prolongs the time needed to accomplish the ion exchange processes. ion exchange resins are produced as membranes. Non-crosslinked polymers are used only rarely because they are less stable. the crosslinking is often achieved by adding 0. Health risks The primary risk associated with epoxy use is sensitization to the hardener. sulfonic acid groups. Ion-exchange resins are widely used in different separation. With an annual growth rate of 3.Impacted by the global economic slump.8 billion in 2009. which. sodium polystyrene sulfonate or polyAMPS) strongly basic. are used for electrodialysis. Crosslinking decreases ion. or substituted monomers can be used. Particle size also influences the resin parameters. Epoxy use is a main source of occupational asthma among users of plastics. Besides being made as bead-shaped materials. but cause larger head loss in the column processes. In many cases ion-exchange resins were introduced in such processes as a more flexible alternative to the use of natural or artificial zeolites. An ion-exchange resin or ion-exchange polymer It is an insoluble matrix (or support structure) normally in the form of small (1–2 mm diameter) beads. The trapping of ions takes place only with simultaneous releasing of other ions. which are made of highly cross-linked ion exchange resins that allow passage of ions. There are multiple different types of ion-exchange resin which are fabricated to selectively prefer one or several different types of ions. Higher growth rate is foreseen thereafter due to stronger demands from epoxy composite market and epoxy adhesive market.5 . The most common examples are water softening and water purification. polyAPTAC) weakly acidic (mostly. is a known endocrine disruptor. but not of water. and many others) Uses: Water softening In this application. e. it contains sodium ions at its active sites. and decontamination processes. e. The required active groups can be introduced after polymerization.g. which is used in epoxy resin. for example. secondary. fabricated from an organic polymer substrate.4% the epoxy market is expected to reach $17.7 billion by 2012 and $21. e. trimethylammonium groups. thus the process is called ion-exchange. (quaternary amino groups.5-25% of divinylbenzene to styrene at the polymerization process. carboxylic acid groups) weakly basic (primary. thiourea. The membranes.g. purification. For example. the epoxy market size declined to $15. In some regional markets it even decreased nearly 20%. There are four main types differing in their functional groups: strongly acidic (typically. smaller particles have larger outer surface. and/or ternary amino groups. can induce an allergic reaction. ion-exchange resins are used to replace the magnesium and calcium ions found in hard water with sodium ions.35 by 2015. over time. Allergic reaction sometimes occurs at a time which is delayed several days from the exposure. Bisphenol A.g.
Such water is produced using ion-exchange processes or combinations of membrane and ion-exchange methods. lead or cadmium) ions from solution.g. This process reaches equilibrium with a much lower concentration of magnesium and calcium ions in solution than was started with. Then. among others. There are two series of rare earth metals. The ion-exchange process is also used to separate other sets of very similar chemical elements. Production of high purity water Water of highest purity is required for electronics. A very important case is the PUREX process (plutonium-uranium extraction process) which is used to separate the plutonium and the uranium from the spent fuel products from a nuclear reactor. Zirconium is practically transparent to free neutrons. and to be able to dispose of the waste products. Few ion-exchange resins remove chlorine or organic contaminants from water . such as sodium and potassium. They are used to help convert one type of sugar into another type of sugar. The resin can be recharged by washing it with a solution containing a high concentration of sodium ions (e. Thus. This allows poorer tasting fruit sources to be used for juice production. Ion-exchange was for many years the only practical way to separate the rare earths in large quantities. neodymium. being replaced in solution by sodium ions. from each other and the other lanthanides. it has large amounts of common salt (NaCl) dissolved in it). such as zirconium and hafnium. Members of each family have very similar chemical and physical properties. The calcium and magnesium ions migrate off the resin. lutetium. no ions remain in the produced water. Ion-exchange in metal separation Ion-exchange processes are used to separate and purify metals. anions are replaced with hydroxyls using anion-exchange resins. the lanthanides and the actinides. the plutonium and uranium are available for making nuclearenergy materials. Subsequently. replacing them with more innocuous ions. scientific experiments. which incidentally is also very important for the nuclear industry. used in reactor control rods. production of superconductors. solvent extraction has mostly supplanted use of ion exchange resins except for the highest purity products. ion-exchange resins are used to remove poisonous (e. This application was developed in the 1940's by Frank Spedding. and to decolorize and purify sugar syrups. There are some ion-exchange resins that do remove organic ions. The hydrogen ions and hydroxyls recombine producing water molecules. Juice Purification Ion-exchange resins are used in the manufacture of fruit juices such as orange juice where they are used to remove bitter tasting components and so improve the flavor. but hafnium is a very strong absorber of neutrons. such as MIEX (magnetic ion-exchange) resins. Water purification In this application.g.the resin is discarded when it can no longer be used. and nuclear industry. Sugar Manufacturing Ion-exchange resins are used in the manufacturing of sugar from various sources. . Cations are replaced with hydrogen ions using cation-exchange resins. such as new reactor fuel and nuclear weapons. including separating uranium from plutonium and other actinides. copper) and heavy metal (e. The purification process is usually performed in several steps with "mixed bed ion-exchange columns" at the end of the technological chain.g. See for instance selfcondensation. samarium. ytterbium. being replaced by sodium ions from the solution until a new equilibrium is reached.this is usually done by using an activated charcoal filter mixed in with the resin. including thorium. The salt is used to recharge an ion-exchange resin which itself is used to soften the water. the magnesium and calcium ions preferentially migrate out of solution to the active sites on the resin.contact with a solution containing magnesium and calcium ions (but a low concentration of sodium ions). and lanthanum. Catalysis In chemistry ion-exchange resins are known to catalyze organic reactions. used in building reactors. Domestic water purification resin is not usually recharged .
4-butanediol) unit. With the copolymer. and cholestyramine. not only for catalyzing certain reactions but also for isolating and purifying pharmaceutical active ingredients. the company filed for patent protection of the homopolymer in 1956. Celcon. In these uses the ion-exchange resin can have several different functions. but these lack sufficient thermal stability to be commercially viable products. Celanese completed its study on a copolymer in 1960. Both homopolymer and copolymer have chain end groups (introduced via end capping) which resist depolymerization. etc. POM is sensitive to oxidation. polyacetal and polyformaldehyde is an engineering thermoplastic used in precision parts that require high stiffness. Colestipol and cholestyramine are known as bile acid sequestrants. are used as active ingredients. POM advantages: . ethylene oxide). named Delrin at Parkersburg. producing Celcon in 1962 and Hostaform in 1963 in Kelsterbach. and suspensions. extended release. DuPont credits R. DuPont completed construction of a plant to produce his own version of acetal resin. which is why both polymer types are stabilized. These units resist chain cleavage. sodium polystyrene sulfonate. POM was not commercialized. However. which is stable to hydrolysis. capsules. and improving the chemical stability of the active ingredients. Three ion-exchange resins. N.Pharmaceuticals Ion-exchange resins are used in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals. including taste-masking. but an ether linkage. Hostaform. who discovered that reacting the hemiacetal ends with acetic anhydride converts the readily depolymerizable hemiacetal into a thermally stable. which is introduced via its cyclic acetal (which can be made from the diol and formaldehyde) or cyclic ether (e. He studied the polymerization and structure of POM in the 1920s to research the theory of macromolecules. Sodium polystyrene sulfonate is a strongly acidic ion-exchange resin and is used to treat hyperkalemia. First synthesized by DuPont research chemists around 1952. it is produced by different chemical firms with slightly different formulas and is therefore sold under many commercial names like Delrin. tablet disintegration. Ion-exchange resins are also used as excipients in pharmaceutical formulations such as tablets. Cholestyramine is a strongly basic ion-exchange resin and is also used to treat hypercholesterolemia. Patents by MacDonald and coworkers describe the preparation of high molecular weight hemiacetal (~CH2OH) terminated POM. melt processable plastic. The inventor of a useful POM homopolymer was Dal Nagore. low friction and excellent dimensional stability. It was discovered by Hermann Staudinger. the second unit normally is a C2 (ethylene glycol) or C4 (1. Colestipol is a weakly basic ion-exchange resin and is used to treat hypercholesterolemia. West Virginia. Due to initial problems with thermal stability. and an anti-oxidant is normally added to molding grades of the material. under a limited partnership with Ticona. because the O-linkage is now no longer an acetal group. also known as acetal. it is susceptible to polymer degradation catalyzed by acids. POM is a tough material with a very low coefficient of friction. which he characterized as polymers. Polyoxymethylene (POM). a German chemist who received the 1953 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Germany. colestipol.g. MacDonald as the inventor of high molecular weight POM. As many other synthetic polymers. in 1960.
handles. Horology: Watch bracelets (e. Irish flutes. locks. Metered dose inhalers (MDI) Furniture: hardware. nuts. Medical: insulin pen. and not paintable.g. Clothing: zippers. Thermoset materials are usually liquid or malleable prior to curing and designed to be molded into their final form. It is often used for machined parts of paintball markers that do not require the strength of aluminum. etc. in order to reduce the noise of the piston. such as bogies and handle bars. hinges. power windows. is polymer material that irreversibly cures. POM breaks under load slightly less than ABS. Light stock (including shifter for light. or used as adhesives. Dining: Fully automatic coffee brewers. later claimed Modellbahnen parts. harpsichord plectra. sliding and guiding elements. pump parts. articulated shells. bobbins. Bagpipes. valve bodies. housing parts. Vehicle: Fuel sender unit. Music: picks. turn signal). tuba mouthpieces . or irradiation such as electron beam processing. such as handles and reciprocating bolts.pod holder for point Packaging: aerosol cans. Practice chanters. for example). Construction: Structural Glass . POM is also used in airsoft guns. but in bright translucent colors. knife handles (particularly folding knives) The Food and Drug Administration has approved Delrin for use in the food industry. springs. parts for electronic devices such as televisions. or even curtains roles. IWC Porsche Design 3701) Thermosetting polymer A thermosetting plastic. High abrasion resistance Low coefficient of friction High heat resistance Good electrical and dielectric properties Low water absorption Usage Mechanical gears. through a chemical reaction (two-part epoxy. screws. telephones. The cure may be done through heat (generally above 200 °C (392 °F)). Sports: Paintball accessories. chains. vehicle tanks. also known as a thermoset. fan wheels. Model: Thin. Others are solids like that of the molding compound . Electrical Engineering: insulators. connectors. door lock systems.
and are also better suited to high-temperature applications up to the decomposition temperature. Energy and/or catalysts are added that cause the molecular chains to react at chemically active sites (unsaturated or epoxy sites. Process The curing process transforms the resin into a plastic or rubber by a cross-linking process. However. A cured thermosetting polymer is called a thermoset. except as filler material. or both. a phenol-formaldehyde resin used in electrical insulators and plasticware Duroplast. linking into a rigid. Therefore. the molecular weight has increased to a point so that the melting point is higher than the surrounding ambient temperature. the material forms into a solid material. they are more brittle. for example). Many thermosetting polymers are difficult to recycle. Examples Some examples of thermosets are given below: Polyester fibreglass systems: sheet molding compounds and bulk molding compounds) Vulcanized rubber Bakelite.used in semiconductors and integrated circuits (IC). insoluble polymer network by curing. resulting in a material with a higher melting point. particleboard and medium-density fiberboard Melamine resin used on worktop surfaces Epoxy resin used as the matrix component in many fiber reinforced plastics such as glass reinforced plastic and graphite-reinforced plastic) Polyimides used in printed circuit boards and in body parts of modern airplanes Cyanate esters or polycyanurates for electronics applications with high demands on dielectric properties and high glass temperature requirements in composites Mold or mold runners (the black plastic part in integrated circuits or semiconductors) . According to IUPAC recommendation: A thermosetting polymer is a prepolymer in a soft solid or viscous state that changes irreversibly into an infusible. Properties Thermoset materials are generally stronger than thermoplastic materials due to this three dimensional network of bonds (cross-linking). Once hardened a thermoset resin cannot be reheated and melted back to a liquid form. This implies that thermosets cannot be recycled. similar to bakelite used for making car parts Urea-formaldehyde foam used in plywood. 3-D structure. a thermoset material cannot be melted and re-shaped after it is cured. light but strong material. The crosslinking process forms a molecule with a larger molecular weight. Curing can be induced by the action of heat or suitable radiation. Uncontrolled reheating of the material results in reaching the decomposition temperature before the melting point is obtained. During the reaction.
which propagate in a chain reaction to other unsaturated bonds in adjacent molecules. threads of fabric and insulation for electrical cables) Compression molding (used to shape most thermosetting plastics) Spin casting (used for producing fishing lures and jigs. plicatic acid. Unsaturated polyesters are condensation polymers formed by the reaction of polyols (also known as polyhydric alcohols). emblems as well as production and replacement parts) Fig1: abietic acid. pimaric acid Isophthalic-acid Polyester resins are unsaturated resins formed by the reaction of dibasic organic acids and polyhydric alcohols. Polyester resins are used in sheet moulding compound. The initial free radicals are induced by adding a compound that easily decomposes into free radicals. figurines. Water. linking them in the process. This is done by creating free radicals at unsaturated bonds. gaming miniatures. is continuously removed. Wall panels fabricated from polyester resins reinforced with fiberglass — so-called fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) — are typically used in restaurants.Some methods of molding thermosets are: Reactive injection molding (used for objects such as milk bottle crates) Extrusion molding (used for making pipes. kitchens. restrooms and other areas that require washable low-maintenance walls. acids used are phthalic acid and maleic acid. Typical polyols used are glycols such as ethylene glycol. organic compounds with multiple alcohol or hydroxy functional groups. The use of unsaturated polyesters and additives such as styrene lowers the viscosity of the resin. The initially liquid resin is converted to a solid by cross-linking chains. with saturated or unsaturated dibasic acids. a by-product of esterification reactions. driving the reaction to completion. This compound is usually and incorrectly . bulk moulding compound and the toner of laser printers.
when stress is applied the vulcanized rubber deforms. and hockey pucks. which lets the material change shape. As a result." These additives modify the polymer by forming cross links (bridges) between individual polymer chains.known as the catalyst . The use of excessive catalyst can. when stress is applied the vulcanized rubber deforms. Process . Hard vulcanized rubber is sometimes sold under the brand names ebonite or vulcanite. Vulcanized materials are less sticky and have superior mechanical properties. therefore. cure exothermically. Natural vs. it is a poor material when a high level of elasticity is required. Substances used are generally organic peroxides such as benzoyl peroxide or methyl ethyl ketone peroxide. Polyester resins are thermosetting and. shoe soles. the article reverts to its original shape. cause charring or even ignition during the curing process. These chains can move independently relative to each other. As a result. and is brittle when cold. Excessive catalyst may also cause the product to fracture or form a rubbery material. as with other resins. but upon release of the stress. hoses. A vast array of products is made with vulcanized rubber including tires. The reason for inelastic deformation of un-vulcanized rubber can be found in its chemical structure: rubber is composed of long polymer chains. Vulcanization or vulcanisation is a chemical process for converting rubber or related polymers into more durable materials via the addition of sulfur or other equivalent "curatives. Fig: Natural rubber after vulcanization Cross linking introduced by vulcanization prevents the polymer chains from moving independently. from moving independently but upon release of the stress the article reverts to its original shape. In this state. and is used to make hard articles such as bowling balls and saxophone mouth pieces. The process is named after Vulcan. deforms easily when warm. Roman god of fire. vulcanized rubber Uncured natural rubber is sticky.
A typical vulcanization temperature for a passenger tire is 10 minutes at 170 °C. ultimately. which are used for most passenger tires. including peroxide-based systems. for instance to make door profiles for cars. Without good flexing properties these movements rapidly form cracks and. use hot air vulcanization or microwave heated vulcanization (both continuous processes). The number of sulfur atoms in the crosslink strongly influences the physical properties of the final rubber article. This type of vulcanization is called compression molding. 3. Vulcanization methods A variety of methods exist for vulcanization. The "cure package" is adjusted specifically for the substrate and the application. Sulfur systems Peroxides Urethane crosslinkers Metallic oxides Duece .. Crosslinks with higher number of sulfur atoms give the rubber good dynamic properties but with lesser heat resistance. some of these C-H bonds are replaced by chains of sulfur atoms that link with a cure site of another polymer chain. e. but other technologies are known. The reactive sites—"cure sites"—are allylic hydrogen atoms. "Vulcanization curve" showing the increase in viscosity of the polymeric material during crosslinking. They are: 1. the movement of a side-wall of a running tire. Other methods. These C-H bonds are adjacent to carbon-carbon double bonds. The steepness of the curve is strongly affected by the nature of the accelerators and other additives.Vulcanization is generally irreversible. similar to other thermosets and in contrast to thermoplastic processes (the melt-freeze process) that characterize the behavior of most modern polymers. 5. The cross-linking is usually done with sulfur. The economically most important method (vulcanization of tires) uses high pressure and temperature. 4. These bridges contain between one and eight atoms. make the rubber article fail. Dynamic properties are important for flexing movements of the rubber article. The main polymers subjected to vulcanization are polyisoprene (natural rubber) and styrenebutadiene rubber (SBR). During vulcanization. Six types of curing systems are in common use.g. The rubber article is intended to adopt the shape of the mold. 2. Short crosslinks give the rubber better heat resistance.
most commonly derived from petrochemicals. or nitrogen as well. as well as high temperatures and long heating periods are necessary and one obtains an unsatisfactory crosslinking efficiency with unsatisfactory strength and aging properties. The multiplicity of vulcanization effects demanded cannot be achieved with one universal substance. To customize the properties of a plastic. relatively inert and inexpensive materials that make the product cheaper by weight. a large number of diverse additives. Plastics : A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids that are moldable. Only with vulcanization accelerators can the quality corresponding to today's level of technology be achieved. This fine tuning of the properties of the polymer by repeating unit's molecular structure has allowed plastics to become an indispensable part of the twenty-first century world." are necessary. by itself. chalk. Typically fillers are mineral in origin. The accelerators and activators are catalysts. The structure of these "side chains" influence the properties of the polymer. but many are partially natural. Acetoxysilane Vulcanization with sulfur By far the most common vulcanizing methods depend on sulfur. They are usually synthetic. Fillers improve performance and/or reduce production costs. but they often contain other substances. large amounts of sulfur. Plastics are typically organic polymers of high molecular mass.. An additional level of control is achieved by retarding agents that inhibit vulcanization until some optimal time or temperature. Antidegradants are used to prevent degradation of the vulcanized product by heat. Additives Most plastics contain other organic or inorganic compounds blended in. The combined cure package in a typical rubber compound consist of sulfur together with an assortment of compounds that modify the kinetics of crosslinking and stabilize the final product. These additives include accelerators. oxygen and ozone. The amount of additives ranges from zero percentage for polymers used to wrap foods to more than 50% for certain electronic applications. The backbone is that part of the chain on the main "path" linking a large number of repeat units together.6. Stabilizing additives include fire retardants to lower the flammability of the material.g. The average content of additives is 20% by weight of the polymer. e. different molecular groups "hang" from the backbone (usually they are "hung" as part of the monomers before linking monomers together to form the polymer chain). comprising the "cure package. is a slow vulcanizing agent and does not vulcanize synthetic polyolefins. sulfur. The vast majority of these polymers are based on chains of carbon atoms alone or with oxygen. Sulfur. Even with natural rubber. . Many plastics contain fillers. Some fillers are more chemically active and are called reinforcing agents. activators like zinc oxide and stearic acid and antidegradants. Composition: Most plastics contain organic polymers.
such as density. polyurethanes. a chemical reaction occurs that is irreversible. water or dampness. after they have solidified. elastomer. they stay solid. Examples of such classes are the thermoplastic and thermoset. while thermosets are assumed to have infinite molecular weight. bacteria. polyaddition. although their weight contribution is small. glass transition temperature. silicones. such as . and resistance to various chemical products. and electrically conductive. such as condensation. Biodegradability Biodegradable plastics break down (degrade) upon exposure to sunlight (e. they are blended with plasticizers. polyesters.. wind abrasion. and in some instances. rodent. Thermoplastics and thermosetting polymers There are two types of plastics: thermoplastics and thermosetting polymers. polystyrene. Common thermoplastics range from 20. Some researchers have actually genetically engineered bacteria that synthesize a completely biodegradable plastic. In the thermosetting process. Thermoplastics are the plastics that do not undergo chemical change in their composition when heated and can be molded again and again. but it still does not lead to complete breakdown of the plastic. known as repeat units. Some modes of degradation require that the plastic be exposed at the surface. and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).Since many organic polymers are too rigid for particular applications. derived from monomers.000 amu. polypropylene. These chains are made up of many repeating molecular units. Examples include polyethylene. structural. ultra-violet radiation). Other classifications Other classifications are based on qualities that are relevant for manufacturing or product design. the polyisoprene is a tacky. but this material. and cross-linking.000 to 500. or insect attack are also included as forms of biodegradation or environmental degradation. enzymes.g. slightly runny material. Classification Plastics are usually classified by their chemical structure of the polymer's backbone and side chains. Many of the controversies associated with plastics are associated with the additives. whereas other modes will only be effective if certain conditions exist in landfill or composting systems. Plastics can also be classified by various physical properties. pest. Some important groups in these classifications are the acrylics. The vulcanization of rubber is a thermosetting process. Plastics can also be classified by the chemical process used in their synthesis. Colorants are common additives. Thermosets can melt and take shape once. polyvinyl chloride. tensile strength. biodegradable. and halogenated plastics. but after vulcanization the product is rigid and non-tacky. oily compounds that confer improved rheology. Before heating with sulfur. Starch powder has been mixed with plastic as a filler to allow it to degrade more easily. each polymer chain will have several thousand repeating units.
The German chemical company BASF makes Ecoflex. such as polystyrene and its copolymers. collagen.g. giving them both a melting point (the temperature at which the attractive intermolecular forces are overcome) and one or more glass transitions (temperatures above which the extent of localized molecular flexibility is substantially increased).Biopol. Crystalline vs amorphous Some plastics are partially crystalline and partially amorphous in molecular structure. Parkesine Parkesine was made from cellulose (the major component of plant cell walls) treated with nitric acid as a solvent. Many storied materials were reported as industrial chemistry was developed in the 1800s. Materials that mimicked the properties of horns were developed by treating milk-proteins (casein) with lye. chewing gum. poly (methyl methacrylate). The so-called semi-crystalline plastics include polyethylene. Many plastics are completely amorphous. The development of plastics has come from the use of natural plastic materials (e. After the First World War. which are organic polymers. it could be made to resemble ivory. Motivated by the finiteness of petrochemical reserves and possibility of global warming. epoxy.. improvements in chemical technology led to an explosion in new forms of plastics. polyvinyl chloride).g. Bakelite. In the 1800s the development of plastics accelerated with Charles Goodyear's discovery of vulcanization as a route to thermoset materials derived from natural rubber.. nitrocellulose. polyamides (nylons). polyesters and some polyurethanes.g. In the early 1900s. and all thermosets. is expensive at present. . bakelite. polypropylene. shellac) to the use of chemically modified natural materials (e. History Early plastics were bio-derived materials such as egg and blood proteins. bioplastics are being developed. galalite) and finally to completely synthetic molecules (e. The output of the process (commonly known as cellulose nitrate or pyroxilin) could be dissolved in alcohol and hardened into a transparent and elastic material that could be molded when heated. poly (vinyl chloride). a fully biodegradable polyester for food packaging applications. By incorporating pigments into the product.. Among the earliest examples in the wave of new polymers were polystyrene (PS) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). the first fully synthetic thermoset was reported by Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland. Bioplastics are made substantially from renewable plant materials such as cellulose and starch. Natural vs synthetic Most plastics are produced from petrochemicals. Treated cattle horns were used as windows for lanterns in the Middle Ages. rubber.
enclosures for computers and other electronics gear. It would also be the basis for one of the most popular "foamed" plastics. house siding. high impact styrene was introduced. and rain gear. In the late 1950s. not derived from living matter. heat and weather resistant.Bakelite The first so called plastic based on a synthetic polymer was made from phenol and formaldehyde. requiring that Baekeland build pressure vessels to force out the bubbles and provide a smooth. or slate dust to create strong and fire resistant "composite" materials. asbestos. commonly called "vinyl") incorporates chlorine atoms. Representative polymers Polystyrene is a rigid. gutters. and "closed cell". Foam plastics can be synthesized in an "open cell" form. and in this form it is now used for shrink-wrap. in a meeting of the American Chemical Society. in which the foam bubbles are interconnected. as in an absorbent sponge. strong. brittle. inexpensive plastic that has been used to make plastic model kits and similar knick-knacks. Bakelite was a purely synthetic material. in which all the bubbles are distinct. coming into widespread use in consumer goods and jewelry in the 1920s. It finds much current use as the substance of toy figurines and novelties. properties that recommend its use in devices for plumbing. as he announced in 1909. as in gas-filled foam insulation and flotation devices. food packaging. When combining phenol (C6H5OH) and formaldehyde (HCOH) formed a sticky mass and later found that the material could be mixed with wood flour. under the name styrene foam or Styrofoam. The C-Cl bonds in the backbone are hydrophobic and resist oxidation (and burning). Bakelite was originally used for electrical and mechanical parts. PVC is stiff. PVC can also be softened with chemical processing. Styrene polymerization Polyvinyl chloride Polyvinyl chloride (PVC. which was not brittle. . like tiny balloons. It was also an early thermosetting plastic. The new material tended to foam during synthesis. uniform product.
6 and 4. introduced by DuPont Corporation at the 1939 World's Fair in New York City. or "nylon mania". photographic film or paper (mylar is preferable). He took some of the first steps in the molecular design of the materials. DuPont went back to selling nylon to the public. DuPont had begun a secret development project designated Fiber66. Carothers had been hired to perform pure research. . In 1927. triggering the so called nylon riots. General condensation polymerization reaction for nylon It took DuPont twelve years and US$27 million to refine nylon. as well as polyesters. The first application was for bristles for toothbrushes. With such a major investment. After the war ended. particularly silk stockings. which was very strong but also very flexible. and to synthesize and develop the industrial processes for bulk manufacture. Carothers and his team synthesized a number of different polyamides including polyamide 6. Because hydrogen chloride readily combines with water vapor in the air to form hydrochloric acid. far better known by its trade name nylon. Du Pont's real target was silk. or just nylons. However. The production capacity that had been built up to produce nylon stockings. and he worked to understand the new materials' molecular structure and physical properties. creating a public sensation. under the direction of Harvard chemist Wallace Carothers and chemistry department director Elmer Keiser Bolton. His work led to the discovery of synthetic nylon fiber.6. engaging in another promotional campaign in 1946 that resulted in an even bigger craze. polyvinyl chloride is not recommended for long-term archival storage of silver. hydrogen chloride is released into the atmosphere and oxidation of the compound occurs. it was no surprise that Du Pont spared little expense to promote nylon after its introduction.Vinylchloride polymerization All PVC polymers are degraded by heat and light. for American women was taken over to manufacture vast numbers of parachutes for fliers and paratroopers. When this happens. Nylon The plastics industry was revolutionized in the 1930s with the announcement of polyamide (PA). Nylon was the first purely synthetic fiber. Nylon mania came to an abrupt stop at the end of 1941 when the USA entered World War II.
valve seats. glass. e. and 12 have been developed based on monomers which are ring compounds. horn and bone. a milky colloidal suspension found in the sap of some plants.S. Charles Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber. 11. Nylons still remain important plastics. versatility. the first appearance of rubber in Europe was cloth waterproofed with unvulcanized latex from Brazil). and they would also play a significant part in the civilian space effort. plain bearings. stone. in most of their former uses. supply blockades of natural rubber from South East Asia caused a boom in development of synthetic rubber. was only 231 tonnes which increased to 840.000 tonnes in 1945. Ultimately. ease of manufacture. particularly if oil-impregnated. However. In the space race and nuclear arms race. they are still no match for most metals like copper which have conductivities of several hundreds kS/cm. and ceramic. and imperviousness to water. in 1839. In World War II. Nylon 66 is a material manufactured by condensation polymerization. caprolactam. metal. Polyester (PES) – Fibers. density. organic solvents. 10. plastics are used in an enormous and expanding range of products. Caltech researchers experimented with using synthetic rubbers for solid fuel for rockets.g. increasingly for under-the-hood applications in cars. Properties of plastics The properties of plastics are defined chiefly by the organic chemistry of the polymer such as hardness. Rubber Natural rubber is an elastomer (an elastic hydrocarbon polymer) that was originally derived from latex. and resistance to heat. They have already displaced many traditional materials. and not just for use in fabrics. annual production of synthetic rubber in the U. forming cross-links between polymer chains (vulcanization). oxidation. leather. and other mechanical parts. a form of natural rubber heated with sulfur (and a few other chemicals). textiles. seals and because of good heat-resistance. In its bulk form it is very wear resistant. improving elasticity and durability. In particular.Subsequently polyamides 6. Common plastics and uses Due to their relatively low cost. . and ionizing radiation. notably styrene-butadiene rubber. It is useful directly in this form (indeed. such as wood. with the conductivity of up to 80 kS/cm in stretchoriented polyacetylene. from paper clips to spaceships. and so is used to build gears. paper. In 1941. all large military rockets and missiles would use synthetic rubber based solid fuels. While plastics can be made electrically conductive. most plastics will melt upon heating to a few hundred degrees celsius. Synthetic rubber The first fully synthetic rubber was synthesized by Sergei Lebedev in 1910.
keyboards). thermoplastic found converted into a variety of aliphatic polyesters derived from lactic acid which in turn can be made by fermentation of various agricultural products such as corn starch. for instance the most commonly used plastic in cars). drinking straws. clamshell packaging. Polyetherimide (PEI) (Ultem) – A high temperature. plastic tableware. computer monitors.g. thermal insulation foams. that can be molded by heat and pressure when mixed with a filler-like wood flour or can be cast in its unfilled liquid form or cast as foam (e. Perspex. siding.. car fenders (bumpers). security windows. eyeglasses. printing rollers (Currently 6th or 7th most commonly used plastic material. with the familiar trade name Bakelite. Formica). microwavable packaging. High impact polystyrene (HIPS) -: Refrigerator liners. Used for insulating parts in electrical fixtures. Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) – Contact lenses (of the original "hard" variety). Polylactic acid (PLA) – A biodegradable. shower curtains.and heat-resistant thermoplastic. printers. brown).g. food packaging. chemically stable polymer that does not crystallize. Polypropylene (PP) – Bottle caps. Oasis). drainage pipe. window frames. paper laminated products (e. Used in car interior and exterior parts. yogurt containers. plastic bottles. glazing (best known in this form by its various trade names around the world. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – Plumbing pipes and guttering. thermoplastic composed of modified corn starch. relatively heat resistant. appliances. Problems include the probability of moldings naturally being dark colors (red. peanut butter jars. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) – Detergent bottles.. under-the-hood car engine moldings. cutlery. toothbrush bristles..g. disposable cups. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) – Outdoor furniture. aerospace moldings. plates and bowls for children) and the decorated top surface layer of the paper laminates (e. fishing line. Plastarch material – Biodegradable and heat resistant. riot shields. for instance in moldings (e. flooring. Oroglas. biocompatibility allows for use in medical implant applications.g. and molded plastic cases. Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) – Strong. and as thermoset it is difficult to recycle. Polyamides (PA) (Nylons) – Fibers. Polycarbonate/Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (PC/ABS) – A blend of PC and ABS that creates a stronger plastic. once made from dairy products. surface coatings. Formica). plastic pressure pipe systems. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – Carbonated drinks bottles.g. chemical.g. and excellent fire resistant polymer. Special purpose plastics Melamine formaldehyde (MF) – One of the aminoplasts.. food containers. Phenolics (PF) or (phenol formaldehydes) – High modulus. Polystyrene (PS) – Packaging foam/"peanuts". Polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) (Saran) – Food packaging. Polyethylene (PE) – Wide range of inexpensive uses including supermarket bags. floor tiles. plates. CD and cassette boxes. Polycarbonate (PC) – Compact discs. lenses. It is a thermosetting plastic. . traffic lights. vending cups. green. shower curtains. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) – Electronic equipment cases (e. milk jugs.. Polyurethanes (PU) – Cushioning foams. and used as a multi-colorable alternative to phenolics. plastic film.. thermally insulation foams. One of the most expensive commercial polymers. e. and mobile phone bodies. break-resistance alternatives to ceramic cups.
rear light covers for vehicles. The common word plastic should not be confused with the technical adjective plastic. fibers. low-friction coatings. some plastics will break before deforming and therefore are not plastic in the technical sense. plumber's tape and water slides. Etymology The word plastic is derived from the Greek πλαστικός (plastikos) meaning capable of being shaped or molded. or extruded into a variety of shapes—such as films. exhibits plasticity in this sense. boxes. fluorescent light diffusers. for instance. Used as a wood adhesive (for plywood. which is applied to any material which undergoes a permanent change of shape (plastic deformation) when strained beyond a certain point. in contrast. It is more commonly known as Teflon. that allows them to be cast. plates. but is not plastic in the common sense. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) – Heat-resistant. or plasticity during manufacture. bottles. chipboard. pressed. It forms the basis of artistic and commercial acrylic paints when suspended in water with the use of other agents. from πλαστός (plastos) meaning molded. Urea-formaldehyde (UF) – One of the aminoplasts and used as a multi-colorable alternative to phenolics. Plexiglas). Aluminum which is stamped or forged. and much more. tubes. hardboard) and electrical switch housings. in their finished forms. used in things like nonstick surfaces for frying pans. . aglets. It refers to their malleability.