Category: Material Science & Metallurgy

Plastics | 2 Types Of Plastics | Ultimate Guide To Classification Of Plastics


Types Of Plastics | Classification Of Plastics

What are Plastics?

Plastics is a broad word that refers to a variety of plastic or semi-synthetic materials that are used in a wide range of applications. Plastics can be used almost everywhere. Plastic goods help us live a cleaner, simpler, stronger, and more satisfying life. Plastics can be found in the clothing we wear, the homes we live in, and the automobiles we drive. Plastics are used in the toys we play with, the screens we watch, the IT instruments we use, and the surgical devices we use.

Plastics are a material that is made up mainly of macromolecules, that can be made fluid by the action of heating and pressurizing, and that can be processed into end products with any useful shape you want to make.

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Classification of Plastics

Plastics can be classified into:

1. Thermoplastics and Thermosets

2. Amorphous Thermoplastics and Crystalline Thermoplastics

3. Commodity Plastics and Engineering Plastics

4. Thermoplastics and thermosets are the two major forms of plastics.

Thermoplastics Vs Thermosets

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Thermoplastics Elastomer

• TPE – thermoplastic elastomer
• Resemble rubber at room temperature
• Can be melt-processed like other thermoplastics
• Become elastic like rubber when cooled

  • TPEs have the elasticity of a cross-linked rubber, despite the fact that they are thermoplastic. Their softness or hardness value, as measured on the Shore durometer scale, is a key predictor. TPEs are available as very soft gel materials from 20 Shore OO to 90 Shore A, at which point they join the Shore D scale and can be manufactured to provide hardness values up to 85 Shore D, which designates a very hard substance.

Amorphous Thermoplastics Vs. Crystalline Thermoplastics

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 Thermo sets Classifications

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Commodity Plastics Vs Engineering Plastics

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Engineering plastics vary from commodity plastics in that they are manufactured to survive mechanical and environmental pressures that commodity plastics are not. Engineering plastics have a wide range of uses, but they are not commercially manufactured to the same extent as consumer plastics.

Plastic is a polymeric plastic with the ability to be formed or shaped, typically with the use of heat and pressure. Plasticity, which is often combined with other unique properties including low density, low electrical conductivity, transparency, and hardness, enables plastics to be made into a wide range of products. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) beverage bottles, adjustable garden hoses made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), insulating food containers made of foamed polystyrene, and shatterproof windows made of poly methyl methotrexate are only a few examples.

Plastics | Utility Of Plastics | Engineering Plastics

Utility of Plastics

Plastics are excellent materials with unique and very useful properties. You can produce just about anything you can imagine using plastics.

Solid, lightweight plastics help us live happier lives while still leading to sustainability in a variety of ways, all of which are based on plastics’ ability to help us do more for less.

Plastics contribute to environmental protection by eliminating waste, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, and conserving electricity at home, work, and on the road. Plastic packaging allows consumers to transport more goods with fewer packaging content, extending the shelf life of fresh foods and drinks and reducing both food and packaging waste.

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Characteristics of Plastics

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History Of Plastics:

1. Before Plastics—Age of the Natural Resins

  • Rubber—Tough elastic substance (light cream or dark amber
    colored) from the milky juice (sap) of rubber tree
  • Ebonite—Hard black rubber; natural rubber + sulfur
  • Gutta-Percha—Dark brown substance like natural rubber
  • Shellac—dark-brown material from lac insects

2. Bakelite—The First True Synthetic Plastics

  • Leo Hendrik Baekeland invented Bakelite from coal
  • Bakelite helped make 20th century “The Age of Electricity”

01-Reaction to produce plastics-plastic formation-industrial plastic manufacturing-plastic production methods3. Industrialization of Major Plastics

YearType of plasticsNote
1872Celluloid (Hyatt, USA)Semi-synthetic
1910Phenolic resin, “Bakelite” (Baekeland, USA)From coal
1931Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) (Rohm and Haas, Ger-many)From coal
1935Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) (IG Farben, Germany)From coal
1935Polystyrene (IG Farben, Germany)From oil
1938Nylon 6 (IG Farben, Germany)
1939Nylon 66 (DuPont, USA)From coal
1939High-pressure low-density polyethylene (LDPE) (ICI, Eng-land)
1953Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) (DuPont, USA)
1953Low-pressure high-density polyethylene (HDPE) (Montecatini, Italy)Ziegler catalyst
1955Medium-pressure high-density polyethylene (HDPE) (Phillips, USA)Phillips catalyst
1957Low-pressure high-density polyethylene (HDPE) (Hoechst, Germany)Ziegler catalyst
1959Polypropylene (Montecatini, Italy)
1977Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) (UCC, USA)
1991Metallocene very-low-density polyethylene (VLDPE) (Exxon, USA)Metallocene cata-lyst

4. Concept of High Molecular Weight Compounds & Polymers

  • Herman Staudinger, German chemist, proposed a new theory that several thousands of reactive units bonded together in chains and form giant molecules to make up cellulose and rubber
  • In 1920, Staudinger proposed calling such materials: high molecular weight compounds, macromolecules, or polymers.

5. Nylon—The First Tailor-Made Plastics

  • 1931 – Fiber 66 was produced, later called Nylon 66 in 1938

6. What Really Is Plastic?

A plastic is a synthetic or man-made material that resembles natural resins used in trees and other plants in several respects. Polymers are described as “any of various complex organic compounds formed by polymerization, capable of being shaped, extruded, cast into various shapes and films, or drawn into filaments and used as textile fibres” according to Webster’s Dictionary.