And, although most have excellent thermal and electrical insulation properties, some plastics can be made to conduct electricity when required. Plastics are easy to mould into any shape, and they can take on any colour. They resist damage by water, heat, chemicals, and electricity. But what happens after we throw it away is causing a big problem for our planet. Learn about plastics and how they improve our lives. The relatively low density of most plastics gives plastic products the advantages of light weight. Todd Johnson has worked on the development, commercialization, and sales sides of the composites industry since 2004. There is a huge percentage of plastic in your television, your sound system, your cell phone, and your vacuum cleaner and probably plastic foam in your furniture. It takes about 10 bottles to make enough plastic fiber to make a cool new t-shirt. We are getting wiser, and now many plastics can be chemically, mechanically, or thermally recycled. Plastics don't corrode, though they can degrade in UV, a component of sunlight, and can be affected by solvents. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews materials to be used in food contact before allowing them on the market using a rigorous safety standard. Read more: Understanding Risk and Hazard When it Comes to Chemicals. It can be produced from already existing manufacturing equipment (those designed and originally used for petrochemical industry plastics). 1 for beer. It is the most widely used plastic in the world, being made into products ranging from clear food wrap and shopping bags to detergent bottles and fuel tanks. We had to work with the materials that nature provided, but no more—we now design our own materials. Plastic pipe is a tubular section, or hollow cylinder, made of plastic.It is usually, but not necessarily, of circular cross-section, used mainly to convey substances which can flow—liquids and gases (fluids), slurries, powders and masses of small solids. The first type of greenhouse plastic is called polyethylene plastic. Due to the resistance to fatigue, this means that it can be used on items that are going to have high stress, such as hinge mechanisms on water bottles and more. Print Read more: Six Ways Chemistry Helps Kids Get Back to School, Read more: Answering Questions about Microbeads. Because many plastics are so durable and don't corrode, they create considerable disposal problems. Find information on the wide variety of plastics used in hundreds of household and consumer products. The raw materials for today’s plastics come from many places (some even use salt! Some plastics are hard and shatter-resistant, others are soft and flexible. Here's why: 1 | Durable and safe Our prime concern is the safety and wellbeing of our customers. One of the most unusual uses for brightly hued ABS plastic is … Some plastics have additives that make them bacteria- or fire-resistant; or give them a rainbow of colors; or make them flexible; or fill them with bubbles to make them better insulators; or even add fibers to make high-tech composites. It comes from a non-renewable source (petroleum), it is contaminating and non-biodegradable (it can take more than 1000 years to decompose). HDPE – High density Polyethylene Plastics are used in car parts and for all kinds of storage. They are corrosion resistant to many substances which attack other materials, making them durable and suitable for use in harsh environments. And plastics in packaging help keep foods safe and fresh. Additionally, because many plastics are based ultimately on crude oil, there is a continuous rise in the cost of raw materials that chemical engineers are trying to workaround. Alternatives include exfoliation materials made from ground fruit seeds, healing clay and jojoba oil, or water-soluble particles such as salt or sugar, generally combined with oils, or the classic method of exfoliation: a brush. It is a favorite material for children's clarinets and recorders, protective helmets and canoes. Trains, planes, and automobiles, even ships, satellites, and space stations, use plastics extensively. It's easy to dismiss plastics as cheap and nasty materials that wreck the planet, but if you look around you, the reality is different. In addition, plastics can be made in many colors. At Curver we make the most of its versatility to create a wide range of household products designed to make your daily life easier. Plastics are used to make bicycle helmets, child safety seats and airbags in automobiles. It is also used in manufacturing piping systems, as well as chairs, and in medical or laboratory use. It will not crack under repeated stress. They’re in the cell phones, televisions, computers and other electronic equipment that makes modern life possible. For example, plastic packaging is used to keep food fresh and hygienic. (For some reason, guys don't like to drink beer from plastic.) As this production increases, "sustainable" feedstock for the plastic industry will become more widely available. Crude oil is a complex mixture of thousands of compounds and needs to be processed before it can be used. He also writes about the industry. When it is recycled, it is made into pipes, … We used to build ships from wood and planes from string (hemp) and canvas (cotton/flax). Use the search box to find information on the chemicals that are essential to the products you use every day. We still must solve the disposal issue, which is being actively addressed through materials research, recycling policies, and enhanced public awareness. What are Plastics: the Chemistry. It is used predominantly as a fiber (known by the trade name “polyester”) and for bottling or packaging. Most home centers will carry the utility grade. We had to work with the materials that nature provided, but no more—we now design our own materials. About 11% of these are waste bins, 5% are plastic sheets, and 1% are moulds. A wide variety of what are plastics used for options are available to you, such as plastic, pvc, and abs. Plastics are extremely versatile materials and are ideal for a wide range of consumer and industrial applications. PVC plastic, for example, is soluble in acetone. For example, HDPE, or high density polyethylene, is very tough, and is used to make rigid plastic containers such as milk jugs, film, piping, and beverage bottles. Whatever mode of transport you pick, you'll find plastic used extensively in: It takes 63 bottles to make a sweater. Use as a hot melt adhesive. It’s a Matter of Chemistry. Trains, planes, and automobiles, even ships, satellites, and space stations, use plastics extensively. There are several different types of plastic resin used to make different products. Get facts about plastics, discover plastics history and read about the diverse types of plastics. Plastic bags — like those used for bread, newspapers and as cereal box liners, as well as sandwich bags, dry cleaning bags and grocery bags — create similar problems for recycling machinery as … XPE, XLPE, PE-Xb, PEX, Crosslinked Polyethylene: Semi-Flexible, waxy or greasy feel, softens when heated but does not melt: Gas tanks, kayaks, canoes, trash cans, use is declining: Method AW-3 with polyethylene rod (R04 series). Plastics are everywhere. The food might be wrapped in PVC cling film, your yogurt is probably in plastic tubs, cheese in plastic wrap, and water and milk in blow-molded plastic containers. This means that they keep warm things warm and cool things cool. Plastics are used to make bicycle helmets, child safety seats and airbags in automobiles. We now have biofuel for automobiles, and the feedstock for that fuel grows on the land. Plastic is a practical material. Plastics that are derived from biomass (e.g. A wide range of applications of plastics in buildings are given below: 1. Practically, plastic benefits us in society with the sheer number of uses we can get out of it (and how important some of these uses are). There was a time when anything made of plastic was considered to be of inferior quality, but those days are past. OK. A very loaded question, with a very multi-dimension answer required: * Plastics derive from pure substances, and can be precisely formed into specific shapes repetitively, with potentially variable material properties throughout the “object”. When it comes to canned beer, though, you will find that the inside of the can is often lined with a plastic polymer. There are about 50 main types of plastic. We used to build ships from wood and planes from string (hemp) and canvas (cotton/flax). Polyethylene is a member of the important family of polyolefin resins. A number of plastics are used to package, deliver, store or serve foods and drinks. They’re in the roofs, walls, flooring and insulation that make homes and buildings energy efficient. In mechanical exfoliation, water-insoluble abrasive agents—microbeads made of plastic—are frequently used. Take a look in the kitchen and you might see a plastic chair or bar stool seats, plastic countertops (acrylic composites), plastic linings (PTFE) in your nonstick cooking pans, and plastic plumbing in your water system. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience and for our, Everything You Need to Know About Plastics, A Brief History of the Invention of Plastics, Examples of Petrochemicals and Petroleum Products, The Safest Type of Water Bottle to Drink From, Plastic Definition and Examples in Chemistry, B.S., Business Management, University of Colorado Boulder. Unless your floor covering is real wood, it probably has a synthetic/natural fiber blend like some of the clothes you wear. PETE is a durable, transparent plastic commonly used to make beverage and food product bottles and jars as well as microwaveable food trays and ovenproof plastic wrap. Polyethylene Plastic. Alibaba.com offers 163 what are plastics used for products. Some are trans… Some plastics are soft while others are hard, almost like glass. Since all materials in contact with foods can have tiny amounts of substances transfer into the food, the FDA reviews scientific tests to determine how much is transferred and that any transfer does not pose a risk to human health. You use them every day. This property of plasticity , often found in combination with other special properties such as low density , low electrical conductivity, transparency, and toughness, allows plastics to be made into a great variety of products. Recycled plastic is used to make many different types of products. If you want cars, toys, replacement body parts, medical adhesives, paints, computers, water pipes, fiber-optic cables, and a million other things, you'll need plastics as well. Plastics are a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic compounds that are malleable and so can be molded into solid objects. Most plastics are strong, long-lasting, and lightweight. You are probably wearing plastic right now, maybe a polyester/cotton mix garment or even glasses or a watch with plastic components. sustainable, durable, long-lasting design and construction, From computers and cell phones to televisions and microwaves, durable, lightweight and affordable plastics have helped revolutionize the, Find information on what the number on the bottom of many. Polyethylene, light, versatile synthetic resin made from the polymerization of ethylene. There are two basic classes of plastics along with seven popular types of plastics. They have countless uses. There are many reasons for this, but plastic’s lightweight and durable nature certainly assist in making it an ideal candidate for outdoor structures. The production of plastics begins with the distillation of crude oil in an oil refinery. The versatility of plastic materials comes from the ability to mold, laminate or shape them and to tailor them physically and chemically. At present, plastics find use in buildings mainly in thin coverings, panels, sheets, foams, pipes etc. Plastic toys. Plastics are increasingly being used to construct greenhouse panels, playgrounds, outdoor furniture, and other structures that were previously dominated by materials such as wood and glass. There is a plastic suitable for almost any application. Use backing plate over holes, layer in fiberglass cloth for extra strength. The type of plastic that would be used in a plastic fitting is a type of thermoplastic called PVC, or polyvinyl chloride. skilful use of plastics will expand the usefulness and life of conventional building materials and help them to function more efficiently and economically. If you drink water from a bottle, that bottle is most likely plastic. When recycled, it becomes part of new plastic containers, carpet yarns, polyester textiles, strapping materials and molds used in engineering. They’re in the roofs, walls, flooring and insulation that make homes and buildings energy efficient. PLASTICS: Plastics are polymers of chemical units which are linked together. Plastic is the third most commonly used petroleum derivative in the world; each year 200 million tons of plastic are consumed on the planet. Print this Page. Plastic utensils. Most modern plastics are based on organic chemicals that offer manufacturers a huge range of physical properties that is still growing. For example, PET is the plastic used for bottled water and is highly recyclable. A plastic bottle made of polyethylene terephthalate has the resin identification code 1. Its considerable shock-absorbent properties also make ABS plastic ideal for luggage, laptop cases and similar protective items. The type of product that is made out of recycled plastic depends on the type of plastic resin. They aren't good for the landfill, as many will persist for hundreds of years; when they're incinerated, dangerous gases can be produced. Now open your refrigerator. Plastic, polymeric material that has the capability of being molded or shaped, usually by the application of heat and pressure. Plastic is relatively inexpensive so it is used in many applications. Its widespread use and popularity are undoubted because polypropylene is one of the most flexible thermoplastics on the planet. Most stores also bag your items in plastic bags. Versatile plastics inspire innovations that help make life better, healthier and safer every day. Perversely, some plastics can be cured (hardened) by UV, which shows how varied their formulas are. Many supermarkets now give us one-use grocery bags; leave them in a cupboard long enough and all you will have left is dust because they are engineered to degrade. Plastic is really useful and we use it every day. Learn more about the chemistry in the products we rely on every day, including how and why particular chemicals are used in different products, and health and safety information about these chemicals. There are “organic” plastics, which contain carbon, and inorganic plastics, which don’t. What are you walking on? Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE or PET): PET is the most widely produced plastic in the world. Some of the other important uses of plastic in society are: Common Plastics: When plastic bottles are recycled they can be made into lots of things: t-shirts, sweaters, fleece jackets, insulation for jackets and sleeping bags, carpeting and more bottles. Whatever mode of transport you pick, you'll find plastic used extensively in: Plastics are even combined with other materials as structural elements in all kinds of transport, even skateboards, rollerblades, and bicycles. Polypropylene is used for a wide number of different products. Plastic is used across almost every sector, including to produce packaging, in building and construction, in textiles, consumer products, transportation, electrical and electronics and industrial machinery. Plastics are derived from natural, organic materials such as cellulose, coal, natural gas, salt and, of course, crude oil. However, challenges lie ahead. Extremely strong and shock resistant, plastic is not harmful, unlike glass, for example, which can break. Read more: What Makes Polystyrene Different from Styrene? Also known as PET, PETE or polyester, it is often used for carbonated beverages, water and … Some plastics occur in nature, like tree rubber. Read more: Debunking the Myths: Are there really 84,000 chemicals? There are tens of thousands – or more – of different kinds of plastics and formulations. 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