Plastics | Utility Of Plastics | Engineering Plastics

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

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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”
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3. 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
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Hi, I`m Sostenes, Electrical Technician and PLC`S Programmer.
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