3 Surprising Plastics You May Not Know

By: clayalvarez

The next time that somebody says to you "It's made of plastic" ask them what they mean by that. Plastic is an unbelievably broad term, which could include countless different materials. The simple basis of the term is that they are moldable. We use different types of plastics for different uses, and are developing new ones to fill any holes in the market. Most Plastics are synthetic, and are manufactured from petrochemicals, but not all of them are. Below I have given some examples of different plastics, and their uses. This is only a small selection, but it will show you that the term plastic really is too undefined.

Synthetic Rubber

I have started the list with synthetic rubber, even though some people do not categorize it as a plastic. It is however, a hydrocarbon polymer, and is able to be molded. Therefore, it fits perfectly into the description of a plastic, although it is a plastic with different properties. It has some elastic properties that other plastics do not, and it has shock absorption properties as well. I have used it as an example because of these differences, and to show that some materials that you would never believe are plastics, actually are a plastic.


This is a very early plastic, and a great example of a thermosetting plastic. A thermosetting plastic uses heat in a chemical reaction, and it is this that makes the plastic set in a permanent shape. The plastic cannot be remolded as with thermoplastics that can be reshaped many times. The basic chemicals in Bakelite are phenol and formaldehyde, but when asbestos or slate dust is added, the plastic can then be formed into a heat resistant compound. Bakelite is a totally synthetic material and was originally conceived as an electrical insulator.

Synthetic Polyamides

You may think that you have never heard of these plastics, but you will probably have heard of Nylon. Nylon is actually the trade name of a synthetic polyamide developed by the Du-Pont chemical company. It was made to copy the properties of naturally occurring polyamides like wool and silk. Synthetic polyamides are, like their natural counterparts, incredibly strong and flexible. Du-Pont felt it would be a great means to enable the production of quality clothing at discount prices. The original research into the development of Nylon, in 1927, cost a staggering 27 million dollars and took 12 years. It did however pay for itself, and the trade name is now more famous than the chemical compound. Synthetic polyamides are now used in engines, and as gears, because of their resistance to wear. This is a long way from the Nylon stockings that originally made their name.

These three examples really do show the different qualities that plastics can have. They also show us that some things are plastics, even though we would never have considered them to be. Would you have thought that nylon stockings were made of plastic? You probably wouldn't have before, but now you can see that plastics come in many forms, with many more to come.

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So what are the advantages of injection moulded plastics? This process allows companies to produce products of more complex and intricate shapes. Sneddon & Kingston Plastics Group is focused on manufacturing and supplying high quality plastic injection moulded products locally and overseas. Click on this website www.skplastics.com.au for additional details.

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