What is plastic?Plastic is the general common term for a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic materials used in a huge, and growing, range ofapplications from packaging to buildings; from cars to medical devices, toys, clothes etc.The term ‘’plastic’’ is derived from the Greek word plastikos meaning fit for moulding, and plastos meaning moulded. It refers tothe material’s malleability, or plasticity during manufacture, that allows it to be cast, pressed, or extruded into a variety of shapes -such as films, fibres, plates, tubes, bottles, boxes, and much more.There are two broad categories of plastic materials: thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics. Thermoplastics can be heated up toform products and then if these end products are re-heated, the plastic will soften and melt again. In contrast, thermoset plastics canbe melted and formed, but once they take shape after they have solidified, they stay solid and, unlike thermoplastics cannot beremelted.HistoryHow plastic is madePlastics are derived from organic products. The materials used in the production of plastics are natural products such as cellulose,coal, natural gas, salt and, of course, crude oil.Crude oil is a complex mixture of thousands of compounds. To become useful, it must be processed.The production of plastic begins with a distillation process in an oil refineryThe distillation process involves the separation of heavy crude oil into lighter groups called fractions. Each fraction is a mixture ofhydrocarbon chains (chemical compounds made up of carbon and hydrogen), which differ in terms of the size and structure of theirmolecules. One of these fractions, naphtha, is the crucial element for the production of plastics.The two major processes used to produce plastics are called polymerisation and polycondensation, and they both require specificcatalysts. In a polymerisation reactor, monomers like ethylene and propylene are linked together to form long polymers chains. Eachpolymer has its own properties, structure and size depending on the various types of basic monomers used.There are many different types of plastics, and they can be grouped into two main polymer families: Thermoplastics (which soften on heating and then harden again on cooling) Thermosets (which never soften when they have been moulded)
Examples of Thermoplastics Examples of ThermosetsAcrylonitrile butadiene styrene – ABS Epoxide (EP)Polycarbonate - PC Phenol-formaldehyde (PF)Polyethylene - PE Polyurethane (PUR)Polyethylene terephthalate - PET Polytetrafluoroethylene - PTFEPoly(vinyl chloride) - PVC Unsaturated polyester resins (UP)Poly(methyl methacrylate) - PMMAPolypropylene - PPPolystyrene - PSExpanded Polystyrene - EPSTypes of plasticsEverywhere you look you will find plastics. We use plastic products to help make our lives cleaner, easier, safer and more enjoyable.You will find plastics in the clothes we wear, the houses we live in, and the cars we travel in. The toys we play with, the televisions wewatch, the computers we use and the CDs we listen to contain plastics. Even the toothbrush you use every day contains plastics!Plastics are organic, the same as wood, paper or wool. The raw materials for plastics production are natural products such ascellulose, coal, natural gas, salt and, of course, crude oil. Plastics are today’s and tomorrow’s materials of choice because they make itpossible to balance modern day needs with environmental concerns.The plastics family is quite diverse, and includes: ABS/SAN Epoxy resins Expandable Polystyrene Fluoropolymers PET Polycarbonate Polyolefins Polystyrene PVC PVdC Styrenic polymers Unsaturated Polyester Resins (UPR) All these types of plastics can can be grouped into two main polymer families: Thermoplastics, which soften on heating and then harden again on cooling, and Thermosets which never soften when they have been moulded.Examples of Thermoplastics Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene – ABS Polycarbonate - PC Polyethylene - PE Polyethylene terephthalate - PET Poly(vinyl chloride) - PVC Poly(methyl methacrylate) - PMMA Polypropylene - PP Polystyrene - PS Expanded Polystyrene - EPS
Examples of Thermosets Epoxide (EP) Phenol-formaldehyde (PF) Polyurethane (PUR) Polytetrafluoroethylene - PTFE Unsaturated polyester resins (UP)A range of additives are used to enhance the natural properties of the different types of plastics - to soften them, colour them, makethem more processable or longer lasting. Today not only are there are many, many different types of plastic , but products can bemade rigid or flexible, opaque, transparent, or coloured; insulating or conducting; fire-resistant etc., through the use of additives.Over 100 years of plastics Humankind worked hard from the earliest times to develop materials which would offer benefits not found in natural products. The development of plastic materials started with the use of natural materials with plastic properties (e.g., chewing gum, shellac) then evolved with the development of chemically modified natural materials (e.g., rubber, nitrocellulose, collagen, galalite) and finally the wide range of completely synthetic material that we would recognise as modern plastics started to be developed around 100 years ago. Perhaps the earliest example was invented by Alexander Parkes in 1855. We know it today as celluloid, but he named it Parkesine. Polyvinylchloride (PVC) was first polymerisedbetween 1838-1872 and a key breakthrough came in 1907 when Leo Baekeland created Bakelite,the first real synthetic, mass-produced plastic.ABS/SANThe terms Styrenics or Styrenic Polymers are used to describe a family of major plastic products that use Styrene as their key buildingblock. Included in this family of products are: ABS, or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Copolymer: an opaque, thermoplastic polymer material made from the monomers Acrylonitrile, 1,3-Butadiene and Styrene. Strong and durable even at low temperatures, it offers good resistance to heat and chemicals and is easy to process. SAN - Styrene Acrylonitrile Copolymer: a transparent thermoplastic polymer material with amorphous structure made from the monomers Styrene and Acrylonitrile. PS, or Polystyrene: a thermoplastic polymer which softens when heated and can be converted into semi-finished products like films and sheets, as well as a wide range of finished articles. EPS, or Expandable Polystyrene: a thermoplastic product that is lightweight, strong, and offers excellent thermal insulation, making it ideal for the packaging and construction industries. UPR, or Unsaturated Polyester Resins: durable, resinous polymers derived from styrene and used mainly the construction, boat building, automotive and electrical industries. SBR, or Styrene Butadiene Rubber: a rubber manufactured from styrene.The benefits of styrenic polymersStyrenic polymers offer many industries a wide variety of benefits, including: lightweight, water resistant and excellent thermal insulator characteristics in food packaging, they provide high levels of protection against spoilage Rigid, with a high strength-to-weight ratio that offers energy-savings benefits in transportation and an excellent cost performance Can be shatterproof and transparent if required Good electrical insulation Easy to process and produce in a range of attractive colours Easy to recycle
Manufacturers use styrene-based resins to produce a wide variety of everyday goods ranging from cups and utensils to furniture,bathroom, and kitchen appliances, hospital and school supplies, boats, sports and recreational equipment, consumer electronics,automobile parts, and durable lightweight packaging of all kinds.Member companiesABS/SAN manufacturersSwitzerlandSTYRONBachtobelstrasse 3CH - 8810 HORGENTel: +41 (1) 728 21 11Fax.: +41 (1) 728 20 12GermanyINEOS ABS (Deutschland) GmbHAlteStrasse 201D-50769 KölnTel: +49 (214) 30 53051Fax.: +49 (214) 30 58511GermanyBASF AGCarl-Bosch-Strasse 38D-67056 LudwigshafenTel: +49 (621) 60-0Fax.: +49 (621) 604 56 18NetherlandsSABIC IPP.O. Box 117NL-4600 AC Bergen op ZoomTel: +31 (164) 29 29 11ItalyPOLIMERI EUROPA S.p.A.Piazza Boldrini 1I-20097 San Donato Milanese (MI)Tel: +39 (02) 520Fax.: +39 (02) 5204 2814Consistent innovation for modern productsConsistent innovation for modern productsIts outstanding material qualities made ABS become one of the most popular plastics materials and an essential element in every daylife: flexible design excellent surface quality brilliant and deep colours attractive feel and touch dimensional stability chemical resistance impact resistance
The market for ABS/SANThe market for ABS/SAN ABS market applications Is ABS a widely used plastics? Clearly, YES. ABS is a very versatile material and therefore very popular among designers. It is scratchproof, highly resistant,dimensionally stable, glossy and easy to colour. Therefore, ABS is used in a broad variety of applications in everyday life like housings for vacuum cleaners, kitchen appliances, telephones and toys. Other important fields of applications for ABS are the automotive industry and the electrical/electronics (E/E) segment – here primarily in white goods and computer/communication electronics. How large is the market for ABS? Within the group of styrene co-polymers, ABS is by far the biggest product line in terms of volume. Last year’s global consumption was about 5.4 million tons. It is expected that ABS will continue to show above average growth rates. Until 2010 the average annual growth rate is estimated at 5.5%. For Europe, it is expected that ABS consumption will rise from its present 750,000 tons to 800,000 tons within the next five years. Automotive, appliances and E/E account for almost 50% of European ABS consumption.SAN market applications
Is SAN a widely used plastic?Even though SAN is much smaller in terms of volume compared to polystyrene or ABS it is widely used in a great variety of differentapplications. The outstanding transparency combined with good chemical resistance, stability in dishwashers, high impact strength,thermal shock resistance and stiffness make SAN the preferred material for manufacturers of consumer goods. High quality householdappliances and top-quality packaging for cosmetics are examples for SAN products.How large is the market for SAN?The European SAN consumption is roughly 125.000 tons per annum. The main industry sectors are household, cosmetics, sanitaryand toiletry, electronics as well as outdoor industrial applications.How are ABS/SAN manufactured?How are ABS and SAN made...and processed?ABS is made by emulsion or continuous mass technique. Globally, the most important is the emulsion process. It is a two-step methodin which the ABS rubber component is produced in emulsion and afterwards combined with SAN on suitable melt mixing aggregateslike extruders or kneaders. The SAN available on the market nowadays is almost exclusively manufactured by the mass process. Thefinal product is available in the form of pellets.ABS can be processed by injection moulding or extrusion technique. SAN is mainly processed by injection moulding.Figure 3: Sequence of operations used in the production of the different forms of polyacrylonitriles from crude oil and natural gas. Alloperations include storage and delivery. Epoxy resins Epoxy resins have been around for over 50 years, and are one of the most successful of the plastics families. Their physical state can be changed from a low viscosity liquid
to a high melting point solid, which means that a wide range of materials with unique properties can be made. In the home, you’ll findthem in soft-drinks cans and special packaging, where they are used as a lining to protect the contents and to keep the flavour in.They are also used as a protective coating on everything from beds, garden chairs, office and hospital furniture, to supermarkettrolleys and bicycles! Most industries use them in protective coating materials. They are used, for example, in special paints to protectthe surfaces of ships and oil rigs from bad weather and also in wind turbines!Benefits of epoxy resinsAs a family of synthetic resins, their physical state can be anything from a low viscosity liquid to a high melting point solid. Cross-linked with a variety of curing agents or hardeners, they form a range of materials with a unique combination of properties, whichmake a considerable contribution to practically every major industry, including: Aircraft and aerospace Automotive Construction and heavy engineering Chemical Electrical Electronic Food and beverage Marine Leisure Light engineeringExpandable PolystyreneThe terms Styrenics or Styrenic Polymers are used to describe a family of major plastic products that use Styrene as their key buildingblock. Included in this family of products are: EPS, or Expandable Polystyrene: a thermoplastic product that is lightweight, strong, and offers excellent thermal insulation, making it ideal for the packaging and construction industries. PS, or Polystyrene: a thermoplastic polymer which softens when heated and can be converted into semi-finished products like films and sheets, as well as a wide range of finished articles. ABS, or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Copolymer: an opaque, thermoplastic polymer material made from the monomers Acrylonitrile, 1,3-Butadiene and Styrene. Strong and durable even at low temperatures, it offers good resistance to heat and chemicals and is easy to process. SAN - Styrene Acrylonitrile Copolymer: a transparent thermoplastic polymer material with amorphous structure made from the monomers Styrene and Acrylonitrile. UPR, or Unsaturated Polyester Resins: durable, resinous polymers derived from styrene and used mainly the construction, boat building, automotive and electrical industries. SBR, or Styrene Butadiene Rubber: a rubber manufactured from styrene.The benefits of styrenic polymersStyrenic polymers offer many industries a wide variety of benefits, including: lightweight, water resistant and excellent thermal insulator characteristics in food packaging, they provide high levels of protection against spoilage Rigid, with a high strength-to-weight ratio that offers energy-savings benefits in transportation and an excellent cost performance Can be shatterproof and transparent if required Good electrical insulation Easy to process and produce in a range of attractive colours
Easy to recycleManufacturers use styrene-based resins to produce a wide variety of everyday goods ranging from cups and utensils to furniture,bathroom, and kitchen appliances, hospital and school supplies, boats, sports and recreational equipment, consumer electronics,automobile parts, and durable lightweight packaging of all kinds.Member companiesThe market for EPS Applications overview Guidelines for transport and storage of expandable polystyrene raw beadsHow are EPS manufactured?Member companiesEuropean Expanded Polystyrene manufacturersBASF SECarl-Bosch Strasse 3867056 LudwigshafenGermanyTelephone:+49 621 60-49 595Fax:+49 621 60-43 894Jackon GmbHTonnenhofstrasse 16D-23970 Wismar/HaffeldGermanyTelephone:+ 49 3841 420 300Fax:+ 49 3841 420 420Gabriel Technologie (not member of the National EPS Association support programme)rue des roseaux 1Zoning de GhlinBaudourSudB 7331 BaudourBelgiumTelephone:+32 65 760 037Fax:+32 65 760 052Monotez S.A.(not member of the NA support programme)141 g. Papandreou Av.ATHENS 144 52GreeceTelephone:+30 210 2811135Fax:+30 210 2818756INEOS NOVA International SAAvenue de la Gare 12CH - 1700 FribourgSwitzerlandTelephone:+41-26-426 5700
Fax:+41-26-426 56 18Polimeri Europa S.p.A.piazza Boldrini, 120097 S. Donato Milanese (MI)ItalyTelephone:+39 02 520 32385Fax:+39 02 520 42816Polidux SA (Repsol Company)CR NACIONA 240, KM. 14722400MONZONSPAINTelephone:+34934846133Styrochem Finland OyP.O. Box 360FI-06101 PorvooFinlandTelephone:+358405504523Fax:+358 19 541 8232Styron Europe GmbH (DOW)Bachtobelstrasse 3Horgen 8810SwitzerlandTelephone:+41447282589SunporKunststoffGes.m.b.H.Stattersdorferhauptstr. 48Postfach 4143100 St. PöltenAustriaTelephone:+43 2742291150Fax:+43 274229140Synbra Technology bv (not member of the NA support programme)Zeedijk 254871 NM Etten-LeurNetherlandsTelephone:+31 168 37 33 73Fax:+31 168 37 33 63Synthos S.A.O.Wichterleho 810CZ-27852 KralupynadVltavouCzech RepublicTelephone:+420 315 713 197Fax:+420 315 713 820/+48 33 847 33 11Unipol Holland BV (CRH)Rijnstraat 15APostbus 8245340 AV OSSThe NetherlandsTelephone:+31 (0) 412 643 243Fax:+31 412 636 946
The market for EPSIs EPS a widely used plastic?Yes. EPS is among the biggest commodity polymers produced in the world. The total world demand in 2001 was 3.06 million tons andis expected to grow at 6 percent per year. EPS is a solid foam with a unique combination of characteristics, like lightness, insulationproperties, durability and an excellent processability. EPS is used in many applications like thermal insulation board in buildings,packaging, cushioning of valuable goods and food packaging.How large is the European market for EPS?Western Europe contributes 27 percent of the global demand for EPS and was approximately 840 ktons in 2001. The correspondingvalue of this volume is approximately 3 billion Euro. The average annual growth is expected to be 2.5 percent per annum up to 2010.The pie chart demonstrates the main EPS market applications for Europe. The major applications are building / insulation andpackaging.Insulation with EPS provides safe installation and affordable access to energy reduction in heating and cooling buildings. Packaging isalso considered an essential final application of EPS, where it supplies lightness and protects health by reducing spoilage of theproduct. The use of plastic packaging in general and of suitable insulating materials like EPS, together with freezing technology meansthat only 2 percent of the food is spoiled in the West, while this is up to approximately 50 percent in the developing countries.Applications overviewMain EPS market applications for EuropeBuilding & Insulation applications EPS resins are among the most popular materials for building and construction applications. EPS insulation foam are used in closed cavity walls, roofs, floor insulation and more. With its excellent price/performance ratio EPS is also used in pontoons and road construction. In addition to its traditional insulation application in the construction industry, EPS foam also finds a wide use in civil engineering and building: road foundations, void forming, flotation,drainage, impact sound insulation, modular construction elements, cellular bricks, etc. They all exploit the excellent mechanicalproperties of EPS combined with fast construction / assembly and low subsequent maintenance.Packaging applications Eggs, meat, fish and poultry.Cold drinks or carry-out meals. All these products are safely packed with EPS packaging materials; by doing so spoilage of foods is prevented. In the western world a combination of good packaging, refrigeration and transportation ensures that only two percent of food is lost through spoilage, compared with 50 percent in developing countries. No matter what your products package, EPS have long been recognized as a versatile and cost-effective solution for foods and goods packaging. Expensive TVs and all kind of IT equipment travel safely from the production line to the consumers houses. EPS is the leading choice for electronic goods cushioning.
Other applicationsApart from the typical application in construction and packaging, EPS protective qualities can also be used in crash helmets -protecting the heads and potentially the lives of cyclists, or into surface and other decoration ranging from simple printing of a brandname to an elaborate pictorial representation achieved by mould engraving, or for fun and sports with e.g. windsurfing board.How are EPS made ... and processed?The building block - monomer - of polystyrene is styrene. The raw materials to make styrene are obtained from crude oil. A range ofprocesses such as distillation, steam-cracking and dehydration are required to transform the crude oil into styrene. At the endpolystyrene is produced by polymerising styrene. During polymerisation pentane is added as foaming agent.. The final product isavailable in the form of spherical beads. Before being formed into the final article, the EPS beads need to be processed. When theseexpandable pearls are heated with steam, they expand to about 40 times their original size. After a stabilisation period - maturing -the expanded beads are then transferred to a mould. Further steam-heating makes them fuse together to form a rigid foamcontaining 98% air. When and where needed, the foam can then easily be cut into the desired shape.
Styrenics polymersThe terms Styrenics or Styrenic Polymers are used to describe a family of major plastic products that use Styrene as their key buildingblock. Included in this family of products are: PS, or Polystyrene: a thermoplastic polymer which softens when heated and can be converted into semi-finished products like films and sheets, as well as a wide range of finished articles. EPS, or Expandable Polystyrene: a thermoplastic product that is lightweight, strong, and offers excellent thermal insulation, making it ideal for the packaging and construction industries. ABS, or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Copolymer: an opaque, thermoplastic polymer material made from the monomers Acrylonitrile, 1,3-Butadiene and Styrene. Strong and durable even at low temperatures, it offers good resistance to heat and chemicals and is easy to process. SAN - Styrene Acrylonitrile Copolymer: a transparent thermoplastic polymer material with amorphous structure made from the monomers Styrene and Acrylonitrile. UPR, or Unsaturated Polyester Resins: durable, resinous polymers derived from styrene and used mainly the construction, boat building, automotive and electrical industries. SBR, or Styrene Butadiene Rubber: a rubber manufactured from styrene.The benefits of styrenic polymersStyrenic polymers offer many industries a wide variety of benefits, including: lightweight, water resistant and excellent thermal insulator characteristics in food packaging, they provide high levels of protection against spoilage Rigid, with a high strength-to-weight ratio that offers energy-savings benefits in transportation and an excellent cost performance Can be shatterproof and transparent if required Good electrical insulation Easy to process and produce in a range of attractive colours Easy to recycleManufacturers use styrene-based resins to produce a wide variety of everyday goods ranging from cups and utensils to furniture,bathroom, and kitchen appliances, hospital and school supplies, boats, sports and recreational equipment, consumer electronics,automobile parts, and durable lightweight packaging of all kinds.Who are we Mission Member companies Other sources of information Contact usFacts and figures The market for PS o Applications overview o PS in food packaging The market for EPS o Applications overview o Guidelines for transport and storage of expandable polystyrene raw beads The market for ABS/SAN How are styrenics manufactured? What is inside the polymer? What is inside the Copolymers?
MissionThe Polystyrene (PS), Expandable Polystyrene ( EPS), ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene) and SAN (Styrene-Acrylonitrile) ProductCommittees of PlasticsEurope focus their priorities on promoting the sustainable development of their products. Our activities areintended to assist the producers, customer and ultimate users.As well as promoting the benefits of our products, we address key public concerns related to the use of PS and EPS. This is done usinga science based decision making process and forms part of our commitment to Responsible Care.Our aim is to be recognized as a key reliable source of valuable information for all our stakeholders in Europe.European Polystyrene manufacturersSwitzerlandSTYRONBachtobelstrasse 3CH - 8810 HORGENTel: +41 (1) 728 21 11Fax.: +41 (1) 728 20 12Czech RepublicSYNTHOS S.A.CZ-27852 KralupynadVltavouTel: +420 (205) 71 1111Tel.: +420 (205) 72 3566GermanyBASF AGCarl-Bosch-Strasse 38D-67056 LudwigshafenTel: +49 (621) 60-0Fax.: +49 (621) 604 56 18SwitzerlandINEOS NOVA InternationalAvenue de la Gare 12CH-1700 FribourgTel: +41 (26) 426 56 56Fax.: +41 (26) 426 56 57ItalyPOLIMERI EUROPA S.p.A.Piazza Boldrini 1I-20097 San Donato Milanese (MI)Tel: +39 (02) 520Fax.: +39 (02) 5204 2814BelgiumTOTAL PETROCHEMICALSrue de lIndustrie 52B-1040 BrusselsTel: +32 (2) 288 93 67Fax.: +32 (2) 288 94 14European Expanded Polystyrene manufacturersSwitzerlandSTYRONBachtobelstrasse 3CH - 8810 HORGENTel: +41 (1) 728 21 11Fax.: +49 7227 91 4001 (Rheinmünster)
1 rue des RoseauB-7331 Bauour (Saint Ghislain)Tel: +32 (065) 760 030Fax.: +32 (065) 760 050 NetherlandsUNIPOL HOLLAND BVP.O. Box 824NL-5340 AV OssTel: +31 (412) 643 243Fax.: +31 (412) 636 946Other sources of information American Plastics Council (APC) Association of Petrochemicals Producers in Europe (APPE) Bromine Science and Environmental Forum (BSEF) European Brominated Flame Retardant Industry Panel (EBFRIP) European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) European Manufacturers of Expanded Polystyrene (EUMEPS) European Plastics Converters (EuPC) International Styrene Industry Forum (ISIF) Polystyrene Packaging Council (PSPC) Styrene Information and Research Center (SIRC)The market for PSIs polystyrene a widely used plastic?The answer is a simple YES. Polystyrene is the fourth biggest polymer produced in the world after polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride andpolypropylene. The total demand in 2001 was 10.6 million tons. The corresponding value of this volume is approximately 10 billioneuro.General purpose polystyrene (GPPS) is a glasslike polymer with a high processability. When modified with rubber it results in a highimpact polystyrene (HIPS) with a unique combination of characteristics, like toughness, gloss, durability and an excellentprocessability. Polystyrene is one of the most versatile plastics. Both forms are used in a wide range of applications like consumerelectronics, refrigeration, appliances, housewares, toys, packaging, disposables and medical and pharmaceutical.How large is the global market for polystyrene?The global market for polystyrene is 10.6 million tons and is expected to grow at 4 percent per year to approximately 15 million tonsin 2010.How large is the European market for polystyrene?Europe contributes 26 percent to the global demand for polystyrene and was approximately 2.7 million tons in 2001. Although theaverage annual growth is expected to be 3-4 percent per annum up to 2010, the actual annual growth in Europe is 4-5 percent,slightly ahead of the GDP.The pie chart demonstrates the main polystyrene market applications for Europe. The major part is in packaging applications, likedairy products. Packaging is an essential feature of the supply chain operations, which bring the product from the initial manufactureto its ultimate use by the consumer. For the consumer convenience and easy opening are important elements, for society as a whole,the biggest advantage is the prevention of spoilage of the product. Only 2 percent of the food is spoiled in developed countries West,while this is up to approximately 50 percent in the developing countries.
Applications overviewMain polystyrene market applications for EuropePolystyrene applications - packaging Eggs and dairy products, meat, fish and poultry, cold drinks or carry-out meals. All these products are safely packed with polystyrene packaging materials; by doing so spoilage of foods is prevented. In the western world a combination of good packaging, refrigeration and transportation ensures that only two percent of food is lost through spoilage, compared with 50 percent in developing countries. No matter what products you package, polystyrene has long been recognized as a versatile and cost-effectivesolution for rigid packaging and food service disposables.Polystyrene applications - appliances From refrigerators and air conditioners, to ovens and microwaves, from hand-held vacuum cleaners to blenders, polystyrene resins meet almost all end-product requirements. Polystyrene resins are safe and cost effective, with excellent appearance and functionality mainly due to easy-processing. Because ofthis almost 26 percent of the polystyrene demand is used in injection-molding, extrusion and thermoforming applications.Polystyrene applications - consumer electronics Polystyrene is used for housing for TVs and all kind of emerging trends in IT equipment where the critieria for use are combinations of function, form and aesthetics and a high performance/cost ratio. Polystyrene is the leading choice for media enclosures, cassette tape housing and clear jewel boxes to protect CDs and DVDs.Polystyrene applications - construction Polystyrene resins are among the most popular materials for building and construction applications, like Insulation foam, roofing, siding, panels, bath and shower units, lighting, plumbing fixtures. With their excellent price performance balance and good processability and other performance properties,polystyrene resins find use in these building products. Polystyrene applications - medical Bringing new and improved medical technologies to patients and physicians is a complex, regulated process. With excellent clarity and processability and outstanding post-sterilization aesthetics, polystyrene resins are used for a wide range of disposable medical applications, including tissue culture trays, test tubes, petri dishes, diagnostic components, and housing for test kits.
Polystyrene applications - other As well as the traditional uses for polystyrene, a variety of consumer goods applications, including toys, electric lawn and garden equipment, kitchen and bath accessories and other durable goods are made from polystyrene. Polystyrene resins have an excellent cost/performance ratio, and in many cases, can be substituted for more costly polymers. What is inside the polymer? Styrene is the primary raw material from which polystyrene (PS) - being general purpose (GPPS) or high impact (HIPS)or expandable polystyrene (EPS) - is made. GPPS - is a polymer of styrene only, whereas high impact polystyrene in particular is acopolymer of styrene and polybutadiene synthetic rubber. Often some lubricant - mineral oil - is added to polystyrene to improve theprocessability. In order to control the fire characteristics an aliphatic brominated compound or other flame retardant is added torespectively produce FR-EPS or FR-HIPS. Polystyrene foam and EPS are manufactured with the use of a blowing agent. Primarily amixture of pentanes is used, but also carbon dioxide can be employed.StyreneStyrene is a clear, colourless liquid that is derived from petroleum and natural gas by-product, but which also occurs naturally. It ispresent in many foods and beverages, including wheat, beef, strawberries, peanuts and coffee beans. Synthetic styrene played animportant role during World War II in the production of synthetic rubber. After the war the demand for synthetic rubber decreased andpolystyrene was an obvious alternative. Today roughly 3 million tonnes of polystyrene are produced, ranking it the fourth among thecommodity plastics behind polyethylene, polypropylene and vinyl polymers. Styrene helps create several plastic materials used inthousands of remarkably strong, flexible, and lightweight products, that represent a vital part of our health and well being. Its used ineverything from food containers and packaging materials to cars, boats, and computers.Synthetic rubberRubber occurs naturally, obtained from the exudations of certain tropical trees; in Indian language it was called "Cahuchu" – tears ofthe wood. From Cahuchu it is easy to understand the German "Kautschuk". Synthetic rubber is derived from petroleum and naturalgas. The first synthetically produced rubbers were derived from isoprene and styrene butadiene. Later 1,4-polybutadiene wasintroduced using the Ziegler Natta procede catalysis. These polybutadiene rubbers are used in the manufacture of toughenedpolystyrene. Unmodified polystyrene (GPPS) offers poor impact resistance and breaks easily, dispersions of up 10 % polybutadienerubber into polystyrene yields a high impact resistant product (HIPS).Mineral oilWhite mineral oil is added to polystyrene as lubricant to improve the processing properties. White mineral oil has a paraffinic natureand is approved by the European Union as additive to be used in plastics that come in contact with foods, when it meets certainspecifications.Aliphatic brominated compoundsAliphatic brominated flame retardant additives are often added during the polymerisation of styrene into expandable polystyrene.These compounds significantly improve the fire behaviour of EPS used in non-food contact applications. Where or whenever thisaliphatic brominated additive is handled during production sufficient and adequate measures are taken to prevent release andexposure: extraction devices equipped with filters or cyclones, wastewater treatment units, etc.Other fire retardantsPolystyrene is a combustible material. Because of its extremely good processability polystyrene is an excellent material for certainelectrical and electronic applications. In order to prevent fire and save lives these applications must meet strict fire safety standards.These standards can only be met by adding a flame retardant additive system, usually a brominated substance.PentaneExtended polystyrene foam and expandable polystyrene beads contain a pentane as blowing agent. The relatively small amountpresent is gradually but quickly eliminated to the atmosphere through the different steps of processing. Nevertheless, measures are tobe taken to avoid the formation of the explosive air-pentane mixture and to limit emissions in manufacture. With ever evolvingtechnology, some manufacturers of extruded polystyrene – XPS for short - packaging foam use the natural occurring gas carbondioxide (CO2) as a blowing agent.
What is inside the Copolymers?What is inside the Copolymers?Beside Styrene and polybutadiene synthetic rubber.Acrynolitrile the third monomer component of ABS and SAN. In addition, bothcopolymers usually contain approved additives like thermal stabilizers, mould release and flow agents. Light stabilizer /UV stabilizerare used if better weatherability is required. High modulus materials can be obtained by adding of glass fibres. For ABS, brominecompounds are employed as flame retardants.StyreneStyrene is a clear, colourless liquid that is derived from petroleum and natural gas by-product, but which also occurs naturally. It ispresent in many foods and beverages, including wheat, beef, strawberries, peanuts and coffee beans. Synthetic styrene played animportant role during World War II in the production of synthetic rubber. After the war the demand for synthetic rubber decreased andpolystyrene was an obvious alternative. Today roughly 3 million tonnes of polystyrene are produced, ranking it the fourth among thecommodity plastics behind polyethylene, polypropylene and vinyl polymers. Styrene helps create several plastic materials used inthousands of remarkably strong, flexible, and lightweight products, that represent a vital part of our health and well being. Its used ineverything from food containers and packaging materials to cars, boats, and computers.Synthetic rubberRubber occurs naturally, obtained from the exudations of certain tropical trees; in Indian language it was called "Cahuchu" – tears ofthe wood. From Cahuchu it is easy to understand the German "Kautschuk". Synthetic rubber is derived from petroleum and naturalgas. The first synthetically produced rubbers were derived from isoprene and styrene butadiene. Later 1,4-polybutadiene wasintroduced using the Ziegler Natta procede catalysis. These polybutadiene rubbers are used in the manufacture of toughenedpolystyrene. Unmodified polystyrene (GPPS) offers poor impact resistance and breaks easily, dispersions of up 10 % polybutadienerubber into polystyrene yields a high impact resistant product (HIPS).AcrylonitrileAcrylonitrile is a man-made colourless to pale yellow liquid of significant volatility (boiling temperature of 78°C) and sharp odour. It issoluble in water and many common organic solvents. Acrylonitrile is of high reactivity thus polymerizing spontaneously when heated.Acrylonitrile is produced commercially by oxidation of propylene together with ammonia. It is used mainly as a co-monomer in theproduction of acrylic fibers. Uses include the production of plastics, surface coatings, nitrile elastomers, barrier resins, and adhesives.Worldwide consumption of Acrylonitrile exceeds 4 million tons p.a.Main use of Acrylonitrile in plastics is as a co-monomer in ABS and SAN. Its main contribution is increased chemical resistance,toughness and heat resistance.FluoropolymersFluoropolymers are a family of high-performance plastics. The best known member of this family is called PTFE. PTFE is one of thesmoothest materials around, and very tough! You can find it in most kitchens as a coating on pots, pans and many other utensils!Fluoropolymers are also used to improve the performance and safety of racing cars and aircraft. They help protect big buildings fromfire. They can also be found in the coatings of the cabling for telephones and computers.Fluoropolymers are polymers containing atoms of fluorine. The family includes two types of fluorinated thermoplastics:Type one fluoropolymers are fully fluorinated, which means that all hydrogen atoms are replaced by fluorine atoms). Examples ofthese include PFA/MFA and FEP. Type two fluoropolymers are only partially fluorinated. Examples of these include PVDF, ETFE, andECTFE.Benefits of fluoropolymersFluoropolymers have many unique qualities, including great strength, versatility, durability, and an unusually high resistance tochemicals (solvents, acids and bases) and heat. These qualities make fluoropolymers very versatile. They are used in: High-performance automotive and aircraft bearings and seals, to improve the performance and safety of aircraft and automobiles Flame retardants, to reduce fire risk in high-rise buildings and reduce industrial and automotive pollution
Coatings on many kitchen products, such as pots, pans, knives, spatulas etc. thanks to their high thermal stability and non- stick properties The linings of piping and chemical tanks, and in packing for lithium-ion batteries, thanks to their ability to handle harsh environments Cable coating in the telecommunications and computer industries, because of their high electrical resistance and good dielectric properties Implantable parts and catheters for bio-medical applications, because of their resistance to chemicalsIt is estimated that the world market for fluoropolymers is between 80,000 and 90,000 tons per year. Although fluoropolymersrepresent just 0.1% of all plastics, their outstanding performance characteristics have made them a valuable catalyst in improving thequality of our lives.Performance profile What are Fluoropolymers? Fluoropolymers types - General description Partially Fluorinated Fluoropolymers How are Fluoropolymers manufactured? History of Fluoropolymers What makes Fluoropolymers so versatile? Typical propertiesPublic protection European Food Contact Applications Recovery and disposal of Fluoropolymers wasteWhat are Fluoropolymers?Fluoropolymers are fluorinated plastics. Most plastics are chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen or other atoms attached to them. Influoropolymers, fluorine atoms replace some or all of the hydrogen atoms. Substituting fluorine for hydrogen creates a high bindingenergy among atoms within the plastic molecules, making the plastics highly stable and giving them unique and valuable properties.Fluoropolymers are in general more resistant to heat and chemical attack than other materials. They have strong electrical insulation,lubrication, non-stick, temperature resistance, transparency, and other properties.Different fluoropolymers have different properties. Type one fully fluorinated polymers, in which fluorine atoms replace all of thehydrogen atoms generally emphasise the properties mentioned above.Type two partially fluorinated polymers, in which fluorine atoms replace only some of the hydrogen atoms, are useful for applicationsin which mechanical toughness greater than that available to fully fluorinated polymers is required, special processing ormanufacturing conditions are desirable or resistance to specific chemicals is useful.Type one fluoropolymers. Examples of these are:PFA/MFA, FEPAnd type two fluoropolymers. Examples of these are:PVDF, ETFE, ECTFEPTFEPTFE is a polymer consisting of recurring tetrafluoroethylene monomer units whose formula is [CF2-CF2]n. PTFE does not melt toform a liquid and cannot be melt extruded. On heating, the virgin resin coalesces to form a clear gel at 335°C+/-15°C. Onceprocessed, the gel point (often referred to as the melting point) is 10°C lower than that of the virgin resin. PTFE is sold as a granularpowder, a coagulated dispersion/fine powder, or an aqueous dispersion. Each is processed in a different manner.For nearly seven decades, PTFE has paved the way for technological advancement in many industries. Its properties include the
lowest friction coefficient of any solid material in the world, extreme thermal and chemical resistance (essential in aircraft andspacecraft), and exceptional dielectric strength (LAN Cables). These unique qualities of PTFE have enabled researchers to break newground and bring to life modern high-performance aircraft, pharmaceutical production methods, medical diagnostic and treatmentinstruments, telecommunications apparatus and wiring, computing gear, and semiconductor technology. In short, fluoropolymersare crucial to everyday modern life as we have come to know it. Since PTFE is soft and, not being melt-processable, requiresspecialized manufacturing techniques.FEPFEP fluorocarbon resin is a copolymer of tetrafluoroethylene and hexafluoropropylene with the formula [(CF(CF3 )-CF2)x(CF2-CF2)y]n. It has a melting point range of 245°-280°C and is melt processable. It is supplied in the form of translucent pellets, powder or asan aqueous dispersion.FEP is a fluoropolymer with superior dielectric characteristics and low flammability, ideal for insulating plenum-rated LAN cables.Cables used in modern telecommunication and computing use ultrahigh-frequency signals (megahertz and gigahertz ranges). Suchhigh frequencies exceed the capability of almost all materials to provide effective insulation. In addition, the practical use of suchcables often requires running them for considerable distances without splices or other connections.PFAPFA fluorocarbon resin is a copolymer of tetrafluoroethylene and a perfluorinated vinyl ether having the formula [(CF(ORf)-CF2)x(CF2 -CF2 )y ]n where ORf represents a perfluoralkoxy group. PFA melts at 280°C minimum and is melt processable. Some grades arechemically stabilised. It is available in the form of translucent pellets, powder, and as an aqueous dispersion.MFAMFA is a random copolymer of tetrafluoroethylene and perfluoromethylvinylether. It belongs to the generic class of PFA polymers. MFAmelts at 280° C. It is available in the form of translucent pellets and aqueous dispersions.PFA & MFAPFA & MFA fluoropolymers are generally suited to high-purity, low-contamination applications in corrosive environments and certaingrades of PFA and MFA are specially stabilised to work well in highly corrosive environments. Semiconductors with circuits measuredin nanometres, require freedom from contamination. Imperfections even at the submicroscopic level will render a semiconductoruseless. Pipes, valves, fittings, pumps, baths, and carriers used in wet processing must be chemically inert and not leach into, reactwith, or release particles into the chemicals used to etch, clean or otherwise process raw silicon wafers, work-in-process or finishedsemiconductors.ETFEStyrenes ETFE is a copolymer consisting mainly of ethylene and tetrafluoroethylene, having the formula [(CF2-CF2)x-(CH2- CH2)y ]noften modified with a small percentage of a third monomer. Depending on the molecular structure the melting range is 215°C to270°C. It is melt processable and is supplied in the form of pellets, powder and dispersions.ECTFEECTFE is a copolymer of ethylene and chlorotrifluoroethylene having the formula (CH2 -CH2 )x -(CFCl-CF2)y]n . It is often modifiedwith a small percentage of a third monomer. Depending on the molecular structure, the melting range is 190-240°C. It is available inthe form of translucent pellets and as a fine powder.ECTFE is a fluoropolymer that can be processed into films, and retains integrity when exposed to harsh chemicals and strong polarsolvents. This makes it suitable for water purification systems. Aggressive cleaning agents simply increase ECTFE membrane flux andoverall operating efficiency. ECTFE film vapour barrier properties make it particularly suitable for use in pharmaceutical packagingapplications.PVdFPVdF is a homopolymer of vinylidene fluoride having the formula [CH2-CF2]nPVdF polymers melt at 160° C, are melt processable, andare supplied in the form of powder, pellets, and dispersions. Some grades of PVdF may contain other fluorinated monomers eg acopolymer of vinylidene fluoride and hexafluoropropylene having the formula [CF(CF3)-(CF2)x(CH2-CF2 )y]n.PVdF is a tough polymer and is resistant to UV attack. As a result of these properties major applications include architectural coatingsin building cladding and wire and cable jacketing.
THVTHV is a terpolymer of tetrafluoroethylene, hexafluoropropylene, and vinylidene fluoride with the formula [CF(CF3 )-CF2 )x(CF2-CF2)V(CF2- CF2)z]n. THV is melt processable with melting points from 120° to 230° C depending on grade. It is available as pellets,agglomerates or aqueous dispersions.Fluorinated FluoropolymersETFEETFE is a tough, easily processable thermoplastic. As a film, it offers outstanding UV resistance combined with excellent lighttransmittance, making it the material of choice for architectural roofing for large structures such as sports stadia. The film’s non-stick/self cleaning properties also help reduce maintenance costs.Another common application is in the wire and cable industry where ETFE’s combinations of toughness and dielectric properties areemployed.How are Fluoropolymers manufactured?PTFE is used here as an example of fluoropolymer manufacture.Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a polymer made of long, linear polymer chains containing only carbon and fluorine atoms. This givesthe polymer its exceptional properties. It is produced from tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) which is the starting material (called a monomer).TFE is made in several steps starting from common salt (sodium chloride NaCl), methane and from an ore called fluorspar. TFE gas isintroduced into a closed vessel under pressure and is polymerised using a catalyst to form very long chains. Polymerisation reactionsare often initiated with active molecules called "free radicals”. Radical initiated reactions can run very fast and give out a great deal ofheat. To prevent such reactions running out of control, the reaction vessels are water cooled; even so, great care must be taken not toallow reaction conditions to become unstable. As well as temperature control, polymer chemists can modify reaction conditions by theuse of chemicals (chain transfer agents) and can modify the polymer itself by the use of different comonomers to produce copolymersMineral Photos - Fluorite Florite Photo from Mii, Courtesy of Smithsonian InstituteMii PhotosFluorite (fluorspar): Used in production of hydrofluoric acid, which is used in the electroplating, stainless steel, refrigerant, andplastics industries, in production of aluminum fluoride, which is used in aluminum smelting, as a flux in ceramics and glass, insteel furnaces, and in emery wheels, optics, and welding rods.
BackgroundWhen found in nature, fluorspar is known by the mineral name fluorite. Fluorspar (fluorite) is calcium fluoride (CaF2). It is foundin a variety of geologic environments. Fluorspar is found in granite (igneous rock), it fills cracks and holes in sandstone, and it isfound in large deposits in limestone (sedimentary rock). The term fluorspar, when used as a commodity name, also refers tocalcium fluoride formed as a by-product of industrial processes.Fluorspar is relatively soft, number 4 on Mohs scale of hardness. Pure fluorspar is colorless, but a variety of impurities givefluorite a rainbow of different colors, including green, purple, blue, yellow, pink, brown, and black. It has a pronounced cleavage,which means it breaks on flat planes. Fluorite crystals can be well formed, beautiful and highly prized by collectors.Despite its beauty and physical properties, fluorspar is primarily valuable for its fluorine content.NameEven though fluorite contains the element fluorine, its name is not derived from its chemical composition. The name was given byGeorg Agricola in 1546 and was derived from the Latin verb fluere which means to flow because it melts easily.Spar is a generic name used by mineralogists to refer to any non-metallic mineral that breaks easily to produce flat surfaces andwhich has a glassy luster.A miner’s name used long ago for fluorite was Blue John.SourcesThe United States once produced large quantities of mineral fluorspar. However, the great fluorspar mines of the Illinois-Kentucky fluorite district are now closed. Today, the United States imports fluorspar from China, South Africa, Mexico, and othercountries.A small percentage of the fluorspar consumed in the United States is derived as a by-product of industrial processes. Forinstance, an estimated 5,000 to 8,000 tons of synthetic fluorspar is produced each year in the uranium enrichment process, therefining of petroleum, and in treating stainless steel. Hydrofluoric acid (HF) and other fluorides are recovered during theproduction of aluminum.UsesThe majority of the United States’ annual consumption of fluorspar is for the production of hydrofluoric acid (HF) and aluminumfluoride (AlF3). HF is a key ingredient for the production of all organic and non-organic chemicals that contain the elementfluorine. It is also used in the manufacture of uranium. AlF3 is used in the production of aluminum.The remainder of fluorspar consumption is as a flux in making steel, glass, enamel, and other products. A flux is a substance thatlowers the melting temperature of a material.Substitutes and Alternative SourcesPhosphoric acid plants, which process phosphate rock into phosphoric acid, produce a by-product chemical called fluorosilicicacid. This is used to fluoridate public water supplies or to produce AlF3. Phosphate-rich rocks are a minor alternative source forelemental fluorine. Pink fluorite from Peru Yellow fluorite from Illinois
Green fluorite from ColoradoHistory of FluoropolymersThe story of Fluoropolymers began on April 6, 1938, at DuPonts Jackson Laboratory in New Jersey. Dr. Roy J. Plunkett’s firstassignment at DuPont was researching new chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants. Plunkett had produced 100 pounds of tetrafluoroethylenegas (TFE) and stored it in small cylinders at very low temperatures preparatory to chlorinating it. When he and his helper prepared acylinder for use, none of the gas came out—yet the cylinder weighed the same as before. They opened it and found a white powder,which Plunkett had the presence of mind to characterise. He found the substance to be heat resistant and chemically inert and to havevery low surface friction.PTFE is inert to virtually all chemicals and is considered the most slippery material in existence. These properties have made it one ofthe most valuable and versatile materials ever invented, contributing to significant advancement in areas such as aerospace,communications, electronics, industrial processes and architecture.PTFE has become recognised worldwide for the superior non-stick properties associated with its use as a coating on cookware and asa soil and stain repellent for fabrics and textile products.Following the discovery of PTFE a large family of other fluoropolymers has been developed. The introduction of the combination offluorinated or non fluorinated monomers allowed the industry to design a large number of different polymers with a wide range ofprocessing and use temperatures.What makes Fluoropolymers so versatile?All fluoropolymers are normally regarded as completely insoluble. Only perfluorocarbons, perfluorocarbon ethers, perhalocarbons,sulphur hexafluoride and carbon dioxide are known to dissolve fluoropolymers and only under the right conditions of temperatureand pressure.For example PTFE is completely insoluble in most common solvents and will not contaminate ultra-pure or corrosive applications.Prime quality PTFE resins are very pure and this level of purity can be translated to the final product using a range of mouldingmethods. The finished products manufactured from PTFE have very high purity coupled with low porosity and low levels ofextractables.Fluoropolymers resist chemical attack from virtually all acids, bases, and solvents. A complete chemical resistance chart is available.Because of the size of fluorine molecules, Fluoropolymers also have low chemical permeability.The substitution of fluorine for hydrogen contributes to the numerous performance properties of fluoropolymers, such as:
High FlexibilityPTFE has good flexural properties even in the cryogenic range and outstanding resistance to fatigue. Flexural properties are stronglydependent on degree of crystallinity and great care is necessary in the selection of polymer grade and in processing conditions toachieve maximum flex life.High thermal stabilityFluoropolymers have a working temperature range of minus 240°C to + 300° C, and their chemical and electrical properties remainstable for much of that range.Non-flammability and high melting-pointFluoropolymers have the lowest heat of combustion of all known polymers. Additionally, Fluoropolymers have the lowest rate of flamespreading. Fluoropolymers are therefore very difficult to ignite and will stop burning ("self-extinguish”) once the supporting flame isremoved. Even though some references show an ignition temperature of 530° to 580° C, many consider FPs as plastics that do notburn.Low coefficient of friction, surface energy and porosityFluoropolymers have the lowest coefficient of friction of any polymer. Static and dynamic coefficients of friction are equal so there isno stick-slip movement. In particular PTFE has a low surface energy and is very difficult to "wet”. PTFE has exceptionally low porosityand hence anti-adhesion properties . Other materials exhibit little or no adhesion to PTFE.Electrical PropertiesFluoropolymers have exceptional electrical properties with an extremely high electrical resistance and with a low dielectric constantand dielectric loss factor. Fluoropolymers also have good arc and tracking resistance, and high surface resistance.Typical propertiesApplications for fluoropolymers are driven by their superior physical and chemical properties.Chemical InertnessFluoropolymers are used in harsh environments where their chemical resistance has made them very useful in the many industrialprocesses such as linings for vessels and piping, fly ash collector bags, gasket packing, semiconductor equipment, carrier materials,chemical tanks and as packing for lithium-ion batteries.High DielectricThe dielectric properties of these unique polymers have made possible the miniaturisation of circuit boards. This concept isresponsible for the very latest in high-speed, high-frequency radar and communications found in the newest defence systems as wellas in the next generation of ultra high speed computers.Flame RetardancyFluoropolymers meet exacting industry standards in relation to electrical properties and flame retardancy. Examples of theseapplications are wire coating (robots, personal computers, communication industry, response to high frequencies, electrical systemsin aircraft, etc.) fibre optics, cable coating and electrical and electronic components.
Low FrictionFluoropolymers exhibit very low coefficients of friction. For example PTFE is uniquely used as bearing pads for bridges. Where thischaracteristic is used in abrasive environments inert fillers are often added to improve their abrasion resistance. For example highperformance automotive and aircraft bearings and seals are now commonly made from fluoropolymers.Non StickFluoropolymers are used in everyday life as their unique characteristics offer advantages. They are used in household kitchenwarecoatings (pans, rice cookers, knives etc.), fixed rolls for printers, parts for transferring paper in photocopiers.WeatherabilityThe performance of fluoropolymers does not deteriorate significantly in an outdoor environment. They are suitable for use over longperiods of time without maintenance. They are used in architectural applications, as films for greenhouse applications, photovoltaiccell film cover and UV resistant paints.Inertness and Barrier PropertiesThe bio-medical field uses fluoropolymers in devices such as catheters and other parts with which to perform diagnostic andtherapeutic procedures. Fluoropolymers’ superior barrier properties are exploited in pharmaceutical packaging where their highresistance to moisture protects pharmaceutical products. Fluoropolymers have a high resistance to gasoline and this property isexploited in parts manufactured for the automotive industry.European Food Contact ApplicationsThe European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), has approved for food contact applications:- "the use [of the perfluorinated chemicals inthe production of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)] for repeated use articles, sintered at high temperature” and indicated that "consumerexposure from use of perfluorooctanoic acid, ammonium salt in repeated use articles, is considered negligible”.- August 2005.There are other fluoropolymer types that are approved for food contact applications and more details of these can be obtained directlyfrom your supplierRecovery and Disposal of Fluoropolymer WasteRecoveryFluoropolymers are usually employed in small components in specific complex applications such as electronic equipment, transport(cars, trains and airplanes) or as very thin layer coatings on fabrics and metals. Where sufficient quantities of fluoropolymers can berecovered and may be sufficient to warrant recycling then they should be shipped to specialist recyclers.A very substantial market exists for recovered fluoropolymers as low friction additives to other materials. For example PTFE is typicallyground into fine powders and used in such products as inks and paints.DisposalFluoropolymer waste should be incinerated in authorised incinerators. Preferably, non-recyclable fluoropolymers should be sent toincinerators with energy recovery. Disposal in authorised landfills is also acceptable.
PETIf you ever had fizzy drink, water or fruit juice from a plastic bottle then more than likely the bottle is made of PET, or polyethyleneterephthalate. PET is one of the most commonly used plastics in Europe’s packaging industry for several reasons. It is very strong, itcan withstand high pressures and being dropped without bursting. It has excellent gas barrier properties, so it keeps the fizz in fizzydrinks, and protects the taste of the drinks in the bottles.PET is a short name for a unique plastic belonging to the family of polyesters, the word is made up from poly- , the Greek word formany and -esters which are compounds formed by reaction of alcohols with acids via a chemical bonding known as an ester linkage.PET polyester is formed from the alcohol - ethylene glycol [EG] - and the acid - terephthalic acid [TPA],] - and its chemical name is -Polyethylene terephthalate or PET.The raw materials for PET are derived from crude oil. After refining and separating the crude into a variety of petroleum products, thetwo PET feedstocks or monomers are eventually obtained, purified, and mixed together in a large sealed, cooking pot type of vesseland heated up to 300°C in the presence of a catalyst. Each intermediate has two identical points for reaction and is therefore capableof forming chains by linking several single molecules together and forming a polymer where the monomers are bonded by esterlinkages.Benefits of PETBecause PET is easily processed by or injection and blow moulding as well as extrusion when in the molten state, it can be tailored toalmost any packaging requirement. Typical applications of PET include: Bottles for beverages such as soft drinks, fruit juices, mineral waters. It is especially suitable for carbonated drinks, cooking and salad oils, sauces and dressings and detergents. Wide mouth jars and tubs for jams, preserves, fruits & dried foods. Trays for pre-cooked meals that can be re-heated in either microwave or conventional ovens. Pasta dishes, meats and vegetables. Foils for boil-in-the-bag pre-cooked meals, snack foods, nuts, sweets, long life confectionery. Other PET products with an extra oxygen barrier are ideal for containing beer, vacuum packed dairy products e.g., cheese, processed meats, Bag in Box wines, condiments, coffee, cakes, syrups.Performance profile What is PET? How is PET manufactured? What is the origin of PET? What makes PET so versatile? PET as a packaging material PET and oil resources PET market statistics Other plastics used in packagingPublic protectionRecycled/virgin PET-blendsHealth and safety - Food contact legislationLiteratureBottled Water in PET – Oestrogenic ActivityChemical resistance of PET consolidated - Products & ChemicalsLinksSources of information
Plastics with 1001 uses Typical applications PET bottles Reusable / refillable PET bottles PET trays and blister packs PET films and foilsPractical preservations Eco-profiles PET & LCA studies Recovery & recycling of PET Recycled PET for food contact applicationsFAQs Facts & figures Packaging Health & safety EnvironmentAnti dumping Clarification of PET definitions Clarification of viscosity measurements of PETWhat is PET?PET is a short name for a unique plastic belonging to the family of polyesters, the word is made up from poly- , the Greek word formany and -esters which are compounds formed by reaction of alcohols with acids via a chemical bonding known as an ester linkage .There are literally thousands of known esters which appear in many different forms, most flavours and essences are esters, fats areesters of fatty acids and glycerol, the ester - acetyl salicylate - is better known as Aspirin. PET polyester is formed from the alcohol -ethylene glycol [EG] - and the acid - terephthalic acid [TPA], or its derivative dimethyleterephthalate [DMT] - and its chemical name is- Polyethylene terephthalate or PET.How is PET manufactured? The raw materials for PET are derived from crude oil, as are many other plastics - after refining and separating the crude into a variety of petroleum products the two PET intermediates or monomers are eventually obtained, purified, and mixed together in a large sealed, cooking pot type of vessel and heated up to 280 to 300 ¼C under a slowly reducing the pressure. Each intermediate has two identical points for reaction and is therefore capable of forming chains by linking several single molecules together and forming a polymer where the monomers are bonded by ester linkages. The mixture becomes more and more viscous as the reaction proceeds and it is eventually halted once the appropriate viscosity is reached. At this stage the PET is extruded from the reactor in the form of thin spaghetti like strands, cooled quickly under water and chopped into small transparent granules or pellets before drying and transfer to other treatment stages. PET for manufacture of cola bottles is further refined by heating the solid granules below their melting point which distills out some impurities and at the same time enhances the physical properties of the material.
What is the origin of PET? PET was originally synthesized by Dupont chemists during a search for polymers to make new textile fibres, but the technology for making the very the long chains was developed by ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) in 1941. Polyester fibre applications have developed to such an extent that by the late 1990s PET represented over 50% of world synthetic fibre manufacture. It is used alone or to blend with cotton or wool to confer better wash/wear and crease resistant properties, in fibre form it is better known as Dacron or Trevira. In the late 1950s, PET was developed as a film by stretching a thin extruded sheet in two directions; in this form PET film finds extensive use as video, photographic and X- ray film in addition to uses in packaging. In the early 1970s, stretching in three dimensions by blow moulding - similar to inflating a balloon in a shaped mould -produced the first bottle type containers initiating the exploitation of PET as a lightweight, tough, unbreakable substitute for the glassbottleWhat makes PET so versatile?Careful manipulation of PET generates the wide range of useful products we see as variants of the same chemical formula.PET is easily processed by extrusion or injection moulding when in the molten state, obtaining an amorphous article of practically anyshape. Its properties can then be tailored to the needs, simply heating the article above its glass transition temperature [ca 72°C]. Inthis state the polymer chains are capable of being stretched in one direction [fibres] or in two directions [films and bottles]; if cooledquickly while stretched, the chains are frozen with their orientation intact. Once set in this stretched form the material is extremelytough and confers the properties we see in a typical polyester bottle, photographic film or fibre. If PET is held in the stretched form fora period at temperatures above the glass transition, it slowly crystallizes and the material starts to become opaque, more rigid andless flexible [crystalline PET or CPET]. However, in this crystalline form it is used for trays and containers capable of withstandingmoderate oven temperatures. PET as a packaging material The basic chemical structure of PET is essentially inert and resists attack by many potent chemicals. The molecular chains are packed together extremely tightly forming a very tough, dense, but a sparkling transparent material which resists gas penetration [carbon dioxide and oxygen] better that most other common polymers. It is also very resistant to biochemical attack and environmentally benign, a unique combination of properties which make it an excellent material for packaging of foods. PET is easy to process by simple heating and stretching treatments forming trays, sheets, foils, tubs, and glass clear bottles that do not break PET and oil resourcesWorldwide Uses of Oil Resource3,300 billion tonnes
Other plastics used in packagingRecycled/virgin PET-blendsBrussels, 11 August 2004Comments of the PET Committee on blending of recycled and virgin PETThe use of blends of virgin and recycled PET (Polyethylene-terephthalate) for the manufacture of food contact packaging is becomingmore and more common. Several customers purchase virgin PET from PET producers which are members of PlasticsEurope and blendit with recycled polymer, where the percentage of recycled PET in the blend is often up to 50%, and sometimes even higher.PlasticsEurope places the health and safety of consumers as its highest priority. PET recycled for food contact applications is fullyacknowledged by PlasticsEurope, if approved by specific national legislation and complying with the product safety requirements of ECDirective 2002/72/EC for plastics materials and articles that are intended to come into contact with foodstuffs.Virgin PETs well-known safety is proven by decades of safe use and is beyond argument. To achieve the same high standards forrecycled PET the quality control of recycled PET should be comparable to those used by manufacturers of virgin PET.It is expected that the proposed Regulation for the Recycle of Plastics back to Food Contact will lay down requirements for highstandards of quality control that will ensure consumer health and safety.Against the backdrop of the PlasticEurope´s PET producers dedication to consumer health and safety, it is important for the PETproducers represented within PlasticsEurope to point out, that they can take responsibility for the recycled part of such blends withrespect to their compliance with EC Directive 2002/72/EC only if supplied by themselves.Health and safety - Food contact legislationUpdated July 2004This note is a brief summary of the regulatory status of PET food packaging materials and outlines the principles involved. For morecomprehensive details concerning these regulations the reader should consult the particular regulations in question, contact theappropriate regulatory body or seek additional information from PlasticsEurope (formerly APME) PET producers.The relevant European Union legislation is still in the process of harmonisation across the Member States but the basic principles offood contact regulation are now well established in the EC "Framework Directive" [89/109/EEC]. The Directive states that:"Materials and articles must be manufactured in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practice [GMP] so that, under normal conditionsof use, they do not transfer any of their constituents to foodstuffs in quantities that could endanger human health, bring about anunacceptable change in the composition of the foodstuffs or cause a deterioration in the organoleptic [taste/odour] characteristics".The Directive also requires that food contact materials and articles should be positively labelled to the effect that they are suitable forthe declared conditions of use. Any changes or amendments to this law are decided by the Codecision Procedure EU Council ofMinisters following the advice of European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) an appointed body of European experts. The Directive definesthe requirements for all materials intended for all food contact applications, not only plastics.Within this Framework Directive there is a specific Directive for all plastics [2002/72/EC] including PET. In general, Directive2002/72/EC requires the establishment of, Positive lists of authorised substances, which may be used in manufacture of plastics andplastic articles.An "overall migration limit" (OML), defined as the limit on any substance, which might possibly transfer into the food.Where necessary, specific migration limits (SMLs) or compositional limits (QMs or QMAs) for particular substances.These two Directives, and related amendments (e.g. 2nd amendment of Directive 2002/72/EC published 2004) are intended to giveconsumers maximal protection. Detailed tests that have to be applied to ensure compliance with the legislation are covered in severalother directives including (see practical guide). The Framework Directive is being revised and the amended version is expected within2004. Concurrently, the Plastics Directive and the Migration Directives with amendments are being consolidated in one "SuperDirective".
Other countries (e.g. USA, Japan) have similar regulatory requirements to those of the EU. The procedures and responsibilities are alsosimilar, i.e., the producers and users of materials and articles must ensure compliance under the conditions of intended use.PET materials supplied for use in food packaging applications have been subjected to careful review by all the appropriate regulatorybodies around the world and may be used with complete safety in contact with food and beverages.PET producers, converters and packers/fillers constantly monitor developments in the regulatory processes to ensure that all theirproducts and articles are in compliance. Producers and their trade association [PlasticsEurope], provide more specific details andadvice on compliance requirements.Typical applications of PETBottlesBeverages, Cola and soft drinks, fruit juices, mineral waters.Especially suitable for carbonated drinks.Cooking and salad oils, saucesand dressings.Detergents.Wide mouth jars and tubsJams, preserves, fruits & dried foods.TraysPre-cooked meals for re-heating in either microwave or conventional ovens. Pasta dishes, meats and vegetables.FoilsBoil in bag pre-cooked meals, snack foods, nuts, sweets, long life confectionery.PET Products with extra oxygen barrierBeer, vacuum packed dairy products e.g., cheese, processed meats, Bag in Box wines, condiments, coffee, cakes, syrups.
PET bottles The PET bottle is the modern, hygienic package of choice for many food products, particularly beverages and mineral waters. The main reasons for its popularity are its glass like transparency, ability to retain carbonation and freshness, a toughness per weight ratio which allows manufacture of lightweight, large capacity, safe unbreakable containers. The proportion of package weight compared to the contents allows very favourable distribution economics which reduces overall system costs. For example, a typical transporter vehicle would transport 93% of beverage and 7% of PET bottle material compared with a glass bottle transporting 57% beverage and 43% unwanted glass. This ratio is particularly advantageous when measuring fuel consumption per litre of beverage delivered. PET bottles and jars are manufactured by the process of injection stretch blow moulding. A preform, parison or pre-moulding is first formed by injecting molten PET into a cooled mould. The preform is then carefully heated in a second process stage before using air pressure,assisted by a rod, to quickly stretch and form the PET material by blowing into a larger mould in the shape ofthe desired container followed by cooling. If the desired container is a bottle or jar the screw thread is formedduring the preform manufacturing stage.Selection of the processing temperatures is vital to achieve the best balance of properties. Toughness,transparency, stiffness, gas resistance properties are all maximised during this part of the process. Tubs canalso be made by this process but thermoforming is the preferred option.The weight of a typical 1.5 litre single trip cola bottle would be about 40 to 45g. about one tenth the weightof an equivalent glass bottleReusable / refillable PET bottlesTraditionally the glass bottle has been the material of choice in this end use because practical alternatives have not been available. PETnow provides an alternative to glass, PET offers similar size with 75 % less material weight, it is unbreakable and allows the use oflarger size containers for carbonated products with a higher degree of safety. However, PET is absorbent to some degree andtherefore requires a more strict approach to segregation of unsuitable bottles. Rigorous cleaning and sterilisation procedures must befollowed to guarantee product safety and consumer acceptance. Many very detailed studies have now been completed investigating all the health, safety and environmental aspects of using PET in refillable bottle systems. The weight of a typical refillable PET bottle would be around twice the weight of a single trip PET bottle at about 80g., approximately one fifth of an equivalent glass bottle. Refillable PET bottles are now used extensively in Scandinavia and countries like Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland. PET trays and blister packs Semi rigid PET sheet, the precursor for thermoforming PET articles, is made by a extruding a ribbon of molten PET polymer on to a series of cooling and compressing rolls, usually in a stack of three. The cooled sheet is then stored before feeding through a thermoforming line which heats the sheet, stamp forms, and cuts out the article all in one process. Similar principles to those in stretch blow moulding apply but the operation is less critical and the range of properties less demanding
PET films and foilsManufacture of very thin highly stretched PET film is a much more demanding operation which develops fully the properties of thePET. Film packaging applications approximate to around 20% of PET film use, it finds a wide range of applications in magnetic tapes,photographic films, photoresist and hot stamping foils in addition to packaging outlets. The excellent thermal properties of PET allow processing and use over a wider temperature range (-70 to +150 ¼C) than most common packaging films. It is ideal for retort packaging, dual ovenable lidding and boil in the bag applications. PET film has the chemical inertness and good gas barrier properties that are important for many medical, pharmaceutical and food products, they can be used in the demanding steam, ethylene oxide and radiation sterilisation processes. The key to achieving these highly prized film properties is in the way the material is manipulated during the hot stretching and heat annealing section of the process, which is called stenteringEco-profiles PET & LCA studiesEnvironmental auditing of processes is usually carried out by applying the technique of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). A Life CycleInventory (LCI) first catalogues all the raw materials, energy consumption and wastes generated during the whole product cycle, i.e.the so-called Cradle to Grave inventory.To facilitate the inventory phase for polymers, PlasticsEurope has prepared eco-profiles for the most important plastics. Eco-profilesare block collections of average ‘Cradle to Gate’ industry data; i.e., they start with raw materials in the earth and end with polymersready for despatch to converters. Among others, eco-profiles of PET resin and PET film have been published by PlasticsEurope in itsseries of polymer eco-profiles. An eco-profile for the manufacture of PET bottles is also available. All these reports can be read on, ordownloaded from, this, the PlasticsEurope website.Every LCA carried out so far on PET containers has shown sound environmental performance.This has recently been confirmed by an LCA carried out in 2004 by IFEU GmbH (Heidelberg) on behalf of PETCORE (Brussels). Thisstudy compared single use PET bottles for mineral water, carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks with refillable glass bottles forthe same beverages, with focus on the German market. It was conducted in accordance with International Standards (ISO 14040) andpeer reviewed.Although several studies with similar goals have been done in the past, this was the first study in which the system boundaries wereexpanded to include the additional products obtained from the recycle of post use PET bottles. In this way, it was possible to avoidpartitioning the benefits of recycling between the system of PET bottles and that of articles from recycled PET. As there is no scientificway of partitioning benefits among several product flows, the interpretation of LCA’s involving additional products is often uncertainunless the boundaries are enlarged.The conclusions of the IFEU study were: Under the conditions of kerbside collection of PET single use bottles (DSD system), there is no clear environmental advantage for either of the two packaging systems. Instead, under the conditions of a deposit based collection system and shipping of significant amounts of baled bottles to the Far East for recycling, there is a clear environmental advantage for refillable glass bottles. However, this advantage would disappear if recycling of PET bottles were carried out in Europe.Recovery & recycling of PETThe EU Packaging and Packaging Waste DirectiveThe European Union, with the adoption of its Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, 94/62/EC as amended by 2004/12/EC, islegislating for more effective recovery of used packaging and for the reduction of the impact of packaging on the environment.
a) More effective recoveryRecovery of PET packaging falls under the requirements for recovery and is classed together with other plastic materials in the targetslaid down in directive 2004/12/EC:Overall recovery: minimum 60% of packaging waste Overall recycling of packaging waste (including feedstock recycling): between 55%and 80% Minimum recycling differentiated by material, for plastics 22.5% (including only what is recycled back to plastics)Member States must meet these targets by 2008, with the exception of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and the accession countries, whichare allowed to delay their attainment.b) Minimisation of the environmental impactTo be allowed on the market, packaging articles must comply with the following essential requirements: The content of heavy metals (Cd, CrVI, Hg, and Pb) must be lower than 100 ppm. The use of substances dangerous for the environment must be minimised. The articles must be recoverable by material recycling, organic recycling, and/or energy recovery (at least one of the three). They must be suitable for reuse (when relevant and claimed). The volume or weight of the packaging article must be limited to the minimum adequate amount to maintain the necessary level of safety, hygiene, and consumer acceptance.c) Status of PETPET is widely recycled as a material, making a large contribution to the recycling targets required for plastics by the EU directive. Whenmaterial recycling is not feasible, PET can be incinerated with energy recovery.Moreover, PET usually does not contain heavy metals and/or substances dangerous for the environment.The introduction of the PET bottle has created a number of dilemmas, which are currently being resolved slowly by a mixture ofpolitical and commercial considerations. The commercial advantages are well understood. However, the traditional use of refillableglass in many northern European countries has resisted the widespread use of the single use PET container that is more prevalent insouthern Europe. A refillable PET bottle has been developed and is now used widely in the Nordic countries, Germany, TheNetherlands, and Switzerland.The pursuit of commercial freedom within Europe is a central stone of the EU trade policy, but concerns around unsatisfactorydisposal schemes for single use PET containers need to be resolved to the satisfaction of the relevant authorities before completeharmonisation of distribution systems is achieved. In Germany, Denmark, Finland, Norway, The Netherlands and Sweden all beveragecontainers, single use and refillable, are distributed and collected via a mandatory deposit refund system. Switzerland manages anadvanced disposal fee to fund a voluntary collection scheme. The majority of the other European countries are including the collectionof PET containers in more comprehensive schemes for separate collection of packaging waste set up to comply with the EU directive.Recycling of PET containersPET container recycling is a healthy industry and growing very steadily. Even if the PET consumption rate will follow predictions ataround 2.5 to 3.0 million tonnes beyond the year 2007, meeting the EU recycling targets should not be a challenge to the currentgrowth in recycling of approximately 10% pa. Regular information on recovery and recycling of PET can be obtained from PETCORE(www.petcore.org), a European organisation constituted solely to facilitate the recycling of PET containers. Similar organisations areoperating on other continents as NAPCOR (www.napcor.com) in the US and the Council for PET Bottle Recycling (www.petbottle-rec.gr.jp/english/en_top.html) in Japan; all offer guidance on recovery procedures.To assist the overall process of recycling there are guides to good container design and a common specification for collected used PETcontainers. Sophisticated container sorting equipment, using X-rays and optical sensors, is automated to a level that ensures almost100% separation of PET from other container types.There are now clear programmes in place to meet the EU recovery targets and establish recycling of PET as a sustainable process.
PET recovery processes and sustainabilityPET can be recovered, and the material reused, by simple washing processes to regenerate clean washed polymer flake (mechanicalrecycling), or by chemical treatment to break down the PET into oligomers or up to the starting monomers, terephthalic acid andethylene glycol (chemical recycling). These intermediates are then purified and repolymerised into new PET resins. A final option, forPET that is unsuitable for material recycling (e.g., very dirty, or too contaminated to clean), is to use PET as an energy source.Purity is essential for good quality mechanical recycling. Discrete physical contamination is usually easy to remove i.e., dirt, glassfragments, stones, grit, soil, paper, glues, product residues and other plastics like PVC and PE. However, ingrained soil caused byabrasion or grinding, for example during baling, transport or handling in poor storage conditions, is difficult to dislodge and will needsome filtration to ensure removal. Oils, fats, and greases need more detergents and contaminate wash waters excessively, althoughleaving no residual quality problems. Chemical contamination occurs by adsorption of contents as flavourings, essential oils, or similaringredients used in the product formulations. Contamination can also be introduced by consumer misuse of the container forpurposes other than the original intention e.g., storage of pesticides, household chemicals, or motor and fuel oils. Complete removalwill require desorption, a slow process, hence with reduced productivity. However, these occurrences are few, and are not known tocause many problems during reprocessing. For some low risk applications, like non-food contact and fibres, incidental productcontamination is likely to be insignificant. For other uses, appearance and odour are important. The intended use of the recycled PEToften determines the feedstock purity requirements.
Chemical recycling processes are generally less sensitive to purity of feedstock than mechanical ones, as they include efficientpurification steps.Recovery of PET by combustion in waste-to-energy power generation plants is a useful method of utilising the high intrinsic energycontent of PET (23 MJ/kg, comparable to that of soft coal). If this type of plant is not available, simple incineration is then thealternative option. Combustion of PET is perfectly safe; containing only carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with controlled burning itscombustion generates only carbon dioxide and water. The volume of ash generated is parts per million, essentially insoluble and canbe treated in the same manner as other resulting ashes.In landfills, PET is stable and inert with no leaching or groundwater risk. Bottles are crushed to very small volume, take up relativelylittle space, and generally add a degree of stability to the landfill.Processes for the recovery of used PETDegree of General Recovery process Process convenience Example of feedstockscontamination economics Refillable & Single use clear andLow Washing and remelting Satisfactory Simple pale coloured bottles Glycolysis Satisfactory Fibrous waste, generic PET Increasing complexity, extra purification technologyMedium Demands larger scale purification plant to reduce costs Coated and coloured PET, barrier Complete chemical bottles breakdown More expensive Energy recovery as a Well established Laminates, coated and thin gaugeHigh Relatively convenient fuel substitute costs films. Very dirty bottles Uses of recycled PET (R-PET) Clean, recovered R-PET flake is virtually indistinguishable from virgin PET and can be converted into many different productscompeting in the same markets. It is used again in bottles for non-food end uses like household chemicals and cleaners. In countries where local laws allow it, the use of R PET for the manufacture of new beverage bottles is growing rapidly. However, the major secondary use is for the manufacture of polyester fibres then used to make clothing, either directly or as a filling fibre in anoraks and bedding. The fibres are also used extensively for carpets and scouring and cleaning pads. Protective packaging for delicate articles, like eggs, and plants for despatch through the mail, are manufactured from R-PET using thermoforming techniques. Markets for Recycled PET Main markets for melt reprocessing of clean recycled PET flake Fibres In staple form for fillings e.g., anoraks, bedding, cushions, and furnishings. Industrial fibres for belting, webbing, scouring/cleaning pads, filters, cleaning cloths, and geotextiles. Other textiles like carpets, upholstery fabrics, interlinings, protective clothing, and other garments.