Manufacturing of plastics
Types of Plastics:1. Thermoplastics
2. Thermosetting plastics
Advantages of Plastics
Disadvantages of Plastics
Recycling of Plastics
The production of plastics can be roughly divided
into four categories:
1. Acquiring the raw material or monomer.
2. Synthesizing the basic polymer.
3. Compounding the polymer into a material
that can be used for fabrication.
4. Molding or shaping the plastic into its final
A thermoplastic , or thermosoftening , is a polymer that becomes
pliable or moldable above a specific temperature , and returns to
a solid state upon cooling .
Most thermoplastics have a high molecular weight .
The polymer chains associate through intermolecular forces , which
permits thermoplastics to be remolded because the
intermolecular interactions increase upon cooling and restore the
bulk properties .
In this way , thermoplastics differ from thermosetting polymers
which form irreversible chemical bonds during the curing process .
Thermosets often do not melt , but break down and do not reform
upon cooling .
Polythene is the most common plastic. The annual global production is
approximately 80 million tones. Its primary use is in packaging (plastic
bag, plastic films, containers including bottles, etc.). Many kinds of
polyethylene are known, with most having the chemical
formula (C2H4)nH2. Thus it is usually a mixture of similar organic
Poly(vinyl chloride), commonly abbreviated PVC, is the third-most
widely produced plastic. PVC is used in construction because it is more
effective than traditional materials such as copper, iron or wood in pipe
and profile applications. It can be made softer and more flexible by the
addition of plasticizers, the most widely used being phthalates. In this
form, it is also used in plumbing, electrical cable insulation, inflatable
products and many applications in which it replaces rubber
Polystyrene is a synthetic aromatic polymer made from
the monomer styrene, a liquid petrochemical. Polystyrene can be rigid or
foamed. General purpose polystyrene is clear, hard and brittle. It is a very
inexpensive resin per unit weight. It is a rather poor barrier to oxygen
and water vapor and has a relatively low melting point. . Polystyrene can
be naturally transparent, but it can be colored with colorants. It is used in
protective packaging (such as packing peanuts and CD
and DVD cases), containers (such as
"clamshells"), lids, bottles, trays, tumblers, and disposable cutlery.
Perspex is a transparent thermoplastic, often used as a lightweight or
shatter-resistant alternative to glass.
Teflon is used as a non-stick coating for pans and other cookware. It is
very non-reactive, partly because of the strength of carbon–fluorine
bonds and so it is often used in containers and pipe work for reactive and
corrosive chemicals. Where used as a lubricant, PTFE reduces
friction, wear and energy consumption of machinery. It is also commonly
used as a graft material in surgical interventions.
Bakelite is one of the first plastics made from
synthetic components, It was used for its
electrical non conductivity and heat-resistant
properties in electrical insulators, radio and
telephone casings, and such diverse products
as kitchenware, jewellery, pipe stems, and
Formica laminate is a brand of composite
materials manufactured by New Zealand-based
Formica Group. Formica Group, a division of
the New Zealand company. In common use, the
term Formica refers to the company's classic
product, a heat-resistant, wipe-clean, plastic
laminate of paper or fabric with melamine resin.
1. Generally plastic items like toys, bags can be reused in various ways
such as in the manufacturing of fashionable accessories and other plastic
goods. No doubt the recycling of plastic consume more energy and effort
compare to its manufacturing but it is a good alternate to prevent the
plastic pollution in environment.
2. Plastic materials are light in weight, unbreakable, odourless and can
be easily moulded.
3. They have excellent finishing; possess good shock absorption
capacity, high strength as well as toughness.
4. The plastics materials are corrosion resistant and these are inert as far
chemical or changes due to atmospheric oxygen goes; besides these have
low thermal expansion of co-efficient.
Therefore they possess good thermal and electrical insulating property.
5. Plastics have water resistant property and possess good adhesiveness.
They are strong, durable, good and cheap to produce.
6. It is possible to recycle plastic; therefore no decomposition required
which is much more expensive and hazardous than recycling.
7. Plastic can be used in building, construction, electronics, packing and
8. Plastic can be used to produce other product and reduce soil and wind
erosion. Because of nonconductive nature of plastic, they can be easily use in
9. Plastic is strong, good and cheap to produce.
10. Plastic is a recycling process and it does not decompose.
11. Plastic bottles can be reused and restored over again and again.
12. Advantages of plastic are used to produce another product.
14. Advantages of plastic are corrosion resistant and chemically inert.
15. They possess good shock absorption capacity.
16. They are also used to make - Water bottles, pens, plastic bags, cups etc.
The four disadvantages are:-
1. Flammable – This is definitely an advantage in that they
can be melted down, however smoldering plastics can
release toxic fumes into the environment.
2. Cost of Recycling – While recycling is a plus, recycling is
a very costly endeavor.
3. Volume – In the United States 20% of our landfill is made
up of plastics. As more products are being made of
plastics, where will this lead us in the future?
4. Durability – This is an advantage as well as a
disadvantage. Plastics are extremely durable, which means
that they last a long time. Those plastics in the landfill will
be there for years.
Plastics make our lives easier, however is their cost on the
environment worth it?
Threat to animal life
Plastic bags have been known to cause a lot of environmental
damage. A single plastic bag can take up to 1000 years, to decay
completely. This makes the bags stay in environments longer, in
turn leading to great build-up on the natural landscape (much
more than degradable materials like paper). In other words, the
more plastic bags you use, the greater the chances of
Threat To Animal Life
As per Marrickville Council of Australia, as many as 100,000
whales, turtles and birds die have been reported to die every
year, mainly because of plastic in their environment. Plastic bags
not only have adverse effects on our natural habitats, but have
also been found to be responsible for the death of many
animals, mainly on account of the suffocation encountered on
Not only animals, infants and young children
have also been reported to have lost their
life, on account of plastic bags. Since plastic
bags are thin and airtight as well, children
often end up blocking their mouths and
nostrils with them. In case they are not being
monitored by an adult, this leads to
suffocation and, in some cases, even death.
There are various ways on how plastic bags
can harm the health of humans and the entire
environment. Two major methods that release
toxic chemicals of plastic bags are by burning
and throwing. Whether you burn or throw
plastic bags, all the chemicals are released
which can cause harm to the society.
Since plastic bags are not bio-degradable, the
only way to get rid of them is to burn them up.
Though lighting a match to them is easy, it has
more than its fair share of disadvantages. The
biggest of them is that smoldering plastics can
release toxic fumes into the environment, in
turn taking the air pollution to much higher
One of the main disadvantages of plastic bags
is that they are not renewable. The reason
behind this is that they are made of
petrochemicals, a non-renewable source of
energy. They can be recycled, but not as easily
as paper bags. Plastic bags can last for as much
as hundred of years. In other words, long after
you are no more, the plastic bag used by you
will be in existence.