Plastic is a polymer type of long molecule made up of many smaller molecules. Polymers are the building blocks of everything that moves, changes shape, or breaks down. It can be found in a wide array of products, from simple grocery bags to your phone’s expensive and durable casing.
Since the time plastics were invented, there has been an incredible increase in their use in different aspects of modern life. Many plastic types are used today for their excellent properties: rigidity, transparency, lightness, and impermeability to gases. Here, we will evaluate different types of plastics and their properties.
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
HDPE is a thermoplastic polymer that has been manufactured from petroleum. It is among the flexible materials and is primarily used in making items such as water pipes, shopping bags, and bottles. Plastic can also be used outdoors as it can do well in high and low temperatures. When recycled, the material can be used in making bottles, plastic lumber, and picnic tables.
HPDE has many properties, including resistance to chemicals, flexibility, durability, cheapness, and toughness to low temperatures.
Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
LDPE is considered a low-cost HPDE and has been developed from petroleum. It is used in making lightweight plastic bags, food containers, toys, and other products. This type of plastic is recognized for its versatility in products ranging from durable to flexible.
When recycled, the material can make garment hangers, among other items. Its properties include waterproof, semi-rigid, translucent, low cost, and chemical resistance.
PP is a thermoplastic polymer that uses propylene monomers as the building blocks of its molecular structure. Plastic is mainly used to make yogurt containers, car parts, textiles, and pipes. It can also be recycled to make ice scrapers, dishware, and others.
In addition, it has properties such as high resistance to heat, toughness, good resistance to chemicals and fatigue, and its translucent.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
PVC is made from vinyl chloride monomers. The material has a variety of uses, such as making pipes, wire coatings, and plumbing fittings. PVC is mainly used on electrical wiring, home appliances, and other products. Also, plastic is applied in construction areas, electronics, health care, and automobile companies. PVC has good resistance to chemicals and is resistant to heat but weak against coldness.
It has excellent properties, such as high resistance to weather and corrosion. The plastic has high energy and is perfect for producing thermal and electrical insulators.
PS is another type of polymer that is made from cyclic hydrocarbon monomers. Plastic has many uses, such as making disposable dinnerware, beverage cups, and egg cartons. When recycled, it can be used in making foam packing, pencils, and toys, among other things. Some of the PS properties include flexibility, strength, and lightness.
Polycarbonate is a transparent thermoplastic polymer made from fused aromatic rings of benzene. The material can be used in the car industry (dashboards, headlights), electronics, and consumer products such as TV casings and digital camera cases.
PC has good resistance to heat and chemicals. Also, the plastic is tough, stiff, strong, and transparent. Different studies have indicated that PCs’ extreme toughness and optical clarity make them practical for engineering plastics. In addition, plastic can be recycled to make bullet-proof glass, computer monitors, and lenses, among other products.
Plastics are recognized as the most common polymers manufactured in our day. Increased demand for the products has been made to ensure the development of more plastic types and improve production processes. Some examples of these types of plastics include polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, and polypropylene.
The properties of different plastic types and their uses are extensive, and anyone can use them for a good reason. From food and clothing to hospital equipment, plastics are found everywhere in our lives.