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Thermoplastics are Indispensable in Life


In our modern world, ordinary people interact with plastic materials countless times every day. These materials include any product produced with organic solids (including synthetic and semi-synthetic). Humans have developed plastic products for centuries, while thermoplastics are a great presence.

There are dozens of thermoplastics, each of which has different crystal structures and densities. Some of the types currently produced are polyurethanes, polypropylenes, polycarbonates and acrylics. Celluloid, which is considered the first thermoplastic, made its appearance in the mid-1800s and reigned in the industry for approximately 100 years. During its peak production, it was used as a substitute for ivory. Today, it is used to make guitar picks.

Sometimes, thermoplastics are confused with thermosetting plastics. Although they sound the same, they actually have very different properties. Thermosetting plastics undergo poor chemical changes when heated.

Thermoplastics are also different from elastomers, even if some are considered to be both. While many thermoplastics can be stretched to one point, they tend to resist and maintain their stretched shape. Elastic, as the name suggests, bounce. However, adding a plasticizer to the melt gives a more flexible thermoplastic. In fact, this is usually the case when the thermoplastic is used for plastic injection or extrusion.

Thermoplastics have been around for a long time and are a huge part of today's everyday life. For example, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is a thermoplastic used to make sports equipment, toys (ie blocks) and various automotive components. Polycarbonate is used to make discs (CDs), beverage bottles, food storage containers and eyeglass lenses. Polyethylene may be the most commonly encountered thermoplastic, used in the manufacture of shampoo bottles, plastic grocery bags, and even bulletproof vests.

Thermoplastic is revolution in many areas because it is so versatile and useful. It has great benefits for many different industries and similar substances that will continue to be improved to make these properties more diversified for private industry and the public.