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Plastic: Its Physical Properties, Types, and Advantages

Did you know that Belgian scientist Leo Baekeland invented plastic in 1907?

Plastic often gets a bad rap for being unsustainable. However, plastic is an extremely versatile material that millions of products we use every day. Plastic makes everything from playgrounds to keyboards and its ubiquity makes it a valuable material across many industries.

Are you interested in learning more about plastic? Read on to learn about plastics’ physical properties, the advantages of different types of plastics, and why it is such a popular choice.

What Is Plastic?

Plastic is a synthetic material made of polymer. Plastic is a man-made material and is extremely popular due to its versatility. Plastic is one of the most commonplace materials and has replaced materials like glass, metal, and wood.

What Are the Types of Plastic?

There are two primary types of plastic; these are thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics. Thermoplastics are plastics that do not experience changes when they are exposed to high temperatures. As a result, they’re be remolded into different shapes many times.

Thermoplastics include materials like Teflon and Nylon.

Thermosetting plastics are those that do not change shape when they are exposed to high heat, which means that they can only be molded once. An example of thermosetting plastic is Epoxy Resin.

What Are the Physical Properties of Plastic?

Another way to classify plastics is by their physical properties including their density, and heat resistance. You can learn even more by checking out the physical properties of metals.

Plastic is man-made. This means it can be easily changed to meet different needs by adding different chemicals to the production process. Some of the ways plastic can be changed are its color or its shape.

What Are the Advantages of Plastic?

Plastic has many advantages, reflected in its wide use, and is often considered a superior material. They are well suited for mass production and manufacturing because of their flexibility and durability. Here are some of the advantages of plastic:

  • Easily shaped: plastic can be easily molded into different shapes using casts and molds to form different shapes.
  • Aesthetically pleasing: plastic can be made into many shapes as well as colors, shades, and finishes such as translucent or opaque.
  • Cost-effective: plastics are easy to develop and form compared to other material alternatives. This often makes them a cheaper alternative
  • Lightweight: Compared to other popular materials like steel, glass, or metal, plastic is a lightweight alternative,
  • Strong: plastics have a high strength to mass ratio which makes them ideal for products with a long lifecycle.
  • Durable: plastic is scratch resistant and its durability makes for long-lasting products. They are also resistant to water which makes them ideal for use in outdoor products

The Material Of Choice

Plastics are artificial materials that are a popular choice in manufacturing around the globe. The physical properties of plastic make it a cost-effective, and durable material to use for a wide variety of products across all industries.

The ability to impact the physical properties of plastic with different chemicals makes it a popular choice for many manufacturers. They can customize the offering for their needs. Consider plastic as your material of choice for your next project. Liked this article? Check out the rest of the blog for more

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