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Expert discusses the truth about plastic

Plastic continues to make big news, especially in Connecticut where a single-use plastic bag fee took effect on August 1st. With estimates of 4.8 to 12.7 million tons of plastic finding its way to the world's oceans in a ...

Everest region bans single-use plastic

Single-use plastics have been banned in the Everest region to reduce the vast amounts of waste left by trekkers and mountaineers, Nepali authorities said Thursday.

Designing new ways to make use of ocean plastic

Beachcombing has long been a part of life for island communities. On the southwestern edge of Scarp, a small, treeless island off the coast of Harris in Scotland's Outer Hebrides, the Mol Mòr ("big beach") was where locals ...

Insights on service life of industrial components

It is of technological importance to understand the accumulation of plastic damage or deformation in components under various operating conditions in order to estimate their service lifetime.

Bottles made of lignocellulose, perfumes made from apples

Many companies are working on materials that would be as light and resistant as plastic but at the same time fully biodegradable. What if they could be made from... rubbish? A modern, ecological (waste-free—the conversion ...

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Plastic

Plastic is the general common term for a wide range of synthetic or semisynthetic organic amorphous solid materials suitable for the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular weight, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce costs.

The word derives from the Greek πλαστικός (plastikos) meaning fit for molding, and πλαστός (plastos) meaning molded. It refers to their malleability, or plasticity during manufacture, that allows them to be cast, pressed, or extruded into an enormous variety of shapes—such as films, fibers, plates, tubes, bottles, boxes, and much more.

The common word plastic should not be confused with the technical adjective plastic, which is applied to any material which undergoes a permanent change of shape (plastic deformation) when strained beyond a certain point. Aluminum, for instance, is plastic in this sense, but not a plastic in the common sense; while some plastics, in their finished forms, will break before deforming and therefore are not plastic in the technical sense.

There are two types of plastics: thermoplastics and thermosets. Thermoplastics, if exposed to enough heat, will melt. Thermosets will keep their shape until they are charred and burnt. Some examples of thermoplastics are grocery bags, piano keys and some automobile parts. Examples of thermosets are children's dinner sets and circuit boards.

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