Design & Technology
Natural sources of plastics include:
Synthetic plastics are chemically manufactured from:
Plastics are divided into thermoplastics and thermoset plastics.
Thermoplastics can be heated and shaped many times.
|Polyamide (Nylon)||Creamy colour, tough [tough: Able to withstand blows or sudden shocks without breaking. ], fairly hard [hard: Able to resist wear, scratching and indentation. ], resists wear, self-lubricating [lubricating: Oiling or reducing friction. A lubricant is anything which reduces the friction between two surfaces. ], good resistance to chemicals and machines||Bearings, gear wheels, casings for power tools, hinges for small cupboards, curtain rail fittings and clothing|
|Polymethyl methacrylate (Acrylic)||Stiff, hard but scratches easily, durable, brittlebrittle: If something is brittle it is easily broken. in small sections, good electrical insulatorinsulator: Material that is a poor conductor of electricity or heat., machines and polishes well||Signs, covers of storage boxes, aircraft canopies and windows, covers for car lights, wash basins and baths|
|Polypropylene||Light, hard but scratches easily, tough, good resistance to chemicals, resists work fatigue [work fatigue: Weakening of a material as a result of prolonged or repeated stress on it. ]||Medical equipment, laboratory equipment, containers with built-in hinges, 'plastic' seats, string, rope, kitchen equipment|
|Polystyrene||Light, hard, stiff, transparent, brittle, with good water resistance||Toys, especially model kits, packaging, 'plastic' boxes and containers|
|Low density polythene (LDPE)||Tough, good resistance to chemicals, flexible, fairly soft, good electrical insulator||Packaging, especially bottles, toys, packaging film and bags|
|High density polythene (HDPE)||Hard, stiff, able to be sterilised||Plastic bottles, tubing, household equipment|
Thermoset plastics can only be heated and shaped once.
|Epoxy resin||Good electrical insulator, hard, brittle unless reinforced, resists chemicals well||Casting and encapsulation, adhesives, bonding of other materials|
|Melamine formaldehyde||Stiff, hard, strong, resists some chemicals and stains||Laminates for work surfaces, electrical insulation, tableware|
|Polyester resin||Stiff, hard, brittle unless laminated, good electrical insulator, resists chemicals well||Casting and encapsulation, bonding of other materials|
|Urea formaldehyde||Stiff, hard, strong, brittle, good electrical insulator||Electrical fittings, handles and control knobs, adhesives|
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