Inorganic chemistry

What can recycled plastic be used for?

Examples of plastic


What can plastic be used for?

Plastic :

The  plastic – also called  material  plastic – appeared on the market at the beginning of XX th century.

Its qualities – hygiene, resistance to shocks and temperature variations, ease of shaping, rot-proofness, etc. – quickly allowed him to make himself indispensable.

Today, it is everywhere around us, from jars of yoghurt to bottles of milk to toys, cooking utensils, sports equipment and school supplies.

But his supremacy begins to be challenged. Because plastic waste threatens our environment more and more.

Beyond the delicate issue of disposable products – some of which are progressively banned from the market – raises the problem of the collection and recyclability of plastics .

At the heart of plastic

At the base of the plastic is a polymer , a macromolecule made up of long carbon chains. This is obtained by processing coal ,  oil  or  natural gas .

Each polymer has properties, structure and size. And to improve these characteristics can be added different substances fillers, plasticizers or other additives.

If there is a wide variety of plastics, there are generally two broad categories:  thermoplastics  and  thermosets .

The thermoplastic melt under the effect of  heat  and solidify as a result of cooling. For thermosets , the transformation is irreversible. Once formed, the plastic no longer deforms.

Examples of plastics

  • The  polyethylene  low density (LDPE), invented in 1933, is a soft product, thermoplastic. It is mainly used for  garbage bags , packaging films, etc.
  • Polyvinyl  chloride  ( PVC ) is a thermoplastic polymer widely used for pipes, credit cards , etc.
  • Polyepoxides, commonly referred to as “  epoxies  ”, are thermosetting plastics. They are found, among others, in glues and paints.
  • Note that now also produced plastics of biological origin, from sugar cane, for example. The ethylene that can be extracted allows in this case to manufacture polyethylene (PE).
  • Fluoropolymers, for their part, correspond to a family of high performance plastics used in particular as flame retardants or as coating for chemical tanks .

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