A synthetic or semi-synthetic material made from a wide range of organic polymers such as polyethylene, PVC, nylon, etc., that can be moulded into shape while soft, and then set into a rigid or slightly elastic form.
The plastic is one of the recent engineering material which has appeared in the market all over the world. Some varieties of naturally occurring thermo-plastics were known to Egyptians and Romans who extracted and used these plastics for various purposes. A number of scientists carried out experiments for plastics and as a result of long research, the birth of plastic industry took place in the nineteenth century.
Composition of plastic
The plastic is an organic substance and it consists of natural or synthetic binders resins with or without moulding compounds. The various types of resins and commonly used moulding compounds will be discussed later in this chapter. In general, it may be stated that the plastics are compounds of carbon with other elements such as hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. The carbon combines with itself and other elements and it forms more complicated compounds.
The finished product of plastic is rigid and stable at normal temperature. It is therefore improper to associate the term plastic to such substances in the ordinary sense of the term.
It is however to be noted that the plastics are the organic substances and these are capable of flow when necessary heat and pressure are applied at some stage of their manufacture. The term plastic is therefore accepted to be the best one to describe the various diverse products of the plastic industry.
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