Types of plastics application properties and characteristics

In this article, we intend to provide you with a comprehensive research on the types of plastics, applications, properties and characteristics, how to produce and chemical formulas and all types of this material, read more with us.

In the first step, we need to know what is the definition of plastic?

Plastic is a term commonly used to describe a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic materials used in a wide range of applications. You will find plastic everywhere you look. We use plastic products to make life easier, more comfortable, safer and more enjoyable. Plastic is a synthetic or semi-synthetic material that we find in the clothes we wear, the houses we live in, and the cars we travel with. The toys we play with, every TV or show we watch, the IT tools we use, and the medical equipment we all benefit from contain plastic.

What raw material is plastic made of?

Plastics are organic materials, just like wood, paper or wool. The raw materials used to make plastics are natural products such as cellulose, coal, natural gas, salt and, most importantly, crude oil.

Plastic naming history

The term “plastic” is derived from the Greek word “plastikos”, meaning suitable for mold making. This refers to the flexibility or plasticity of the material during manufacture, which allows it to be poured into various shapes such as films, fibers, plates, tubes, bottles, boxes and other items under pressure. Be taken or extruded.

Some properties and properties of plastics (chemical and physical)

Plastics are a wide variety of materials and are ideal for a wide range of consumer and industrial applications. The relatively low density of most plastics gives plastic products many advantages, such as light weight. And although most of them have excellent thermal and electrical insulation properties, some plastics can be used to transmit electricity if necessary. They are corrosion resistant to many materials that attack other materials, making them durable and suitable for use in harsh environments. There are some transparent ones that allow the use of optical devices. They can be easily formed into complex shapes, allowing other materials to be integrated into plastic products, making them ideal for a wide range of functions.

Characteristics and applications of commercially important plastics
* All values ​​shown are for glass fiber reinforced specimens (except polyurethane).
Family and type of polymer Density
(g / cm3)

Degree – crystallization

Glass _Transfer _Temperature (° C) Crystal _ Melting point _ Temperature (° C) Deviation _ temperature at 1.8 MPa (° C)
Carbon chain
High density polyethylene (HDPE) ۰٫۹۵–۰٫۹۷ Top –۱۲۰ ۱۳۷
Low density polyethylene (LDPE) ۰٫۹۲–۰٫۹۳ intermediate −۱۲۰ ۱۱۰
Polypropylene (PP) ۰٫۹۰–۰٫۹۱ Top −۲۰ ۱۷۶
Polystyrene (PS) ۱٫۰–۱٫۱ صفر ۱۰۰
Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) ۱٫۰–۱٫۱ صفر ۹۰–۱۲۰
Polyvinyl chloride, non-plastic (PVC) ۱٫۳–۱٫۶ صفر ۸۵
Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) ۱٫۲ صفر ۱۱۵
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) ۲٫۱–۲٫۲ Medium high ۱۲۶ ۳۲۷
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) ۱٫۳–۱٫۴ intermediate ۶۹ ۲۶۵
Polycarbonate (PC) ۱٫۲ Low ۱۴۵ ۲۳۰
Several steel ۱٫۴ intermediate –۵۰ ۱۸۰
Polyurethane (PEEK) ۱٫۳ صفر ۱۸۵
Polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) ۱٫۳۵ intermediate ۸۸ ۲۸۸
Cellulose acetate ۱٫۳ صفر ۱۲۰ ۲۳۰
Polycaprolactam (Nylon 6) ۱٫۱–۱٫۲ intermediate ۵۰ ۲۱۰–۲۲۰
Thermostat *
Polyester (unsaturated) ۱٫۳–۲٫۳ صفر ۲۰۰
Epoxy ۱٫۱–۱٫۴ صفر ۱۱۰–۲۵۰
Phenol formaldehyde ۱٫۷–۲٫۰ صفر ۱۷۵–۳۰۰
Urea and melamine formaldehyde ۱٫۵–۲٫۰ صفر ۱۹۰–۲۰۰
Polyurethane ۱٫۰۵ Low ۹۰–۱۰۰
Family and type of polymer Tensile _ Strength – MPa Stretching at rest (٪) Wave
Module (GPa)
Conventional application products
Carbon chain
High density polyethylene (HDPE) ۲۰–۳۰ ۱۰–۱,۰۰۰ ۱–۱٫۵ Milk bottles, wire and cable insulation, toys
Low density polyethylene (LDPE) ۸–۳۰ ۱۰۰–۶۵۰ ۰٫۲۵–۰٫۳۵ Packaging film, food bags, agricultural mulch
Polypropylene (PP) ۳۰–۴۰ ۱۰۰–۶۰۰ ۱٫۲–۱٫۷ Bottles, food containers, toys
Polystyrene (PS) ۳۵–۵۰ ۱–۲ ۲٫۶–۳٫۴ Eating utensils, foam food utensils
Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) ۱۵–۵۵ ۳۰–۱۰۰ ۰٫۹–۳٫۰ Home appliance body, helmet, pipe fittings
Polyvinyl chloride, non-plastic (PVC) ۴۰–۵۰ ۲–۸۰ ۲٫۱–۳٫۴ Pipe, duct, house siding, window frame
Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) ۵۰–۷۵ ۲–۱۰ ۲٫۲–۳٫۲ Impact-resistant windows, skylights, canopies
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) ۲۰–۳۵ ۲۰۰–۴۰۰ ۰٫۵ Oil bearings, non-stick cookware
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) ۵۰–۷۵ ۵۰–۳۰۰ ۲٫۴–۳٫۱ Transparent bottles, tape recorder
Polycarbonate (PC) ۶۵–۷۵ ۱۱۰–۱۲۰ ۲٫۳–۲٫۴ Compact discs, safety glasses, sports equipment
Several steel ۷۰ ۲۵–۷۵ ۲٫۶–۳٫۴ Bearings, gears, shower head, zipper
Polyurethane (PEEK) ۷۰–۱۰۵ ۳۰–۱۵۰ ۳٫۹ Car, automobile and aerospace parts
Polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) ۵۰–۹۰ ۱–۱۰ ۳٫۸–۴٫۵ Machinery parts, electrical equipment
Cellulose acetate ۱۵–۶۵ ۶–۷۰ ۱٫۵ negative
Polycaprolactam (Nylon 6) ۴۰–۱۷۰ ۳۰–۳۰۰ ۱٫۰–۲٫۸ Bearings, pulleys, gears
Thermostat *
Polyester (unsaturated) ۲۰–۷۰ <3 ۷–۱۴ Boat hulls, car panels
Epoxy ۳۵–۱۴۰ <4 ۱۴–۳۰ Laminated circuit boards, floors, aircraft parts
Phenol formaldehyde ۵۰–۱۲۵ <1 ۸–۲۳ Electrical fittings, appliance handles
Urea and melamine formaldehyde ۳۵–۷۵ <1 ۷٫۵ Kitchen tables, dining utensils
Polyurethane ۷۰ ۳–۶ ۴ Flexible and rigid foams for upholstery, insulation

Annual plastic production in Iran and the world

The amount of plastic production in the world: 5.1 million tons of plastic production in the world in 1950, which in 2002 reached 200 million tons, but today this amount has reached 300 million tons and it can be said that the earth has been hit by a plastic epidemic.

Plastic production in Iran: In Iran, this figure is approximately 17 to 20 thousand tons and is equivalent to 500 tons per day. Every person in Tehran puts an average of three plastics into the environmental cycle daily. Plastics have a lifespan of more than 300 years, and due to their indestructibility, their lightweight particles are displaced by wind, and problems arise here and there. It has created a lot of health for the environment.

Types of plastics

Our world today is full of plastic, practically everything you see and use every day is completely or partly made of plastic material or somehow related to one of the properties of plastic. TVs, computers, cars, homes, refrigerators, and many other essential products make or use plastic to make your life easier and easier. However, not all plastics are made the same. Manufacturers use different types of plastics and different materials that have unique properties and characteristics.

The following are 7 of the most popular and common plastics in the world today, which are:

Acrylic or polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)
polycarbonate (PC)
polyethylene (PE)
polypropylene (PP)
polyethylene terephthalate (PETE or PET)
polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS)
Read more Let’s take a closer look at each of these special plastics.

۱- Acrylic or polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)

Acrylic, popular for its use in optical devices and products, is a transparent thermoplastic that is used as a lightweight, glass-crushing alternative. Acrylic is commonly used in sheet form and creates products such as acrylic mirrors and Plexiglas acrylic. Transparent plastic can be made in color and fluorescent, wear-resistant, bullet-resistant, UV-resistant, non-gloss, anti-static and more. In addition to being more than glass and polycarbonate sheets, acrylic is seventeen times more impact resistant, easier to handle and process, and has endless applications.

۲- Polycarbonate (PC)

Hard, durable and transparent polycarbonate is an excellent engineering plastic that is two hundred and fifty times stronger than clear glass. It is 30 times stronger than acrylic polycarbonate sheets, which are also easy to work with for transparent applications, molded and heat-formed or cold-formed. Although polycarbonate plastic is very strong and impact resistant, it also has inherent flexibility. Unlike glass or acrylic, polycarbonate plastic sheets can be prefabricated, cut on site, or cold formed without prefabrication. Polycarbonate plastic is widely used in a wide variety of products, including greenhouses, DVDs, sunglasses, police riot gear, and more.

۳- Polyethylene (PE)

Polyethylene is the most common plastic on earth that can be produced in different densities. Each different density of polyethylene gives the final plastic unique physical properties. As a result, polyethylene is found in a wide variety of products.

Below are four common densities of polyethylene, each of which with very few differences has different applications, which are:

Low density polyethylene (LDPE): This density polyethylene is flexible and is used to produce products such as shopping bags, plastic bags, clear food containers, disposable packaging and so on.
Medium Density Polyethylene (MDPE): With more polymer chains and therefore higher density, it is commonly used in gas pipes, shrink films, carrier bags, screw clamps and other products.
High Density Polyethylene (HDPE): Harder than LDPE and MDPE, HDPE plastic sheets are found in products such as plastic bottles, water and sewage pipes, snowboards, boats and folding chairs.
Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE): The density of UHMWPE is not higher than that of HDPE. Compared to HDPE, this polyethylene plastic has more wear resistance due to the long length of polymer chains. With high compaction and low friction properties, UHMWPE has a wide range of applications in military body armor, hydraulic seals and bearings, biological materials for hip, knee and spine implants, and artificial ice tracks.

۴- Polypropylene (PP)

This plastic material is a thermoplastic polymer and the second most widely produced synthetic plastic in the world. Its widespread use and popularity is beyond doubt because polypropylene is one of the most flexible thermoplastic materials on the planet. Although PP is stronger than PE, it still retains flexibility. Will not crack under repeated stress. Durable, flexible, heat-resistant, acid-resistant and inexpensive polypropylene sheets are used in the manufacture of laboratory equipment, auto parts, medical devices and food containers, which are just a few of the applications of this material. Name me.

۵- Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE or PET)

The most common thermoplastic resin from the polyester family, PET is the fourth synthetic plastic produced. Polyethylene terephthalate has excellent chemical resistance to organic matter and water and is easily recyclable. This material is practically anti-fracture and has a significant ratio to weight resistance. These plastic materials are in clothing fibers, food and liquid containers, glass fibers for engineering resins, carbon nanotubes and many other products that we use daily.

۶- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

The third synthetic plastic polymer produced, PVC can be produced in such a way that it has hard or flexible properties. It is very famous for its ability to combine with other materials. For example, expanded PVC sheets are a polyvinyl chloride flooring material such as ideal products such as kiosks, shop windows and exhibitions. Rigid forms of PVC are commonly found in building materials, doors, windows, bottles, non-food packaging, and more. With the addition of softeners such as phthalates, the soft and flexible form of PVC is present in plumbing products, electrical cable insulation, clothing, medical pipes and other similar products.

۷- Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS)

ABS, created by the polymerization of styrene and acrylonitrile in the presence of polybutadiene, is durable, flexible, glossy, highly processable and impact resistant. It can be produced in the range of thicknesses from 200 microns to 5 mm with a maximum width of 1600 mm. ABS plastic sheets with relatively low manufacturing costs are commonly used in the automotive industry, but are also available in products such as boxes, gauges, protective covers, luggage and children’s toys.

Chemical structure of plastics The
properties of plastics can also be divided into two distinct categories based on their chemical composition. They are a group of plastics made up of polymers that have only aliphatic (linear) carbon atoms in their spinal chains. Attached to each other carbon atom here is a methyl pendant group (CH3):

Another category is the properties of plastics that are composed of heterochin polymers. In addition to carbon, these compounds contain atoms such as oxygen, nitrogen, or sulfur in their spinal chains. Most of the engineering plastics mentioned above are composed of heterochin polymers. An example is polycarbonate, whose molecules contain two aromatic rings (benzene):

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