What is plastic defined as?


Plastic is molded by heat, using various methods such as pressure, injection, blow molding and others. Many plastics are derived from petroleum, although there are some from natural sources.

Despite being a very useful material, it is considered one of the biggest environmental pollution problems. Millions of plastics are produced daily for different uses and they are not biodegradable.

They are the type of plastic that is molded to shape, but cannot be re-melted to make it again. Once shaped, they remain rigid, unaffected by high temperatures. Some of its subdivisions are the following:

It is synthetic, water resistant, and dark in color. It is the most common type of plastic used for technological objects. It is also used for the manufacture of objects that have to be subjected to high temperatures, such as kitchenware.

Similar to Bakelite. It is a light and very resistant plastic that has thermal insulating properties. It is often used for the manufacture of kitchen cabinets, tableware and electrical items.

Characteristics of plastic

The process for obtaining a technological product could be summarized as follows: first we extract the raw material from nature, then it is transformed into a material, and with the materials we make the final technological product.

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We must be aware that we have to make a rational use of these materials, because although some of them are renewable (wool, wood, etc.), there are others that are not (oil, metals, etc.) and will cease to exist with the passage of time.

Today’s society demands the continuous development of techniques to obtain new materials that meet increasingly stringent requirements: withstand very high temperatures, be more resistant to corrosion, operate at higher speeds, use lighter products…

What plastic is made of

In times of health crisis like the current one, we have already seen that plastic materials are very effective in different areas such as safety, hygiene or food production and supply. We can see that plastics protect us from viruses thanks to PPE, gloves or masks and offer us applications for some diseases that would be impossible to treat otherwise.

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Plastics save lives, not only because of their applications in health: thanks to them we also have airbags and seat belts that reduce the risk of fatal injuries by 45% and are fundamental in the equipment of the State Security Forces and Fire Brigades. It should also be remembered that, as far as packaging is concerned, these are the materials that comply with the most stringent national and international standards, so we can say that they are the safest.

Types of plastic

Plastic is a material made up of organic or synthetic compounds that have the property of being malleable and therefore can be molded into solid objects of various shapes. This property gives plastics a wide variety of applications.[1] Its name derives from plasticity, a property of materials, which refers to the ability to deform without breaking.

In 1839 Goodyear in the United States and Hancock in England developed in parallel the vulcanization of rubber, i.e. the hardening of rubber and its increased resistance to cold. This was the beginning of the commercial success of thermosetting polymers.[8] The plastics industry began with the development of plastics.

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The plastics industry begins with the development of the first thermoset plastics by Baekeland in 1909. Baekeland produced the first synthetic polymer and also developed the plastic molding process, which enabled him to produce various articles of commerce. These early plastics were named Bakelite in honor of their discoverer. Bakelite is formed by a condensation reaction of phenol with formaldehyde.[9] Baekeland’s first synthetic polymer is called bakelite.