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PLASTICS & POLYMERS


Polymers are complex materials with very high molecular mass obtained by linking many simple molecules.
TYPES OF POLYMERS:- NATURAL AND SYNTHETIC POLYMERS
Natural Polymers:-Natural polymers are found in natural sources such as plants and animals.
Cotton, Coconut fiber, Jute and Silk are some of the natural polymers.
Cellulose:- Cellulose is a naturally occurring polymer obtained by polymerization of glucose. It is found in plenty in
nature as cotton,jute etc.
Rayon:- Rayon is regenerated cellulose. Substances that contain cellulose (e.g. woodpulp) are first
dissolved in carbon disulphide and then made into pulp by adding alkali. This is viscose. This viscose is then
passed through very small holes into a dilute acid solution. In this acid solution, the cellulose fibres are
regenerated. This is known as artificial silk or Rayon.

Natural rubber:- The monomer present in natural rubber is isoprin. So natural rubber is poly isoprene.
Properties:- Low hardness, easily flammable, Dissolves in organic solvents, Loses stability at high
temperature, Less elastic
Vulcanisation of rubber:- It is the process of treating rubber with sulphur . The property of rubber will be
improved by vulcanisation as sulphur linkages were formed between the polymer chains
SYNTHETIC POLYMERS:- Synthetic polymers are produced commercially on a very large scale and have a
wide range of properties and uses. The materials commonly called plastics and are all synthetic polymers.
Due to their relatively low cost, ease of manufacture, versatility, and imperviousness to water, plastics are
used in an enormous and expanding range of products, from paper clips to spaceships.
PLASTICS :- ( Thermoplastic and Thermosetting plastics )
Thermoplastics are the plastics that do not undergo chemical change in their composition when heated and
can be molded again and again and reshaped Examples include polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene,
pvc, and (PTFE).
Thermosetting plastics can melt and take shape once; after they have solidified, they stay solid. They cannot
be remolded. In the thermosetting process, a chemical reaction occurs that is irreversible. Eg . Bakelite.
Epoxy resines, Poly acrylonitrile , terylene etc
POLY ETHYLENE :- These are Polymers of ethylene
Poly ethylene are of two types . LDPE (Low Density Poly Ethylene ) and HDPE (High Density Poly Ethylene).
LDPE(Low Density Poly Ethylene):- These are highly branched, inert to chemicals and extremely flexible.
Uses of LDPE:- Used for squeeze bottles and many attractive containers, for making electrical insulators, pipes etc.
HDPE (High Density Poly Ethylene) :- Its density is very high compared to LDPE. It is much stiffer than LDPE and has
higer tensile strength and hardness and more resistant to chemicals than LDPE.
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Uses of HDPE:- Used in the manufacture of toys and other household articles.
POLY PROPYLENE:- Polymer of propylene- These are highly crystalline, and linier. It is resistant to acids alkalies and
oils.
USES OF POLYPROPYLENE:- Components made from polypropylene are used in appliances such as refregerators,radios
and TVs. It is also used for producing package films.pipes, storage tanks, seat covers and ropes.
POLY STYRENE:- Polymer of styrene-
USES:- Polystyrene is widely used in manufacture of articles such as moulded containers,lids,jarsbottles ,radio and TV
cabinets, toys and many household items.
POLY VENYL ACETATE(PVA) :-The Polymer of venyl acetate is known as PVA (Poly venyl acetate)
USES :-It is used in adhesives,lacquers, and for the large scale manufacture of gramophone records.
POLY VINYL CHLORIDE(PVC):- Polymer of vinyl chloride- It is resistant to acids and alkalies and is the cheapest and
most widely used plastics globally. PVC is not stable beyond 200
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c and will degenerate at this temperature
Uses:- Used for large scale production of cable insulations,equipment parts,pipes , laminated materials and in fibre
manufacture.
Silicone:- these are polymers of silanols- these thermally very stable available in liquid,waxy and rubbery forms.
USES OF SILICONE:- Used in surface coatings,used in the manufacture of laminates,which can stand high temperature
without degradation.Light weight foams made from silicones are used in aeroplanes and missiles.
TEFLONE- PTFE (POLY TETRA FLUORO ETHYLENE-):-Polymer of tetra fluoro ethylene .It is a lenear crystalline polymer
.It is resistant to alkalies.
USES:- Used in making articles such as pump valves and pipes where chemical resistance is required.It is used in
bearings and its fibres are used to form belts , fibre clothes and similar products where resistance to acids and alkalies
is needed.It is used for making nonstick utensils
BAKELITE:- Polymer of Phenol and Formaldehyde . Bakelite could be moulded into hard infusible articles. It is a good
insulator.
USES:- Used or making telephone instruments, making switches, soap dishes, electrical appliances etc
Synthetic rubber:- Styrene butadiene rubber (SBR):- SBR is a copolymer of styrene and butadiene These
are having High frictional force ,Not easily broken Resists ozone, Gets easily oxidized
Uses:- Used in tyres and foot wears
Neoprene rubber:- It is obtained by the polymerisation of Chloroprene. It is not easily flammable, Does not
easily react with oils and solvents. Stable at high temperature.
Uses:-Used in Cable insulation, Conveyer belt in coal mines and for Making hose
Thiokol:- Thiokol is made by polymerization of ethylene chloride with sodium polysulphide. Having high elasticity
and hardness. It doesn't dissolve in organic solvents

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Uses of thiokol
1. It is used for making gaskets, seals and hard rubber products to be exposed to oil and pressure.
2. Thiokol rubber mixed with oxygen releasing chemicals is used as a solid fuel in rocket engines.
3. It is used for making hoses and linings of vessels used in the manufacture of chemicals.
Nylon 6,6:- It is a copolymer of Adipic acid and Hexamethylene diamine. It has a lusture and is strong,
firm and elastic.
Uses:- Used for making Fishing nets, clothes, parachutes, chords etc.
NYLONE 6 :- It's made by a ring open polymerisation form the monomer caprolactam. Nylon 6 doesn't
behave much differently from nylon 6,6.
Polyester:- It is obtained by the polymerisation of Esters of unsaturated alcohols. It having low density,
transparent , strong and firm
Uses:- Used for making body of vehicles, home appliances, clothes etc.
ORLONE;- Acrylic fibers are synthetic fibers made from a polymer (polyacrylonitrile) with an average
molecular weight of ~100,000, about 1900 monomer units. Typical monomers are vinyl acetate or methyl
acrylate. and trademarked them under the name "Orlon".

Acrylic is resistant to moths, oils, chemicals, and is very resistant to deterioration from sunlight exposure.
Acrylic is lightweight, soft, and warm, with a wool-like feel. Its fibers are not very resilient, and wrinkle easily, but most
acrylic fabrics have good wrinkle resistance. Acrylic has recently been used in clothing as a less expensive alternative
to cashmere, due to the similar feeling of the materials
ABS :- It is a copolymer of Acrylonitrile Butadiene and Styrene . It's made by polymerizing styrene and
acrylonitrile in the presence of polybutadiene . ABS is a stronger plastic than polystyrene because of the
nitrile groups of its acrylonitrile units. The nitrile groups are very polar, so they are attracted to each other.
This strong attraction holds ABS chains together tightly, making the material stronger.
Also the rubbery polybutadiene makes ABS tougher than polystyrene.
Uses:- ABS is used electronic equipment cases (e.g., computer monitors, printers, keyboards), drainage pipe.
Kevlar (poly paraphenylene terephthalamide)
Kevlar is the registered trademark for a para-aramid synthetic fiber
Kevlar is synthesized in solution from the monomers 1,4-phenylene-diamine (para-phenylenediamine) and
terephthaloyl chloride in a condensation reaction
Uses:- Kevlar has many applications, ranging from bicycle tires and racing sails to body armor because of its high
tensile strength-to-weight ratio; by this measure it is 5 times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis
Kevlar is a well-known component of personal armor such as combat helmets, ballistic face masks, and
ballistic vests. Other military uses include bulletproof facemasks
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PMMA(POLY METHYLMETHACRYLATE) :- It is obtained by the polymerisation of methyl
methacrylate.
Uses:- PMMA is used in Contact lenses, glazing, aglets, fluorescent light diffusers, rear light covers for
vehicles. It forms the basis of artistic and commercial acrylic paints when suspended in water with the use of
other agents. PMMA, is a clear plastic used as a shatterproof replacement
BIODEGRADABLE PLASTICS(BIOPLASTICS):-
Bioplastics are a form of plastics derived from plant
sources such as sweet potatoes, sugarcane, soy bean oil and cornstarch.
Bioplastics are environmentally friendly because, compared with traditional plastics, their production
results in the emission of less carbon dioxide, which is thought to cause global warming.
They are also biodegradable, meaning that the material returns to its natural state when buried in the
ground.
If something made of bioplastic is buried in the ground, microorganisms will break it down into
carbon dioxide and water.
Bags made of bioplastic can be thrown away and buried with other biodegradable garbage, and there
are a growing number of other uses for the materials as well, including artificial fibers, medical
products, and construction materials
Examples of bioplastic polymers are polylactic acid (PLA), polycaprolactone (PCL),
polyhydroxybutyrate-covalerate (PHBV), and polyesteramide.
. USES OF BIOPLASTICS:-Bioplastics are already being used in automobile interiors and in cases
for consumer electronics.It is used in the manufacture of casings and wrappings. It is used in
packaging of food materials and also in shopping bags.

IMPORTANCE OF PLASTIC RECYCLING
Plastics are inexpensive, lightweight and durable materials, which can readily be moulded into a variety of
products that find use in a wide range of applications. As a consequence, the production of plastics has
increased markedly over the last 60 years. However, current levels of their usage and disposal generate
several environmental problems. Around 4 per cent of world oil and gas production, a non-renewable
resource, is used as feedstock for plastics and a further 34% is expended to provide energy for their
manufacture. A major portion of plastic produced each year is used to make disposable items of packaging or
other short-lived products that are discarded within a year of manufacture. These two observations alone
indicate that our current use of plastics is not sustainable. In addition, because of the durability of the
polymers involved, substantial quantities of discarded end-of-life plastics are accumulating as debris in
landfills and in natural habitats worldwide.
Recycling is one of the most important actions currently available to reduce these impacts and
represents one of the most dynamic areas in the plastics industry today. Recycling provides
opportunities to reduce oil usage, carbon dioxide emissions and the quantities of waste requiring
disposal. Advances in technologies and systems for the collection, sorting and reprocessing of
recyclable plastics are creating new opportunities for recycling, and with the combined actions of the
public, industry and governments it may be possible to divert the majority of plastic waste from
landfills to recycling over the next decades