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Plastics can be divided into three major categories:-

- Thermoset or thermosetting plastics.

Once thermoset is cooled and hardened, these plastics retain their shapes and cannot return to
their original form. They are hard and durable. Thermoset materials are usually liquid or
malleable prior to curing and designed to be molded into their final form, or used as
adhesives. Thermosets can be used for auto parts, aircraft parts and tires. Examples include
polyurethanes, polyesters, epoxy resins and phenolic resins. Thermoset materials are
generally stronger than thermoplastic materials due to this 3-D network of bonds, and are also
better suited to high-temperature applications up to the decomposition temperature.
Uncontrolled reheating of the material results in reaching the decomposition temperature
before the melting point is obtained. Therefore, a thermoset material cannot be melted and re-
shaped after it is cured. This implies that thermosets cannot be recycled.

Epoxy

- Elastormas

A polymer with the property of viscoelasticity, generally having notably low Young's
modulus and high yield strain compared with other materials. The term, which is derived
from elastic polymer, is often used interchangeably with the term rubber. Their primary uses
are for seals, adhesives and molded flexible parts.

Adhesive Seal
- Thermoplastics

A thermoplastic is a polymer that turns to a liquid when heated and freezes to a very glassy
state when cooled sufficiently. Thermoplastics can go through melting or freezing cycles
repeatedly and the fact that they can be reshaped upon reheating. This quality makes
thermoplastics recyclable.

PET (polyethylene terephthalate)


Plastic soft drink bottles, water bottles, beer bottles, mouthwash bottles and many more

HDPE (high density polyethylene)


Milk bottles, detergent bottles, oil bottles, toys, plastic bags
PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
Food wrap, vegetable oil bottles, blister packaging

LDPE (low density polyethylene)


Bread bags, frozen food bags, squeezable bottles, fiber, tote bags, bottles, clothing, furniture,
carpet, shrink-wrap, garment bags
PP (polypropylene)

Margarine and yogurt containers, caps for containers, wrapping to replace cellophane

PS (polystyrene)

Egg cartons, fast food trays, disposable plastic silverware


This code indicates that the item is made with a resin other than the six listed above, or a
combination of different resins.

References

http://greennature.com/article2158.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elastomer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoplastic

http://dustbowl.wordpress.com/2008/06/14/know-your-plastic-recycling-number/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermosetting_plastic