History of Plastics (Simplified Version)

History of Plastics (Simplified Version)

Today, I will give you a brief introduction to the history of plastics.

The first completely synthetic plastic in human history was a phenolic resin made by American Baekeland with phenol and formaldehyde in 1909, also known as Baekeland plastic. Phenolic resins are made by the condensation reaction of phenols and aldehydes, and belong to thermosetting plastics. The preparation process is divided into two steps: the first step: first polymerize into a compound with a low linear degree of polymerization; the second step: use high temperature treatment to convert it into a polymer compound with a high degree of polymerization.
After more than a hundred years of development, plastic products are now everywhere and continue to grow at an alarming rate. Pure resin may be colorless and transparent or white in appearance, so that the product has no obvious and attractive features. Therefore, giving plastic products bright colors has become an unavoidable responsibility of the plastics processing industry. Why has plastics developed so fast in just 100 years? Mainly because he has the following advantages:

1. Plastics can be produced on a large scale.(Through plastic mold)

2. The relative density of the plastic is light and the strength is high.

3. Plastic has corrosion resistance.

4. Plastic has good insulation and heat insulation properties.

There are many types of plastics. What are the main varieties of thermoplastics?

1. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is one of the main general-purpose plastics. Among the world’s top five plastics, its production capacity is second only to polyethylene. PVC has good hardness and corrosion resistance, but lacks elasticity, and its monomer is poisonous.

2. Polyolefin (PO), the most common are polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). Among them, PE is one of the largest general-purpose plastic products. PP has a low relative density, is non-toxic, odorless and has good heat resistance. It can be used for a long time at a temperature of about 110 degrees Celsius. Our plastic spoon is made of food grade PP.

3. Styrene resins, including polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer (ABS) and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA).

4. Polyamide, polycarbonate, polyethylene terephthalate, polyoxymethylene (POM). This type of plastic can be used as a structural material, also known as an engineering material.

The discovery and use of plastics have been recorded in the historical annals, and it was the second important invention that affected mankind in the 20th century. Plastic is indeed a miracle on earth! Today, we can say without exaggeration: “Our lives cannot be separated from plastic”!

Post time: Feb-06-2021