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Types of Plastic and Their Uses

by Nathan Zachary

There are many different types of plastics and many uses for each. Plastic is a good source of food containers used in the medical industry or even in manufacturing certain items such as pipes and tubs. Many types of plastics can be molded into almost any shape and will keep their form. There are many different plastic types depending on the end use – and how the plastic is treated. Here are some of the most common kinds of plastic and their uses.

1. Polypropylene

This plastic is used to make bags, tubing, and many other things. Polypropylene is the most commonly used plastic in the world, with the most widespread use being in drink bottles. This type of plastic has a smooth surface and can be molded into any shape, including producing lids that are connected to their containers so that they cannot be opened or tampered with by children. They can also withstand common chemicals in everyday environments like water, sunlight, and extreme temperatures.

2. Polyester

Polyester is manufactured from petrochemical plants that are altered through an acid-catalyzed process called “polymerization.” This process creates long-chain molecules called polyesters. Polyester is a tough plastic that can be molded into many different shapes of containers and has a smooth, glossy surface. Polyester is used for drinks, bottles, toys, dolls, and many other products that must be strong under harsh conditions. 

3. Nylon

Nylon is more substantial and tougher than nylon. The nylon used in this plastic can be woven or “knitted” into a mesh with many tiny threads and meshes. These threads are then fused to create a tough, flexible product. Nylon is used in ropes, fishing nets, shoe laces, and more because it’s more durable than many other plastics.

4. Vinyl

Vinyl is a durable material made of polyvinyl chloride (or PVC). This type of plastic is prone to flammability, which is why vinyl cannot be used in fire extinguishers and other fire products. In addition, vinyl also shows signs of aging over time as the chemical reactions in which it was initially made continue to occur. Vinyl can be molded into many different shapes and has a matte, dull finish. It can withstand extreme temperatures and chemicals such as grease or oil. It is used to make containers like bags and tubs and in manufacturing different products.

5. Acrylic

Acrylic is a type of durable plastic that is made from polyacrylate, which is derived from petroleum. This plastic is known for its smooth surface and can be molded into different shapes and forms for other products. The surface of the polymer can be polished using special polishing grounds and oils, which can give acrylic a glossy appearance or a dull finish. Acrylic makes bottles, toys, textiles, containers, and many other objects.

Plastic is a highly versatile and durable material used in almost any way. You can find plastic in the market, cleaners, food containers, pipes, toys, and many more. Recycling these products helps save the environment and has a considerable benefit on health.

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