What is Plastic?

What is Plastic?

Plastic is a kind of hydrocarbon with dense molecular weight. The structures are attachment of similar molecular as a long form. The structure consists of several chemical including carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, fluorine, chlorine, and Sulphur.

There are often found out that there are mix used between the phase "plastic" and "polymer". However, the term "Polymer" usually indicates rubber, fiber, or glue-based texture. On the other hand, "Plastic" usually means polymer with the mixture of addictive substance such as color, stabilizer, or filler which have the property in forming final products such as basket, plate, or utensils. The word "Polymer" forms up from 2 different words which are "poly" and "mer" while "poly" means many and "mer" means unit. Therefore, the word "polymer" would mean substances with similar unit of attach together as a long form.

Types of plastic

Based on the heating property of plastic, it could be classified into 2 types which are thermoplastic and thermosetting.

Thermoplastic is molecular with straight form or short branches. It could be dissolved with some solvent easily. After it been heated up, it would have flexibility and elasticity as liquid because the molecular in the polymer could easily move and switch position due to the increase in temperature. After thermoplastic cool down, the chemical substance, or polymer structure usually not being damage or change from the change in temperature.

Thermosetting usually have netting structure which result in single melting. There would be chemical reaction happening among molecular which would change the structure of the polymer permanently. If this type of polymer been reheated or reforming, the molecular atom in the polymer could be broken and lost the property of polymer.

In order to produce thermosetting polymer, there would be difference when compare to thermoplastic production. First, the substance needs to be partly polymerization, some molecular would need to be connected but it need to keep the substance that allow it to be able to melt when heated, and be able to form as substance when there are pressure and temperature applied. After, the product has been formed. The temperature would be kept at 200-300 Celsius in order to allow the structure to be properly form up. The product could be ejected without leaving it until cool down. The disadvantage of using thermosetting plastic is that it could not be recycle and if it been heat with too high temperature, the plastic could be burnt without being melt down. The example of thermosetting plastic is melamine, and Bakelite.

Type of plastic that often used:

Plastic types that often used nowadays are the type that be able to recycle. In order to recycle efficiently, there are often signage been print on to the product to indicate the type of plastic for further operation process.

Polyethylene terephthalate or PET
PET have good impact resistant which allow it to absorb impact and not break. It could make until crystal clear. This type of plastic usually used for plastic bottle production for drinking water, oil, or cosmetics packaging. In addition, PET could also limit the leak of gas. Therefore, it also been used soft drink packaging.
PET could be recycled into other products. The recycle PET often used to recycle into products such as sweater, carpet, pillow, and ski suit.

High density polyethylene or HDPE 
HDPE have a straight molecular structure. The physical structure of it is quite hard but be able to stretch. Normally, it would be color added unless it been used for making plastic drinking bottle. The type of polymer also has the property that resist to chemical. Therefore, this type of materials often been used for production of chemical related packing such as shampoo, baby powder, and also plastic bag. In addition, it also has the substance that limit the flow of humidity. Therefore, it often used to make packaging that have long shelf life in order to prolong the lifetime of it. HDPE could also be recycled into various products such as detergent bottle, or even garden plastic decoration.

Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC

PVC is a hard structure polymer often used to make pipe such as water pipe. However, it could also be softened by adding plasticizers and form up products such as clear water tube, plastic wrap, bathroom curtain, rubber tile, or shampoo bottle. PVC is polymer with various properties. It could also be used in the production of various products such as door, window, door frame, or even PVC leather. PVC could be recycled in terms of the production of agricultural water pipe furniture, or traffic cone.

Low density polyethylene or LDPE 
LDPE is a soft structure plastic with high elasticity, and clear. It often been used to make plastic wrap for food, or food packaging. LDPE could be recycled as garbage bag, or bin.

Polypropylene or PP
PP is a hard structure plastic which have impact resistant, chemical resistant, heat and oil resistant. It could be colored. It often been used to produce food packaging product such as box, bowl, plate, bucket, or water bottle. PP often been used in various recycle product such as battery box, and household product part.

Polystyrene or PS
PS is a type of polymer that are hard, clear, but fragile. It often been used for food packaging such as cookie box. Due to the structure that easy to break, this type pf polymer not often used for package of liquid such as water or shampoo. This type of plastic also used as material to make Styrofoam for containing food. It often light since it contains only 2-5% of PS while the rest is just air. PS could be recycled to other products such as VDO box, ruler, and other household products.


The last type of recycle plastic is the classified in other categories. Currently, there are lots of plastic for users to choose. Most of the plastic that been used in household could be recycle and reuse again. By having symbol or sign on the products, it could be a method that could help recycle to be more efficient. Although the last type of plastic that are not the 6 types above does not require to indicate on the products, the indication could also improve the recycle operation process. The users could make a symbol of that specific types to assist the recycle process such as indicating PC sign for polycarbonate polymer.

If there is any production plan, or new product development. We could assist you throughout the process in order to ensure that you could get the product as desired. If there is anything we could help, do not hesitate to contact us at jajemold@gmail.com


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