Plastic is any synthetic or semi-synthetic organic polymer. In other words, plastics always contain carbon and hydrogen, although other elements may be present. While plastic can be made from almost any organic polymer, most industrial plastics are made from petrochemicals. Thermoplastics and thermoset polymers are two types of plastics. The name "plastic" refers to plasticity, ability to deform without breaking.
Polymers used to make plastics are almost always blended with additives, including colorants, plasticizers, stabilizers, fillers, and reinforcing agents. These additives affect chemical composition, chemical-mechanical properties and cost of plastic.Thermosets and thermoplastics
Thermoset polymers, also known as thermoset plastics, take a permanent shape when cured. They are amorphous and are believed to have an infinite molecular weight. On other hand, thermoplastics can be heated and reshaped over and over again. Some thermoplastics are amorphous and some have a partially crystalline structure. Thermoplastics typically have a molecular weight between 20,000 and 500,000 amu. (atomic mass units).Plastic example
Plastic is often referred to as an abbreviation for its chemical formula:
The properties of plastic depend on chemical composition of constituent parts, their location and processing.
All plastics are polymers, but not all polymers are plastics. Plastic polymers are made up of chains of linked subunits called monomers. When identical monomers are joined together, they form homopolymers. Various monomers combine to form copolymers. Homopolymers and copolymers may be linear or branched.
Other plastic properties include:
More plastic facts: