What are the different types of plastic? Plastics are defined as synthetic materials that can be molded. There are many different types of plastics that are used in a variety of ways. They are non-biodegradable materials that are harmful to the environment when not used properly. This is why it is important that one knows the different types of plastics. This way, you can be able to identify how to properly use them and dispose them as well.
Thermoset plastics are types of plastics that retain the shapes that they are molded into. In other words, these are hard plastics. They are very durable and most of the time can be used and reused many times. These are the types of plastics that are used in aircraft parts, tires, and many others.
The other half of the main types of plastics is thermoplastic. These are the types of plastics that are less rigid. They soften upon cooling. They are also known to return to their original form. This is why these types of plastics are used in packaging and films.
A PET or a PETE stands for polyethylene terephthalate. These are types of plastics that can be pinched into threads. A very common example of PET plastics are zip lock bags.
A polysterene, on the other hand, are kinds of plastics that are formed by double bonding styrene molecules. These are also called Styrofoam. If you can notice, styrofoams are soft and not so plastic like. They make the types of plastics resistant to impacts. This is why styrofoams are commonly used as food containers or as cushion to electronic appliances. They are moldable, light, and they are very good insulators.
Polyvinyl chlorides are kinds of plastics that are formed by polymerizing vinyl chloride. The resulting plastics are brittle. Therefore, manufacturers of these types of plastics added plasticizers in them. These kinds of plastics become strong, durable, and cheap. These are also called PVCs.
Teflon is another one common example of plastics. They are stable and heat resistant. This is why they are most commonly used in pots and pans to ensure that they have non-stick capabilities. Teflon, however, are expensive. Therefore, products that have Teflon are expensive as well. Sarans, or plastic wraps, are plastics that can be made into films and wraps. This is why they are excellent to use as food wraps.
The most common plastic polymers are polyethylene. These are mostly seen in LDPE. These are the plastics that one can see mostly used as garbage bags, disposable gloves, bottles, films, and wraps. LDPE stands for low density polyethylene while HDPE are high density polyethylene. The HDPE are the types that are harder than the LDPE. They are also characterized by a higher melting point. The most common use of the HDPE is the hula hoop.
Last, we have the PP or the polypropylene. These are plastics that are commonly used in battery cases, bottles, filaments, car trim, and many others. There are different types of these, with different harnesses and melting points.