Polycarbonate: Exploring the Versatile Polymer and Its Applications in Various Industries


When it comes to versatile polymers, one name that stands out is polycarbonate. This thermoplastic material has gained popularity in various industries due to its remarkable properties and ability to withstand extreme conditions. From transportation to electronics, sports equipment to construction, polycarbonate has proved its worth time and again. In this blog post, we delve into the world of polycarbonate, its key features, and its association with another remarkable compound - polyurea.

Polycarbonate, as the name suggests, is derived from bisphenol A (BPA) and phosgene. Known for its exceptional transparency, high impact resistance, and thermal stability, polycarbonate has become a go-to material for manufacturers worldwide. It is commonly used in the production of eyewear lenses, automotive parts, electronic components, construction materials, and even bulletproof glass.

One of the key characteristics of polycarbonate is its transparency. Unlike other plastics, polycarbonate offers excellent clarity, allowing for clear vision through lenses and windows. This property makes it an ideal choice for safety glasses, windshields, and protective barriers in various industries. The high impact resistance of polycarbonate also contributes to its popularity in these applications, as it can withstand heavy blows without shattering, ensuring the safety of individuals.

The thermal stability of polycarbonate is another noteworthy feature. This polymer can withstand high temperatures without deforming or melting, making it suitable for use in electrical components, such as connectors and insulators. In addition, polycarbonate has excellent electrical insulation properties, making it an ideal material for wiring systems and circuit boards.

Now let's explore the connection between polycarbonate and polyurea. Polyurea is a type of elastomer derived from the reaction between isocyanates and amines. It is well-known for its exceptional strength, chemical resistance, and waterproofing properties. Polyurea coatings find extensive use in industries such as construction, automotive, and marine due to their ability to protect surfaces from corrosion, impact, and abrasion.

When it comes to coatings, polycarbonate and polyurea are a winning combination. The high impact resistance of polycarbonate, combined with the protective properties of polyurea coatings, can create robust solutions for various applications. For example, polyurea coatings can be applied to polycarbonate lenses to enhance their durability and scratch resistance, making them suitable for use in demanding environments where the lens may come into contact with abrasive materials.

Moreover, polycarbonate sheets coated with polyurea can be used in the construction industry for roofing, walls, and insulation purposes. The combination of polycarbonate's thermal stability and polyurea's waterproofing properties ensures that the structure remains protected against leaks, extreme weather conditions, and UV radiation.

In the automotive industry, polyurea coatings can be used to enhance the impact resistance of polycarbonate parts such as bumpers, interior trims, and side panels. This combination provides vehicles with enhanced durability and protection against potential collisions.

Furthermore, the sports industry has also found innovative ways to utilize the benefits of polycarbonate and polyurea. Sports equipment such as helmets, goggles, and body armor can benefit from the impact resistance of polycarbonate, while polyurea coatings can provide an additional layer of protection and durability, ensuring optimal safety for athletes.

The versatility of polycarbonate and its compatibility with polyurea coatings has paved the way for innovative solutions in various industries. From transportation to construction, sports to electronics, this winning combination has revolutionized the way manufacturers approach design and manufacturing processes.

In conclusion, polycarbonate is a remarkable thermoplastic material known for its transparency, impact resistance, and thermal stability. Its unique properties make it an ideal choice for a wide range of applications in industries such as construction, automotive, and electronics. When combined with polyurea coatings, the durability, strength, and chemical resistance of polycarbonate can be enhanced, making it an even more versatile material for demanding environments. The collaboration between polycarbonate and polyurea continues to drive innovation, offering solutions that prioritize safety, durability, and efficiency.


What is the difference between a polyurethane adhesive and a polyurea adhesive?

Question: What is the difference between a polyurethane adhesive and a polyurea adhesive?


Answer: Polyurethanes and polyureas both cure to systems that can range from rigid to very elastic solids in their final properties. The two are quite comparable, but with some obvious exceptions. 

While polyurethanes have been used for many years as adhesives and sealants, polyureas are comparatively new to the industry. 

Polyurethane is made from a chemical standpoint from an isocyanate reaction with a polyol, whereas a polyurea is produced from an isocyanate reacting with a multifunctional amine. It is also conceivable to make so-called “hybrid” systems, in which the isocyanate is reacted with a mixture of hydroxyl and amino combinations.

The most significant difference is that the polyurea response is much faster than the polyurethane one, and the systems can gel within a few instants after mixing. Polyureas have been used highly successfully in the coatings industry, where the two elements are mixed using plural spray machine; polyurea adhesives, however, are comparatively new.

One issue has been that the adhesives gel so suddenly that the liquid does not have time to spread and wet the bonding surface. Also, heat-sensitive substrates can be damaged by the strong exotherm generated by the fast curing. Nevertheless, slowing down the curing is feasible and has led to successful applications. Also, both polyurea adhesives and sealants are obtainable commercially. Polyurea adhesives further lead to new bonding opportunities where they can be used as a spot weld, and there is a technique possible where components are preassembled, and the adhesives are injected into the bond line through preformed grooves. 



Paul Eagle brings nature in when installing polygons all t wall, polycarbonate sheets, ensure you follow the recommended installation instructions or consult with your local professional colleague, also offers technical support for your convenience. So, let's get started before beginning checked out. All of the required parts are present, including polygon sheets, sealing tape, edge profiles, base and cap profiles. Screws and seals do as much prep work as possible on the ground before installation takes place overhead. This minimizes excess labor saves time and is generally a good safety practice. Avoid stepping on the sheets after installation, as this is dangerous and can also damage the sheets. If you need to store the sheets and profiles outdoors prior to installation, make sure they are covered with a non PVC tarp polygon sheets are UV protected on one side indicated by the protective film printed with the polygon logo, so be sure that this side is uppermost. Be sure to remove the plane protective film from the underside of the sheet Paul Eagle sheets can be cut. Using a fine, toothed circular saw ensure the cut lengths fit the structure with a minimal overlap, pull the protective film back at least 10 centimeters around the entire perimeter of the sheet and install the vent tape on both ends of the sheet to seal off the open. Flutes and pre-drill aluminum profiles, if needed. If you are installing polygons in an arched configuration, take into careful consideration, the coal bending of the sheets and profiles profile should be cut longer than the sheets. The ends can subsequently be aligned using an electric saw when installation is complete. Ask your local representative or technical support person for the minimum, bending radius of sheets and profiles when installing polygons as a roof or canopy system, be sure that your minimum slope is at least 10 percent during installation. Make absolutely sure the sheet flutes go in the direction of the slope for proper drainage and moisture evaporation once installation has begun, ensure proper alignment and placement for subsequent sheets and profiles keep in mind that the lower edge of the sheet should project slightly over the edge Of the lower joist, the base profile should be fastened to the structures, rafter or purling. Supports. Fastener location should be as close to the middle of the base profile as possible when securing it to the structure before installing the screws, through the sheet into the rafter or purlins, make sure to pre-drill holes slightly larger than your fastening screws to allow for thermal expansion And also allow for the gasket or spacer between the base profile and the structure, if needed after securing the base, profile and sheets. The cap profile should be installed when using polycarbonate profiles be sure that the cap profiles securely locks into the base profile for aluminum profiles. Ensure that the cap is firmly screwed to the base with proper stainless steel, self tapping screws and EPDM gaskets as well repeat this process until installation is complete and secure. The last step in the installation process is to remove the printed protective film as soon as possible. Do not leave this film on the polycarbonate as extended exposure to the sun's rays will make it nearly impossible to remove. In closing, please remember that these are only general guidelines for installing polygala products and are not a substitute for the detailed installation. Instructions available on the polygon website or professional advice from your polygon distributor. Paul ego brings nature in

Choosing Lexan or Plexiglass

This week we're going to review the differences between Plexiglas and lexan, two of the most popular products we use for windshields doors and the light in our home-built aircraft, which one is better, which one should you choose? Let'S take a look one way to tell these apart is to perform a little test here. I have two sheets same size same thickness. This sheet is polycarbonate. This piece is acrylic, I'm going to start with the polycarbonate, I'm going to place it into a standard sheet, metal bending break and I'm going to attempt to put a 90 degree Bend into it. These are at room temperature. Let'S give it a try, and you see our polycarbonate allowed us to cold form, it very nice. It'S spraying back. I try. I give it a 90 degree bend in it spring back. Let'S try this now with the acrylic sheet. That does not then very very brittle. In comparison on this aircraft, the windshield is made of Plexiglas Plexiglas is a trade name for the material acrylic. The door is made of lexan lexan is a trade name for the material polycarbonate. Why were two different materials used on this aircraft? One for the windshield one for the door. Well, that was a decision made by the Builder. Let'S take a look at the differences in properties of these two materials, so we can decide which is best for our purposes. Let'S make a side-by-side comparison of the two materials. So we can understand their strengths and weaknesses. Neither of these products wins the prize for providing the best answer to your needs. Let'S start with strength. The bending break demo, you saw provides evidence that polycarbonates cannot be broken. This stuff is used for bulletproof glass. You literally cannot tear it close to indestructible as it gets. Acrylic cannot hold a candle to this particular property, something I call workability as a builder. You have to cut and drill these materials to make them fit your aircraft. You can cut and drill polycarbonate with any tool you desire. You will not have to worry about damaging the material as you cut and drill simple acrylics are another story. Drilling acrylics means using a special drill bit that will not stress the plastic and result in cracks same with cutting once a crack starts. It will propagate through the entire piece and action is taken. It is not uncommon for installed acrylic windshields to develop cracks later in life due to stresses around mounting holes and edges that produce stress, risers, follow carefully the manufacturers rules regarding drilling and cutting, and these concerns can all be reduced or eliminated damage from chemical exposures. This refers to how these plastics react with chemicals that come in contact with them. A big concern to aircraft builders is that polycarbonate does not tolerate gasoline or other petroleum. Distillates acrylic is much more forgiving. If gasoline comes in contact with polycarbonate for some length of time, it will splinter and fog up having a fueling neck in the vicinity of a polycarbonate is not a good idea. Resistance to scratches this is where acrylic Wynn's polycarbonate is soft and scratches are more easily formed compared to acrylic and, unlike acrylic, they cannot be buffed or sanded out. This is why many windshields do not use polycarbonate, also appearance. Karley carbonate will discolor from UV over the years unless a special coating is included. Acrylic does not have this failing. If you appreciate these characteristics, you are in good shape to choose wisely for the application at hand. There are millions of motorcycles on the road today find out what percentage of their windscreens use acrylic versus polycarbonate as a material. Your research can include checking your own bike. Looking at your neighbors using Google or checking with manufacturer, there is some wisdom in understanding what percentage is using one material over another, both polycarbonate and acrylic come in sheets four by eight is also a very typical size to purchase and your best value. They come in. Various thicknesses, based on your application, needs and they're available at your home builder supply store or at plastic suppliers. They come with a film that gets peeled off and that protects obviously the surface until you're done cutting and drilling they're, pretty close in price to each other. That is acrylic and polycarbonate, though the acrylic is a bit cheaper. This aircraft door is made of acrylic plexiglass and if you notice, it has a nice curved bubble and that started off its life as a sheet, but then was formed into a bubble using heat vacuum and a form at the factory, and that gives us very nice Shapes that remain nice and rigid same with the windshields that you see formed into complex curves. You remember our bending break demonstration between acrylic and polycarbonate. Remember this door was made of acrylic and we know that acrylic can and does, shatter and tear, and that's exactly what happened to this door. So keep in mind if there is a possibility of breakage that maybe acrylic is not always the best where, as a polycarbonate, which is virtually unparalleled, would not have broken like this. So just trying to depend on your application as to what the best material is for any given situation. This door opened in flight, and that was the result of the violent air turbulence through it. So in this example, possibly a better choice - and this is up to the Builder - would be to make this out of a polycarbonate which would not have been able to tear like this did so remember. You do have a choice as to the best material for your aircraft, understand the properties and you can make the best decision. There'S a future in plastics. Somebody used to say enough of this. Everyone back to building you


Sunken Greenhouse - framing, polycarbonate install how to

This video brought to you by backwoods home magazine, hey there guys welcome back today, is going to be part three of the sunken green house project and, as you can see behind me, it's really starting to take shape. I'M so excited because for so long it's just been a hole in the ground and really pretty ugly, but I have been able to get all the framing up and paint it and get the polycarbonate panels on and get it closer or almost to the point where I can use it as a greenhouse, so let me show you all the steps that I've taken to get to this point and then, after that I will grab the camera walk you around just so you can kind of see the exterior facade and then I'll. Take you down into the greenhouse to show you a couple of things. I'Ve done and talked about a few of the other things I still haven't done or things that I need to do. The first step in making my roof structure was to build a ridge beam. I'M carrying it to the greenhouse right here, it's made of three 12-foot long, two by sixes and I bolted them and screwed them together. Once the beam was leveled and braced in place. The next step was to build supports at the end and then fill the middles with Raptors. This beam will eventually have a middle support, but I don't have it just yet now, I'm attaching the doorframe to the block, columns, fitting the door in and checking for a good fit after that was finished. It was time for a little paint and boy. I'M glad. I bought this sprayer when we built our house and right here, I'm installing the frame for what will be one of two or three vent windows, I'm not exactly sure where the second third one will go, but at least we know where this one is and to Cover the greenhouse, I'm using tough text, polycarbonate panels that I got at my local Lowe's. I chose these panels for a variety of reasons, but probably the main reason is because they are so resistant to extreme temperatures. Additionally, these panels are supposed to be extremely durable and rugged, but they do require some special care during installation. Specifically, you need to pre-drill holes before sinking the screws. This will aid in helping prevent micro cracks from forming years down the road. As for placing the screws for horizontal surfaces like roofs, you're going to want to place them on the Crown's of the ridges, and if something is going to be under flashing or in vertical surfaces, you can place the screws with in the valleys and to trim the Panels it was super easy, as I just used a circular saw with a reversed plywood blade and for the edges of the roof. I added galvanized flashing to give it a clean look as well as to aid in wind and weather resistance, and on a side note, I think I found the first manufacturer that actually installs stickers that can be torn off easily and now. Let'S take a look at a few final shots of the exterior of the greenhouse and then I'll. Take you inside it and talk about a few things I have coming up and here's a quick little look at my landscaping through they work hard. They tilt ask for too much. Okay, now that we're inside the greenhouse, you can definitely tell it feels much more like your greenhouse and I'll tell you temperature-wise. It definitely feels more like your greenhouse, it's almost a bit humid in here, but overall it feels pretty nice. So the most obvious change that you won't noticed is I added a door. I just framed it up attached it to the columns with those bolts that I had sunk in when I was building the columns and then just framed out a door, and I covered it in the same polycarbonate panels that I did the whole structure with. I don't have a handle or latch yet, but that'll that'll probably be in my to do list. Ah, the next thing in here that I had meant to do was this ridge beam up here. I have it's probably about seventeen and a half feet long, and I do intend to pour concrete, footer right here and install some sort of interior support. It doesn't really sag or anything right now, but over time. It is something that you do want to have. I don't want a longer than a seven or eight foot span without some sort of support, so that will probably be in the next part as well. So let me take you to the other side of the greenhouse and the most obvious things here are going to be the little vent door that you see up here. I don't have a latch for that and I don't have a polycarbonate panel on it just yet, and the other portion is this little vent hole. I talked about this in a couple of the other. I guess parts. This is something that probably not going to address for at least a month or two so I'll probably have the last greenhouse video up and then I'll just do this. When I have time but like I said before, it's just going to be basically I'm going to trench a long trench, maybe 150 feet it's going to come out at the bottom of a hillside and hopefully it's going to direct a thermally cooled air into the screen House during the summer and thermally warm tear air into the greenhouse during the winter, but anyway right now it's just a hole in the concrete, and if it does look like it's not quite a straight line, this is just from my foam support when I poured that Concrete it it just sagged, it's not currently sagging right. Now, it's structural. It'S got a but a bunch of rebar in it. So let me take you to the next part, okay, so the next issue at hand. I feel like these videos are starting to look the same, but these steps - this is still kind of my nemesis. I said that I had planned on doing some sort of gap yawns or something up either side and then building some formed concrete steps or something like that. I am still not sure what I want to do. I may end up doing some sort of railroad tie thing on the sides and then tying them into those dead man anchors that I spoke up before and speaking of that this wall, where you had those where I showed you this little PVC pipes last time, they Still have exposed PVC pipes and I'm trying to be realistic with myself right now and I'm probably not going to get those finished for a while. Now, I'm probably just going to leave these this wall be the way it is just for this coming up summer. Just so I can get onto some other projects and that's pretty much it so I hope this updated. You guys. I really did not intend for this to be a part three or four or five part series, but it probably is going to be part four or four parts, so the fourth part will probably be like landscaping. These stairs and oai needed add another event up in this top of the ridge. I just didn't have time to do it right now, but that will be kind of what the next phases of this greenhouse and then maybe building some shelving. So I hope it was informative and hopefully maybe it gave you guys some ideas of things and you can see my chickens trying to explore in the background and then, if that's all, then I guess we'll see you guys next time and thanks for watching, if you Like this video, please give it a thumbs up, and if you like, do-it-yourself projects and other self-reliance oriented topics, please consider subscribing for more future videos, see ya.


What Is Polycarbonate?

You’ve probably used a product with polycarbonate in it today, even if you don’t realize it. After all, polycarbonate is just about everywhere; it is typically used in eyeglasses, medical devices, auto parts, lighting fixtures, DVDs and Blu-Rays, to name a few. As a naturally transparent amorphous thermoplastic, polycarbonate’s usefulness is in its ability to internally transmit light almost as effectively as glass and to withstand impacts far more significant than many other commonly used plastics. Furthermore, the liability of the material allows it to be created at room temperature without cracking or breaking and to be reformed even without the application of heat. That’s the “amorphous” element. The “thermoplastic” part refers to the nature of polycarbonate and other similar plastics to become liquid at their melting point, which allows, among other things, for easy injection molding and recycling.

Applications of Polycarbonate
Though polycarbonate sheet is prized for its strength and flexibility, its transparency is what allows it to take on a variety of applications that similar materials cannot. As mentioned, the usage of polycarbonate plastic is prevalent in the creation of eyewear; that’s because it’s lighter than glass and possesses a natural UV filter. Listed below are a few more specific applications that display the capabilities of this incredibly versatile material.

Molds for urethane and silicone casting
3D printed models for high heat applications
Machinery guards
LED light pipes and diffusers
Vehicle headlights
Small vehicle windshields
Bullet-resistant “glass.”
Phone and computer cases
Fountain pens
What’s more, polycarbonate is as popular in prototypes as it is in finished products. Its durability and transparency make it a perfect stand-in for glass during research and testing.

Types of Polycarbonate
Though polycarbonate sheeting was initially and concurrently developed in the mid-20th century by GE and Bayer, the current plastics marketplace features a variety of developers whom each possess a unique polycarbonate formula and production process. Here are a few details on some of the modern variations and their common uses.

Designed for glazing and industrial uses, the Clear GP stands alone as the best polycarbonate on the market for protection against vandalism and intentional breakage. This high-impact sheet boasts an impact strength 250 times that of glass and 30 times that of acrylic sheeting, meaning that whatever it’s protecting is going to stay protected. Backed by a five-year warranty against breakage, Clear GP polycarbonate stands head and shoulders above any product in its class.

Pure light can eventually disintegrate even the sturdiest materials, but that erosion can be slowed dramatically through the protection offered by the enhanced UV resistance of the Clear SL. This material is designed to weather harsh environments and provide an unmatched extension of service life and color-shifting strength. The MAKROLON Clear SL2 provides the same protection on both sides of the sheet for all-around UV resistance.

Polycarbonate Mirror Sheet
This versatile product offers the mirroring of glass with superior impact strength, heat resistance, and both dimensional and UV stability. Ideal for the security and automotive industries, this polycarbonate is the basis for what is commonly referred to as a two-way mirror. It can also be used to create traditional mirrors in high-stress environments, such as in vehicles, retail displays, and institutional bathrooms.

The flexibility of polycarbonate allows for each of these products to be created in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and transparencies. All of them provide unmatched strength, functionality, and cost-effectiveness. Follow this link to learn more about the numerous forms of polycarbonate and about the wholesale options available to those who wish to buy this remarkable material in bulk.

Additional Benefits of Polycarbonate
Its durability, transparency, weatherability, and flexibility are but a few of the features that have made polycarbonate a mainstay material across multiple industries. Polycarbonate is also considerably less toxic than many other plastics, and the ease with which it can be recycled only adds to its environmental friendliness. Furthermore, its considerable heat resistance can be enhanced with a variety of flame retardants without significantly lowering any of its other properties. 

No other plastic on the market does as much as well as polycarbonate. Please contact one of our trained plastic experts if you would like to learn more about how one of our quality polycarbonate products can be of use to you and your business.

What are the benefits of polycarbonate multiwall panels?

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What are the benefits of polycarbonate multiwall panels?

New technologies have given way to new plastics that we use today to replace conventional materials like wood and steel. Polycarbonate multiwall panels are becoming quite common these days because it is being used in many renovation and decoration projects. These plastic sheets might look simple and flexible and fragile, but they offer plenty of benefits and features that had led to high market demand. Today, many manufacturers and suppliers in India supply these panels and therefore you can look for the right quality of groups at the right price.

Polycarbonate Panels are Easy to Install:

One of the main benefits of multiwall polycarbonate panels is that they are easy to install. Usually, when you are installing roofing solutions you need to ensure that you get the installation done by professionals. Conventional roofing solutions are heavy and fragile and can lead to accidents. Polycarbonate panels are flexible and lightweight and therefore they are easy to install using DIY methods.

Polycarbonate Multiwall Panels are Safe:

These panels are lightweight and flexible and therefore they are safe in every possible way. Multiwall polycarbonate sheet is also self-extinguishing and consequently it does not catch fire which makes them ideal for home and office renovation projects. They are not dense like glass and wood and therefore they are easy to lift and install.

Multiwall Panels Offer Insulation:

The overall design of multiwall sheets and panels make them great insulators and therefore they are ideal for greenhouses and various industries. If you are looking for these panels, Kapoor Plastics can provide you with multiwall polycarbonate sheets at a high price.

Source : Multiple Benefits of Polycarbonate Multiwall Panels

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Tammy Wylie
Tammy Wylie, building, designing, selling, installing polycarbonate sheets for 20 plus years
Answered Jan 10 · Author has 317 answers and 75.4k answer views

Oh, there are so many benefits of multiwall polycarbonate sheets that I will start with the one thing that is sometimes seen as a negative. If you look down the end of a layer of polycarbonate it will be like looking down the end of a cardboard box. With the thin wall there is a sheet on the outside, a coating on the inside with a rib running between the 2 sheets. In a cardboard box the slab will be wavy. In multiwall polycarbonate, the rod will be straight between the two layers. Even though the leaves on each side are bright you will not have a clear view due to the distortion from the rib. Inside a greenhouse, you will be able to see a red flower and green leaves, but it will not be bright enough to identify which flower it is. Some people want an unobstructed view like glass, and you don’t get this with these sheets. But, that is the only negative I can think of, so I will go on to the positive.

It is lightweight. A 4′ x 8′ sheet of 8mm twin wall polycarbonate will only weigh about 13 pounds. It is easy to handle. You can bend it onsite (as long as you follow the minimum bending radius chart supplied by the manufacturer) without any tools or special techniques. It applies itself to multiple uses - greenhouses, patio covers, fencing, interior wall partitions, conservatories, skylights, and even hurricane panels. You can cut it quickly with a skill saw, jigsaw or table saw. It is durable. Most manufacturers will have a 10-year hail warranty. And, you won’t see any hail warranty with glass. Compared to drink, it is less expensive. Some people are concerned about the longevity of the polycarbonate sheets. All manufacturers will have at least a 10-year warranty on the light transmission with some now going up to a 20-year warranty. Regardless of the warranty, I consider this to be a material with a 20 year lifetime. The sheets will not get brittle, yellow or crack during this lifetime. There are many different specialty sheets available at this time. There are sheets with 100% light diffusion, 100% block out, heat reducing capabilities, colors such as opal and bronze, etc. Another benefit is that the insulating factor is better than clear glass. This is due to the spacing between the outside sheets. There are also triple wall, 5 wall, 7 wall, etc sheets available. These extra sheets will be sandwich between the two outer layers. This will also cause a higher R-value the more walls and the thicker the polycarbonate is.

Multiwall polycarbonate sheets are versatile, affordable, easy to handle and my choice for greenhouse glazing.


High-Density Polyethylene

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High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
When you watch television, use a computer, ride on a bus, train, or plane, you are using plastics. When you go to the doctor’s office or hospital or shop at the grocery store, you again are relying on plastics.

So where do plastics come from … and just what are they?

Plastics are derived from materials found in nature, such as natural gas, oil, coal, minerals, and plants. Nature made the very first plastics—did you know that rubber from a rubber tree is a plastic?

Interest in making plastics arose in the 1800s to replace rare materials such as ivory and tortoiseshell. The first synthetic plastics were derived from cellulose, a substance found in plants and trees. Cellulose was heated with chemicals and resulted in a new substance that was extremely durable.

The raw materials for today’s plastics come from many places (some even use salt!), but most plastics can be made from the hydrocarbons that are readily available in natural gas, oil, and coal.

What are Plastics: the Chemistry
The chemistry of plastics can be difficult, but the basics are straightforward. Think back to your high school science lessons about atoms and molecules (groups of atoms). Synthetics are merely chains of identical molecules joined together. These chains are called polymers. This is why many synthetics begin with “poly,” such as polyethylene, polystyrene, and polypropylene. Polymers often are made of carbon and hydrogen and sometimes oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, chlorine, fluorine, phosphorous, or silicon.
Image result for High-Density Polyethylene
The term “plastics” or "synthetics" encompass all these various polymers.

Although there are many polymers, plastics, in general, are lightweight with significant degrees of strength. Synthetics can be molded, extruded, cast and blown into seemingly limitless shapes and films or foams or even drawn into fibers for textiles. Many types of coatings, sealants, and glues are plastics, too.