Polymers play a very important role in human life. In fact, our body is made of lot of polymers, for example Proteins, enzymes, etc. Other naturally occurring polymers like wood, rubber, leather and silk are serving the humankind for many centuries now. Modern scientific tools revolutionized the processing of polymers thus available synthetic polymers like usefulplastics, rubbers and fiber materials.
Polymers already have a range of applications that far exceeds that of any other class of material available to man. Current applications extend from adhesives, coatings, foams, and packaging materials to textile and industrial fibers, composites, electronic devices, biomedical devices, optical devices, and precursors for many newly developed high-tech ceramics.Some of the polymers by addition most common are:
* Polyethylene (PE):
Characteristics: Chemically resistant and electrically insulating; tough and relatively low coefficient of friction; low strength and poor resistance to weathering.
Application: Flexible bottles, toys, tumblers,lectrical cable insulation, coatings forcorrosion protection
* Polypropylene (PP):
Characteristics: Resistant to heat distortion; excellent electrical properties and fatigue strength; chemically inert; relatively inexpensive; poor resistance to UV light.
Application: Sterilizable bottles, packaging film, TV cabinets,furniture, handles, envelopes, wrapper, thread, tapes, ropes, containers, medical products as syringes, laboratory instruments, etc.
* Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC):
Characteristics: This polymer has a great versatility, is used to make items such as high stiffness pipefittings, semi-flexible products such as profiles for blinds and other highly flexiblesandals.
Application: is used for plastic pipes,water bottles, outdoor furniture, shrink-wrap, liquid detergent containers, and salad dressing containers.
* Polystyrene (PS)
Characteristics: Excellent electrical properties and optical clarity; good thermal and dimensional stability; relatively inexpensive
Application: Wall tile, battery cases, toys, indoor lighting panels, appliance housings
* Fluoropolymers (PTFE):Characteristics: Chemically inert in almost all environments, excellent electrical properties; low coefficient of friction; may be used to 260°C; relatively weak and poor cold-flow properties.
Application: Anticorrosive seals, chemical pipes and valves, bearings, anti adhesive coatings, high temperature electronic parts, clothing, medical implants such as heart valves. Nonstick cookware.
* Polyester (PETor PETE):
Characteristics: One of the toughest of plastic films; excellent fatigue and tear strength, and resistance to humidity acids, greases, oils and solvents Application: Magnetic recording tapes, clothing, automotive tire cords, beverage containers.
Impacting the Environment
One of the positive characteristics of plastic is the fact that it is durable. Unfortunately, this is not a positive characteristic when it comes to the environment. The fact that plastic is durable means it degrades slowly. In addition, burning plastic can sometimes result in toxic fumes.http://www.enviroliteracy.org/article.php/1188.html
One of the most significant environmental problems associated with plastics is the improper disposal of plastic goods by consumers. The use of plastics has enabled the development of innumerable disposable products, which has increased the amount of trash that is disposed. Although paper accounts for most of the trash in landfills by volume, plastics...