Some interesting facts about plastics which we have come across and would like to share with you:
- The word "plastic"comes from the Greek word - "plastikos" - which means mouldable. There are two groups of plastic - thermoplastics and thermosets. Thermoplastics are like wax - they can be moulded and re-moulded many times under the right temperature. Thermosets are like concrete. They can only be moulded once.
- During the 1940s, silicone based plastic and boric acid were mixed together and formed an unusual type of compound. It could bounce 25% higher than rubber, would not rot and could be stretched into many different shapes over and over again. It became known as "Silly Putty" and is also used in Super Balls and Solar Panels.
- PVC is also made into blood bags and plasma bags, ensuring safe and hygienic storage of blood products
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or Vinyl was discovered during experiments to bind rubber to metal. The material was inexpensive to manufacture, durable, fire-resistant and easily moulded.
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- Australia invented Polypropylene banknotes lasting up to six times longer than paper notes and contain holograms and security devices to curtail forgery.
- Polypropylene and PVC are used in cars to reduce weight, thereby cutting fuel consumption and making vehicles safer and more comfortable. Plastics are energy efficent. Only a fraction - just 4% of the world's oil is used to make plastic.
- In 1933, two chemists set off a reaction between ethylene and benzaldehyde leading to the formation and discovery of a white waxy substance that looked like plastic, but was lighter; they called it Polyethylene . This plastic played a critical role in World War II, as it was used to insulate radar on aeroplanes, helping the Allies in to detect the enemy at night and under poor weather conditions.