Polymers, Plastics and Smart and Modern Materials Revision Notes

Polymers, Plastics and Smart and Modern Materials Revision Notes

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  • Created by: Lozianger
  • Created on: 26-05-15 21:19
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Lauren Guest
They are 3 types of plastics:
Thermoplastics - can be reheated and reshaped as they have loose monomer chains, can
be recycled and coloured pigments can be added to make it more aesthetically pleasing.
Thermosets ­ undergo a chemical change so permanently rigid, cannot be reheated or
reshaped as it forms rigid cross links, e.g. spoons
Elastomers ­ can be distorted under pressure but will return to their original shape
The properties of plastics are:
Electrical and thermal insulators
Good strength to weight ratio
Good atmospheric and chemical corrosion resistance
They are lightweight
Fairly low melting points (thermoplastics)
They can be self-coloured, opaque, translucent or transparent
Elastomers: Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), Thermoplastic rubber (TPR) and Liquid silicone rubber
(LSR). Used for car bumpers and trims, and product grips.
Product Design Revision

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Lauren Guest
Biodegradable' polymers
Plastics normally don't break down easily ­ often thrown away. Biodegradable plastics
degrade in a biologically rich environment.
Used for carrier bags, plastic bottles and detergent sachets.
Compostable polymers ­ Cellulose based polymers such as biopol, which is an
environmentally friendly, quality biodegradable plastic produced thought the
fermentation of plant sugars and glucose. Degrades harmlessly in soil after a few months.…read more

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Lauren Guest
Step four ­ When the polymer has cooled and has had time to solidify the mould halves
are opened and the product is released from the mould.
Advantages: Produces complex 3D shapes, large numbers can be produced with
consistent quality, Metal insets can be included.
Disadvantages: Initial set up costs are high and moulds are expensive.…read more

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Lauren Guest
Fillers ­ used to reduce bulk of plastic so cheaper e.g. sawdust (increases strength and
Flame retardants ­ used to reduce risk of combustion, releases agents that stifle it.
Ant-static agents ­ reduce effect of static charges that could build up
Plasticiser ­ added to improve the flow properties of plastics when being moulded by
reducing softening temperature and brittleness.
Stabilisers ­ used to reduce the effect of ultraviolet light by making plastic more resistant
to being broken down by sunlight.…read more

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Flexible MDF: grooves are cut into the material allowing it to bend slightly, meaning
curved shapes can be created. Can come in large sizes so large curved wood furniture can
be created, stable, no defects. Flexi ply, can be bent and curved to create curves in wood,
they only three layers in the plywood, allows much tighter curves to be produced.
Aeroply ­ Aircraft grade plywood, used in the construction of gliders, .…read more


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