Graphics unit 2: Materials and Components; Polymers

The point that are highlighted on the cards could equal to a mark in an evaluative perspective of the exam questions.

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Polymers in commercial packaging

Thermoplastic polymers are widely used in commercial packaging. It is a material that once heated, can be formed into a variety of shapes using techniques such as blowing and mooulding. Once the molecules have cooled down, the shape formed is permanent. Polymers used in packaging can be internationall recognised by a printed coding label.This 'type' of polymer will be sorted before recycling because polymers  have different components are used in different parts of the industry.

These higlighted areas above could equal to 6 marks/points.

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StyrofoamTM for block modelling

Styrofoam is a blue or pink extruded polystyrene foam that is manufactured for construction industries or insulation of buildings. It is also used for modelling prpocesses. The material results in a uniformally small and closed cells which is great for modelling materials. The material is;

  • Ridgity
  • Strong
  • Easily cut
  • Can be shaped/sanded smooth with normal tools

The versatility use and shape makes ita great modelling material. However, it is weak and its surface breaks down easily making it unsuitable for fine designs.

The highlighted areas above could equal to 9 marks/points.

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Acrylic as a polymer is known as (PMMA) or internationally as Pexiglas (R) or Perspex (R). This matter is usually used in sheet, however it can be used as rods or tubes and is self finishing. It has a versatile use and can also be used for shop signage. For (architectural) Professional use, this material needs to have a high quality finish, aesthetic and performancerequirement. Clear/Frosted acrylic can be used for displays as a low-weight and low-cost substitute for glass. However, acrylic easily cracks from scratches, snaps and would require a great deal of care.

The highlighted ares above could equal to 16 marks/points.

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Environmental concerns

A disadvantage of widespread polymers is the ongoing concern of how sustainable the material is. Oil, as a raw material for polmers, is finite and has a long production process which consumes alot of energy; this then accumulates alot of pollution. Other concerns regarding polymers are that it takes a long degrading process and releases toxic fumes if it were to be incinerated.

Solutions for this enironmental concerns are that the polymers could be recycled and remoulded; only leaving the sorting as an issue- either the polymers can become contaminated / or the worth of the type of  polymer is unprofitable / or the manual labour would be a slow and intensive process because there are not enough mechanical methods accessible.

The highlighted areas above could equal to 11 marks/points.

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