Polymers, thermoplastics

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  • Created by: emb98
  • Created on: 20-05-16 16:28

PET, Polyethylene terephthalate


  • Excellent barrier against atmospheric gases.
  • Prevents gas from escaping the package.
  • Does not flavour the contents. 
  • Sparkling 'crystal clear' appearance. 
  • Very tough. 
  • Lightweight- low density.


-Carbonated bottles.

- Packaging for highly flavoured food. 

- Microwavable food trays. 

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HDPE, High Density Polyethylene


  • Highly resistant to chemicals.
  • Good barrier to water. 
  • Tough and hard wearing. 
  • Decorative when coloured. 
  • Lightweight and floats on water. 
  • Rigid.


- Unbreakable bottles (for washing up liquid, detergents, cosmetics, toiletries, etc). 

- Very thin packaging sheets. 

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PVC Polyvinyl Chloride


  • Weather resistant- does not rot. 
  • Chemical resistant- does not corrode. 
  • Protects products from moisture and gases while holding-in preserving gases. 
  • Strong, good abrasive resistance and tough. 
  • Can be manufactured either rigid or flexible. 


- Packaging for toiletries, pharmaceutical products, food and confectionery, water and fruit juices. 

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LDPE Low density polyethylene


  • Good resistance to chemicals.
  • Good barrier to water, but not gases. 
  • Tough and hard wearing. 
  • Decorative when coloured. 
  • Very light and floats on water.
  • Very flexible. 


-Stretch wrapping, milk carton coatings. 

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PP Polypropylene


  • Lightweight. 
  • Rigid. 
  • Excellent chemical resistance. 
  • Versatile- can be stiffer than polyethylene or very flexible. 
  • Low moisture absorption. 
  • Good impact resistance. 


- Food packaging- yoghurt and margarine pots, sweet and snack wrappers,

- Used for laminating paper and board. 

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PS Polystyrene


Rigid polystyrene:                                                      Applications:

  • Transparent                                                         - Foodpackaging, yoghurt pots, CD jewel cases,       Rigid.                                                                     audio cassette cases. 
  • Lightweight.                                                     
  • Low water absorption. 

Expanded polystyrene:                                             Applications:

  • Excellent impact resistance.                             - Egg cartons, fruit and veg+meat trays, cups etc. 
  • Very good heat insulation.                                  - Packaging for electrical and fragile products. 
  • Durable. 
  • Lightweight.
  • Low water absorption. 
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