WHAT ARE PLASTICS?
Plastics are synthetic materials with a macromolecular structure that under certain conditions of temperature and pressure they can permanently change their shape.
There are two types of plastics: thermoplastic and thermosetting plastic.
Thermoplastics: they are pliable when heated and can be moulded to give shape to objects that harden when cooled. In theory, this process can be repeated several times, depending on the quality of the different plastics.
Thermosetting plastics: after an initial malleable phase caused by heat, this group of plastics hardens due to a three-dimensional crosslinking of molecular chains. During the softening phase, the combined effect of heat and pressure makes them pliable; however, if these plastics are heated after they have hardened, they decompose and burn.
PET is lightweight, rigid or semi-rigid, transparent or a natural colour. It is an excellent barrier against gases and resists impacts. It is one of the easiest plastics to recycle and is used to manufacture bottles, bags and synthetic fibres for clothes.
Polyethylene is the most common plastic. It is either transparent or white, it has excellent insulation properties and is very strong, versatile and cheap.
HDPE is translucent, simple to process, resistant to impacts and is non-toxic. It is used for manufacturing bottles, tanks, bins and transport containers.
LDPE can be either translucent or transparent. It is suitable for food contact and is the lightest and most heat-sensitive plastic. It is used for containers, bags, sacks, plastic coatings on wires, bins, pipes and toys.
PVC is a very versatile plastic. It is hard wearing and resistant to chemical and atmospheric agents, and fire. It is used in the paper and packaging industry, food containers, credit cards, furniture, clothes and toys.
This material is transparent, lightweight and resistant. It can be used for both plastic and fibres. Polypropylene does not absorb water and is easy to colour. It is used to manufacture textile fibres, couplings, transport containers, furniture, carpets, ropes and food containers.
This is one of the most important thermoplastic materials. It is transparent, hard and inflammable, very shiny and inert against many corrosive agents. It can be coated in shiny or opaque colours.
Polystyrene is commonly used to replace glass, aluminium and wood, as it is cheaper. It can also be used in packaging materials (including food), containers, boxes, lamps, disposable items, cups and toys.
Used to produce goods that have been especially manufactured to resist impacts, such as suitcases, large and small domestic appliances, telephones and accessories for the car industry.
Used to make many products manufactured in different consumer-goods sectors, such as glasses frames, typewriter case mouldings and transparent toothbrush packages.
Generally used in the production of coextruded films for the electrical and medical fields, as well as in the footwear and toy industry.
Used to make toys, parts of fridges, ball point pens, batteries, technical and decorative items and sports articles.
Used for producing synthetic fibres (nylon) and flexible food-container film.
Used for mechanical engineering.
Used for transparent products, protective helmets and car components.
Used to produce transparent panels, roofing sheets, illuminated signs and optical equipment.
Mainly used to produce precision parts for mechanics.
Used for jobs that require high performance and high temperatures; for example, in electronics, health industry, transport and industrial applications.
Used for many technical applications in the electrical electronic, photographic, aeronautical and mechanical industries, as well as for manufacturing specific electrical appliances.
Used in the production of adhesives, water-based paint and inks.
This plastic is obtained from the polymerisation of vinylidene fluoride and is characterised by a high level of chemical inertia accompanied by excellent stiffness and heat resistance. It is used in the chemical industry and can withstand temperatures of up to 120 °C. Its piezoelectric characteristics mean that it is also used in the electrical and electronic industries. It is used as a power supply for equipment that needs to withstand temperatures of over 150/180 °C.
Used in the manufacture of artificial leather, shoe soles and heels, films for electrical insulation and sports equipment. It is also employed in the medical sector and for technical uses.
Used for a wide range of technical applications in different industries, such as household goods, outer casings of small electrical appliances, cosmetics, stationary and electronic items.
DEMETO project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N° 768573.
A project co-funded by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism in the grants awarded for the 2012 Re-industrialisation Programme and ERDF Operational Programme, Autonomous Region of Valencia 2007-2013 (PET COMPAÑÍA PARA SU RECICLADO, SAU. A programme for implementing new technologies and processes in order to modernise the company. File no.: REI-040000-2012-61)
PET COMPAÑÍA PARA SU RECICLADO, SAU
Polígono Industrial La Pahilla
El Blanquizar S/N
46370 Chiva (Valencia) – Spain
Tel.: +34 962 524 148
Fax: +34 962 524 259