plastics


plastics
/plas"tiks/, adj.
of or pertaining to a plastic or plastics: a plastics firm; plastics research.
[1920-25; see PLASTIC, -ICS]

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Polymers that can be molded or shaped, usually by heat and pressure.

Most are lightweight, transparent, tough organic compounds that do not conduct electricity well. They fall into two classes: Thermoplastics (e.g., polyethylene, polystyrene) can be melted and formed again and again; thermosetting plastics, or thermosets (e.g., polyurethane, epoxy), once formed, are destroyed rather than melted by heating. Few plastics contain only the polymer resin; many also contain plasticizers (to change the melting point and make them softer), colorants, reinforcements, and fillers (to improve mechanical properties such as stiffness), and stabilizers and antioxidants (to protect against aging, light, or biological agents). Traditional plastics are not biodegradable (see biodegradability); recycling of plastics, especially thermoplastics, has become an important industry, and the development of low-cost biodegradable plastics and plastic substitutes is a significant pursuit of industrial research. Major commercial uses of plastics include cars, buildings, packaging, textiles, paints, adhesives, pipes, electrical and electronic components, prostheses, toys, brushes, and furniture. Common plastics include polyethylene terephthalate, or PET (beverage bottles), PVC (pipes and hoses), foamed polystyrene, or Styrofoam (insulated food containers), and Lucite (shatterproof windows). See also Leo Baekeland.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • plastics — UK US /ˈplæstɪks/ noun PRODUCTION ► [U] the business of manufacturing plastic: »He states that there is a great future in plastics. »The plastics industry is an integral part of Wisconsin s economy. »a plastics business/company/manufacturer »a… …   Financial and business terms

  • plastics — ce·ro·plastics; gal·vano·plastics; plastics; …   English syllables

  • Plastics — Plas|tics 〈[plæ̣stıks] Pl.; engl. Bez. für〉 Kunststoffe [engl.] * * * Plas|tics [ plæstɪks ] <Pl.> [engl. plastics (Pl.), ↑ 2Plastik]: engl. Bez. für: Kunststoffe. * * * Plas|tics [ plæstɪks] <Pl.> [engl. plastics (Pl.), 2↑Plastik]:… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Plastics — Plas|tics [ plæstiks] die (Plur.) <aus engl. plastics, vgl. 2↑Plastik> engl. Bez. für Kunststoffe, Plaste …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • plastics — noun Plastic surgery, especially as a profession …   Wiktionary

  • Plastics — Plas|tics 〈[plæ̣stıks] Pl.; engl. Bez. für〉 Kunststoffe …   Lexikalische Deutsches Wörterbuch

  • plastics — plas·tic || plæstɪk n. group of polymer substances, material derived from petroleum that is easily shaped and molded when heated; (Slang) credit cards adj. flexible, pliant; made of plastic …   English contemporary dictionary

  • plastics — The generic name for any of the organic materials produced by polymerization. They can be shaped by molding or drawing …   Aviation dictionary

  • Plastics — Plas|tics [ plɛstɪks ] Plural <englisch> (englische Bezeichnung für Kunststoffe) …   Die deutsche Rechtschreibung

  • PLASTICS — …   Useful english dictionary


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