Plastics are an important class of material s with an extremely wide range of mechanical,physical,and chemical properties.The first plastics (natural polymers)were produced in the 1860s;however, modern plastics technology(synthetic polymers)began in the 1920s. These materials are called plastics, from the Greek plastics meaning they can be molded and shaped.
Plastics are characterized by the following properties:low density,low stength and elastic modulus,low thermel and electrical conductivity,high chemical resistance, and high coefficient of thermal expansion.They can be cast,formed, machined,and joined into different shapes and are available in a wide variety of properties,colors,and opactities.Also included in this group of materials are rubbers and elastomers.
Because of their many unique properties ,plastics have increasingly replaced metallic components in numerous applications.This trend is explained by considerations with repect to service requirements,strength-to-weight ratio,design and cost of the material,and ease of manufacturing.
With various additives and reinforcements,plastics are used in a wide range of consumer and electronic products.Some of the major applications are in automotive,electrical and electronic products such as integrated circuits, mechanical equipment, food and beverage containers,packaging,signs,housewares,textiles,safety equipment,toys,appliances,and optical equipment.