What is plastic made of? Let's witness!

The question of what plastic is made of may sound strange, but plastic is actually not one specific material. This point is not only technical, but is of great importance – both in business and in everyday life. One of the important advantages of plastic is its versatility as an artificial material. The many options it provides are based on the way it is manufactured and its composition, which can be perfectly adapted to different requirements. So what is it made of? And how is it produced? is all that is important to know.

What is the plastic made of?

In principle, plastic is an artificial material based on polymers, but it is important to understand what plastic is made of beyond that. Plastic as an industrial product also includes additional materials, depending on the properties you wish to give it. For example, reinforcing materials, coloring materials, foaming materials or a special material that inhibits combustion. If we return to polymers, which are the basis of plastic, a common source for them is petroleum refining processes. However they may also be derived from other sources, including rubber or cellulose. The product that is finally obtained with their help is “plastic”, that is, it is very convenient to determine its shape according to the need.

Plastic manufacturing process

The raw materials needed for the production of plastic are common everywhere, a fact that contributes to its availability and reducing its price. The plastic receives a composition of materials that is compatible with its intended purposes, and this is how these outstanding types of plastic are produced, for example:

  • PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride is among the most well-known and oldest types of plastic. It combines very low cost, light weight and durability.
  • PET or PETE – polyethylene terephthalate is a type of plastic that excels in heat resistance and great rigidity.
  • HDPE – high density polyethylene is very durable but also flexible.
  • LDPE – low density polyethylene. Transparent material and suitable for use and in contact with food products.
  • PP – Polypropylene is a type of plastic that is very resistant to exposure to heat and chemicals.
  • PS – Polystyrene is a plastic composition that for various reasons is very suitable for the production of disposable products.

There is of course a complex process of developing a plastic product even before the production itself. With a leading manufacturer such as YSR Plastic Industries, you can get a complete answer to everything you need, including characterization, production, assembly and packaging. On the company’s website, you will find additional information on the home page , such as information on its advanced plastic injection department and more. Quality plastic production processes are carried out in a very clean environment. If it is about the production of plastics for the medical field or medical cosmetics, the level of cleanliness may be very high and compatible with international standards. The plastic production machines can be centrally controlled through a production floor management system, to provide accurate results and maximum output. Of course, there are also quality control processes, which ensure that the products are consistently produced with the requested quality.

How do you make plastic in different shapes?

Beyond chemistry, how is plastic produced on a technical level?

  • Injection – injecting the plastic in its liquid state into special molds, makes it possible to obtain any desired shape of the manufactured part. It is also possible to inject two substances on the same product (a technique known as two-component injection). By the way, the planning and production of these templates is also a special and essential part of the process. The plastic part is then dried and ready, at least in the basic form requested.
  • Machining – a stage of further processing of the hardened plastic part. This is through standard machining techniques, which are used to process different types of materials. Machining is performed using dedicated machines, such as milling machines and CNC machines, electro erosion machines (EDM) and wire cutting machines (WIRE CUT).
  • Painting and printing – now you can paint the part if and as much as required, and even print on it, including decorative painting or special types of painting. For example, with conductive paint, as a substitute for shielding, to protect against radio frequency interference and electromagnetic interference. It is possible to print effectively even on uneven surfaces, using the tampon printing method. Dyeing and printing are part of the surface design and finishing aspect of the product. This has both aesthetic and practical aspects for the actual use of the product.
  • Assemblies – it is possible to connect different plastic parts and plastic parts to other parts of the product being manufactured. This is where techniques such as ultrasonic welding, insertion of inserts and electromechanical assemblies come into play.

Additional techniques for plastic production include extrusion, lamination, blow molding, pressure molding, and more.

Common questions

The many possibilities in terms of the composition of the plastic have resulted in the fact that plastic production processes are part of the production of products for a wide variety of fields and industries. Some notable examples of this are disposable products, bags and packaging, plumbing products and protective sheathing for electrical and communication cables.

One of the notable disadvantages of the plastic world is that most types of plastic are non-biodegradable. The wide adoption of the use of plastic makes it a serious environmental hazard. To solve this challenge, solutions for the production of biodegradable plastic have been developed over the years. One of the most advanced and interesting of them is the “bioplastic” – a type of plastic based on biological materials. Thanks to this, bioplastic breaks down naturally and also integrates into the environment into which it breaks down in a positive and harmless way.

We mentioned earlier the advantage of versatility in the options for the composition of the plastic and therefore also for its uses. Beyond that, plastic has many other advantages. These are some notable examples: it is a very cheap material, so the production and the price for the consumer are very affordable. It can be processed into many shapes and with different types of finishes relatively easily. The plastic is a strong and durable material. Also, its weight is low in relation to the strength of the concept.

In conclusion

When it comes to product development and production, in almost any field, you should also consider using plastic. Will it also suit a special purpose that you need? If you consult with experts, you may be surprised to find out that the answer is yes!

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