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CHAPTER 7

SYNTHETIC MATERIALS IN INDUSTRY

Synthetic polymers
Chemical compounds that contain long-chained molecules of monomers. Known as artificial polymers Man-made polymers made up of chemical substances from petroleum. Used to make a wide range of products including computers, fabrics, toys, furniture and electrical parts.

Can be clasified into;


1) 2)

3)

Elastomers Thermoplastic Thermoset.

Thermoplastic and thermosets are plastics. Synthetic polymers and their uses;
Plastic- used in manufacturing industries of plastic product. Synthetic rubber- contain properties similar to a natural rubber. Examples= neoprene, Styrene butadiene rubber SBR

Synthetic rubber is mostly used to make vehicles

tyre. Synthetic fibre is a type of polymer that has properties similar to natural fibre.
Example= nylon, terylene

Synthetic rubber

Properties

Product

neoprene

Does not burn easily,high restance to oxygen, sunlight

Gloves, rubber pipes

Styrene Can be Car tyres, shoe butadiene rubber vulcanised easily sole (SBR)

Plastics
A type of synthetic polymer
Can be moulded and designed into various products when heated up

An organic material that consists of carbon, hydrogen and a few other elements such as oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine and flourine.

Types of plastics

Two main types; 1. Thermoplastic 2. Thermoset

Thermoplastic
Thermoplastic molecules do not have cross linkage between their polymers.

When heated up their polymer chains glide easily onto each other.
This property makes thermoplastic a material

that easily softens or melts and can be remoulded, Therefore, thermoplastic can be easily recycled.

Polymer chains in thermoplastic

Examples; Polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, perspex and polythene

Good insulator Stretchable and Burned easily Properties Resistant to chemical substances

Dissolve in organic solvent Low melting point

Thermoset
Thermoset molecules have cross linkages

between their polymers These cross linkage prevent polymer chain from gliding onto each other when heated. Can be moulded only once. Examples of thermosets are bakelite, melamine.

Polymer chain in a thermosets

Exercise
Classify the following products as thermoplastic or thermoset; Battery box, hanger, chair, water pipe, electric plug, milk bottle, electrical switch.
Plastic product

Thermoplastic

Thermoset

Potential uses of plastic


Plastic properties such as resistance to corrosion, hot hazardous to the body, clean, long lasting, strong and can be produced in various shape are the reasons why it is widely used in various field. Hundreds of different plastics have been created to replace metals, paper, wood and stone, glass and ceramics.

Plastic used in medical field


a) Replace faulty heart arteries and valves.
b) Replaced damaged bones c) To make thread to stitch wounds and to

make medicine capsules d) Rebuild facial structure e) To make camera pills to snap pictures of internal organs.

Car parts are made of plastics such as bumpers, windscreen, steering, petrol cover, and fan. Plastic are also used to make pans of cars and aircraft and also bulletproof glass.

Effect of plastic waste disposal on the environment


Burning of plastic products
Release pollutants that threaten health and these

include;
black smoke Smelly and poisonous gases, corrosive gases that include hydrogen chloride, carbon monoxide,ammonia and hydrogen cyanide

Disposal of plastic products


Cause flash floods during heavy rain.
Plastic bags that are thrown into the sea will

cause pollution Sea creatures like turtles will die when they swallow plastic products

Ways to control plastic disposal


1)
2) 3) 4) 5) 6)

Use biodegradable plastic that can be degrade by microorganism Recycling plastic product Reused tyres as artificial reefs, that will provide breeding space for marine lifes Burn plastic waste in incinerator Plastic waste materials can be collected, crushed and buried in a special dumping ground Use photodegradation plastic.

What can you do to help?


Choose products with minimal packaging

Reduce the need to throw away plastic.


Reuse plastic to carry things Donate toys to charity Sort garbage according to categories.