Polymers By Jon Jelinek
Who invented Plastic? • Leo Hendrik Baekeland did not invent plastic but he was the first to produce a completely synthetic plastic, meaning none of the materials came from nature. He also advanced plastic technology by controlling the pressure and temperature process. • Before Baekeland plastics would foam during the curing process, making them nearly useless for commerical products. • Foamy • Not so Foamy
Benefits Lightweight Durable Heat resistant Resistant to corrosion Can conform to any shape Superior flexible barrier. Example trash bags, hospital gloves, etc.
Plastic parts in your automobile Plastic accounts for nearly 150 lbs of an average vehicles weight. Because of the flexible, yet rigid, properties of plastic, automobile manufacturers have switch out metal parts for plastic. One of the reasons for switch to plastic is its lightweight. Reducing the weight of automobiles provides the customer with better gas mileage. One of the primary reasons automakers choose plastic over metal is it’s ability to take any shape relatively easily. Complex parts that were difficult and costly to construct with metals, are usually prime candidates for plastic replacement.
Environmental Impact • 80% of marine debris is plastic. • Remains of an albatross that died because it mistook floating bottle caps, and other plastic debris as food. Notice the plastics durability compared to the decomposing • albatross. • Zoomed in view of the sea ofbottles background in this frame. • In 2007, 2 million plastic bottles were used every five minutes. • Turtle that grew up with a retaining clip from a plastic bottle around its waist.
Environmental Impact (Continued) • The manufacturing of automobile grade plastic, takes on average 100 gallons of oil per vehicle. • 70% to 80% of polyethylene, the plastic used to create plastic grocery bags, comes from natural gas. • In 1996, it was estimated that 4 out of 5 grocery bags were plastic. • But there is a recycling effort in place to help reuse plastic, right? Yes, but the amount of plastic recycled is a tiny percentage of the total plastic thrown away. Our recycling efforts alone cannot win the war against a product that exists for hundreds of years. • We cannot continue to live in a single use, throw away society. It is completely unfair to future generations.
Make your own “plastic” Ingredients: Milk, Vinegar, Cooking Pot, Spoon, Strainer , Stove , Paper Towels, Wax paper Steps: Have a mold ready. Mix 1 TBSP of vinegar for every cup of milk. Heat milk slowly in pot. Once milk reaches near boiling, turn off heat and stir in vinegar. Chunks of casein can be seen forming. Strain the liquid and collect the casein chunks. Using a paper towel, remove excess liquid from casein. Using your mold take the casein material, and press it into place. Let dry for a few days, and you’re finished. Tips: Add food coloring to the casein before it dries for colored plastic. Use wax paper when attempting to make flat sheets fo plastic.
The Future of Plastic Development of plastics that are more efficient to manufacture, using less resources to produce. Creation of plastics that are more recyclable. MIT has already developed a way to make plastic more recyclable through a heating and cooling process known as “thermal degradation”, as well as microbial degradable plastics, where an addictive that doesn’t change the plastic molecule is added. This addictive can be broken down when microbials attach to the plastic. To learn more about microbial degradation watch the following video: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xdolkbFFEc) Better polymers for absorbing oil spills. Future disasters like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may be a thing of the past as new “oil eating” polymers are developed.