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Which is better, wood or plastic?. Marcos Melchor 8 th. Abstract. In this experiment I will be comparing two different types of materials. These materials are plastic and wood. I will be testing them in three different aspects, which are; durability, strength, and quantity.
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Which is better, wood or plastic? Marcos Melchor 8th
Abstract • In this experiment I will be comparing two different types of materials. These materials are plastic and wood. I will be testing them in three different aspects, which are; durability, strength, and quantity. • Which material is better? • Hypothesis: There is no better material. Wood surpasses plastic in many tests, and plastic surpasses wood in many other tests. • This will help further extend the knowledge of basic woods and plastics.
Background Information • Plastic is any synthetic or semi-synthetic organic polymer. • Wood is composed of cells, and the cell walls are composed of micro-fibrils of cellulose and hemicellulose impregnated with lignin. • Origin of Plastic: The first man-made plastic was created by Alexander Parkes who publicly demonstrated it at the 1862 Great International Exhibition in London. • Origin of Wood: A 2011 discovery in the Canadian province of New Brunswick uncovered the earliest known plants to have grown wood, approximately 395 to 400 million years ago
Research Question/Topic • Compare and Contrast wood and plastic. • Which material is better, wood or plastic?
Plastic (synthetic resins) • There are many different types of plastics in the world, they are all used for different things/tasks. • Some examples of plastics: • •PET (polyethylene terephthalate): plastic soft drink bottles, water bottles, beer bottles, mouthwash bottles and many more • •HDPE (high density polyethylene): milk bottles, detergent bottles, oil bottles, toys, plastic bags • •PVC (polyvinyl chloride): food wrap, vegetable oil bottles, blister packaging • •LDPE (low density polyethylene): bread bags, frozen food bags, squeezable bottles, fiber, tote bags, bottles, clothing, furniture, carpet, shrink-wrap, garment bags • •PP (polypropylene): margarine and yogurt containers, caps for containers, wrapping to replace cellophane • •PS (polystyrene): egg cartons, fast food trays, disposable plastic silverware • •Other: This code indicates that the item is made with a resin other than the six listed above, or a combination of different resins.
Wood • There are infinite types of wood. • Wood is categorized as • Softwoods(conifers) • Hardwoods(angiosperm/monocotyledons)
Durability • Some people say that wood is more durable than plastic, but are they right? • Did you know that plastic can never be destroyed completely? • Durable wise I would have to say that plastic is more durable than Wood. • Due to the experiment that I conducted. • I lit a small block of lumber and a large plastic lid on fire and waited to see which one would burn quicker. Of coarse the plastic caught on fire quicker, but it was never destroyed, it was just re-formed. On the other hand the wood took longer to burn, but it turned into ash. I conducted this experiment with a propane torch. • That was just one test, really the durability depends on what you are wanting to use it for. • For example: when you are building a model of say a house, you would probably want to use plastic just because it’s cheaper, but when it comes to the actual house then of coarse you would want to use would. The thing is that wood can handle a lot more weight than plastic. So it all really just depends on how you are going to use the material, but remember plastic cannot be destroyed.
Strength • I tested both materials on how sturdy they were. • Have you ever seen a model bridge being built? They are built out of wood, because wood is stronger than plastic, or is it? • Once again it all comes down do how you are going to use it. • The test I conducted here was I took a small block of wood and a plastic bottle and a hammer and just went to town on both for a minute. • The end result was that the plastic was deformed, but not destroyed. On the other hand the wood had some dents in it, but it was also chipped and had some pieces that were broken off. So in conclusion to this test I would have to say that strength wise, wood takes it, durability wise I would give it to plastic.
Quantity • The quantity of the product is very important because if you can’t produce it, then it wouldn’t matter which was a better material. • Plastic is probably easier to produce, due to the fact that it’s man-made. Wood on the other hand is technically produced from trees in the environment. • Even if wood is from nature, and it should be unlimited, it really isn’t. Due to the fact that we aren’t planting as much trees as we are taking down.
Conclusion • My hypothesis was correct. • Plastic is not better than wood and wood is not better than plastic. • It’s like comparing different brands. Nike is better than Adidas at some stuff and Adidas is better than Nike in others. • Like I said before, it all depends on what you are going to need the material for.
Evaluation • These tests have helped me further understand that some materials work better than others. It helps further the study of cost, durability and stability in real life. Causing people to make different man-made synthetic materials. • Probable causes for error • Not having the plastic and the wood weigh the same in the experiments. • Not timing how long the plastic and the wood took to completely burn.
Bibliography • http://greennature.com/article2158.html • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood#Structure • http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions/a/plastics.htm • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic