The area of application of plastic products is quite wide. In modern industry, plastic is one of the most popular and inexpensive construction materials.
Plastic products are used in many industries, among them are leading:
- instrument making;
- electrical engineering;
- automotive and aviation;
- consumer goods;
- agricultural and food industry;
- chemical and medical industries.
Such popularity of plastics is due to the versatility of this material and its following advantages:
- Resistance of plastics to corrosion and aggressive substances.
- Good resistance to temperature changes, exposure to sunlight.
- Minimum maintenance costs and long service life.
- Relatively easy technology for manufacturing products, minimal mechanical processing of finished plastic products.
- Low cost compared to other materials (steel, non-ferrous metals, etc.).
The widespread use of plastic is also explained by the fact that the properties of the resulting products can be controlled in advance. This is achieved by using different monomers, changing their ratio, as well as the types and amounts of additives.
The growth of the field of application of plastic products has become possible thanks to a relatively simple production technology that requires little labor and provides high productivity.
So the technology for the production of plastic products is able to ensure full compliance of finished products (in shape and size), and therefore there is no need for their post-processing, thereby reducing production losses.
At the same time, the production of plastic products has its drawbacks:
- low heat resistance of plastic - about 70-120 °C (inability of the material to work under load at elevated temperatures);
- low thermal conductivity - 0.2-0.6 kcal / m / h / ºC (for example, for steel it is 45 kcal/m/h/ºC, cast iron - 10-40 kcal/m/h/ºC, copper - 330 kcal/m/hour/ºC);
- high coefficient of thermal expansion. Considering that plastics have a low coefficient of thermal conductivity, strong internal stresses can appear on the resulting products over time. During operation, they may cause cracks in the future (especially with sudden temperature changes);
- creep - slow deformation of the material in the cold, under the influence of constant mechanical loads;
- aging of plastics under the influence of external conditions (a decrease in the properties of the material during its operation).
The disadvantages of polymeric materials can be eliminated by selecting special processing modes, creating a specific material structure and introducing special additives into polymers.
We can confidently predict the appearance in the near future of new materials, new methods of their application and use. Plastics will have even more valuable properties, resistance to low and high temperatures, better aging characteristics, and an amazing weight-to-volume ratio. The plastics industry has truly vast development prospects.
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