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After all, do you really know what plastic is?

4 de August de 2022

We have already covered many subjects related to the plastic universe here on Valgroup’s blog: technology, innovation, sustainability and its importance to society, among others. Through these, you should have a good idea of the impact plastic has in our lives and how its evolution has revolutionized the industries. But do you know what plastic is?

 

 

Meaning and origin

 

The word plastic comes from the Greek and means something that can be molded, and this is one of the most important characteristics of the material.

Its history begins during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the first synthetic plastic was developed and advanced at a rapid pace beginning in the 1920s. Today, plastic is present in nearly all spheres of our lives, for being a cheap, versatile, inert, lightweight, and resistant material, which elevates the quality of life of society in general.

 

 

Main Types of Plastic Composition

 

Today, plastics are already being made from different raw materials, even from vegetable sources, such as green polyethylene or PLA, a type of biodegradable plastic made from sugar cane or corn syrup, but traditionally plastic is composed of resins derived from petroleum.

 

In the refinery, petroleum is fractionated into by-products such as gasoline, kerosene, diesel, naphtha and many others. And it is precisely naphtha that gives rise to the substances necessary for the production of the main types of plastic.

 

Moreover, plastic belongs to the group of polymers, large molecules with a variety of characteristics, hence its versatility.  These molecules are made up of other smaller molecules, called monomers, which through the process of polymerization are chemically united, generating the polymer.

 

In general, plastics can be divided into two groups: thermoplastics and thermo-rigid.

 

Thermoplastics

 

 

 

 

 

 

            Among others.

 

 

Thermo-rigid or thermosetting

 

These are plastics that do not melt when heated, which makes it impossible to reuse them through conventional recycling processes. An example of thermosetting plastic is polyurethane, used in the production of shoe soles, industrial electrical parts, kitchen utensils, among others.

 

On the Valgroup website, blog and social networks, you can find a lot of content about the plastic universe, including some of the products mentioned above, which are part of our portfolio.