In just a few decades, plastic has become a staple of most human societies. It has transformed the home, shops and some of our environment. There are very few places that you can go to, that are free from plastic. The creation of plastic and its wide sweeping applications, has allowed for people to acquire products much cheaper than they could in the past (things made from wood and metal tend to cost more to produce). It has also opened up a whole world of possibilities for products (both consumer and industrial).
Most people do not recognize that plastic is a blanket term. There are many different types of plastic, and each plastic is made differently. Different chemicals and chemistry are needed in order to achieve this.
Plastic resins are the main base of all plastics. However, through different processes these resins can be transformed to fit specific needs. First, the resins are created with heat that cracks the hydrocarbons; this is called the cracking process. The larger molecules of the resin are broken down to different hydrocarbons such as, ethylene and propylene. The temperature used during cracking is largely responsible for the amount and types of hydrocarbons.
After cracking has been finished, the different compounds created are formed into a chain. This chain is known as a polymer. Creating different chains and polymers, is what allows resin companies to create plastics that have different characteristics. The differences allow for the use in different applications. For the food industry, which might package hot products, a special type of polymer is needed. For companies making bottles, soft drink bottles and waste containers, they will need polyethylene terephthalate. A higher density polyethylene is needed for thicker plastics used for medicine bottles, film containers and milk jugs. When wrapping up food like leftovers, you will normally reach for a thin clear plastic wrap, which is made from polyvinyl chloride.
There are so many different ways to create plastics that are useful for the world. However, clear, white or black plastic is boring and doesn't allow our world to appear as a more beautiful place. The process of masterbatch or color compounding allows for dissimilar plastics to take on amazing and different colors. The process is not difficult, but color pigments are added to plastics as they are being created. Different colors and designs are easily created through this process. Contact a local color compounding company today to find out about all of your different plastic options.