Plastic terminology

amorphous structure without crystals
production aid used in plastic production, not designed to remain in the final product
biodegradable plastic plastic that is degraded by natural micro-organisms (such as bacteria, fungi and algae)
elastic polymer that reverts back to its original shape after strain is removed
special plastic expensive, less commonly used plastic such as PSU, LCP, PEI and PPS
resin solid or liquid, typically large-molecule substance that becomes viscous under pressure
homopolymer polymer made up of a single type of monomer
stress relaxation decrease in stress over time
stress cracking an external or internal crack in a plastic caused by tensile stresses less than its short-term mechanical strength
thermoset Once hardened, a thermoset cannot be melted for reshaping
crystalline solid material with a highly ordered molecular structure
compound material composed of one or two polymers and additives such as fillers, plasticisers, catalyst and colouring agents
composite material made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties, typically includes binder and fibre
copolymer polymer made up of more than one type of monomer
additive substances added to plastics to enhance or modify one or more properties
Fibre-reinforced plastic a composite material made of a polymer and fibres added to reinforce it
macromolecule a molecule that is composed of thousands of atoms, typically no fewer than 10,000.
Masterbatch a solid additive for plastic used for colouring plastics or imparting other properties to plastics
monomer a molecule that can react with other monomer molecules to form large polymers
plastic synthetic organic compounds that are malleable and can be moulded into a desired shape with pressure or heat.
Semi-crystalline polymers plastic with a highly ordered molecular structure
plasticiser non-evaporating substances added to plastics to lower their cold flex temperature and to improve their flexibility and durability
polymer a macromolecule, composed of many repeated subunits
cross-linking formation of covalent bonds that link polymers together
cellular plastic plastic with a density that is decreased substantially by the presence of numerous cells disposed throughout its mass
technical plastic common plastic type, such as ABS, PET, PMMA, PC, POM, PBT and PA, that is used in lower quantities than basic plastics
filler particles added to plastic to improve specific properties, such durability, strength or processing qualities or to make the product cheaper
reuse using an item for its original or a different purpose
recycled plastic material made from used plastic products that have been cleaned
basic plastic a commonly used thermoplastic: PE, PP, PVC and PS
aging permanent physical and chemical changes occurring in the material over time
creep deformation taking place under persistent mechanical stresses.