The production of plastics

Plastics are manufactured by compounding together large number of similar basic components (monomers) through chemical bonding. The plastic industry only consumes approximately 6 % of the petroleum products originating from refineries. To produce plastics three different processes are used: • Polymerisation • Polycondensation • Polyaddition Polymerisation is the most frequently used procedure for the synthesis of plastics. Polymerisation means the lining up of macromolecule chains without separation of foreign matter. For example polyethylene, polybutene, polypropylene, polyvinylchloride and other plastics are all produced by means of polymerisation. During polycondensation similar and dissimilar monomers are lined up to become macromolecule chains, at the same time separating a by-product, e. g. water, hydrochloric acid, etc. Polycondensation is applied, for example, to produce phenolic resins and polyamids. During polyaddition macromolecules are created from chemically different molecules, however without separating a by-product. The procedure is used for the production of polyurethanes and epoxy...