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Plastics and Elastomers

Plastics are synthetic (human-made) materials created from polymers, which are long molecules made up of carbon atom chains with hydrogen, oxygen, sulphur, and nitrogen filling in the spaces. A polymer is a large molecule created by repeatedly repeating a small molecule called a monomer; "poly" means "many," therefore "polymer" is simply short for "many monomers." Plastics are used in many of the things we use on a daily basis to keep us safe. They're in the bicycle helmets, child safety seats, and car airbags that keep us safe, as well as the cell phones that keep us connected. Plastics also make the meals we eat and offer to our families safer and fresher than they have ever been.

Elastomers, also known as viscoelasticity polymers, are polymers that have both viscosity and elasticity. Elastomers are made up of molecules bound together by weak intermolecular interactions. They have a low Young's modulus and a high yield strength or failure strain. They have the unique ability to revert to their former shape and size after being stretched to extremes. Although the terms elastomer and rubber are frequently interchanged, the latter is preferred when referring to vulcanized rubbers. Diene, non-diene, and thermoplastic elastomers are the three main types of elastomers. Injection molding, transfer molding, and compression molding are the three methods for producing elastomeric parts.

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