The Time Project
Lesson 4: Plastics


Thermosetting plastics
Plastic Memory
Table of plastics
Programmes of study


Plastics are man-made materials. Plastics have taken the place of traditional materials like woods and metals.

Plastics differ from other materials largely because of the size of their molecules. Most materials have molecules made up of less than 300 atoms, plastics contain thousands of atoms. We call them Macromolecules.

Some plastics are derived from natural substances such as animals, insects and plants but most are man-made. These are named Synthetic Plastics.

Most synthetic plastics come from crude oil but coal and natural gas is also used. When crude oil is refined gasses are given off . The gasses are broken down into Monomers. These are chemical substances consisting of a single molecule. Thousands of these are linked together in a process called Polymerisation to form new compounds called Polymers.

There are two main types of plastics and these are named Thermoplastics and Thermosetting Plastics.

Lesson Task :

To be able to appreciate the great variety of plastics commonly used in society.
To be able to answer questions regarding the properties, uses and common forms of plastics.

Useful links

Situation & Brief

Orthographic Drawing

Brain Storming
Plastics Theory
Woods Theory
Metals Theory
Drawing Styles
Tools used
Vacuum Forming
Quality Control

Teacher's Rationale
Programmes of Study

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