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The Time Project
Lesson 4: Plastics (Thermoplastics)


Thermosetting plastics
Plastic Memory
Table of plastics
Programmes of study


Thermoplastics are made up of lines of molecules with few cross-linkages.

This allows them to soften when heated and to be bent into a variety of shapes and forms. They become stiff and solid again when cold. This process can be repeated many times.

Long chain molecules

The molecules of thermoplastics are in lines or long chains with very few entanglements. When heat is applied the molecules move apart, which increases the distance between them, causing them to become untangled. This allows them to become soft when heated so that they can be bent into all sorts of shapes.

When they are left to cool the chains of molecules cool, take their former position and the plastic becomes stiff and hard again. The process of heating, shaping, reheating and reforming can be repeated many times.

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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