What Is Plastic?

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Here at Your Garage Cave, we offer polyaspartic garage floor coatings that are even stronger and more durable than epoxy. Epoxy is what is known as a thermosetting plastic, and while our garage floor coatings aren’t technically plastic, what makes them so effective is their plastic-like properties. To help you better understand plastic materials, and how some of their properties translate into a great garage floor coating, continue reading today’s post.

Properties of Plastic

Plastic refers to any synthetic, or partially synthetic, organic polymer. The word itself refers to plasticity or the ability of a material to bend and deform without actually breaking. There are two different types of plastic — thermoplastics and thermosetting polymers. For the most part, plastic produced in our world economy is made from petrochemicals. However, each plastic product may differ from others greatly, due to the number of additives put in it to give it different attributes. Some additives commonly included in plastics include plasticizers, stabilizers, reinforcements, fillers, and colorants. Because of all of these different additives, different plastics have distinct chemical compositions, chemical properties, and even different mechanical properties.

Here are some of the more common properties you will find in plastic materials:

  1. Plastics are usually in solid form. They may be amorphous solids, crystalline solids, or crystallites (semi-crystalline solids).
  2. Plastics do not conduct electricity, which makes them great insulators for electrical equipment.
  3. Plastics tend to be both elastic and durable, without a high rate of degradation. This makes them perfect for long-term applications in many instances.
  4. Most plastics display elongation when put under stress or pressure. This elongation is generally not removed after the stress ceases, and is referred to as creep.

Thermosets vs Thermoplastics

Thermosets, also referred to as thermosetting polymers, are amorphous, and have what is considered infinite molecular weight. What this means is that everything in a thermoset plastic is covalently bonded, essentially creating one giant macromolecule. Because of this, thermoset polymers solidify into a permanent shape, which cannot be changed. Thermoplastics, on the other hand, though they can still solidify, they can also be reheated and remolded many times.

Examples of Plastic

You may not recognize many types of plastics by their scientific name, but you probably will by their commercial name. Here are some of the common types of plastics available on the market.

  • PETE or PET (polyethylene terephthalate)
  • HDPE (high-density polyethylene)
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
  • PP (polypropylene)
  • LDPE (low-density polyethylene)
  • PS (polystyrene)

Hopefully, you feel a little more knowledgeable about plastics in general, and more specifically epoxy and epoxy-like garage floor coatings. If you want all of the benefits of epoxy and then some, our Arizona polyaspartic garage floor coatings are a cut above the rest. Feel free to give us a call for more information about our products. One of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

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