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Advantages and Dis-advantages of Plastics
Plastics are most versatile, diverse and durable high molecular weight organic materials.
They can be moulded or formed into stable shapes by the application of heat and pressure.
The unlimited use of plastic materials becomes a threat to our environment.
The production and consumption of plastic is millions times more than their decomposition.
Plastics are mainly used as plastic bags, toy, packing material, building material, construction and electronics items.
Plastic materials have lots of advantage with many disadvantages.
The plastic industry could trace its beginning to the scarcity of ivory as the main reason for manufacturing the biliards balls.
It was Wesley Hyatt who mixed pyroxylin, a cotton derivative, with nitric acid and camphor to for the product celluloid.
This was later used to get the substituent for the billiards ball. Like any other advent, war played a big role in the research and development of plastic.
The second world war actually put the impetus for producing polyvinyl chloride, poly-ethylene and reinforced plastics.
The use of plastics in piping industry became a craze after the 1940s and it was the Germans and Japanese who embraced thermoplastics to manufacture infrastructure based pipings and that too with a minimum investement.
These two countries are still the pioneer and largest producers of thermoplastics.
Plastic pipings could be cemented, it could be heat fused, it could be threaded, it could also be flanged and compressed as per the need and this ease of joining methods and variations makes this an ideal material for all kinds of working fields.
Plastics also shows another unique feature which is its resistance to biological attacks.
Till this date we do not have any recorded or documented reports for any fungal, termites build up, bacterial infestation, or even rodent attacks on any kind of fibre glass or thermoplastic piping.
The inertness to all kinds of biological attack and the smooth finish these plastics are kind of preferred material in de-ionized or high performance applications of purity of water.
The overall energy required to manufacture and install plastics and their products is much less than the normal expenditure and comes to around only 50% less volume utilization compared to steel and aluminium pipelines.
When we compare all previous features of plastic pipings are considered, it requires substantially less cost to implement plastic materials for all kinds of work.
Advantages of Plastic:
Some of advantages of plastics are listed below;
1. Generally plastic items like toys, bags can be reused in various ways such as in the manufacturing of fashionable accessories and other plastic goods.
No doubt the recycling of plastic consume more energy and effort compare to its manufacturing but it is a good alternate to prevent the plastic pollution in environment.
2. Plastic materials are light in weight, unbreakable, odourless and can be easily moulded.
3. They have excellent finishing; possess good shock absorption capacity, high strength as well as toughness.
4. The plastics materials are corrosion resistant and these are inert as far chemical or changes due to atmospheric oxygen goes; besides these have low thermal expansion of co-efficient.
Therefore they possess good thermal and electrical insulating property.
5. Plastics have water resistant property and possess good adhesiveness. They are strong, durable, good and cheap to produce.
6. It is possible to recycle plastic; therefore no decomposition required which is much more expensive and hazardous than recycling.
7. Plastic can be used in building, construction, electronics, packing and transportation industries.
8. Plastic can be used to produce other product and reduce soil and wind erosion.
9. Because of nonconductive nature of plastic, they can be easily use in electrical installations.
Disadvantages of Plastic:
• Plastic is a soft, non-renewable resources which cannot be used for some crucial applications.
• The poisonous gaseous product produced by the decomposition plastic can causes CANCER
• They are embrittlement at low temperature and deformation at high pressure.
• Plastic materials have low heat resistant and poor ductility. But they are combustibility and release toxic fumes after burning.
• The recycling of plastic is not cost effective process and even more expensive compare to its manufacturing.
• The raw material for manufacturing of plastic bags is petrochemicals which are non-renewable resource.
• Plastic bags are flimsy and not durable like paper or cloth.
The improper disposal of plastic can cause hazard to wildlife as they are not readily biodegradable.
• Plastic materials like plastic bags are mostly end up as harmful waste in landfill which may pollute the environment and threatening our health.
• The biodegradation of plastic takes 500 to 1,000 years but manufacturing takes only seconds.