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BBC Bitesize plastics

View the BBC bitesize site and take a bite size test to see how much you know!

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3 minute plastics quiz!

A fantastic quiz by Warren Design and Technology. Take it and see what you know in 3 minutes!

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Thermoplastics DT Materials



Thermoplastics can be heated and shaped many times. Thermoplastics will soften when it is heated and can be shaped when hot. The plastic will harden when cooled, but can be reshaped because their is no links between the polymer chains. Some common thermoplastics are ABS (acrylonitrile butadienestyrene), Nylon (polyamide), acrylic (polymethyl methacrylate), uPVC (polyvinyl chloride), polystyrene, polypropylene and cellulose acetate.



Thermoplastic Thermoplastic properties Thermoplastic uses Example product
Polymethyl methacrylate (Acrylic) Stiff, hard but scratches easily, durable, brittle in small sections, good electrical insulator, machines and polishes well. Used for signs, covers of storage boxes, aircraft canopies and windows, covers for car lights, wash basins and baths. Acrylic
High impact polystyrene (HIPS) Light but strong plastic. Widely available in sheet softens at about 95 degrees. Used for vacuum forming. Common for school projects which include products outer casings or packaging. Vacuum forming
Polypropylene (PP) Light, hard but can scratch easily, tough, good resistance to chemicals, resists work fatigue. Used for medical equipment, laboratory equipment, containers - especially with built-in hinges, 'plastic' seats, string, rope, kitchen equipment. Polypropylene
- low density (LDPE)
Tough, good resistance to chemicals, flexible, fairly soft, good electrical insulator. Used for packaging, especially bottles, toys, packaging film and bags. LDPE
- high density (HDPE)
Hard, stiff, able to be sterilised. Used for 'plastic' bottles, tubing, household equipment and milk crates. HDPE
PVC Stiff hard wearing. Plasticiser can be added to create a softer more rubbery material. Used for air and water pipies, shoe soles, blister packaging. PVC

Memory tip: Remember Paps Hat !

P - Polythene
A - Acrylic
P - Polypropylene
S - Shaped many times

A - ABS (acrylonitrile butadienestyrene)

Design and technology question time

Mr DT says 'Read the text above and then answer these questions below'. Write your answers on a sheet of paper, don't forget to write your name on the sheet!:-

1). Describe thermoplastics in your own words?
2). What are the properties of acrylic?
3). What is HIPS used for?
4). What does HIPS stand for?
5). What is low density polythene used for?
6). Plasticiser is added to what to make it more soft?
7). What are air and water pipes made from?
8). What does LDPE stand for?

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