Timeline Of Plastic

03 Aug


The First Man-Made Plastic – Parkesine

The first man-made plastic was created by Alexander Parkes who publicly demonstrated it at the 1862 Great International Exhibition in London. The material called Parkesine was an organic material derived from cellulose that once heated could be molded, and retained its shape when cooled.

Celluloid Celluloid is derived from cellulose and alcoholized camphor. John Wesley Hyatt invented celluloid as a substitute for the ivory in billiard balls in 1868. He first tried using collodion a natural substance, after spilling a bottle of it and discovering that the material dried into a tough and flexible film. However, the material was not strong enough to be used as a billiard ball, until the addition of camphor, a derivative of the laurel tree. The new celluloid could be molded with heat and pressure into a durable shape. Besides billiard balls, celluloid became famous as the first flexible photographic film used for still photography and motion pictures. John Wesley Hyatt created celluloid in a strip format for movie film. By 1900, movie film was an exploding market for celluloid.

Formaldehyde Resins – Bakelite After cellulose nitrate, formaldehyde was the next product to advance the technology of plastic. Around 1897, efforts to manufacture white chalkboards led to casein plastics (milk protein mixed with formaldehyde) Galalith and Erinoid are two early tradename examples.

In 1899, Arthur Smith received British Patent 16,275, for “phenol-formaldehyde resins for use as an ebonite substitute in electrical insulation”, the first patent for processing a formaldehyde resin. However, in 1907, Leo Hendrik Baekeland improved phenol-formaldehyde reaction techniques and invented the first fully synthetic resin to become commercially successful, tradenamed Bakelite.

Timeline – Precursors

1839 – Natural Rubber – method of processing invented by Charles Goodyear

1843 – Vulcanite – Thomas Hancock

1843 – Gutta-Percha – William Montgomerie 1856 – Shellac – Alfred Critchlow, Samuel Peck

1856 – Bois Durci – Francois Charles Lepag Timeline – Beginning of the Plastic Era with Semi Synthetics

1839 – Polystyrene or PS discovered – Eduard Simon

1862 – Parkesine – Alexander Parkes

1863 – Cellulose Nitrate or Celluloid – John Wesley Hyatt

1872 – Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC – first created by Eugen Baumann

1894 – Viscose Rayon – Charles Frederick Cross, Edward John Bevan

Timeline – Thermosetting Plastics and Thermoplastics

1908 – Cellophane – Jacques E. Brandenberger

1909 – First true plastic Phenol-Formaldehyde tradenamed Bakelite – Leo Hendrik Baekeland 1926 – Vinyl or PVC – Walter Semon invented a plasticized PVC.

1927 – Cellulose Acetate

1933 – Polyvinylidene chloride or Saran also called PVDC – accidentally discovered by Ralph Wiley, a Dow Chemical lab worker.

1935 – Low-density polyethylene or LDPE – Reginald Gibson and Eric Fawcett 1936 – Acrylic or Polymethyl Methacrylate

1937 – Polyurethanes tradenamed Igamid for plastics materials and Perlon for fibers. – Otto Bayer and co-workers discovered and patented the chemistry of polyurethanes 1938 – Polystyrene made practical

1938 – Polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE tradenamed Teflon – Roy Plunkett

1939 – Nylon and Neoprene considered a replacement for silk and a synthetic rubber respectively Wallace Hume Carothers

1941 – Polyethylene Terephthalate or Pet – Whinfield and Dickson

1942 – Low Density Polyethylene

1942 – Unsaturated Polyester also called PET patented by John Rex Whinfield and James Tennant Dickson

1951 – High-density polyethylene or HDPE tradenamed Marlex – Paul Hogan and Robert Banks

1951 – Polypropylene or PP – Paul Hogan and Robert Banks 1953 – Saran Wrap introduced by Dow Chemicals.

1954 – Styrofoam the trademarked form of polystyrene foam insulation, invented by Ray McIntire for Dow Chemicals

1964 – Polyimide

1970 – Thermoplastic Polyester this includes trademarked Dacron, Mylar, Melinex, Teijin, and Tetoron

1978 – Linear Low Density Polyethylene

1985 – Liquid Crystal Polymers

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Posted by on August 3, 2007 in General Knowledge


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