- The 5 Most Common Plastics & Their Everyday Uses
Plastic materials have effectively permeated every aspect of modern-day life, from the microchips in your computer to the bags you carry your shopping in. The reason why it seems like plastic can be used just about everywhere is that it is not actually just one material, but a group of materials. There are so many different types of plastic material, and a lot of them, like ABS, EVA, PU, PP, PC, PS, PVC, PVA, XPE, EVA, acrylic, silicone, etc., have incredibly useful and versatile properties. the following are the 5 most common plastics along with some of their everyday uses.
- Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
One of the plastics you are most likely to come into physical contact with on a daily basis, depending on how it is made PET can be completely rigid or flexible, and because of its molecular construction, it is impact, chemical, and weather-resistant, and a terrific water and gas barrier.
Common uses of PET: Soft drink, water, cooking oil bottles, packaging trays, frozen ready-meal trays, First-aid blankets, polar fleece.
- High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Incredibly strong considering its density, HDPE is a solid material that can tolerate high temperatures and strong chemicals. One of the reasons that HDPE is used so regularly is that it can be recycled in many different ways and therefore converted into many different things.
Common uses of HDPE: Cleaning solution and soap containers, Food and drink storage, shopping bags, freezer bags, pipes, insulation, bottle caps, vehicle fuel tanks, protective helmets, faux-wood planks, recycled wood-plastic composites.
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Cost-effective to produce and highly resilient to chemical and biological damage, PVC is easy to work with and mold into shapes; making it an extremely practical material. In terms of properties, PVC is one of the most versatile. It can be used to create rigid, lightweight sheets, like Foamex, but it can also be used to make faux-leather materials like leatherette and pleather.
Common uses of PVC: Signage, furniture, clothing, medical containers, tubing, water, and sewage pipes, flooring, cladding, vinyl records, cables, cleaning solution containers, water bottles.
- Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
At general living temperatures, LDPE is a highly non-reactive material, which explains why it has become one of the most common plastics in use at the moment. It can withstand temperatures approaching 100°C, and though it is not as strong as HDPE (its high-density counterpart), it is certainly more resilient.
Common uses of LDPE: Trays, containers, work surfaces, machine parts, lids, ‘6-ring’ drink holders, drink cartons, protective shells, computer hardware casings, playground fixtures (slides and the like), bin-bags, laundry bags.
- Polypropylene (PP)
Strong and flexible, polypropylene is a very hard-wearing plastic that, when melted, is one of the most effective materials for injection molding. Having said that, it has quite a high tolerance to high temperatures, relative to other plastics, and is considered to be a food-safe material.
Common uses of Polypropylene: Clothing, surgery tools and supplies, hobbyist model, bottle caps, food containers, straws, crisp bags, kettles, lunch boxes, packing tape.
Types of Metal and Finishes Guide
From appliances and hardware to furniture and light fixtures, metal can be found anywhere in your home. We take a look at the five most common types of metals and metal finishes.
Types of Metals
While there are many types of metals, below are the five most common options found in your home decor and furnishings.