What is Plastic?
Plastic is a type of polymer. Polymers are certain materials that have atoms that are bonded together in a link pattern. Atoms are the tiny building blocks of all elements. When atoms bond together, like in polymers, they form molecules! Poly means many and mer or mers means units. Polymers means many units! Some examples of natural polymers are wool, skin, and rubber. A great example of a human-made polymer is plastic! Plastic is made up of atoms that are twisted together in chains. The atoms in polymers have chains of atoms that help make polymers flexible, moldable, and strong. They are flexible because the chains of atoms can be twisted or turned in many different shapes, sometimes even when the object is a solid! It is moldable (or easy to twist into different shapes) because when the polymers get hot, they start to separate. When the material cools down, the atoms settle down in chains of atoms again. The chain-like structure of polymers help the material have more strength. The twisted shape allows more atoms to be present. That makes the object more dense, which makes the material strong, flexible, and moldable. Plastic is made out of oil. It is a specific type of oil that is sucked from the ground. The oil is
How is Plastic Made?
Plastic is made when the oil is refined or cleaned up. Then, the oil goes into a special machine that develops the polymer structure. Then, the thick mixture is melted and cooled. That makes the plastic hard. Then, the long strips of plastic are cut up into pellets. Those pellets are shipped off to manufacturers so that they can use them.