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A History of PlasticPlastics are a huge part of our lives Most people use different types of plastics hundreds of times a day Most of those people dont even know what type of plastic they are using If you would walk up to someone on the street and ask them if they knew the difference between a thermoplastic and a thermoset I bet that they wouldnt have any idea on what you are even talking about I am going to explain about most of the different types of plastics that most people use everydayThe first plastic was created by a man named Alexander Parkes It was unveiled at the 1862 Great International Exhibition in London England It was unofficially named Parkesine after Parkes This plastic was made of cellulose He had heated it to melt it down but when he did this the cellulose retained its shape when it cooled While people were astonished with his new discovery Parkes probably said something like My new material can do anything that rubber can now and at a lower price This was very true but the raw materials needed to create it were very expensive and investors soon stopped making it all togetherThe second plastic was discovered entirely on accident You see during the latter part of the 19th century ivory prices were high and supplies were running out This ivory was used to make billiard balls So many people set out to find a replacement material to make billiard balls John Wesley Hyatt an American scientist discovered celluloidTM He spilled a bottle of collodin in his workshop and noticed that when it dried retained its shape and became hard There was only one problem the balls exploded when they made contact with each other To cure this problem he added camphor Camphor is a derivative of the laurel tree This new material was the very first thermoplastic which is a plastic that retains its shape when
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