Plastics accelerate technology developments

Plastics have come a long way in the last 20 years, and the prediction is that our quality of life will improve dramatically thanks to more sophisticated plastic products and technologies.

Plastics form an important part of everyday life; they are versatile, widely available, cost effective and can be used to mass-produce high-quality products. Technological advances in the science of plastics will bring even more startling developments in the future. At the moment a considerable amount of research is directed towards developing new possibilities by using nanotechnology.

Through the use of nanotechnology, special plastic nanocomposites can be created that are resistant to heat, scratches, dents and tears. Besides being extremely flexible, lightweight and durable, plastic nanotube composites possess conductive properties that are expected to lead to conductive paints, coatings and fibres. ‘Self-healing’ plastics will use nanotechnology to identify and repair lesions in structural plastic parts, a particularly useful property for underground pipes and cables. High-performance conductive plastics are already being used for circuit boards and electrical components that can withstand the stress of assembly and the strain of use. The thin, flexible and robust capabilities of conductive plastics have many potential applications in electronics, from hospital identity tags that can be automatically updated with patient information, to packaging that indicates when an expiry date has been reached.

For more information on this subject visit www.plasticseurope.org/theworldin2030
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