History of Plastics

The development of plastics started ,when  natural materials like  gum, collagen  or nitro celluloid  were first modified. About 100 years ago the development of plastics begun, the same as we can find nowadays  in many applications. As the one of the first inventors we can class Alexander Parkes, British chemist, who presented celluloid for the first time in 1862. The celluloid based on nitrocellulose is colloquially called synthetic ivory. 

PVC (Polyvinyl chloride ) was for the first time polymerized  between  1838 and 1872 and essentials break down  came in 1907, when Leo Baekeland invented  Bakelite. This material was the first synthetic plastic  used on  industrial scale.

Nowadays, at present-day world  using of plastics is very popular. During the  last a few dozens of  years plastics, thanks to their unique properties,  became omnipresent . It would be currently difficult to live without them  and  as a matter of fact  excluding  them  would result   in disappearing of many products  from clothes, household, medical equipment, not to mention cars and airplanes. Sport cloths and equipment are  almost all made from plastics.

We can say, that plastic products are currently  inextricably  linked with life of  human. Looking around , we may see plenty products made of plastics, which are now exist in common language i.e. PVC, gummy, Bakelite, Teflon, polar. Quick technological progress made people can not live without plastics. It was especially noticeable in the last decade of XX century.  

Organic substances  consist  of molecules  with various chemical structure. On the one hand there are  compounds, which molecules consist of only a few atoms  on the other hand  there are some, which molecules  consist of dozens  and even hundreds of thousands of atoms. The mutual  feature of macromolecular compounds is  that  the molecules consist of repeated, but not always  the same elements linked together with long chains. The smallest  repeated element in the chain of polymer calls mer . The example of polymer compound consisting of the same mers is cellulose (consits only  of rests of glucose ) and the example of compound constructed from various mers (amino acids)-proteins. Polymer is made in a process of polimeryzation and polycondesation. Polymeryzation  involves such combining of mers,which brings no by-products. Bond formation between  mers  is accompanied by rapture of double bond. Typical example of such a reaction is the polymerization of ethane. Several mechanisms of polymerization have been known, in which not only can participate yearbooks, but also the cations and anions. Polycondensation is the second type of reaction, will lead to the creation of macromolecular compounds. The essential characteristic defining polycondensation is the formation of the simple by-product, mostly water. This is what happens in the case of the formation of polysaccharides from simple sugars  or polypeptides from amino acids.
Nature provides macromolecular substances  for man. They can be called natural plastics. Detailed information is available on  Plastipedia (http://www.bpf.co.uk/Plastipedia/Default.aspx).