Chemistry - Synthetic Fibres and Plastics
The clothes that we wear are made up of fabrics and the fabrics are made from fibers, which is obtained from natural or artificial sources.
The natural source of fibers is cotton, wool, silk, etc., which are obtained from plants or animals.
The synthetic fibers are made by human beings; therefore, these are called synthetic or man-made fibers.
A synthetic fiber is usually a chain of small units those joined together; each small unit is a chemical substance.
Types of Synthetic Fibers
The artificial silk is usually known as Rayon.
Rayon (fiber) was obtained by chemical treatment of wood pulp.
The fiber, prepared from coal, water and air, is known as Nylon.
Nylon was the first fully synthetic fiber.
Polyester is also a synthetic fiber; it is wrinkle free fiber. E.g. Terylene.
PET is one of the familiar form of polyesters and it is used for making utensils, bottles, films, wires, and many other useful products.
Polyester (Poly + ester) is made up of the repeating units of a chemical known as an ester.
Plastic is also a sort of polymer like the synthetic fiber.
Polythene (Poly + ethene) is a common example of a plastic.
There are some plastics, which when molded once, cannot be softened by heating; therefore, these are known as thermosetting plastics. E.g. Bakelite and melamine.
Bakelite is a poor conductor of heat and electricity; therefore, it is used in making electrical switches, handles of various utensils, etc.
Melamine resists fire and can tolerate heat better than other plastics; therefore, it is used for making floor tiles, kitchenware, and fabrics.
A material, which gets decomposed through the natural processes, e.g. action by bacteria, is known as biodegradable.
A material, which cannot be easily decomposed by natural processes, is known as non-biodegradable.
Plastic is not an environment friendly.