Why Plastic

The birth and history of plastics

 It’s a little known fact that modern plastic was born from a contest held in 1868 to find a replacement material for billiard balls, which were made from ivory at the time. One of the approved replacement materials was Celluloid, and on that day, the plastics industry was born.

It wasn’t long before Celluloid found its way into other markets, including the photographic film produced by Kodak. In 1909, it leaped again with the introduction and acceptance of phenolics into homes around the world in the form of Bakelite, the earliest commercial synthetic resin.

When war entered the 1940’s, so did the increased demand for plastics. Necessity, innovation and invention drove plastics into widespread use by engineers and designers by the 1950’s. Nylon, Teflon, acetal, and polycarbonate became the core materials in a group known as engineering thermoplastics, a powerful group that soon competed heavily with traditional metals.

Machined Plastic

To put it simply, plastics are a type of synthetic polymer. Polymers can be both natural and synthetic, and are created by the polymerization of monomers, a process in which the short molecules of the monomer bond together to form longer molecules. Monomers used in elastomer processing are born from crude oil during the refining process.

Plastics are synthetic materials made from numerous organic or processed materials that are high molecular-weight polymers. The term “plastic” refers to the family of materials, not a single material.

Polymer or plastic resin goes through different steps to make it practical to use. It can take powder, flake, pellet or granular form. When subjected to heat and pressure, the resin melts and is then further shaped into rods, sheets, tubes, or any number of molds, forms, and productions. Plastics can be molded into a shape while soft and then can set to be very rigid or slightly elastic.

Applications for Popular Plastics

     • Bearings

     • Bushings

     • Gears

     • Valve Seats

     • Sleeves

     • Rollers

     • Cams

     • Guides

     • Counter Assemblies

     • Meters

     • Gears

     • Bearings

     • Conveyor Parts

     • Business Machines

     • Lock Assemblies

     • Switch Mechanisms


     • Covers

     • Shields

     • Housings

     • Windows

     • Weapon Parts

     • Automotive Parts

     • Electrical Connectors

     • Signs

     • Conveyors

     • Wear Plates

     • Bed Liners

     • Gear Wheels

     • Rollers

     • Impact Pads

     • Chute Liners

     • Slide Plates