Thermoplastic Materials: Properties, Manufacturing Methods, and Applications, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Thermoplastic Materials

Properties, Manufacturing Methods, and Applications, 1st Edition

By Christopher C. Ibeh

CRC Press

640 pages | 301 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2011-04-25
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Practical and affordable, thermoplastics account for more than 90 percent of all plastic materials manufactured. That so many varieties are now available, speaks to the idea that while there is no one perfect material, it is possible to find a material that fits for every application. However, selecting that right material is no small challenge.

Answering the needs of manufacturers and product developers, Thermoplastic Materials: Properties, Manufacturing Methods, and Applications provides all the information required to confidently select the right thermoplastic for any application. Based on a course taught to engineering students, the book starts with an overview of the plastics industry, looking at the major companies involved and how their products influence society. It then discusses various topics essential to the understanding and manufacturing of thermoplastics before getting to the core of the book, more than 400 pages of consistently formatted entries, organized according to 19 thermoplastics families and groupings. Each chapter covers raw materials, manufacturing methods, properties, costs, and applications.

Among many topics related to thermoplastic resins, this seminal work:

  • Provides micro and quasi-macro perspectives on their behavior
  • Evaluates major manufacturing methods
  • Discusses crystallinity and permeability
  • Elaborates on the properties that make them useful barrier and packaging materials

Written by Christopher Ibeh, professor of plastics engineering technology and director of the Center for Nanocomposites and Multifunctional Materials at Pittsburg State University, this book goes beyond current practices to look at emerging materials, including nanocomposites, and discusses sustainability as it relates to plastics. It also includes a chapter on functionalized thermoplastics, written by Andrey Beyle.

Table of Contents

Introduction and History of the Plastics Industry

Definition and Types

Overview of the Plastics Industry

Areas of Application of Plastics

Chronology of the Thermoplastics (Plastics) Industry:

The Need Factor

Current Trends in the Plastics Industry


Raw Materials and Their Sources: "The Plastics Tree"

Sources and Raw Materials of Polymers and Plastics

Compounding and Property Enhancement

Processing of Polymers and Plastics


Basic Structures and Characteristics of Polymers and Plastics

Chemical Bonding in Polymers and Plastics

Ionization Potential and Chemical Bonding

Major Types of Chemical Bonding in Polymers and Plastics

Structural Units in Polymers (Plastics Resins)


Molecular Weight of Polymers


Molecular Weight Distribution

Average Molecular Weight of Polymers


Polymerization (Resinification) Methods

Chemistry of Reaction of Monomer(s) Involved with Respect to Toxicity, Flammability, and Odor

Heat of Polymerization Removal Capacity of System

Bulk Polymerization

Solution Polymerization

Emulsion Polymerization

Suspension Polymerization


Crystallinity and Crystallization in Polymers and Plastics

Definitions, Concepts, Etc

Specific Volume and Crystallinity

Crystallization Kinetics

Determination of Degree or Percentage Crystallinity-DSC; XRD, etc

Practical Applications of Crystallinity and Crystallization in the Polymers and Plastics Industries


Classification of Thermoplastics

Commodity or General Purpose Thermoplastics

Quasi-Commodity Thermoplastics

Engineering Thermoplastic Materials

Specialty Thermoplastic Materials

New and Emerging Materials


Permeability and Environmental-Stress-Cracking Resistance of Thermoplastics: Barrier Properties and Packaging Applications of Polymers

Permeability and Packaging

Modified-Atmosphere Packaging Technology

Permeability and ESCR of Thermoplastics



Polyolefins: Polyethylene, Polypropylene, and Their Copolymers

Chronology of Polyolefins Revisited

The Polyolefin Family

Raw Materials

Manufacturing (Polymerization) Methods for


Unique Properties of Polyethylene

Materials Selection of Polyethylenes

Processing and Applications of Polyethylenes



Overview and Chronology

Raw Materials for Polypropylene

Manufacturing of Polypropylene

Unique Properties of Polypropylene

Material Selection Parameters for Polypropylene

Applications of Polypropylene

Polypropylene Fibers


Olefin Copolymers of Ethylene and Propylene

EPM: Ethylene-Propylene Monomer Rubber

EPDM: Ethylene-Propylene-Diene Monomer Rubber


Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate Copolymers

Ionomers: Copolymers and Terpolymers

Ethylene-Ester Copolymers


The Vinyls: PVC and Copolymers

Chronology of PVC Revisited

The Vinyl Family

Raw Materials for PVC

Manufacturing (Polymerization) Methods for PVC

Unique Properties of PVC

Material Selection of PVC

Processing and Applications of PVC

Common Copolymers of PVC

Trends in PVC Formulations

Susceptibility to PVC Exposure

Future Look: A Health Concern Addendum


Polystyrene and Copolymers

The Styrene Family


Chronology of Polystyrene Revisited

Raw Materials for Polystyrene

Manufacturing (Polymerization) Methods for Polystyrene

Properties and Characteristics of Polystyrene

Combustion of Polystyrene

Processing and Applications of Polystyrene


Acrylonitrile–Butadiene–Styrene Terpolymer Resin

K-Resin (Styrene–Butadiene Copolymer)

Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate Terpolymer

Styrene-Butadiene Rubber


Acrylic (Acrylate) Family

Chronology of PMMA Revisited

The Acrylic Family and Their Raw Materials

Polymethyl Methacrylate

Manufacturing (Polymerization) Methods for PMMA

Unique Properties of PMMA

Materials Selection of PMMA

Processing and Applications of PMMA

Common Copolymers of MMA


Polyester Family

The Thermoplastic Polyester Family

Polyethylene Terephthalate

Raw Materials and Manufacturing Method of PET

Unique Properties and Characteristics of PET Resins

Processing and Applications of Polyethylene Terephthalate

Polybutylene Terephthalate

Polyethylene Naphthalate

New Thermoplastic Polyester Resins

The Extended Polyester Family: Biodegradable Polyester Material


Nylon (Polyamide) Family

Chronology of Nylon: Revisited

The Nylon (Polyamide) Family

Raw Materials and Manufacturing (Polymerization)

Methods for Nylons

Unique Characteristics of Nylons

Processing and Applications of Nylons

The Extended Polyamide Family: Semi-Aromatic and Aromatic Polyamides



Polycarbonates: Overview

Raw Materials and Manufacturing Methods

for Polycarbonates

Unique Properties of Polycarbonates

Processing of Polycarbonate Resins

Applications of Polycarbonate Resins

Polycarbonate Resins Case Study: Environmental and Health Impact of Bisphenol A: An Ethical Perspective





Raw Materials and Manufacturing Method of Polyacetal

Unique Properties of Polyacetal

Problems of Polyacetal

Processing and Applications of Polyacetal


Polyphenylene Sulfides

Polyphenylene Sulfides

Raw Materials and Manufacture of PPS

Unique Properties

Processing and Applications of Polyphenylene Sulfides


Fluorocarbons (Teflon Family)

The Fluorocarbon Family (Teflon)



Liquid Crystalline Polymers

LCP Overview

LCP Types

Raw Materials and Manufacturing (Polymerization)

Methods for LCP

Unique Properties of Liquid Crystalline Polymers

Processing and Applications of LCPs



Polysulfone Family (PSU)

Raw Materials and Manufacturing (Polymerization)

Methods for Polysulfones

Unique Properties of Polysulfones

Processing and Applications of Polysulfones


Polyimide Family

Polyetherimide: Overview

Raw Materials and Manufacturing Method

Unique Properties of Polyetherimide

Processing of PEI

Applications of PEI



PEEK: Overview

Raw Materials and Manufacturing (Polymerization)

Methods for PEEK

Unique Properties

Processing and Applications of PEEK


Polyphenylene Oxide

Polyphenylene Oxide

Raw Materials and Manufacturing (Polymerization)

Methods for PPO

Unique Properties of PPOs

Processing and Applications of PPO



Cellulosics: Overview

Raw Materials and Manufacturing (Polymerization)

Methods for Cellulosics

Unique Properties

Processing and Applications of Cellulosics


Functionalized Thermoplastic and Elastomers

Terminology and Definitions

Chemical Reactions of Polymers

Functionalizing of Inert Polymers and Fillers

Thermoplastic Elastomers

Blends and Alloys


Functionalized Thermoplastics and Elastomers


Plastics Nanocomposites


Major Types of Nanocomposites

Processing Challenges of Nanocomposites

Process Optimization


Plastics and Sustainability: A Life Cycle Cost Analysis Approach


Life Cycle Analysis Format

LCA Steps

Impact Assessment

LCA Interpretation

LCA Benefits



About the Author

Christopher Ibeh is a professor of plastics engineering technology at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. He is also director of the Center for Nanocomposites and Multifunctional Materials. Dr. Ibeh holds a doctorate from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Louisiana Tech University. He is a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, the American Society for Engineering Education, National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance, American Chemical Society, the American Composites Manufacturers Association, and the Consortium for Upgrading Educational Standards. His research interests include fuel cells, biodegradable blends, fracture toughness of composites, and polymeric nanocomposites. Dr. Ibeh is the organizer of the Nanotechnology Entrepreneurship Forum.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Textiles & Polymers