Professor Stephen Burke Driscoll
Department of Plastics Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell
There are several transparent plastics such as cellulose nitrate, vinyl’s, olefins, and styrenics (thermoplastics) as well as silicones and polyurethanes (thermosets). Clarity is a function of the polymeric amorphous and semi-crystalline structure, in-line and post-processing thermal treatments. While selecting any plastic material based upon desired functions, the cost becomes equally important. This brief overview will clarify the competitive pros and cons of many commercial polymer families that have targeted the packaging, medical, optical, electronic, and transportation global industries.
1) How to identify potential material candidates based on identified end-use functional properties, balanced with price and processability as well as design options
2) How to compare potential polymeric materials for specific commercial applications and end-uses