There is probably little doubt that just about everything we come in contact with today has some form of plastic as part of its design. Plastic has played an interesting role in our history if you think about some of the transformations in the recent past. Many of us have watched everyday items slowly evolve from other materials such as wood, metal, leather and even cotton. Some might say it’s revolutionized the way we work, live and play. Some of the changes we might argue are less-thandesirable, but none-the-less, plastics have become a very important part of today’s world.
A man by the name of Charles Goodyear is credited with discovering natural rubber in 1839. The first man-made plastic, celluloid, is said to have been invented by Alexander Parkes in 1862. Other milestones include: Polystyrene (PS), developed in 1839 (but not used in practical application until 1938 almost a hundred years later). Nylons began on the scene in 1939, Polypropylene (PP) in 1941 and Liquid Chrystal Polymer (LCP) not till 1985. Poly Ether Ether Ketone, better know as PEEK, entered the market in 1978 and General Electric introduced Polyether Imide (PEI), also know as Ultem, in 1982.