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Synthetic Fibers and Plastics


Natural Fibers

These are found in nature. They are not made by any artificial method. Such as cotton, wool, silk etc. Cotton is a polymer of cellulose.

Synthetic Fibers

Synthetic fibers are also called man-made fibers because they are made by humans. Such as nylon, rayon, polyester, etc.

A synthesized fiber is also a series of small units. These synthesized fibers form polymers consisting of small units.


  • Rayon is also called artificial silk. It is a polymer of cellulose.
  • It is used in carpeting.


  • Nylon is made up of adipic acid and hexamethylenediamine.
  • Due to the strength of nylon, it is used in parachute ropes and in ropes used for climbing rocks. In addition, it is used in toothbrushes, tents, and curtains.


  • A polymer made from the iteration of the ester group is called polyester.
  • It is obtained by the multiplication of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid.


In plastic, the arrangement of units is linear or diagonally crossed.

There are two types of plastics

  1. Thermo-plastic: Plastic that easily deforms on heating and can be bend easily is called thermoplastic. Such as polyethylene, PVC, polystyrene etc.
  • Polythene: It is a polymer of ethene.
  • PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): It is a polymer of vinylchloride.

2. Thermosetting: Plastics that are not molded repeatedly and cannot be softened by heating are called thermosetting plastics. Such as Bakelite, Melamine, etc.


Some Use of Plastic 

  1. Bakelite: It is used in making cooking utensils, pressure cookers, electrical appliances, the handle of electric kettle, etc.
  2. Teflon is used in making non-stick griddles and Kadai etc.


4R Principle

  1. Reduce
  2. Reuse
  3. Recycle
  4. Recover

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