Plastics Revolutionize the Electronics We Use Daily

BMW Dashboard
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Concerned groups have denounced the use of plastic containers, bottles, utensils, and others as they deem the materials pollutants and harmful to wildlife, sea creatures, and the environment.

However, more plastic items are essential for our everyday lives.

Plastics for various products

People may not notice that many things are made of plastic, from cell phones and computers to microwaves, televisions, washing machines, and more. The material is affordable, lightweight, and durable. Plastics have a wide range of performance benefits that lead to innovations – more efficient use of the material and the development of novel and better products.  

Plastics help everyday electronics to function more efficiently. They contribute to miniaturization and weight reduction of various electronic products, so manufacturers use less material. They are flexible and adaptable and can be engineered to fit the product’s target performance needs.

Plastics for electronic and electrical applications 

Whether we’re at work, play, in our jobs or at home, we need electricity. And when there’s electricity, you can be sure that plastics will be there are well. In the kitchen alone, you’ll be using electrical appliances with plastic parts, such as kettles, microwave ovens, food processors, dishwashers, and more.

There are TV, music and video system and game consoles. At work, you use computers, phones, fax machines, chairs, and other productivity tools made from plastic.

The durable and sturdy handles and housings of various tools, such as hedge-trimmers, vacuum cleaners, lawnmowers, paint strippers, and drills are made from filled, fire- and impact-resistant plastics.


There are two categories of plastics. One is thermoplastics like polyethylene, which can be melted down and remolded repeatedly. The other is thermoset. An example is urea formaldehyde that can be molded once. Thermoset plastic cannot be melted again, making it very appropriate for applications where heat is involved.   

Plastics are excellent electrical insulators because they do are not conductors of electricity. Electrical wirings are PVC-insulated. Handles, light fittings, housings, switches use thermosets, which protect you from electric shocks. Because they are poor conductors of heat, most modern appliances use plastics to lower the risk of burns.


Plastics Revolutionize
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Plastics are lightweight, flexible, and malleable, so they give manufacturers plenty of room for design. Scientists and researches continue to conduct various studies regarding different applications of plastic.

Researchers at the University of Michigan recently came up with conductive yet more transparent plastic to improve the performance of window-mounted infrared solar cells. LED light panels and touchscreens.

They have created a three-layer anti-reflection material to improve transparency and conductivity. They sandwich a conductive metal layer between two ‘dielectric’ materials (zinc oxide and aluminum oxide), allowing light to pass through faster. The dielectrics lower the reflection from the metal layer and the plastic.  

The researchers want other researchers to use what they have created as a base to develop better products. They are also thinking of different applications, such as ice-melting windshields and large pane interactive displays.