5 Types of Plastic and Their Differences

5 Types of Plastic and Their Differences

Plastic is found in many items that we use or come across every day. It plays a significant role in most businesses, schools, and homes. However, plastic is a very broad term as there are many different types of plastic that are used to make our lives easier and safer. Although there are many more types, we will give you an overview of silicones, fluoropolymers, polyurethanes, vinyl, and polystyrene. 


Silicone, itself, has many subcategories. This particular type of plastic is very common in many products that the average consumer uses on a daily basis. Silicone is commonly preferred in plastic products that need to be more flexible and resistant to radiation. Healthcare, construction, and aerospace are just a few of the industries that rely heavily on the properties of silicone.


Fluoropolymers are often found in the insulation of electrical items like wiring for computers and phones. This particular type of plastic expedites the performance of these circuits. It also reduces emissions into the atmosphere by insulating the hoses of cars and aircraft. Interestingly, fluoropolymers are accredited for the durability and high-resistance technology in bulletproof vests worn by law enforcement.


This particular plastic is typically found in the form of foam. Polyurethanes get all the credit for making our shoes, couches, beds, and car seats comfortable. According to ChemicalSafetyFact.org, “An average, mid-size vehicle in the United States uses about 60 pounds of polyurethane material.” This plastic is also very prominent in appliances and buildings, as it is a great insulator of cold and hot air. 


Polyvinyl chloride, often shortened to vinyl, is a key material in plastic packaging. The reason for this is because it is very lightweight but also extremely durable. It is also used in construction in siding, windows, and water pipes. Vinyl is known for its water-resistance, as well, and it is often found in consumer products like rain jackets, rain boots, and shower curtains.


Polystyrene is very commonly used in the food-service and packaging industries. When this plastic is in its foam form, many people refer to it as styrofoam. It serves as a cushion to many fragile or perishable products. An example of this is packing peanuts, meat trays, and egg cartons. Plus, polystyrene is used as a protective material in children’s car seats. 

These are just a few of the many versatile plastics that are utilized by numerous people and industries in our world today. Visit our website or contact us today to get more information about which plastic packaging options we offer. We look forward to hearing from you.