Identification of Plastics and Rubber

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Plastics are obtained from petrol-chemical products and they are moulded to shape at a very high temperature. Plastics are non-metallic objects.

Types of plastics

  1. Thermoplastic: these are plastics that turn to liquid when heated and they can be remoulded. E.g cups, keg etc
  2. Thermoset: these are plastics that do not turn to liquid when heated and they cannot be remoulded. E.g shirt buttons, plastic handle of a cooking pot or knife, cases of radio, television or telephones.

Methods of making plastics

  1. Injection moulding: this is the process of making nylon and hair combs.
  2. Compression moulding: used for making thermoset objects, e.g. Pressing Iron control knob.
  3. Extrusion: used for making pipes, tubes and rods.
  4. Calendaring: used for making buckets and cups.

Properties of Plastics

  1. Plastics are light in weight;
  2. plastics can crack easily;
  3. plastics cannot rust;
  4. plastics cannot withstand high temperature;
  5. plastics have high resistance to chemicals;
  6. Plastics are electric insulators – current cannot pass through them.

Rubber is an elastic material, which regains its original shape when stretched and released. Rubber is a non-metallic object.

Types of Rubber

There are two types of rubber, viz:

  1. Natural Rubber: this is the type of rubber which is obtained from a white substance called LATEX obtained from trees.
  2. Synthetic or Artificial Rubber: this is the type of rubber which is obtained from petroleum products.

Methods of making Rubber products

  1. Vacuum forming;
  2. extrusion;
  3. compression moulding;
  4. calendaring

Properties of Rubber

  1. it is elastic;
  2. it is an insulator;
  3. it absorbs shock;
  4. it floats on water;
  5. it is light in weight

Uses of Rubber

  1. it is used for making tyres;
  2. it is used for making catapult;
  3. it is used for making rain boots;
  4. it is used for making rubber sandals.


  1. What is plastic?
  2. Mention the names of the two types of plastics.
  3. Briefly describe each of the two types of plastic.
  4. Describe the three methods of making plastics.
  5. Mention 4 properties of plastic.
  6. What is rubber?
  7. Describe 2 types of rubber.
  8. List 4 methods of making rubber products.
  9. State 4 properties of rubber.
  10. Mention 4 uses of rubber.


  1. List four properties of rubber.
  2. Mention four uses of rubber.
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