Plastics constitute a large family of materials – called polymers – that are derived primarily from oil and natural gas. Thus, they're organically-based materials which are further processed into many different “synthetic” product groups.
The various types of plastics all have different molecular – or polymer chain – structures that determine their physical properties, like hard or soft, rigid or flexible, and so on. These characteristics, and their combinations, are limited only by the imagination.
Click on the menu at left to see the physical properties and typical applications of various members of the plastics family.