The Language of Plastics

Each industry has a language of its own. A list of key plastics words has been created for you to help you learn the language of plastics.

aptitudethe ability of an individual to acquire a new skill or show the potential for acquiring a new skill when given the opportunity and proper training

blow moulding

used to make circular, volume-oriented items such as 2-L Coke bottles and shampoo containers, by blowing hot air into the plastic tube to inflate the plastic compound into the shape of the mould


a compound that is used to promote a chemical reaction

certificate of conformance

a document stating that a product or process meets quality standards

Computer-Aided Machining (CAM)

the use of computer systems to plan, manage, and control the manufacturing process

Computerized numerical control (CNC’s) machines

machines that are programmed to provide step-by-step instructions for each phase of a project


a metal piece with a shaped opening through which molten plastic passes to be shaped


a material with the properties of rubber


a measurement of what a person knows or can do after training


the shaping of plastic by forcing liquid material through a die

injection moulding

process to  make precision parts, by extruding the hot plastic compound through moulds and dies to create the desired shape. When  cool, the part  is removed from the mould

International Organization of Standardization (ISO)

a set of standards that apply to all companies using ISO techniques regardless of size, products, and services


statistical techniques used to analyze a process or its outputs in order to maintain, correct, or improve process capability


the building blocks of polymers


a metal block carved in a given shape for a product; possibly with two or more moving parts

needs analysis

a method used to determine training needs by reviewing work tasks, identifying performance factors and objectives, and defining training objectives and recommendations

non-destructive testing (NDT)

a form of testing that detects and evaluates flaws in materials without further damaging them while they are being tested


a professional designation given to engineers who are registered as professional engineers


a long-chained molecule made up of smaller molecules called monomers linked together. The word ‘polymer’ comes from the Greek word meaning ‘of many parts’ 
quarantinewhen a system finds a defective product or process and is shut down until the quality problem is resolved

random sampling

testing of raw materials before they are used


the reprocessing  of a material or product to be used  in another product


lines that are cut into the mould to keep it in place while it is machined


a polymeric material with a defined set of monomers


the amount a mould will shrink once it has cooled. Moulds are made larger to accommodate shrinkage resulting from heat treatments

spotting blue

blue markings that appear on the surface of the two halves of a mould when they are brought together in a press machine indicating where the mould needs to be ground in order to get a perfect seal

Statistical Process Control SPC

a method of monitoring processes in order to identify inconsistencies in the production of material


uses heat to shape and seal plastic


a plastic that can be reheated and remoulded


a plastic that cannot be reheated once set


precise requirements or standards that must be met for the mould to be accepted by the customer

Plastic Clothes?