The History of Plastic
Anselme Payen discovers and isolates an enzyme called diastase; leads to the discovery of Celluloid.
Eduard Simon discovers polystyrene
and names it Metastyrol.
Charles Goodyear invents the vulcanization of natural rubber.
Cristian Friedrich Schonbein discovers and names Ozone.
Cristian Friedrich Schonbein discovers Nitrocellulose (guncotton.)
Alexander Parkes creates Parkesine.
John Wesley Hyatt invents the first plastic.
John Wesley Hyatt and his brother Isaiah patent the first injection moulding machine.
Hilaire Berniguard count de Cardonnet began to develop rayon.
George Eastman introduces the first Kodak camera, which consisted of a continuous photographic film based on Nitrocellulose.
Charles Frederick Cross, Edward John Bevan and Clayton Beadle patent their artificial silk: viscose silk.
Jacques E. Brandenberger designs a machine for continuous production of a strong, transparent film.
Called Cellophane .
Leo Baekeland invents Bakelite, first fully synthetic plastic, marking the start of the modern plastics industry.
Friedrich Heinrich and August Klattle patent polyvinyl chloride.
Rolls-Royce begins to use phenol-formaldehyde in the interior of its cars.
The First World War
Hermann Staudinger publishes his seminal paper “Über polymerisation”, which leads to the 1953 Nobel Prize.
“Scotch” Tape is invented.
Otto Röhm and his staff trademark Plexiglass PMMA.
Eric Fawcett and Reginald Gibson discover polyethylene.
Rowland Hill and John Crawford discover polymethyl methacrylate also known as Perspex, Plexiglass and Lucite.
Wallace Hume Carothers and his team develop Nylon. The first synthetic polymer fibre to be produced commercially in 1938.
Carl Munters and John Tandberg receive a US patent for polystyrene foam as a heat insulator.
Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) is granted a patent for Low-density Polyethylene.
Roy Plunkett discovers polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) commonly known as Teflon.
First commercial production of polyethylene.
Dr Harry Coover and his team discover methyl cyanoacrylate better known as “super glue”.
J Rex Whinfield and James T Dickson patent Polyethylene Terephthalate.
developed container made out of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) famously known as Tupperware.
Otis Ray McIntire files a patent, on behalf of the Dow Chemical Company, for an improved method for the manufacture of polystyrene foam later called Styrofoam.
The Second World War
Joseph C. Shivers develops a synthetic fibre based on polyurethane called Spandex.
Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) is patent.
George de Mestral patents a hook-and-loop fastener commonly known as Velcro, made from nylon.
Robert Neal Macdonald, on behalf of Du Pont, patents polyoxymethylenes (POM).
Lego develops LEGO blocks made of ABS.
Bayer AG introduces polycarbonates.
Mattel, Inc introduces a plastic doll made out of ABS and PVC called Barbie.
On behalf of Du Pont, Stephen Dal Nogare, West Chester and John Oliver Punderson patent a thermally stable form of POM.
Frank Gerow and Thomas Cronin develop the first breast implant made with silicone gel.
Karl Ziegler and Giulio Natta awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the Ziegler-Natta Catalyst.
Stephanie Kwolek invents poly-para-phenylene terephthalamide also known as Kevlar.
De Pas, D’urbino and Lomazzi design the first piece of inflatable furniture made of PVC.
Domingo Liotta and Denton Cooley develop and implant, respectively, the first total artificial heart in a human body, made of polyurethane, PET and salistic.
Neil Armstrong plants a nylon flag part of the Lunar Flag Assembly (LFA).
Martin Cooper, on behalf of Motorola, patents a radio telephone system that becomes the first handheld mobile telephone
Union Carbide initiates the first production of LLDPE using the novel UNIPOLtm PE process.
© Copyright Smithsonian
© Copyright NASA
Society of the Plastics Industry (now, Plastics Industry Association) introduced the Resin Identification Code (RIC).
Dr. Herbert Naarmann and Dr. Nicolas Theophilou patent polyacetylene, on behalf of BASF.
Maguire launches WSB Gravimetric Batch Blender.
ICI launches “the first practical plastic that is totally biodegradable” called Biopol.
NASA invents RXF1, a polyethylene-based material. It is being considered to be used on a spaceship to Mars.
Boeing 787 has its skin made of 100% compost (carbon laminate, carbon sandwich and fibreglass) and 50% of all materials in the plane.
Introduction of Organic Solar Cells.
Airbus A350 XWB overtakes Boeing 787 by being made of 52% composites.