The ability of some plastics to bend and flex and return to shape has been exploited to great effect in many applications. Flexible plastics can be used as a protective coating, to carry liquids or air and may enhance the performance of a product.
The plastic used in the injection moulded shoes by Melissa (1) flexes with use whilst returning to shape and maintains some rigidity thus encasing the foot. It is also durable and has good weather resistant properties.
Silicone's flexibility is demonstrated by the ability of the keyboard (2) to be rolled up for storage or used on the lap in the absence of a desk. The material's shape changing ability and resistance to water is demonstrated to good effect in the vases by Henriette Melchiorsen (3 & 4) and its flexibility combined with heat resistance is put to good use in the cake mould (5).
Extruded plastic tubing can have many practical uses, and the particular type of plastic chosen depends largely on the intended application, but in every case, it is its flexible nature which is its defining characteristic. For instance, this PVC garden hose (6) is water resistant, easily flexes around obstacles and coils up when not in use. A small diameter coloured tube has been used to create the basket (7) the rigidity required for a container being obtained by weaving the pliable tube to shape and the flexible nature of the small, multi-coloured hollow, plasticised PVC Scoubidou (8) craft strings is exploited to its maximum potential.