Most plastics materials have been produced in a large number of formulations to suit particular applications and manufacturing processes. They may be what is called a copolymer, that is made up of two or more polymers, in order to increase the range of the plastic’s performance. The complexity of the subject is only hinted at here.

Manufacturing processes listed are those most commonly used with the particular material. It is though possible to find the material manufactured by other processes.

Many plastics have long gestation periods and were ‘invented’ at slightly different times in different countries. Dates should therefore be taken as indicative rather than absolute.