Acronym and details:   PE.  A category of polymer often used to describe its fibre form; a huge family of ‘plastics’ available also in an integrally foamed form; see also polyethylene terephthalate

Group:   thermoplastic

Developed:   1941

Trade names:   Crimplene, Dacron, Terylene

Manufacturing process:   as a fibre: extrusion

Cost:   low

Colour:   any

Transparency:   transparent to opaque

Rigidity:   flexible

Feel:   varies

Smell:   none

Other:   resilient, quick-drying, flammable

Typical uses:   clothing and upholstery; also from 1955 in sheet form as support for archival material

Degradation:   relatively stable