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Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association

Fantastic Plastic Edinburgh 2017 E2

Date & Time

30 August 2017 1:00pm


Riady Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh Napier University,
Craiglockhart Campus,Glenlockhart Road, Edinburgh, EH14 1DJ


  1. Prof. Averil McDonald


What's the link between Lego™ blocks, zero pollution cars, disposable nappies, liquids that flow up hill, and false legs? How is this linked to the perfect recipe for slime? And how can you use all this to make a Million?

Over 45,000 young people have enjoyed this fascinating demonstration lecture given by Prof. Averil McDonald. Once again the Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association will host this popular event with sponsorship from: Institute of Materilals Minerals & Mining (IOM3) and the Worshipful Company of Horners.

The lecture is designed to match the Polymers topic in National 4/5 'Properties of Plastics' and bring in elements of Enterprise. The show lasts 1 hour and includes loads of interesting demonstrations.

Resumé of the Show -

After a brief overview of the great variety of physical properties of plastics that make them suitable for various intriguing and surprising applications, students are reminded of the basic concepts of solid, liquids and gases. From there, students are introduced to the idea of polymers consisting of long chain molecules. Polymers can exist as solid and liquids but often have properties of both (as in slime). Lively demonstrations show the effects of increasing the temperature, crosslinking the molecules, "tangling up" the polymer chains, and dissolving them in liquids. Some examples are given to show how by controlling what happens at the molecular level, the characteristics of the final material are determined.

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Technical Info from SPRA

  • Materials Thermoplastics, Thermosets, Elastomers, Additives.
  • Processes Moulding, Extrusion, Thermoforming, Ancillaries.
  • Design Product, Mould, CAE, Testing.
  • Applications Healthcare, Packaging, Electronics, Other Markets.
  • Environment Waste, Recycling, Sustainability, Legislation, Energy.
  • Business Issues Network, Seminars, Competitiveness, Innovation, Regulation.