Definitions of Resins - Cellulosics

Cellulosics go back to the very start of the plastics indusry when John Wesley Hyatt created the first commercial U.S. plastic, cellulose nitrate, in 1868. Several other important members of the cellulosics family, each with its distinct properties, were introduced in the 1900s. Since then, cellulosics have been used to make knobs, appliance housings, handles, toys, packaging, consumer products, and automotive parts, among many other products. Cellulosics are thermoplastic resins manufactured by chemical modification of cellulose [(C6H10O5)n]. Included are: cellophane—regenerated cellulose made by mixing cellulose xanthate [ROCSSH] with a dilute sodium hydroxide [NaOH] solution to form a viscose, then extruding the viscose into an acid bath for regeneration; cellulose acetate—an acetic acid ester [CH3COOC2H5] of cellulose; cellulose acetate butyrate—a mixed ester produced by treating fibrous cellulose with butyric acid [CH3CH2CH2COOH], butyric anhydride [(CH3CH2CH2CO)2O], acetic acid [CH3COOH] and acetic anhydride [(CH3CO)2O] in the presence of sulfuric acid [H2SO4]; cellulose propionate— formed by treating fibrous cellulose with propionic acid [CH3CH2CO2H] and acetic acid and anhydrides in the presence of sulfuric acid; cellulose nitrate—made by treating fibrous cellulosic materials with a mixture of nitric [HNO3] and sulfuric acids.

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