September 2012

Defining Bioplastic Terminology
Some of the many sources of biomass, which can become plastic materials.

Bio is derived from “bios” which in Greek means life. The English language uses this prefix in numerous words such as biography, biology, biorhythm and biosphere. Numerous “bio” labels are becoming prevalent in the plastics industry, often causing confusion, especially to consumers. The purpose of this article is to demystify these terms. Learn more.


Inside this issue

Defining Bioplastic Terminology
Renewable Energy Using Plastic Piping
Plastics: The Environmentally Friendly Choice

Expand Your Knowledge

Renewable Energy Using Plastic Piping

Certain strains of microalgae are very high in oil content as a bio fuel source. As a fuel source, microalgae have the potential to yeild much greater amounts of oil per acre per year than other biomass sources.

Learn more.

Technical Advisory: Why Plastics?

• Weight savings. Nylon is 1/16 the weight of steel, acrylic is 1/2 the weight of glass and PVC is 1/16 the weight of copper.

• Corrosion resistance. Most plastics withstand the effects of common chemicals, water and a wide variety of solvents, acids and other corrosive liquids.

• Impact Resistance. The inherent ability of plastics to resist breakage from impact makes them a wise choice for tough applications.

• For more information, see Introduction to Plastics, the IAPD guide to plastic materials and applications.

Plastics: The Environmentally Friendly Choice

• A lifecycle materials analysis will show that plastic materials are less environmentally taxing to make, transport, install and much more durable than alternative products. Plus, plastics are recyclable!

• Plastics are used in a variety of renewable energy applications, such as turbine blades in wind farms and solar power collectors.

• Recycled plastics are being made into clothing, such as fleece wear.

More Plastics Resources

Calling all Engineers, Designers and Specifiers: Want Plastics?
The IAPD Plastics Expo is your once-a-year opportunity to experience the power of plastics, live and in person. The one-day IAPD Plastics Expo on October 25 is your chance to meet plastics experts to discuss your applications. Whether you're in aerospace, automotive, manufacturing or other markets, exhibitors can help you identify the right materials for your needs. Easy-to-use icons will guide you to the experts who can talk to you about the power of plastics for your designs.

Sign up at for this FREE one-day event. See you in Chicago!

Get to know your distributor

IAPD distributors are your best source for finding materials for your application. Go to to find a distributor in your area. You can search by company name, location or product category.

The IAPD Magazine digital edition launches

IAPD is pleased to announce the digital edition of the August/ September issue of The IAPD Magazine, featuring the annual IAPD Convention and Plastics Expo. The digital issue is easy to read on computers, laptops and tablet devices and can even be viewed on smartphones.

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Phone: +913.345.1005 | Fax: +913.345.1006

Designing with Plastics is published by the International Association of Plastics Distribution. While every effort has been made for accuracy, IAPD encourages you to verify information with a plastics distributor to ensure you select the correct plastic products to meet your needs.