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MATERIALS - RAW MATERIALS TO PRODUCTS

CRUDE OIL TO POLYSTYRENE

V. Ryan 2011

 

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1. Select a material you have worked with, from the list below. Underline the material you have chosen.
 
Scots Pine - Copper - Polystyrene - Corrugated Cardboard - Polyester
 
1a. Describe the source of the raw material from which your chosen material is processed.
 
Oil refineries ‘refine’ crude oil in massive quantities, to produce the fuels we need. These include diesel, petrol and heating oil. However, some of the raw materials we need to manufacture plastics such as polystyrene, are also extracted from oil at the refinery. When crude oil is refined, four percent ends up as raw materials for the production of plastics. Naphtha is distilled from crude oil and it is processed to yield polystyrene.
 
 
 
1b. Using notes and/or diagrams, describe how the raw material is processed into manufactured products.
 
Crude oil is pumped out of oil wells, for example those in the North Sea or the Gulf of Mexico.


The crude oil is transported by pipeline or oil tanker to an oil refinery.


The raw material crude oil, is refined at an oil refinery. During this process, fuels and chemicals are distilled from the crude oil and also NAPHTHA.


Naphtha is processed at a processing plant to produce a range of plastics, including polystyrene. The polystyrene is normally in the form of small granules at this stage.





The granules are transported to the manufacturing plant (factory) making polystyrene products.





Products such as polystyrene cups, chairs, mobile phone casings, car components and many more are the result. These are manufactured by injection moulding, blow moulding, extrusion, compression and vacuum forming machines.
 
Further information on the refining of crude oil to plastics
 
1. Plastics, Fuels and Chemicals from Crude Oil
2. The Oil Refinery and Distillation Tower
3. The Manufacture and Nature of Plastics
4. Crude Oil to Fuels and Plastics - Summary Diagram
 
Further information on plastics manufacturing techniques
 
1. Injection Moulding
2. Extrusion
3. Blow Moulding
4. Examination Question - Injection / Blow Moulding
5. Moulding through Compression
6. Vacuum Forming - Blister Packaging
 
 
 
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