Plastics and the Modern Refrigerator
To see the many and varied benefits of plastics in use at one time, look no farther than your refrigerator. Not only does it hold plastic bottles, meat packages, fruit and vegetable bags and resealable containers for leftovers, the modern refrigerator is itself made using several kinds of plastics.
Tough, impact- and corrosion-resistant plastics such as ABS, high impact polystyrene and polypropylene are used to create molded interior panels and door liners that help maximize usable space. Molded-in color means there is no paint or coating to peel over time. These panels are also moisture resistant, which helps them repel spills and stains. For clear drawers and compartment doors, polystyrene, polycarbonate and acrylic are the resins of choice, with durable polycarbonate often chosen for frequently used doors and compartments.
Insulation is the key to an energy-efficient refrigerator. Remarkably thin layers of foamed polyurethane sandwiched between molded panels of ABS or polypropylene form a protective barrier to help keep refrigerator interiors cold. This means your refrigerator doesn't have to work as hard to stay cool, saving you money on your electricity bill and potentially helping the environment.
Some refrigerator models are beginning to use plastics as a replacement for painted metal exterior panels, providing greater freedom of design, lighter weight, and potentially lower costs to the consumer.
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