When it comes to protection from head impact or shock injuries, as well as protecting car passengers from impact injuries during accidents or even to safely seal off liquid-based systems hence preventing leaks, plastic and rubber materials have the best protective properties. In their role as protectors, polymers are simply unbeatable, and offer an incredibly diverse application spectrum.
With their polymer armour below the football shirt, American footballers often look like modern knights. Police officers protect themselves from injury by wearing bulletproof vests made from a special polymer fiber and material mesh laboratory workers wear rubber gloves for protection from dangerous chemicals. Motorbike riders, construction workers, parachute jumpers, mountain climbers – they all wear protective helmets made mostly from plastics.
One thing is crystal clear: suitable protection gear can save lives and protect those who wear it from injuries. Their usefulness is increased when they not only offer perfect protection, but also enhance comfort. No natural material can deliver both, protective properties and comfort, but polymer materials can. No wonder that they are the dominant ingredient of any personal protection gear: plastics are lightweights and they can be designed to withstand extreme pressure, high impact and chemical effects.
Several polymers can be combined to achieve high-tech products that offer many required properties. Take film used for food packaging as an example: wafer-thin, they are extremely impact resistant and sometimes even downright smart. Sophisticated bonding technology combines several polymer layers. Together they protect flavours and allow vapours to dissipate while still protecting the food from germs. Some film will even send warning signs when the product is spoiled.
Better hygiene thanks to plastics
When they are dealing with epidemics, medical staff will wear protective polymer-based suits. The fact that they are disposable prevents accidental pathogen contamination.