Plastic memory
Click on the screenshot above to view the "Plastic Memory" animation by Laszlo Lipot

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A thermoplastics is a plastic that softens when it is heated. A heated and softened thermoplastic can be bent, twisted and stretched.

If the thermoplastic is held in its bent, twisted or stretched form until it is cool, it will stay in that form.

Some thermoplastics, including acrylics, exhibit "plastic memory", i.e. a deformed thermoplastic with plastic memory will return to its original shape when reheated, as long as it had not been overheated prior to bending/deforming or during reheating.


Please refer to CLEAPSS, Model Risk Assessments for Design and Technology in Secondary Schools and Colleges, Part 1.053 COSHH Regulations.

Click here to view the PDF version of this resource. PLastic Memory PDF Plastic memory PDF
Copyright Laszlo Lipot.