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An additive that increases the flexibility or softness of another material. Plasticizers are usually nonvolatile organic liquids or low-melting solids. Examples are Dibutyl phthalate, Tricresyl phosphate, Ethylene glycol, and Castor oil. The highest volume of plasticizers are used in producing Polyvinyl chloride and cellulose esters. In the ealrly 20th century, Camphor was used in Cellulose nitrate to make Celluloid. Phthalate plasticizers were commonly used in the middle of the 20th century for PVAC paints and PVC plastics. However, since these oily plasticizers tended to creep and separate with time producing an oily surface and leaving a brittle substrate, later formulations began using copolymerization techniques for film modification rather than plasticizers.

Synonyms and Related Terms

plasticiser (Br.); hydromel

Resources and Citations

  • Wikipedia: Plasticizer Accessed June 2023
  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 744
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Theodore J. Reinhart, 'Glossary of Terms', Engineered Plastics, ASM International, 1988
  • ASTM, "Standard Terminology Relating to Paint, Varnish, Lacquer and Related Products", Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Section 6, Paints, Related Coatings and Aromatics, ASTM, D16, 7-Jan, Jul-96
  • Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology (older version called Man-made Fiber and Textile Dictionary, 1965), Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Charlotte NC, 1990
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online,, J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 2000

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