Domestic and Industrial Plastics Sector are discussed herein. We hope you find this article informative and helpful for your research.
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The polymer industry in Nigeria could be said to have started in early 1895 when the first set of rubber plants, species of Havea Brasilliersis were imported from Brazil and grown in the rain forest of the then Western and Eastern Regions of Nigeria.
The industry therefore actually started with the natural rubber industry. The industry in Nigeria did not however take off or gain commercial prominence until after the second world war.
Rubber was from the mid-1950s up to 1964 a major revenue earner for the country. However, the rubber industry began to experience decline immediately after independence.
The plastic industry did not on the other hand come into the scene until the mid-1950s when the first plastic processing company was established in Apapa, Lagos.
It soon began to gain prominence in the 19703 and in 10 years outstripped the other polymer industries put together in production output and annual tonnage.
The plastic industry continued to grow very rapidly until very recently when the problem of foreign exchange and liquidity squeeze forced many of the factories to fold up and many others to operate below their installed production capacities.
Polymers form the basis of a wide range of industries which include plastics, rubber, and paints, and there contribute strongly to the national economy.
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Plastics, rubber, and paints offer wide applications, generally in domestic or household, furniture, building, appliances, textile adhesives, photography, electrical automotive, packaging, telecommunications, medical, agricultural, aviation, aerospace. general use and various other technical and non-technical purposes.
The products of the industry have continued to enjoy a relatively strong demand despite the much-talked-about consumer resistance.
This is largely due to the fact that in relevant applications, the alternative to plastics, rubber, and paints is much more expensive, less durable, or less functional.
Plastics and elastomers are man-made materials in contrast to bacterial organic polymers such as proteins, carbohydrates, starch, cellulose, fur, leather, wool, wood bamboo, leaves, lignin, Gum-Arabic, natural rubber, and so on.
The plastics and elastomer industry is better understood in terms of its basic manufacturing stages namely petrochemical formation, monomers formation, polymerization, compounding, processing, fabricating, and finishing stages.
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The locally available raw materials for the local plastics, rubber and coatings industry are polymers, colorants, and flame retardant additives.
The role of the plastics, rubber and coatings industry in the exploitation of the local raw materials lies in its recognition as a critical factor in production along with the other factors of capital, labor. and materials.
Moreover, where findings are available from external sources and the goal is the adaptation of imported technology, the private sector must still embark on the appropriate development concerned with making the adapted technology less capital intensive and more operationally reliable in our tropical climate.
The major problems confronting the rubber industry in Nigeria today may be summed up as;
1. Dependence on imported chemicals which have now become exceptionally expensive.
2, Lack of adequate facilities for the training of technicians technologists, and engineers in the rubber industry.
3, Short-sightedness with regard to national objective, growth, and development.
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Conclusively, despite the limitations, there has been some dynamic growth of the industry in recent years. Local tyre factories can now supply at least half of the nation’s motor tyre and nearly double its bicycle tyre requirements.