I work in the microelectronics manufacturing industry which employs a diverse range of polymers in many different applications and was looking for a technical reference book on the subject. On searching the field I quickly discovered that texts on polymer technology tend to fall into two categories: highly technical books aimed at polymer professionals that go into great detail about polymer synthesis and production technology but are short on applications data and books covering applications that are aimed at the intelligent laymen and are therefore short on in-depth technical detail.
`An Introduction to Plastics' is unusual in giving a reasonably in-depth overview of the whole field of polymer technology: chemistry, synthesis, manufacturing methods and extensive information on the properties and applications of many different types of polymer in current use. It is pitched at an undergraduate / intermediate academic level but its content and structure (with extensive indexing) make it very useful as a general reference handbook to the field.
The book is very well organised into 15 chapters plus appendices with each chapter finishing with a list of further reading and references. The book includes many diagrams illustrating polymer structures and extensive graphs and tables of data on the physical properties and performance of both generic polymers and specific proprietary formulations. It is very well written and does not assume prior knowledge beyond an undergraduate-level of organic chemistry and materials science.
The current edition is now nearly 10 years old so it cannot be completely up to date in what is a fast developing field but it gives a very solid grounding for any technical professional who needs a working knowledge of modern polymers and their applications (and enables the reader to make sense of manufacturers' technical data on newer materials). Highly recommended.