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The spectacular growth of the plastics industry to its present state is a direct result of proved ability to meet war demands for critical items on a volume-production basis. Common plastic materials are classified according to their thermal characteristics and the methods of fabrication. Typical physical and electrical properties are presented for each of the general class of materials. It is pointed out that such values are average, and do not indicate the range that can be obtained by selection of a specific molding powder. Common trade names, compositions, and their manufacturers are presented in the form of a cross-index for reference purposes. Factors governing the performance and the choice of a particular material are discussed. Expansion coefficients as applied to the use of metal inserts molded into the material, light transmission properties, and the fabrication of laminates are briefly treated in the Appendix.