Click Here First Synthetic Materials Synthetic is a term used to describe materials that are man made, or do not naturally occur in nature. There are many materials that we use in our day to day lives that are synthetic. Some examples of synthetic materials are: alloys, plastics, composites etc. Synthetic vs. Natural Materials Before synthetic materials, people needed to use natural materials to meet their needs. Materials such as wool, cotton, fur and wood are examples of natural materials. The downside of using natural materials is that they often have a few properties that people do not like. Ex. That sword is strong, but it is just too heavy to use. Ex. That cotton is warm, but it is not water proof. Benefits of Synthetic Materials The use of chemistry to create synthetic materials has allowed us to create materials that have the positive characteristics of natural materials without the negative characteristics. Ex. This alloy sword is strong and light. Ex. This polyester jacket is waterproof, but light. Safety Concerns Creating synthetic materials can be very beneficial, but some chemical reactions can also be very dangerous. Before trying to create new alloys, plastics or composites, scientists also must consider that some chemical reactions are also very dangerous. Before using any chemical, WHMIS labels must be viewed and MSDS sheets should be read for safe handling procedures, safety equipment information, reactivity data and flammability data etc.