So what is a Polymer?
Polymer is a word that means many monomers. In simple terms a Polymer is a large molecule made of chains or rings of linked, repeated molecules. Each link/chain that is repeated is called a monomer.
The above picture is that of the molecule Polyethylene (Many Ethylene). Polyethylene is a great example of a polymer. It is formed from repeated ethylene (C2H4) molecules (Ethylene is an example a monomer).
Characteristics of Polymers
As with many concepts in the world of chemistry, and in a broader sense science, you cannot group things together with a rigid set of characteristics. There will always be an exception to every rule. But in general (once again there can be exceptions) polymers often have the following characteristics.
- Polymers can be very resistant to chemicals
- Polymers can serve as excellent thermal/electrical insulators
- Generally, polymers very strong and are considerably lightweight
- There are a variety of different methods in order to construct polymers
- Polymers are materials with a seemingly limitless range of characteristics and colors
- Polymers are usually made of petroleum, but they have also been known to be manufactured from a variety of different materials.
Real-life Application of Polymers.
As previously mentioned Polymers are particularly resistant to chemicals. This makes polymers an especially good material to hold household cleaning supplies namely bleach, Ajax, and Comet. Another really cool application of polymers is that you can construct bioplastic from them. There is a company in Japan that is manufacturing edible water balls in order to eliminate plastic waste. The entire basis on which the bioplastic is used stems from science relating to polymerization
Polymers are the cornerstone of many products that we use everyday. These versatile bonds are used in a plethora of different ways and could change the course of the way we live in upcoming years. Polymers can be the solution to ocean waste or climate change. The possibilities are endless-Post Written by Yash Banga