Polymer fundamentals

Polymers are long chained, large organic molecules that are formed by the assembly of many smaller molecules called monomers. This chain sometimes may also have branching or cross-linking. A polymer is similar to a necklace made from many small beads or monomers. polymers are formed from the chemical reaction between the monomers  called polymerization which are of various kinds. Polymer scientists progressively strive for manufacturing products that have the correct properties for a specific application. This is achieved by controlling molecular weight, linking and branching, etc. with it they can tailor polymers that are suitable for a wide range of application from containers and fittings to drug delivery systems. The challenge it presents is that the physical properties at bulk quantities largely depend on the properties of the molecules themselves. The polymerization process will depend on the thermodynamics of the reaction and can determine whether it can be reversible or not. Polymerization reaction happens by a variety of mechanisms that vary in complexity because of functional groups in the compounds and their steric effects. In a forward reaction, alkenes form polymers by means of radical reactons in contrast, more complex reactions like the ones involving substitution reactions at the carbonyl group requires more complex synthesis because of the reacting monomers polymerize. There are various types of polymerization such as step growth polymerization, chain growth polymerization and photopolymerization.

 

  • The effect of structures on polymer properties
  • Step- growth polymerization
  • Chain growth polymerization
  • Reaction engineering of polymerization
  • Thermodynamics of polymer formation
  • Rubber elasticity

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