POLYMERS are large molecules or macromolecules that consist of linked repeating sub-units, which are called monomers. They have high melting and boiling points because of the presence of smaller molecules that consists of many monomers, and they tend to have high molecular masses.In the year 1833 a Sweedish Chemist Jons Jacob Berzelius from the Greek prefix- ‘poly‘ meaning ‘many‘ and the suffix-‘mer’ meaning ‘parts‘, derived the word POLYMER.
Types Of Polymers:
We have two types majorly.
NATURAL /BIO- POLYMERS:
These occur naturally and can be found majorly in plants and animals, examples include, silk, rubber, cellulose, wool, amber, keratin, collagen, starch, DNA, and shellac. Meanwhile, Natural polymers serve key functions in organisms, acting as structural proteins, functional proteins, nucleic acids, structural polysaccharides, and energy storage molecules.
These are prepared in the laboratory artificialiy through chemical reaction. Meanwhile, some examples of these include PVC (polyvinyl chloride), polystyrene, synthetic rubber, silicone, polyethene, neoprene, and nylon. can be used to make plastics, adhesives, paints, mechanical parts, and many common objects, these compounds are divided into two.
-Thermoplastic/ Thermossoftening plastic.
These types of plastics tend to be rigid and have high molecular weights. Thermoset plastics when they deform, they remain shapeless and gradually decompose before they melt. Meanwhile, examples of thermoset plastics include epoxy, polyester, acrylic resins, polyurethanes, and vinyl esters. Bakelite, Kevlar, and vulcanized rubber are also thermoset plastics.
While thermoset plastics form irreversible chemical bonds when radiated, the bonding in thermoplastics weakens with temperature. Unlike thermosets, which decompose rather than melt, thermoplastics melt into a liquid upon heating. Meanwhile, examples of thermoplastics include acrylic, nylon, Teflon, polypropylene, polycarbonate, ABS, and polyethene.