Polymer Properties, Molecular Formula, Applications - WorldOfChemicals
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Polymer Properties

Polymer

Description

 

Polymer is a large molecule, or macromolecule, composed of many repeated subunits. Polymers range from familiar synthetic plastics such as polystyrene to natural biopolymers such as DNA and proteins that are fundamental to biological structure and function. Polymers, both natural and synthetic, are created via polymerization of many small molecules, known as monomers.Polymers are studied in the fields of biophysics and macromolecular science, and polymer science (which includes polymer chemistry and polymer physics).Naturally occurring polymers such as cotton, starch and rubber were familiar materials for years before synthetic polymers such as polyethene and perspex appeared on the market.Polymer properties are broadly divided into several classes based on the scale at which the property is defined as well as upon its physical basis.Polymers that contain only a single type of repeat unit are known as homopolymers, while polymers containing a mixture of repeat units are known as copolymers. Poly(styrene), for example, is composed only of styrene monomer residues, and is therefore classified as a homopolymer. Polymer degradation is a change in the properties of a polymer or polymer-based product under the influence of one or more environmental factors, such as heat, light, chemicals and, in some cases, galvanic action. It is often due to the scission of polymer chain bonds via hydrolysis, leading to a decrease in the molecular mass of the polymer.

Chemical Properties

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