What are polymers?
Polymers are extremely large molecules that are made of millions of atoms that are bonded together to create a repeating pattern, this can be likened to a chain. The polymer production is put down to the atoms that are bonded to each other to form links. The structure of the chain can vary widely and depends on the raw materials used to make up the polymers.
Everyday uses of polymers
There are many uses of polymers in everyday life such as:
- Credit cards are created with PVC which in turn is created by changing the polymer properties. As the sheets of PVC are so thin, a few sheets are glued together including the sheet that contains the information.
- Parachutes are made of polyamide which is known as nylon. This material is used because it is strong, durable and moisture resistant. Polyamide is also temperature resistant which makes it a benefit to use it in engineering components.
- Polycarbonate is the most useful and versatile polymer, the material has been used in the production of high quality glasses for many years. It is excellent as it makes the lenses lighter, thinner and provides protection from UV rays.
- PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) is used in the well-known kitchen pan Teflon and other non stick pans. The material is not flammable which makes it a positive for the kitchen and can resist temperatures of 260 degrees Celsius.
- If you are an avid gym goer than you might have used polyurethane which is derived from polymers. The material is quick drying and highly elastic which is excellent to make gym clothes or spandex for cycling. Children’s nappies are made using this polymer.
- Polythylene terephthalate is the most known polymer as you can find it in various locations of your kitchen and especially in your fridge. This material is used for milk bottles, soft jars, water bottles and butter tubs. This material is fully recyclable of all the polymers.
How is a Conducting polymers created and the uses?
Plastics are polymers, the molecules that form a long chain repeat themselves. A conducting polymer are a group of unique polymers that can conduct an electrical charge due to an extended conjugation on their chemical structure. The structure will imitate a metal which means that the electrons are free to move and not bound to the atom.
There are many uses for conductive polymers in everyday life such as LED televisions, solar cells, photographic film, solar cells in solar panels and mobile phone screens.
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