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Aspects Of Polymers Essay

886 words - 4 pages

Aspects of Polymers

Plastics are polymers. A simple definition of a polymer is something
made of many units. Each link of the chain is the -mer or basic unit
that is usually made of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and or silicon. To
make the chain, many links or -mers are polymerized together.

Many of the common class of polymers are composed of hydrocarbons.
Examples of polymers made up of only hydrogen and carbon are
polypropylene, polybutylene, polystyrene and polymethylpentene.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) contains chlorine. Most polymers are
transparent but not all. The polymer chains in objects that are
translucent and opaque are in a crystalline arrangement.

The degree of translucenence or opaqueness of the polymer is directly
affected by its crystalline,

Scientist and engineers are always producing better materials by
manipulating the molecular structure that affects the final polymer
produced. Manufacturers and processors introduce various fillers,
reinforcements, and additives into the base polymers, expanding
product possibilities.

Polymers are divided into two distinct groups: thermoplastics and
thermo sets. The majority of polymers are thermoplastic, meaning that
once the polymer is formed it can be heated and reformed over and over
again. This property allows for easy processing and facilitates
recycling. The other group thermo sets, cannot be remolded. Every
polymer has very distinct characteristics, but most follow the
following general attributes. :

Polymers can be very resistant to chemicals.

Polymers can be bother thermal and electrical insulators.

Generally, polymers are very light in weight with varying digress of

Polymers can be processed in various ways to produce thin fibers or
very intricate parts.

Plastics deteriorate but never decompose completely, but neither does
glass, paper of aluminum. Plastics make up 9.5% of out trash but
weight compared to paper, which constitutes 38.9%. Glass and metals
make up 13.9% by weight.

An option for plastics that are not recycled, especially those that
are soiled, such as microwave food wrap, can be a waste-to-energy
system (WTE). The controlled combustion of polymers produces heat
energy. The heat energy produced by the burning plastics not only can
be converted to electrical energy but also helps burn the wet trash
that is present. Paper also produces heat when burned but not as...

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