Polymer

A polymer is a chemical compound or mixture of compounds consisting of repeating structural units created through a process of polymerization. The term derives from the ancient Greek word πολύς (polus, meaning "many, much") and μέρος (meros, meaning "parts"), and refers to a molecule whose structure is composed of multiple repeating units, from which originates a characteristic of high relative molecular mass and attendant properties. The units composing polymers derive, actually or conceptually, from molecules of low relative molecular mass. The term was coined in 1833 by Jöns Jacob Berzelius, though with a definition distinct from the modern IUPAC definition. Polymers are studied in the fields of biophysics and macromolecular science, and polymer science (which includes polymer chemistry and polymer physics). Historically, products arising from the linkage of repeating units by covalent chemical bonds have been the primary focus of polymer science; emerging important areas of the science now focus on non-covalent links. Because of the stipulation as to repeating substructures, polymers are formally a subclass of the category of macromolecules; the polyisoprene of latex rubber and the polystyrene of styrofoam are examples of polymeric natural/biological and synthetic polymers, respectively. In biological contexts, essentially all biological macromolecules—i.e., proteins (polyamides), nucleic acids (polynucleotides), and polysaccharides—are purely polymeric, or are composed in large part of polymeric components—e.g., isoprenylated/lipid-modified glycoproteins, where small lipidic molecule and oligosaccharide modifications occur on the polyamide backbone of the protein.

Hence, the terms polymer and polymeric material encompass very large, broad classes of compounds, both natural and synthetic, with a wide variety of properties. Because of the extraordinary range of properties of polymeric materials, they play an essential and ubiquitous roles in everyday life, from those of familiar synthetic plastics and other materials of day-to-day work and home life, to the natural biopolymers that are fundamental to biological structure and function.

Read more about Polymer:  Common Examples, Polymer Synthesis, Polymer Properties, Standardized Polymer Nomenclature, Polymer Characterization, Polymer Degradation

Other articles related to "polymer, polymers":

Spinning (polymers) - Process
... First, the polymer being spun must be converted into a fluid state ... If the polymer is a thermoplastic then it is just melted, if not then it may be dissolved in a solvent or chemically treated to form soluble or thermoplastic derivatives ... The fluid polymer is then forced through the spinneret, where the polymer cools to a rubbery state, and then a solidified state ...
Ludwik Leibler
... joined in Strasbourg then in Paris where he worked on theoretical and experimental aspects of polymer self-assembly and dynamics, interfaces, gels and charged polymers ... of molecular disorder on mesoscopic structure and properties of polymer materials, impact resistance, fracture and adhesion, design of stimuli ... recipient of CNRS Silver Medal, France IBM Prize in Material Science, the Polymer Physics prize of the American Physical Society (2006) and the ...
Spinneret (polymers)
... Spinneret refers to a multi-pored device through which a plastic polymer melt is extruded to form fibers ... Streams of viscous polymer usually exit into cool air or liquid to solidify ... The individual polymer chains tend to align in the fiber because of viscous flow ...
Polymer Degradation - Product Failure
... Failure of safety-critical polymer components can cause serious accidents, such as fire in the case of cracked and degraded polymer fuel lines ... in the water supply attacked vulnerable polymers in the plastic plumbing, a problem which occurs faster if any of the parts have been poorly extruded or injection molded ... Polymer oxidation has caused accidents involving medical devices ...
Leather Currency - Materials Used For Banknotes - Polymer Banknotes
1983, Costa Rica and Haiti issued the first Tyvek and the Isle of Man issued the first Bradvek polymer (or plastic) banknotes these were printed by the American ... CSIRO) and the Reserve Bank of Australia, Australia produced the first polymer banknote made from biaxially-oriented polypropylene (plastic), and in 1996 became the first country to have a full set ... then, other countries to adopt circulating polymer banknotes include Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Guatemala, Dominican Republic ...