C1F REVISION NOTES

SINGLE SCIENCE, OCR BOARD - HIGHER TIER, CHEMISTRY - C1F

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Designer Polymers
Polymers have extremely strong covalent bonds between the
atoms in the chain which makes them very unreactive
Because of this they are waterproof, acid proof, do not
affect food and are non ­ toxic

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Polymers which have weak forces between the chains
( intermolecular forces ) are flexible and stretchy because
the chains can slide past each other
They melt easily
Examples are polythene, polypropane and polystyrene
Polymers which have bonds between chains ( cross ­ linked )
are more rigid and have higher melting points, like Bakelite (
light switches and plugs ) and melamine
Because of these properties, polymers have a variety of
uses, and chemists are constantly trying to make new ones
specifically for that purpose…read more

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Polyester Lightweight Clothing
Waterproof Bottles
Tough
Years ago anoraks and cagoules were made of nylon
( polymer ) because it was tough, lightweight, UV proof and
waterproof
However nylon does not allow sweat to escape so these
anoraks got very clammy and uncomfortable
In 1978 Gore ­ tex was invented
This consists of expanded, flexible PTFE and polyurethane
coating over liner
It allows heat and moisture to escape but prevents water
getting in
It was the first ` breathable ' fabric
The structure of Gore…read more

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Problems with polymers
Although the huge advantage of polymers is that they are
extremely unreactive, this is also their biggest disadvantage
because they are non ­ biodegradable
This means that :
Land fill sites get filled up quickly wasting land
Burning them produces CO , pollution and toxic gases
Scientists are developing biodegrable polymers and many others
are recycled
But this is costly and time consuming…read more

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