OCR AS Chemistry F332: Polymers

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  • Created on: 22-08-13 19:03
Preview of OCR AS Chemistry F332: Polymers

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A polymer is a long molecule made up from lots of small molecules.
The small molecules that add together to form a polymer are called monomers.
Addition Polymerisation
If monomers contain a double bond they can add together to make
a polymer.
This is called addition polymerisation.
No other product is formed.
Because the same basic unit is repeated over and over again in the
polymer chain, the polymer structure can be represented more
simply by drawing the repeating unit.
A co-polymer is made when two different monomers become incorporated into the
polymer chain.

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Thermoplastics are polymers without cross-links between the chains.
The intermolecular bonds between the chains are much weaker than the covalent cross-
links in thermoset.
The attractive forces in thermoplastics can be overcome by warming.
The chains can slide over each other and the polymer can be deformed.
On cooling, the weak bonds between the polymer chains reform and the thermoplastic
holds its new shape.
These polymers have extensive cross-linking between the different polymer chains.…read more

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Properties of Polymers
The properties of polymers depend on six factors:
Chain length The longer the chains, the stronger the polymer
Tensile strength increases with increasing chain
length because longer chains become more
entangled and have stronger intermolecular bonds
between them and so are more difficult to pull
Side groups on the polymer chain The more polar the side groups the stronger the
bonds between polymer chains; therefore the
stronger the polymer.…read more


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