C1e: Designer Polymers

Candidates may be familiar with the idea that everyday items such as supermarket bags are made from polymers. This item explores why technology moves forward with the development of materials focusing on the very wide range of uses that polymers have in the 21st century, including health care. Issues of disposal of polymers are also considered. 

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What can alkene monomers join together to form?
Polymers.
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What can ethene polymerise to from? What are the uses of this polymer?
Polyethene/polythene. Used for plastic shopping bags and plastic bottles.
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What can styrene polymerise to from? What are the uses of this polymer?
polystrene. Used for protective packaging and insulation.
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What are polymers not made from alkenes monomers called?
condensation polymers.
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Name two examples of a condensation polymer. What are they used for? Explain.
Nylon and polyesters. They can be drawn into very fine fibres and woven into cloth for clothing. Often, natural fibres such as cotton are mixed with nylon or polyester fibres to make a soft but hard-wearing cloth.
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Name four advantages of nylon.
Doesn't let ultra violet light pass through, tough, waterproof and lightweight.
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What is the disadvantage of using nylon as a material for an item of clothing?
ylon does not let water vapour pass through it either. This means nylon waterproof clothing traps sweat, so that after a while the inside of the clothing becomes wet and unpleasant to wear.
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What is Gore-Tex? What kind of person is it useful to?
It has the desirable properties of nylon, but is also breathable. It lets water vapour from sweat pass to the outside, but stops rain drops from passing inside. Clothing made of Gore-Tex is useful to hikers&other people who work or play outside.
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What are the five layers of Gore-Tex starting on the outside?
Tough outer layer, Protective layer, Gore Tex membrane, Protective later, soft lining.
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Teflon is the trade name for what polymer? What is this used in?
Teflon® is the trade name for a polymer called polytetrafluoroethene, or PTFE. It is very slippery, so is used to make non-stick coatings for pans. It is also used in Gore-Tex.
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What three polymers does Gore-Tex contain?
Nylon, PTFE and polyurethane.
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How does the PTFE in Gore-Tex make it 'breathable'?
The PTFE contains a lot of tiny holes called pores - there are around 14 million per square millimetre. Each one is too small for water droplets to pass through, but big enough to let water molecules from sweat out.
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Why is the nylon necessary in Gore-Tex?
Without the nylon, the layers would be too fragile to be useful.
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What does the useful property of polymers (unreactive) mean they are suitable for? But what is the disadvantage of this property?
They are suitable for storing food and chemicals safely. Unfortunately, this property makes it difficult to dispose of polymers.
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In which two ways are polymers most often disposed? What is the possible third way?
Buried in landfill sites or incinerated (burned). Could be recycled.
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Talk about the disposable method of burying polymers.
Waste polymers are disposed of in landfill sites. This uses up valuable land, and suitable sites often fill up quickly.
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Talk about the disposable method of incinerating polymers.
Polymers release heat energy when they burn.This energy can be used 2 heat homes/generate electricitythere r problems with incineration.CO2 is produced,which +s 2 g warming.Toxic gases r produced,unless the polymers r incinerated at high temperature
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Talk about the disposable method of recycling polymers.
Many polymers can be recycled. This reduces disposal problems and the amount of crude oil used. But first the different polymers must be separated from each other. This can be difficult and expensive.
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Give an example of two polymers that are not biodegradable.
The majority aren't, polyethene and polypropene are examples.
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What does not biodegradable mean?
his means microorganisms cannot break them down, so they may last for many years in rubbish dumps.
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What happens when you add biodegradable chemicals to polymers? What are degradable polymers already used for?
Causes the polymer to break down more quickly. Carrier bags and refuse bags made from degradable polymers are already available.
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What does water-soluble mean?
They dissolve in water.
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What are water-soluble polymers used for?
These polymers are often used to wrap products such as dishwasher tablets and pouches containing detergent for washing machines.
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What two things do the properties of solid materials depend on?
How the molecules are arranged and the strength of the forces between the molecules.
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What joins atoms together in individual polymer molecules?
Strong covalent bonds.
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What force attracts polymer molecules towards each other?
Weak intermolecular force.
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When will a polymer melt?
A polymer will melt when the intermolecular forces are overcome. The stronger the forces, the more energy is needed to break them, and the higher the material’s melting point.
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Name a polymer that contains long molecules that lie side by side. (Polymer chain)
Polyethene - but many do.
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What can a polymer chain do?
Uncoil and slide past each other, making the material flexible.
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Describe the relationship between long polymer chains and short polymer chains.
Long polymer chains have stronger forces of attraction than shorter ones: they make stronger materials.
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What is cross-linking?
Cross-linking is where the polymer chains are chemically joined together in places, by covalent bonds. The polymer molecules cannot slide over each other so easily.
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What properties does cross linking give to materials? (4)
Tougher, less flexible, not easily stretched and high melting points.
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Name a material that has cross links, and describe the material's properties.
Vulcanised rubber. Its polymer molecules are cross-linked by sulfur atoms. It is tough but flexible, and used for making tyres.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What can ethene polymerise to from? What are the uses of this polymer?

Back

Polyethene/polythene. Used for plastic shopping bags and plastic bottles.

Card 3

Front

What can styrene polymerise to from? What are the uses of this polymer?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What are polymers not made from alkenes monomers called?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Name two examples of a condensation polymer. What are they used for? Explain.

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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