Notes On Polymer Structure

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Polymer Structure
Although the fundamental property of bulk polymers is the degree of polymerization, the physical structure of the chain is also an important factor that determines the macroscopic properties.
The terms configuration and conformation are used to describe the geometric structure of a polymer and are often confused. Configuration refers to the order that is determined by chemical bonds. The configuration of a polymer cannot be altered unless chemical bonds are broken and reformed. Conformation refers to order that arises from the rotation of molecules about the single bonds. These two structures are studied below.
The two types of polymer configurations are cis and trans. These structures can not be changed by physical means (e.g. rotation). The cis configuration arises when substituent groups are on the same side of a carbon-carbon double bond. Trans refers to the substituents on opposite sides of the double bond. Stereoregularity is the term used to …show more content…

Nylon is an alternating copolymer with 2 monomers, a 6 carbon diacid and a 6 carbon diamine. The following picture shows one monomer of the diacid combined with one monomer of the diamine: Cross-Linking
In addition to the bonds which hold monomers together in a polymer chain, many polymers form bonds between neighboring chains. These bonds can be formed directly between the neighboring chains, or two chains may bond to a third common molecule. Though not as strong or rigid as the bonds within the chain, these cross-links have an important effect on the polymer. Polymers with a high enough degree of cross-linking have "memory." When the polymer is stretched, the cross-links prevent the individual chains from sliding past each other. The chains may straighten out, but once the stress is removed they return to their original position and the object returns to its original

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