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List of synthetic polymers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Synthetic polymers are human-made polymers. From the utility point of view they can be classified
into four main categories: thermoplastics, thermosets, elastomers and synthetic fibers. They are
found commonly in a variety of consumer products such as money, super glue, etc.
A wide variety of synthetic polymers are available with variations in main chain as well as side
chains. The back bones of common synthetic polymers such as polythene, polystyrene and poly
acrylates are made up of carbon-carbon bonds, whereas hetero chain polymers such as polyamides,
polyesters, polyurethanes, polysulfides and polycarbonates have other elements (e.g. oxygen,
sulfur, nitrogen) inserted along the backbone. Also silicon forms similar materials without the need of
carbon atoms, such as silicones through siloxane linkages; these compounds are thus said to
be inorganic polymers. Coordination polymersmay contain a range of metals in the backbone, with
non-covalent bonding present.
Some familiar household synthetic polymers include: Nylons in textiles and fabrics, Teflon in non-
stick pans, Bakelite for electrical switches, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in pipes, etc. The common PET
bottles are made of a synthetic polymer, polyethylene terephthalate. The plastic kits and covers are
mostly made of synthetic polymers like polythene and tires are manufactured from Buna
rubbers.[1] However, due to the environmental issues created by these synthetic polymers which are
mostly non-biodegradable and often synthesized from petroleum, alternatives like bioplastics are
also being considered. They are however expensive when compared to the synthetic polymers.[2]
IUPAC definition
Artificial polymer: Man-made polymer that is not a biopolymer.
Note 1: Artificial polymer should also be used in the case of chemically
modified biopolymers.
Note 2: Biochemists are now capable of synthesizing copies of biopolymers
that should be named synthetic biopolymers to make a distinction
with true biopolymers.
Note 3: Genetic engineering is now capable of generating non-natural analogues
of biopolymers that should be referred to as artificial biopolymers, e.g.,
artificial protein, artificial polynucleotide, etc.<ref>"Glossary of Basic Terms in Polymer Science". Pure and Applied
Chemistry. 68 (12): 22872301. 1996. doi:10.1351/goldbook.A00250. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8.</refYxxx..


1Inorganic polymers
2Organic polymers
3Brand names
4See also

Inorganic polymers[edit]
Main article: Inorganic polymer

Organic polymers[edit]
The eight most common types of synthetic organic polymers, which are commonly found in
households are:

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)

High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
Polypropylene (PP)
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
Polystyrene (PS)
Nylon, nylon 6, nylon 6,6
Teflon (Polytetrafluoroethylene)
Thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU)

List of some addition polymers and their uses

Polymer Abbreviation Properties Uses

Squeeze bottles, toys, flexible

Chemically inert, pipes, insulation cover
Low-density polyethylene LDPE
flexible, insulator (electric wires), six pack
rings, etc.

Bottles, pipes, inner

Inert, thermally stable, tough insulation (dielectric) of coax
High-density polyethylene HDPE
and high tensile strength cable (see also PTFE), plastic
bags, etc.

Auto parts, industrial fibers,

Resistant to acids and alkalies, food containers, liner in bags,
Polypropylene PP
High tensile strength dishware and as a wrapping
material for textiles and food

Thermal insulator. Properties

Petri dishes, CD case, plastic
Polystyrene (thermocole) PS depends on the form, expanded
form is tough and rigid

Low friction bearings, non-

Very low coefficient of friction, stick pans, inner insulation
Polytetrafluoroethylene PTFE excellent dielectricproperties, (dielectric) of coax cable (see
chemically inert also HDPE), coating against
chemical attack etc.
Pipe ( mainly
draining), fencing, lawn
chairs, hand-
Insulator, flame retardant,
Polyvinylchloride PVC bags, curtain clothes, non-
chemically inert
food bottles, raincoats, toys,
vinyl flooring, electrical
installation insulations, etc.

Stable to heat and thermal

Polychlorotrifluoroethylene PCTFE attacks, high tensile strength valves, seals, gaskets etc.
and non wetting

Brand names[edit]
These polymers are often better known through their brand names, for instance:

Polymer Characteristic properties Uses

Insulation of wires,
High electric, heat and
Bakelite Phenol-formaldehyde resin manufacturing sockets, electrical
chemical resistance
devices, brake pads, etc.

Manufacturing armour, sports and

Kevlar Para-aramid fibre High tensile strength musical equipment. Used in the field
of cryogenics

Bullet-proof body armor, helmets,

Heat resistant and strong brake pads, ropes, cables and optical
Twaron Para-aramid
fibre fibre cables, etc. and as
an asbestos substitute

High strength and stiffness, Food

Polyethylene less permeable to gases, packaging, transparent covering over
terephthalate film almost reflects light paper, reflector for rollsigns and
completely solar cooking stoves

Manufacturing gaskets, corrosion

Polychloroprene Chemically inert resistant coatings, waterproof seat
covers, substitute for corks and latex
Silky, thermoplastic and Stockings, fabrics, toothbrushes.
Nylon Polyamide resistant to biological and Molded nylon is used in making
chemical agents machine screws, gears etc.

Hood of firefighter's mask, electrical

Excellent thermal,
lamination of circuit
chemical, and radiation
Nomex Meta-aramid polymer boards and transformer cores and
resistance, rigid, durable
in Thermal Micrometeoroid
and fireproof.

Wool-like, resistant to Used for making clothes and fabrics

Orlon Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) chemicals, oils, moths and like sweaters, hats, yarns, rugs, etc.,
sunlight and as a precursor of carbon fibres

Used in high-performance
applications such as sports shoes,
electronic device components,
Rilsan Polyamide 11 & 12 Bioplastic automotive fuel lines, pneumatic
airbrake tubing, oil and gas flexible
pipes and control fluid umbilicals,
and catheters.

Used for manufacturing optical fiber

High tensile strength,
cables, umbilical
Technor resistance to corrosion,
Copolyamid cables, drumheads, automotive
a heat, chemicals and
industry, ropes, wire
ropes and cables

Very low coefficient of

Plain bearings, gears, non-stick
Polytetrafluoroethylene(PTF pans, etc. due to its low friction.
Teflon excellent dielectricpropertie
E) Used as a tubing for
s, high melting, chemically
highly corrosive chemicals.

Heat,flame and solvent

Used in medical and chemical
Ultem Polyimide resistant. Has high
instrumentation, also in guitar picks
dielectric strength

Used as reinforcing fibres for

High thermal and chemical
Vectran aromatic polyester ropes, cables, sailcloth. Also used in
stability. Golden color. Has
manufacturing badminton strings, bi
high strength, low creep,
ke tires and in electronics
and is moisture resistant applications. Is the key component
of a line of inflatable spacecraft
developed by Bigelow Aerospace

Depends on the grade of the

Viton Elastomer polymer. Viton B is used in
chemical process plants and gaskets.

poly-p-phenylene-2,6- Very high tensile strength Used in tennis racquets, table tennis
benzobisoxazole(PBO) and thermal stability blades, body armor, etc.

See also[edit]

RAFT (chemistry)

1. Jump up^ Andrew J. Peacock; Allison R. Calhoun (30 June
2006). Polymer Chemistry: Properties and Applications. Hanser
Verlag. pp. 1. ISBN 978-1-56990-397-1. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
2. Jump up^ Srikanth Pilla (15 September 2011). Handbook of
Bioplastics and Biocomposites Engineering Applications. John Wiley &
Sons. p. 154. ISBN 978-1-118-17704-4. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
Artificial materials
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