Carraher, Charles E., Jr. Department of Chemistry, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.
Last reviewed:September 2018
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- Polymer, published November 2016:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Polymer, published June 2014:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Primary structure
- Secondary structure
- Tertiary structure
- Quaternary structure
- Molecular properties
- Molecular weight
- Attractive forces
- Viscoelastic materials
- Additional Readings
High-molecular-weight materials composed of repeating subunits; also known as macromolecules, high polymers, giant molecules, and plastics. These materials may be organic, inorganic, or organometallic, and synthetic or natural in origin. Polymers are essential materials for many applications, such as adhesives, building materials, fibers, fabrics, paper, packaging materials, and coatings (Fig. 1). Plastics is the generic and engineering term often used to describe hard and flexible polymers that can be shaped or molded into various objects. Plastics may contain additives for modifying their physical properties and processability. A common example of a plastic is the polyethylene terephthalate (polyester) bottle for packaging water and other beverages. See also: Inorganic and organometallic polymers; Plastics processing; Polyester resins
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