What are Polymers?

What are Polymers?

The term ‘polymer’ is often used to describe plastics, which are synthetic polymers. There are natural kinds of polymers too though, such as rubber or wood. When you break down the word polymer, it means many units. That’s exactly what it comes down to when creating polymers. They are a unit of atoms that create a chemical bond to build chain structures. Polymers can be three dimensional units or two-dimensional units, but they are always a repetitive chain of the same chemicals. These units are generally made with chemicals like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, chlorine, fluorine, phosphorous, and silicon. While they are complex, companies use them on a regular basis to create items that we use daily. For instance, things like water bottles, computers, phones, tires, mirrors, windows, and grocery bags are all made of polymers.

Polymers are created through a process called polymerization. This is where small molecules, monomers, are combined through chemical reactions to create a chainlike structure, the polymer. These molecules may all be alike in some cases, and they may represent up to three or more different compounds. This allows many different kinds of synthetic polymers to be engineered.

Polymers are a part of almost every aspect of our lives. Epoxies, resins, glass, plastics, and rubber are all different kinds of polymers - our DNA is even considered a polymer, but we won’t go down that rabbit hole right now. Different kinds of polymers can have many different characteristics, depending on what chemicals are used to bond them together. The plastic that a water bottle is made of is far more flexible than the epoxy that coats flooring or wood furniture.

New synthetic polymers are being engineered all the time. They have already been used to create more recyclable parts on cars and to make vehicles weigh less than ever before. They are also being used for making artificial skin in order to help people with conditions like eczema, and potentially reverse the affects of aging.

Polymers are everywhere and important in today’s society. Plastic Service Centers offer a variety of different generic and brand name resins. Contact us today to get a quote to fill your polymer needs! (586) 307-3900