A polymer is a large molecule or a macromolecule which essentially is a combination of many subunits. The term polymer in Greek means “many parts”. Polymers can be found all around us. From the strand of our DNA which is a naturally occurring biopolymer to polypropylene which is used throughout the world as plastic.
Polymers may be naturally found in plants and animals (natural polymers) or may be man-made (synthetic polymers). Different polymers have a number of unique physical and chemical properties due to which they find usage in everyday life.
Polymers are all created by the process of polymerization wherein their constituent elements called monomers, are reacted together to form polymer chains dimensional networks forming the polymer bonds.
The type f polymerization mechanism used depends on the type of functional groups attached to the reactants. In biological contexts, almost all macromolecules are either completely polymeric or are made up of large polymeric chains.
Uses of Polymers
Here we will list some of the important uses of polymers in our everyday life. Polypropylene finds usage in a broad range of industries such as textiles, packaging, stationery, plastics, aircraft, construction, rope, toys, etc.
Polystyrene is one of the most common plastic, actively used in the packaging industry. Bottles, toys, containers, trays, disposable glasses
and plates, tv cabinets and lids are some of the daily-used products made up of polystyrene. It is also used as an insulator.
The most important use of polyvinyl chloride is the manufacture of sewage pipes. It is also used as an insulator in the electric cables. Polyvinyl chloride is used in clothing and furniture and has recently become popular for the construction of doors and windows as well. It is also used in vinyl flooring.
Urea-formaldehyde resins are used for making adhesives, molds, laminated sheets, unbreakable containers, etc. Glyptic is used for making
paints, coatings, and lacquers.
Bakelite is used for making electrical switches, kitchen products, toys, jewelry, firearms, insulators, computer discs, etc.