- What are polymers and how are they made?
Polymers are substances that have long similar repeating chains of molecules. The monomers, smaller molecules are combined into chain through the progress of the polymerization and become polymer. However, some polymers are natural and made by organisms. Polymers are common to be used: water bottles, phones, grocery bags and many of daily supplies. We will use PVA alcohol mixed with Borax or laundry starch or Guar gum. If PVA alcohol is mixed with Borax or laundry starch or Guar gum, the new substances will become more solid since the chains of atoms linked together.
- What are synthetic materials, and where do they come from?
Synthetic materials are usually made from natural materials through the progress of the polymerization. For example, Rayon is a synthetic material that is natural-based material made from the cellulose, substance that exists in the cell walls of plants and raw material of paper, plastic, and rayon. In addition, Polyester is also a synthetic material from coal, air, water, and petroleum. Between alcohol and acid, the chemical reaction happened which combined over two molecules to make a larger molecule. Eventually, long, stable, and strong repeated chains of molecules are formed. Natural resources have to pass through the process of polymerization to be synthetic materials. Polymerization is the method of creating synthetic polymers by combining smaller molecules, monomers, into a chain held together by covalent bonds. For instance, most plastic is based on the carbon atom. The carbon atom can be linked to other atoms. The atoms that can be linked are monomers, the cell unit. The groups of atoms form monomers. And if the monomers are chemically bonded into a long repeated chain, a polymer will be created. However, depending on how many numbers of atoms are involved in the repeated units different polymer can be formed. For some plastics like polyethylene, only one carbon atom and two hydrogen atoms can be the repeat unit while plastics like nylon can involve 38 or even more atoms.
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