By David I. Bower
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Additional info for An Introduction to Polymer Physics
1 also illustrates that the volume production of some of the commoner polymers roughly equals or exceeds that of aluminium and copper, and that the total volume production of all the polymers listed is about 60% of the volume production of steel. The versatility of polymers, already commented on, must be taken to apply not only to these materials as a class, but also to many of its individual members. Poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), for instance, is used not only as a textile ﬁbre but also as a packaging material in the form of both ﬁlm and bottles.
There is usually no speciﬁc initiation step, so that any appropriate pair of molecules present anywhere in the reaction volume can join together. Many short chains are thus produced initially and the length of the chains increases both by the addition of monomer to either end of any chain and by the joining together of chains. Condensation polymers are an important class of step-growth polymers formed by the common condensation reactions of organic chemistry. These involve the elimination of a small molecule, often water, when two molecules join, as in amidation: RNH2 þ HOOCR0 !
This leads to the formation of anisotropic regions, which gives them optical properties that are useful for displays etc. Polymeric liquid-crystal materials have groups similar to these incorporated in the chains. There are two principal types. g. Kevlar. e. the chains are aligned closely parallel to each other. 4(a). (b) Side-chain LCPs may be used as non-linear optical materials. Their advantage is that it is possible to incorporate into the polymer, as chemically linked side-chains, some groups that have useful optical properties but which would not dissolve in the polymer.
An Introduction to Polymer Physics by David I. Bower