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Pervasive Polymers


In this laboratory you will become familiar with the classifications of polymers by synthesizing and examining several of the following:

  • a polyamide (nylon)
  • a cross-linked condensation copolymer (Glyptal TM size 12{ {} rSup { size 8{ ital "TM"} } } {} resin)
  • a cross-linked polyvinyl alcohol
  • a loosely cross-linked silicon-based condensation polymer (a polymethylsiloxane)

Additional information about polymers can be found in Chapter 12 of your textbook.


Your grade will consist of the following:

  • Pre-lab (10%)
  • Correctness and thoroughness of your observations and the answers to the questions on the report form (80%)
  • TA evaluation of lab procedure (10%)

Before Coming to Lab . . .

  • Complete the pre-lab exercise
  • Read the introduction and any related materials provided to you

NOTE: If you wear contact lenses, for this week’s lab, you may prefer to wear your prescription glasses. 


Approximately 50% of the industrial chemists in the United States work in some area of polymer chemistry, a fact that illustrates just how important polymers are to our economy and standard of living. These polymers are essential to the production of goods ranging from toys to roofing materials. So just what exactly are polymers? Polymers are substances composed of extremely large molecules, termed macromolecules, with molecular masses ranging from 10 4 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{4} } } {} to 10 8 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{8} } } {} amu. Macromolecules consist of many smaller molecular units, monomers, joined together through covalent bonds. The molar mass of the polymer is quoted as an average molar mass.

Both natural and synthetic polymers are ubiquitous in our lives: elastomers (polymers with elastic, rubber-like properties), plastics (the first plastic was used in 1843 to make buttons), textile fibers, resins, and adhesives. The more common polymers include acrylics, alkyds, cellulosics, epoxy resins, phenolics, polycarbonates, polyamides, polyesters, polyfluorocarbons, polyolefins, polystyrenes, silicones, and vinyl plastics, to name but a few.

Naturally occurring macromolecules are derived from living things: wood, wool, paper, cotton, starch, silk, rubber and have provided us for centuries with materials for clothing, food, and housing. Starch, glycogen, and cellulose are all polymeric versions of the monomer glucose. Again, we see that minor structural variations create chemicals with very different properties. Proteins are macromolecules composed of monomeric units of alpha amino acids; nucleic acids are composed of subunits (nucleotides) containing a nitrogeneous base, sugar and phosphate groups. Natural rubber is a latex exudate of certain trees and composed of monomers called isoprene units. The usefulness of latex was first discovered by Lord Mackintosh in Malaysia in the 19th century and provided the foundation of his waterproof rainwear empire.

When scientists linked the special properties of these substances (physical properties such as tensile strength and flexibility) to the sizes of their molecules, the next logical step involved chemical modifications of naturally occurring polymers.

Questions & Answers

can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
I got X =-6
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
oops. ignore that.
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
im all ears I need to learn
right! what he said ⤴⤴⤴
what is a good calculator for all algebra; would a Casio fx 260 work with all algebra equations? please name the cheapest, thanks.
Kevin Reply
a perfect square v²+2v+_
Dearan Reply
kkk nice
Abdirahman Reply
algebra 2 Inequalities:If equation 2 = 0 it is an open set?
Kim Reply
or infinite solutions?
The answer is neither. The function, 2 = 0 cannot exist. Hence, the function is undefined.
Embra Reply
if |A| not equal to 0 and order of A is n prove that adj (adj A = |A|
Nancy Reply
rolling four fair dice and getting an even number an all four dice
ramon Reply
Kristine 2*2*2=8
Bridget Reply
Differences Between Laspeyres and Paasche Indices
Emedobi Reply
No. 7x -4y is simplified from 4x + (3y + 3x) -7y
Mary Reply
is it 3×y ?
Joan Reply
J, combine like terms 7x-4y
Bridget Reply
im not good at math so would this help me
Rachael Reply
I'm not good at math so would you help me
what is the problem that i will help you to self with?
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, General chemistry lab spring. OpenStax CNX. Apr 03, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10506/1.56
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