Importance Of Polymers

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Polymers is a class of material that is made up of long molecular chains. The following section will discuss the morphology of neat (pure compound) polymers. Morphology is the study of shape, form and structure of a material on a multidimensional level. The morphology of a polymer gives rise to its properties and explains why polymers behave differently for added clay nanoparticles. Polymer Molecular Structure Polymers consist of small repeating structural units called monomers. Likewise, monomers comprise of small organic molecules of hydrocarbons that can chemically bind together in a process called polymerisation. The consequence of polymerization is that the molecules bind to one another in very long chains with orientations in multiple…show more content…
Polymers sometimes display some arrangement of molecular structure that can either be classified as (i) linear, (ii) branched, (iii) crosslinked or (iv) networked [6]. More than one arrangement may exist in a polymer; however, some polymers are predominant in one molecular structure. In the case of Polyethylene, a predominantly linear structure can lead to a higher density otherwise known as High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE); whereas a branched structure may lead the Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE). Figure 1 below shows the difference in linear and branched molecular structure as presented by Osswald and Menges in Material science of polymers for…show more content…
An applied load on a tensile specimen will exhibit a localized strengthening at the neck of the specimen, thus the neck will elongate until it has reached maximum elongation and fracture shortly afterwards. This behaviour can be explained by the amorphous structure of the polymer, upon applying a tensile load the polymer chains orient themselves parallel to the load where like ropes it starts applying a tensile reaction once stretched out. Polymers exhibit thee basic types of mechanical behaviour (i) Brittle, (ii) Ductile or near metal like behaviour and lastly (iii) Elastomer polymers that possess a large amount of strain recovery [5]. Polymers are different from metals in that they have significantly lower stiffness and yield strengths, but have very long stain before

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