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What Is A Polymer And What Is Its History?

By Expert Author: David Lee has 10 years of experience in writing .

You can think of polymer as an interlinking of several units. It can be easily related to a garland that is made of various interlinked pieces of papers. Just in the case of polymers it is constituted from several interlinking units known as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and even the silicon molecules. Each of the links that is in the chain is known as “mer” or even the basic unit and so the name polymer has been derived.

Therefore these polymers or the polyurethane dispersion are long chains that are made of repeating chemical units or even the monomers. The chemical structures of the resultant molecule can be either linear or cyclic or even branched. When one monomer is attached to the other ones of the same kind what results is known as homopolymer. There are some kind of these like polyethylene, polystyrene and even polytetrafluoroethylene.

If more than one kind of monomer is interlinked then they are called copolymers. The monomoers that are found in this case are arranged in a form which is known as statistical; or random or even alternating way.

Going back to history

The natural polymers like tar and shellac, tortoise shell and horns, tree saps that give out amber and latex have always been there. In previous times the polymers were processed in such a manner that the heat and the pressure were transformed into useful things like hair ornaments and even jewelry.


The chemical modification of the natural polymers had begun during the 1800 and since then this concept has remained in existence. It further led to the rise of a lot of other useful materials. The most useful ones among them were vulcanized rubber, gun cotton and even the celluloid.

What happened in 1900’s?

A German scientist by the name of Herman Staudinger revealed this idea in the 1920’s huge molecules that were constituted of several molecules and that were made up of a lot of atoms is a possibility. But during that time he received a lot of flak because of this belief. The commonly held notion is that the structure of these materials has several small and tiny molecules that are constituted together by an unknown force.

Then the world war happened

After world war, the natural substance was very widely available. When the war happened the natural sources like the latex, wool, silk and several other materials were very difficult to be achieved. Due to this the world had to look for something else and that was synthetic polymer. Aldimine was also a product that was discovered at the same time and it really changed the lives.

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