Organic Polymers are like a necklace made from several beads. They are made up of same repeating units called monomers. Every monomer possesses its own unique structural configuration. In order to convert these monomers into complex polymeric form, it is necessary to identify the unsaturated bonds in the molecule that can be broken to start the addition reaction. After observing the chemical, a suitable catalyst is used to break this bond or it can break after increasing the temperature of the reaction vessel. After successful initiation, the process can be continued for durations as long as the required product is produced. However, production primarily depends on the capacity of the plant.
They utilize naturally occurring elements and compounds as the precursors to make compounds with unique properties. Generally two procedures are used to make the product with a repeating unit. In addition to supply basic precursor feed, initiation of the process sometime requires favourable chemical reaction and variable temperatures. However, in other situations condensation of the reaction mixture is required to start the synthesis. On the basis of their production method they can be classified into two major types including addition and condensation polymers.
Below is the brief description about the widely produced addition polymers made from same precursor Polyethylene.
Low Density Polyethylene – LDPE is most commonly produced substance. Peroxide catalyst at high temperatures of 500°C was used in first commercial production. The process yields a low density, highly branched chain product, which is now used in blow-molding of films to make packing materials and trash bags.
High Density Polyethylene – HDPE is solid and opaque synthetic material used to make squeezable bottles and containers. Ziegler-Natta aluminum, titanium is used as a catalyst to promote the polymerization reaction. It is opaque and three times stronger than low density products.
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a product made up of repeating units of vinyl chloride (H2C=CHCl). It is actively used in the production of plastic wraps, simulated leather, garden hoses and water pipes.
Polypropylene is a thermoplastic, which is widely used in the making of several commercial and household products ranges from containers, carpets, toys and paper to automobile parts and laboratory equipment.
Polystyrene is a vinyl polymer consists of a long hydrocarbon chain with a phenyl groups. It is an inexpensive hard material used to make a number of things in everyday life. Common products include computer casing, models, packaging foam and insulation material. Clear plastic cups are also made up of the same material.
After considering the benefits and wide applications, polymer companies are producing renewable and alternative material resources to execute the growing needs.