Polymers: Physical Properties

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Polymer Journal

These pack together easily in crystalline domains that alternate with amorphous segments, and the resulting material, while relatively strong and stiff, retains a degree of flexibility. In contrast, LDPE is composed of smaller and more highly branched chains which do not easily adopt crystalline structures. This material is therefore softer, weaker, less dense and more easily deformed than HDPE.

As a rule, mechanical properties such as ductility, tensile strength, and hardness rise and eventually level off with increasing chain length. The nature of cellulose supports the above analysis and demonstrates the importance of the third factor iii. To begin with, cellulose chains easily adopt a stable rod-like conformation. These molecules align themselves side by side into fibers that are stabilized by inter-chain hydrogen bonding between the three hydroxyl groups on each monomer unit.

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Physical properties of ring polymers and their derivatives — Kyushu University

Consequently, crystallinity is high and the cellulose molecules do not move or slip relative to each other. The high concentration of hydroxyl groups also accounts for the facile absorption of water that is characteristic of cotton. Natural rubber is a completely amorphous polymer.


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Unfortunately, the potentially useful properties of raw latex rubber are limited by temperature dependence; however, these properties can be modified by chemical change. The cis-double bonds in the hydrocarbon chain provide planar segments that stiffen, but do not straighten the chain.

If instead, the chains of rubber molecules are slightly cross-linked by sulfur atoms, a process called vulcanization which was discovered by Charles Goodyear in , the desirable elastomeric properties of rubber are substantially improved. The following illustration shows a cross-linked section of amorphous rubber. By clicking on the diagram it will change to a display of the corresponding stretched section.

Physical Properties of Polymers

The more highly-ordered chains in the stretched conformation are entropically unstable and return to their original coiled state when allowed to relax. It is not as easily stretched and deformed as is LDPE. HDPE is insoluble in water and most organic solvents, although some swelling may occur on immersion in the latter.


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HDPE is an excellent electrical insulator. Films made from LDPE stretch easily and are commonly used for wrapping.

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29.8: Physical Properties of Polymers

Geo Science. Food Technology. Polymers Polymers have an important place in modern materials science.

AFM phase image of long chain polymer molecules. Confocal Raman depth profile z-direction of a adhesive polymeric layer on a paper substrate. Contact Please fill in all data fields to ensure we can process your inquiry as quickly as possible.

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