CIEC Promoting Science at the University of York, York, UK

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Polymers
Polymers

In The Essential Chemical Industry - Online, there are 76 units which describe key aspects of the chemical industry in a concise way.  They are designed so that you can ‘dip in’ to them to retrieve the information you need.

Although the units are self-contained, you will find that throughout this web site there are cross-references to material in other units, which is easily obtained by the designated hyperlinks.  There is also a facility which allows you to search the whole site.  These two approaches will help you to follow up related topics and to explore more widely.

There is an overview of the chemical industry which looks at the industry in an international context.   The other 75 units are presented in five thematic groups:

  1. Industrial processes
  2. Materials and applications
  3. Basic chemicals
  4. Polymers
  5. Metals

In this section, there are units on all the major types of polymers made in large bulk, such as the polyalkenes, polyurethanes, acrylics, polycarbonates and silicones and which play such a large part in maintaining and improving our living standards.  They are used in so many ways, from furniture to surgical instruments, from clothing to buildings.

Each of these polymers is described in the same way, in three main sections which guides you instantly to relevant information:

  • Uses
  • Annual production quantities
  • Manufacture

However, three more recent areas of polymer development are introduced.  One is in the area of so-called speciality polymers, often produced in small amounts for specific purposes.  One such is the family of polyphenylsulfones.  Another group is the degradable polymers, developed in order to improve the environmental legacy of these important compounds.  A third area is in the development of composites.

In another unit in this section, the underlying chemistry of polymerization is explored and includes a review of the techniques employed in the design of materials with the necessary properties for specific uses.  

The following units can be found in this section: