Written by: on May 11, 2020 @ 8:45 am

A plastic bag is made of polymers, long chains of individual molecules called monomers. When a sharp pencil pierces the bag the polymer chains separate without breaking. The chains of molecules then squeeze tightly around the pencil creating a seal that prevents it from leaking.

Polymers find use in our everyday life, from water bottles and Tupperware to tires for automobiles. The word polymer is derived from the Greek root poly-, meaning many, and mer, meaning part or segment. Many of the same units (or mers) are connected together to form a long chain or polymer.

Polymers are of two types: Polymers such as starch, proteins and DNA occur in Nature, and are called Natural polymers. Synthetic polymers are derived from petroleum oil and made by scientists and engineers. Examples of synthetic polymers include nylon and plastic.

Long repeating chains can be linked together to form a cross-linked polymer, which may become branched and become a Branched chain polymer. As the degree of cross linking in the polymer increases, the polymer usually increases in rigidity and toughness. This is why we see plastics that have different degrees of hardness from a plastic bag to a hard-plastic baseball bat.

Join our HTHT @ Home Science Experiment and learn about polymers:


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Catogories: Experiments: Science Made Fun, hands-on, HTHT, Science

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