Soap, Detergents and Polymers: Classification of Polymers on the Basis of Origin (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Classification of Polymers

Classification of Polymers on the Basis of Origin

  • Natural Polymers: The polymers obtained from nature (plants and animals) are called natural polymers. Starch, cellulose, natural rubber, proteins, etc. are some examples.
  • Synthetic Polymers: The polymers which are prepared in the laboratories are called synthetic polymers. These are also called man-made polymers. Polyethene, PVC, nylon, felon, Bakelite, perylene, synthetic rubber, etc. are common examples.

Classification of Polymers on the Basis of Structure

Linear Polymers

Linear Polymers

These are polymers in which monomeric units are linked together to form linear chains. These linear polymers are well packed and therefore, have high densities, high tensile (pulling) strength and high melting points. For example, polyethylene, nylons and polyesters are examples of linear polymers.

Branched Chain Polymers

Branched Chain Polymers

These are polymers in which the monomers are joined to form long chain with side chains or branches of different lengths. These branched chains polymers are irregularly packed and therefore, they have lower tensile strength and melting points than linear polymers. For example, low density polyethene, glycogen, starch, etc.

Cross-Linked Polymers

Cross-Linked Polymers

These are polymers in which long polymer chains are cross-linked together to from a three-dimensional network. These polymers are hard, rigid and brittle because of the network structure. Bakelite, melamine and formaldehyde resin are some examples of this type.

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