What Is A Polymer?
If you are interested in Gellner Industrial, you probably have a basic understanding of what a polymer is. However, if you don’t, we thought we’d give a little rundown on our biggest product- polymers. Though we specialize in acrylic polymers, the science behind our products is consistent with other types of more basic polymers.
So what are polymers? Well, polymers are made up of a bunch of molecules that are strung together to form really long chains. Of course, sometimes, the molecules combine to form more complicated structures. However, what makes polymers so interesting is that how they act completely depends on what kinds of molecules they consist of – and how those molecules are put together. The properties of anything that are made out of polymers are a manifestation of what is happening with the molecules. Basically the molecules act as a microcosm for the polymer as a whole. It is important to understand that things made of polymers look and act depending on how the atoms and molecules are connected. Some polymers may be rubbery, some may be sticky and gooey, it really just depends on the molecules.
Polymers make sense on a literary level as well. Poly means many and mer means part or segment. Mono means one. For this reason, a monomer is a small molecule, whereas a polymer is a collection of many molecules. Monomers are sometimes formed because not all molecules can combine to form polymers.
It is also important to understand that polymers can also be referred to as macromolecules. Macro means large, which makes sense because polymers, or macromolecules, are large collections of molecules! Most polymers are linear polymers. What is a linear polymer, you may ask. Well, a linear polymer is made up of one molecule after another, and the molecules are hooked together by a large chain that is referred to as the backbone. Of course, linear polymers don’t always have to be in a strict, straight lines. Sometimes, the bonds between the atoms in the backbone rotate or move. Often, the linear polymer chain will create a curvy path, from one end to another. This is a bit confusing because usually linears means a straight line, but in terms of polymers, it simply means not branched.
However, branched polymer chains do exist. A branched chain has extra beginnings along the chain so it also has lots of end. It is impossible to trace these chains without backtracking. Another important thing to realize about polymer chains is that they repeat and repeat. The atoms that make the backbone come in a certain order, which is repeated for the entirety of the polymer chain.
If you are interested in learning more about polymers, or are interested in (acrylic) polymer products, look no further than Gellner Industrial. Gellner Industrial has a wide range of acrylic polymers for a variety of different applications.