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Polymer Chemistry and Polymerisation

Polymers Introduction

Last updated date: 22nd Mar 2023
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What is a polymer? Polymers are very large molecules called macromolecules. These macromolecules are composed of simpler chemical units called monomers. Polymers may belong to any of the classes of synthetic or natural substances, and they make up several materials in living organisms. For example, proteins, cellulose, and nucleic acids. They are also found in minerals such as quartz, feldspar, and diamond. Man-made polymers are used to make materials like rubber,  plastics, glass, paper, and concrete.

As per Polymer Chemistry, the size of polymers range from thousands to millions of atomic mass units, which causes them to have peculiar physical and chemical properties.

Important Concepts You Will Learn in Polymer Chemistry 

  • What is a polymer?

  • Classification of polymers based on 

  • Source of availability

  • Structure of the monomer chain

  • Polymerisation

  • Monomers

  • Molecular forces

  • Structures of polymers

  • Types of polymers

  • On the basis of the type of the backbone chain

  • On the basis of their synthesis

  • Properties of polymers

  • What is polymerisation?

  • Types of polymerisation

  • Polymerisation techniques

  • Degree of polymerisation

  • Uses of polymers

  • Importance of polymers and polymerisation

What is the Importance of Polymer Chemistry?

Polymer Chemistry, which includes the study of polymer materials and polymerisation, has successfully synthesised new polymers, investigated polymerization processes, and characterised the structure and properties of polymeric materials. Therefore, the study of these topics is important because:

  • Through Polymer Chemistry, scientists have managed to design and synthesise polymers with increased levels of hardness, flexibility, softening temperature, solubility in water, and biodegradability. 

  • They have produced new polymeric materials with the strength of steel but much lighter in mass and more resistant to corrosion. 

  • Polymers are now increasingly used to construct plastic pipes for oil, natural gas, and water transportation.

  • Advanced polymeric materials are being used as plastic components to build lighter vehicles that consume less fuel.


In Polymer Chemistry, students learn about the types of polymers, properties of polymers, their uses, importance, and types of polymerisation. Polymer introduction is often an ignored topic as it does not carry much weightage; however, an understanding of polymer and polymerisation is important to grasp higher Chemistry, especially for those who wish to pursue a career in Chemistry. Also, going through this article thoroughly will provide you with an in-depth explanation of one of the most important topics of Chemistry - both exam-wise and for daily life. So, get your hands on this free study resource today.

Competitive Exams after 12th Science

FAQs on Polymer Chemistry and Polymerisation

1. What are some common examples of polymers found in everyday life?

Examples of natural polymers include materials like hemp, wool, silk, natural rubber, and shellac. Examples of synthetic polymers include bakelite, nylon, silicone, polyvinyl chloride (PVC plastics), polypropylene, polyethylene, etc.

2. Name two of the most important polymers used in everyday life.

Polyethene: This polymer material is the most common type of plastic used widely across the world and is mostly used for packaging - from plastic bags to plastic bottles.

Polypropylene: It is also a type of plastic that can be easily moulded into various shapes. It has a lot of applications, including automotive components, stationary equipment, etc.

3. Is polymerization chain reaction dangerous?

Yes, the polymerization chain reaction is considered dangerous. Being a chain reaction, it generates heat, and chain reactions, when going out of control, may lead to uncontrolled pressure and heat build-up, which can cause hazards like explosion or fire, etc. 

4. What are some characteristics of polymers?

Characteristics of polymers include the following:

  • Highly resistant to chemicals.

  • Act as electrical and thermal insulators equally.

  • Have a wide range of features and colours. 

  • Their original properties can be improved by a number of additives to improve their applications.

  • Have a very light mass but important degrees of power.

  • Can be prepared in a number of different ways. 

5. Why should I consider Vedantu to learn the topic of polymer chemistry and polymerisation?

Many features make the study material of Vedantu for polymer chemistry and polymerisation better, such as:

  • All the details and explanations are provided by Chemistry experts.

  • The study material is written in a simple and lucid style so as to be easily understandable by the students.

  • It also includes a few practice questions as well for the overall preparation of the topic.

  • Every concept is covered comprehensively.