HDPE: high density polyethylene LDPE: low density polyethylene
PET: polyethylene terephthalate PP: polypropylene
PS: polystyrene PVA: polyvinyl alcohol
PVC: polyvinyl chloride

addition polymerization: a chemical reaction in which simple molecules are linked together to form long chain molecules.

amorphous: non-crystalline polymer or non-crystalline areas in a polymer.

Bakelite: a polymer produced by the condensation of phenol and formaldehyde.

branched polymer: polymer having smaller chains attached to the polymer backbone.

cellulose: a natural polymer found in wood and other plant material.

composite polymer: a filled or reinforced plastic.

condensation polymer: one in which two or more molecules combine resulting in elimination of water or other simple molecules, with the process being repeated to form a long chain molecule.

configuration: related chemical structure produced by the making and breaking of primary valence bonds.

copolymer: a macromolecule consisting of more than one type of building unit.

creep: cold flow of a polymer.

cross-linking: occurs when primary valence bonds are formed between separate polymer chain molecules.

crystalline polymer: polymer with a regular order or pattern of molecular arrangement and a sharp melting point.

dimer: a polymer containing two monomers.

domains: sequences or regions in block copolymers.

elastomer: a type of polymer that exhibits rubber-like qualities.

Ekonol: a moldable, high temperature polymer.

end group: functional group at the end of a chain in polymers, e.g. carboxylic group.

extrusion: a fabrication process in which a heat-softened polymer is forced continually by a screw through a die.

filler: a relatively inert material used as the discontinuous phase of a polymer composite.

free radical: A chemical component that contains a free electron which covalently bonds with a free electron on another molecule.

homopolymer: a macromolecule consisting of only one type of building unit.

initiation: the start of a chain reaction with a source such as free radicals, peroxides, etc.

kevlar: a high strength polymer which can withstand high temperatures.

linear: polymers made up of one long continuous chain, without any excess

appendages or attachments.

macromolecule: a polymer.

material: a substance useful for structural purposes.

monomer: smallest repeating unit of a polymer.

nylon: a polymer used commonly in the textiles industry.

oligomer: a low molecular weight polymer in which the number of repeating units is approximately between two and ten.

polyethylene: the most extensively produced polymer.

polyester: a polymer with a COOR repeating unit.

polymer: a high molecular weight macromolecule made up of multiple repeating units.

polymerization: the chemical reaction in which high molecular mass molecules are formed from monomers.

polystyrene: a polymer commonly used in packaging.

propagation: the continuous successive chain extension in a polymer chain reaction.

Tg: glass transition temperature below which a polymer is a hard glassy material.

thermoplastic: a polymer which may be softened by heat and hardened by cooling in a reversible physical process.

thermoset: a network polymer obtained by cross-linking a linear polymer to make it infusible or insoluble.

Tm: melting temperature.

Van der Waals forces: intermolecular attractions.

viscosity: the resistance to flow as applied to a solution or a molten solid.

vinyl chloride: the monomer used in PVC production.

vulcanization: cross-linking with heat and sulfur to toughen a polymer.

Source: Seymour and Carraher POLYMER CHEMISTRY Dekker 1993

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