Can anyone advise if this is a satisfactory answer. I've had a run over it and it does seem rather bulky for the given question.
The Attempt at a Solution
Commercial and marketing:
Polymers can be classified in a variety of different ways. The commercial market are enticed by the use of polymers because of the general affordability of the raw material, the ease of mass market manufacture such as tooth brushes, toothpaste tubes, ear bud sticks etc. The polymers produced are commonly for ‘one-use’ applications, this leads to a continuous stream of revenue for the manufacturer.
Industrial design and application:
Another method of classification is for the industrial design and application market. Once the raw materials for thermoplastic or thermoset plastics have been heated designers can use injection mounding techniques to create shapes that would be difficult to obtain by ordinary secondary finishing techniques.
Physical form of component:
Polymeric materials can be defined In terms of physical form into the below six groups.
Thermosetting plastics – Once initially heated the thermosetting plastic shares thermoplastic properties, however, once the plastic has solidified and cooled sufficiently it becomes resistant to heat. Once a sufficient amount of heat has been applied to the resultant product it will thermally decompose.
Thermoplastics – Once a thermoplastic has cooled it can be re-heated to the glass transition temperature , after reaching this point the material will soften and become malleable ready for repurposing (reuse).
Rubber can be defined as natural rubber (NR) or synthetic rubber (SBR) or (CR). Rubber are most commonly used in the ‘cured’ or ‘vulcanised’ form. This is where the rubber molecules have formed chemical cross links to other rubber molecules. The resultant being a three dimensional open molecular network.
Natural fibres – Most commonly used in fabrics, ropes and twines.
Synthetic fibres - Thermoplastic in origin. These spun and weaved into threads.
Adhesives + Coatings
Either natural or man-made. Adhesives and coatings can come from any of the previously mentioned ‘types’. The materials can be a designed combination of all different polymeric materials. Such as PF, epoxy resin, NR and combinations of the same.
Composites are designed combinations of polymeric materials and other constituents such as glass fibre. These provide different properties that can be applied to various different situations.
These have branched polymer molecules that do not crystallise into a solid configuration. Thus, having no crystalline melting point . However, they have various ‘softening’ points, including
Mostly consisting of PVC polymers. Fitting between the amorphous and crystalline thermoplastics. They also have the softening points of However, they also have a melting transition at .
Whilst in the crystalline state, the polymer chains have a higher visco-elastic mannerism. Textile fibres would be included in this Crystalline Thermoplastics section.
The tri-dimensional molecules produced during the forming and curing prohibit crystallisation. Such materials do not poses a melting point . or a softening point thus are normally brittle.
Firstly being amorphous thermoplastics, they transition to rubbery materials once vulcanised/cured this giving the polymer the very flexible, open and interconnected network of molecules. Thus the material assumes it’s rubbery properties.