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Structure and properties of polymers

  1. Dec 3, 2011 #1
    Hi!

    I need a reference (book, webpage) that explains how the structure of a polymer affects its properties.

    I've found plenty of material over how structure changes its mechanical properties, but I could not find how it changes other parameters (e.g. electrical conductivity, boiling point...)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2011 #2

    chemisttree

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    Hmmm. Structure-activity relationships for polymers regarding electrical conductivity. Not sure we're that advanced yet. Electrical conductivity is as much about how it's made as what it's made from but the structure is certainly important as well. Electrical conductivity in organic polymers is ultimately controlled by the long range order of the polymer itself. Long range order can be accomplished by mechanical means (strain hardening) or by using highly crystalline polymers for example.

    I assume the boiling point reference is just a random neuron firing kind of thing.
     
  4. Dec 5, 2011 #3
    Indeed, I wanted to mean melting point, not boiling point.

    Well, the reason why I started this thread is that I have a upcoming college-entrance exam. One of the items in its syllabus is:

    "Synthetic polymers: correlations between structure and properties. Main reactions and uses."

    In previous exams, they have asked the role of cross links in the mechanical strength. They have also asked to explain the role of double bonds in the polymers ability to conduct electricity. And, in a multiple choice question, they have asked which polymer would be most suited to be used in the glass of an aircraft.

    Since they've recurrently asked those type of questions, I was wondering how the polymer's structure would affect its other properties. I am not asking something science has still to uncover, or they would not put that on the test, obviously. I just need a place to find qualitative descriptions of how the structure of a polymer affects its potential uses. I have found plenty of material in how cross linking works, but that was it.
     
  5. Dec 5, 2011 #4

    epenguin

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    I thought they tend not to have a definite sharp melting point but rather a spread out zone of transition where they turn gooey and do have an increased specific heat. Most polymers are of fairly heterogeneous length - when they are even single chains because there is often also crosslinking.
     
  6. Dec 6, 2011 #5

    chemisttree

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    Great! Try here for basics regarding polymers. Wiki has a good writeup for conducting polymers.
     
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