Saturday, December 3, 2011

Polymer Basics

HandsOn Plastics
1. Plastics are polymers, which is something made of many units similar to a chain. Each
link in the chain is the “mer” or basic unit usually made out of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen,
and/or silicon.  To make the chain, many links or units are hooked or polymerized together.

2. Many common classes of polymers are composed of hydrocarbons, which contain the elements
carbon and hydrogen. List seven elements that are also found in polymers: oxygen, chlorine, fluorine, nitrogen, silicon, phosphorus, and sulfur.

3. What is one of the most famous silicon-based polymers? Silly Putty

4.  What are the general attributes (properties) of polymers?
A. Polymers can be very resistant to chemicals.
B. Polymers can be both thermal and electrical insulators.
C. Polymers are very light in mass with varying degrees of strength.
D. Polymers can be processed in various ways to produce thin fibers or very intricate parts.

5. What percentage of our trash are plastics? 9.9%

6. What does WTE mean? Waste-To-Energy. What are two benefits of WTE?
1 – We can use plastics that cannot be recycled.
2 – Incineration of polymers produces heat energy.

History of Plastics
Read the information on this page to help you complete this section. Fill in the blanks with the year it was first produced and the last name(s) of the person credited with the discovery/development. Use the information to list the substances with dates from the oldest to the most recent in the box.

Rayon – Developed in 1891 by Louis Marie Hilaire Bernigaut
Silly Putty - Developed in 1949 by James Wright
Cellophane - Discovered in 1900 by Jacques E Brandenburger
Parkesine - Discovered in 1862 by Alexander Parkes
Nylon - Developed in 1939 by Wallace Carothers
Bakelite - Developed in 1907 by Leo Baekeland
Velcro - Developed in 1957 by George De Mestral
Saran - Discovered in 1933 by Ralph Wiley  
PVC (Vinyl) – Developed by Walter Simon
Polyethylene – Developed in 1936 by Reginald Gibson & Eric Fawcett
Teflon – Discovered in 1938 by Roy Plunkett
Celluoid - Developed in 1868 by John Wesley Hyatt

Plastics Timeline
Oldest to Most Recent

1 Parkesine
2 Celluoid
3 Rayon
4 Cellophane
5 Bakelite
6 Saran
7 Polyethylene
8  Teflon
9 Nylon
10 Silly Putty
11 Velcro

Plastics & Polymers

Plastics have changed the world: Where did the word plastic come from?
The word plastic came from the Greek word plasticos which means "to mold".

What are plastics? Define the following words after reading the section titled “What are plastics”

• monomer:
A monomer is a tiny organic molecule that can join with other monomers to create a polymer.

• polymer:
A polymer is the result you end up with when you join multiple monomers together.

• organic material:
Organic materials have molecules that contain carbon and other substances.  They usually are found from oil and natural gas as well as other organic materials.

Polymerization: The steps listed below explain how plastic is made. Fill in the missing blanks.

1. Crude oil, the unprocessed oil that comes out of the ground, contains hundreds of different hydrocarbons, as well as small amounts of other materials. The job of an
oil refinery is to separate these materials and also to break down (or "crack) large hydrocarbons into smaller ones.

2. A petrochemical plant receives refined oil containing the small monomers they need and creates polymers through chemical reactions.

3. A plastics factory buys the end products of a petrochemical plant - polymers in the form of resins - introduces additives to modify or obtain desirable properties, then molds or otherwise forms the final plastic products.

Polymers are Everywhere: Read the paragraph titled “Polymers are Everywhere”, then answer true or false to the following questions.

True Plastics are polymers, but polymers don't have to be plastics.

False Cellulose, the basic component of plant cell wall, and DNA, the long molecule in the nuclei of your cells that carries all the genetic information about you, are both examples of plastics.

True Natural polymers include silk, wool, cotton, wood, and leather.

Thermoplastics & Thermosets: Plastics are classified into two categories according to what happens to them when they're heated to high temperatures. Complete the table below.
Can it be reshaped?
Ice that is heated and then melts is like a thermoplastic because thermoplastics melt.
Eggs that are changed from either
hard-boiled to scrambled to fried eggs
can change into many different things.  Thermosets can also change into many different forms/things.
Strong or Weak bonds?
Weak Bonds
Strong Bonds
plastic wrap, food containers, garden hoses, lighting panels, and plastic bags
glues, varnishes, electronic
components, kitchen tools
Recycling: Easy or Hard?
Easy to recycle
Hard to recycle (Today they can
be crushed down to a powder)

Polymer Flash Activities

1. Click the link to make a virtual polymer and choose polyethylene.
A. What type of monomer is used to make this polymer? Ethylene
B. What elements and how many of each is in one of these monomers?
 C = Carbon  # - 2  H = Hydrogen  # -4
C. What starts the process? Initiator

2. Click the link to try the matching games.  Record your times or scores in the blanks below.
A. Breakfast Game– 1st Try = 9530  2nd Try = 9485  3rd Try = 9388
B. Polymer Game - – 1st Try = 9488   2nd Try = 9276  3rd Try = 9499

No comments:

Post a Comment