Polymers are large molecules which consist of long chains of repeating units (monomers) joined together by covalent bonding. This chain of chemically bonded atoms forms the backbone of the polymer. However, some polymers may have side chains which can vary in size, from a single atom to larger groups of atoms (referred to as pendant groups).
The properties of polymers can vary massively from being flexible to very stiff and rigid (as seen in Polyvinyl Chloride - PVC). To alter the properties of polymers, plasticisers can be added (in between the chains) to allow the polymer chains to move more freely across each other.
- ↑ Perkins S. Explainer: What are polymers?. 2017 [cited 16/11/18]; Available from: https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/explainer-what-are-polymers