Polymers have changed the world. Due to revolutionizing the manufacturing industry, polymers – which are used to form plastic – are found everywhere in daily life. This ranges from the clothes you wear to the smartphone residing in your trouser pocket.
As for what polymers are, these are large molecules that are produced by linking up a series of smaller, recurring chemical units. These units generally form a chain-like structure. There are both artificial and natural polymers. The chain’s links are typically identical to one another in an artificial polymer, whereas these links generally differ with natural polymers.
Polymers have existed since the beginning of time. In 1832, studying commenced on man-made polymers. However, it has only been in relatively recent times that polymers have become so widespread. The polymer industry right now is larger than the steel, copper, and aluminum industries combined.
The reason for this is simple: the range of applications using polymers far exceeds any other material on the planet. To demonstrate this, here are five examples of how polymers are used.
Polymers are leading to the decline in glass and metal being used for medical-related devices. By utilizing specialty, high purity grade polymers like ETOX from polychemistry.com, polymeric materials can be found in various applications across the medical industry.
Medical polymers are used to manufacture packaging, devices, medical implants, and disposables such as vials, tools, and gloves. Many biomaterials, including blood vessels and heart valve replacements, are also made of polymers like Teflon, polyurethane, and Dacron.
The use of polymers in industrial applications is almost innumerable. This is even the case if you only focus on vehicles. Polymers can be found in various car parts, including the bumpers and seatbelts, and are used in fighter planes for windshields.
As for how the industrial market further uses polymer applications, here are a few more examples:
- Packing materials
- Wood substitutes
- Matrix for composites
3. Consumer products
There are many everyday consumer products that feature polymers. One example of this is containers. A plastic container is much cheaper than traditional container options. Along with being lightweight, they can also be manufactured into a range of sizes and shapes with relative ease.
Other consumer polymer applications include clothing, packaging, garbage disposal bags, drink bottles, and floor coverings.
Polymers help with the production of various sports-related equipment. Protective helmets can be made from polymers, as can golf clubs and various balls across various sports. The polymers help with everything from better functionality to enhanced comfort.
Polymers are also used for playground equipment, flooring, and even with the creation of swimming pools.
Agriculture is one of the lesser-known industries which utilizes polymetric materials. However, it can be beneficial in numerous ways. As an example, polymers can be used in or on the soil. This helps with boosting aeration and providing mulch. The end result is that it also promotes the health and growth of crops.