Polymers are a type of material that we can see in our daily life, because we are talking about plastics. Which represent the creation of a very efficient and versatile product. Since, we managed to realize that its applications cover an infinite number of things. Well, its consumption is massive all over the world.
They are procedures that help us in many aspects. So it is relevant to have an idea of its main characteristics. In order to enter the debates on whether or not to use it at industrial levels. Stay with us to go deeper into this extensive subject of homopolymers little by little.
Definition of homopolymer
Its main component is the monomer, which is made up of small molecules of dough. Which we can find in the full length of its respective chain. It forms fragments of the polymers obtained from a specific species of its first element. Either normally or exercised by external entities.
One of its most distinguished references is that they come from units that must be of a single chemical nature. An example of this is the proteins that are used. As well as the actin filaments and certain mechanisms that assist in cell movements.
Its counterpart are copolymers, which although they are polymers in the same way, differ. These are obtained through two monomers they must be different. They have in their system two types of pattern repetition.
As with the heteropolymer, which also It is a polymer but with distinctions in its structure. It has various monomers that are distributed in different ways. They are mostly natural, like the DNA of living things.
Their contribution is that homopolymers tend to contain lower amounts of alterations. Which can occur at the ends of its chain or in its ramifications. The most common examples are the polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC. They are those that have a single structure as a unit.
What are homopolymers used for?
At present, they are the most used type, since they have a great difference between many others. These are found too tough as well as crystal clear. are used in the injection of certain parts. Its properties make it very attractive when it comes to wanting to work with this type of material.
Among some we can highlight: the high thermal distortion. Also his firmness with respect to various impacts that may occur. The stability they have in its chemical structure in relation to organic and mineral acids. As well as its minimum water content and its little absorption of it.
Their versatility is quite diverse, since they have a resistance in the conduction of electricity. So they are used as insulation and lining. In kitchen utensils they are excellent, because its melting point it is elevated. With this they function as thermal insulators.
In construction fields they are essential for things that must be waterproof. So your material structure helps you a lot. Some that are derived from petroleum They are found to be used as raw material. When manufacturing plastics of an infinity of types and with different functions.
How is a homopolymer obtained?
They occur through polymerization processes carried out by condensation. Which is responsible for discarding a molecule of ammonia or water, lightly. This is called polycondensate. where you can own one composition of various monomers starting point, but in this case it will only be one.
It must be taken into account that the reaction of the monomers is a give and take of reagents. Which are seen in a very easy way when carrying out this process. For the result, which will be a product, must have all the qualities of a homopolymer. The reactions serve to give rise to the latter.
These are bonded with polypropylene, which it is a thermal plastic derived from the family of polyolefins. Which are obtained from the polymerization of propylene. It is a colorless gas with normal temperature and pressure conditions. With an approximation to -48° C. It is also known as propene.
These are classified according to the raw materials that are present in their preparation. Like: homopolymer, impact copolymer, random copolymer. As well as the chemical structure it possesses. Such are: isotactic, syndiotactic, atactic.
What characteristics do homopolymers have?
Homopolymers contain unique characteristics that make them important, these are:
- His relationship is quite significant with regarding its weight and resistance that has.
- The tall performance in thermal functions.
- Also within environments that become corrosive. Well does not absorb any moisture and does not present molecules that can be toxic.
- Their dielectric properties are great.
- The rigidity that they possess and the resistance to acids that They reach temperatures of 80°. Take for granted that it is strong and even self-lubricating. Going through different means where a large deterioration will not be obtained thanks to these properties.
- A rigid, hard and mostly opaque product. Although on the surface it may contain bright flashes. His natural color is whitebut it is possible to create in various more tones.
- The temperature with which it works is almost always higher. Hence has a high resistance with respect to traction. This, if compared with a polyethylene of very high or low density.
- Weldability is more than good, together with its perfect chemical resistance. Which meets the necessary points for food and its handling.
All these particularities are included in the final products. In order to obtain a surface that can be protected against stains or scratches.
What is the structure of a homopolymer?
It is formed in principle by polymers that occur from the union of the so-called monomers. After the condensation polymerization cycle, which can have several molecules. But after the elimination there will be only one left, is when the homopolymers are given.
A single structural unit reigns in them, as it can be polypropylene or polyethylene. Its result is that, thanks to this, it will have fewer anomalies with respect to its chains. As well as at the ends of the ramifications that it has.
In a polymer, when that single unit occurs several times, or is present repeatedly, it is a homopolymer. Which can be AAAAAAAA or BBBBBBBB. Its components are macromolecules which are repeated As long as the monomer units are identical to each other. This is called a homogeneous string.
Examples of homopolymer
There are an infinity, which may depend on various aspects. Perhaps the most named is acetal or POM. That has a higher resistance with respect to abrasion. Their presentations vary from plates to round shapes. Which function as functional parts of valves, rollers, wheels, gears, among others.
Polystyrene occurs through the monomer known as styrene, a single type of it. It is among the fourth best-selling thermal plastic around the world. The next one is polyethylenealong with polypropylene and finally PVC.
In their maximum part they form a wide variety for the application of these products. As in construction, packaging, the making plastic boxes and even refrigerators, among others. They become so rigid and with a high resistance that they are used to manufacture industrial pipes.
Polyvinyl chloride, also known as PCV, is made from vinyl chloride. Its versatility stems from the fact that it becomes so flexible that works on plastic wrap. Which can be very thin, which are used in wall coverings. It can be transparent or of some color.
Polypropylene, or PP, is a hydrocarbon derived from petroleum. It is obtained from the polymerization of propylene. It ranks second for the most used thermal plastic of all time. Its resistance is largely mechanical. Like most homopolymers, its absorption with respect to moisture is very low.
Their tolerance to alkaline chemicals is the same. Also to materials that are acidic. Its versatility is based on how light it can be. This allows the production of plastic films used in vehicles, textiles, packaging and containers. As well as different industrial products.
With respect to homopolymers that are naturally derived. Some of the most prominent are starch and rubber. If we talk about those that are synthetic, we will find nylon and Teflon in them.
In daily life we make use of these different homopolymers. Although sometimes we are not fully aware of its components. And in them lies a particularity, because it depends on their elements, their different functions will be given. which are guided in order to make products diverse for our utility.