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Chemistry

Plastics

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In this Revision Bite you will revise some important information about plastics.Remember - plastics are examples of polymers.

What a polymer is (General)

  • Plastics are examples of polymers.
  • Polymers are very big molecules with long chains of carbon atoms.

Polymers are made from smaller units called monomers. Many monomers are small unsaturated molecules produced by the cracking of crude oil fractions. These monomers have carbon to carbon double covalent bonds.

Polymerisation is the process in which a polymer is made by the joining up of monomer units.

The making of plastics is an example of polymerisation as shown in this video.

Video: Making polythene

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Now try a typical Standard Grade exam question. Look at the answer after you have tried the question.

Plastics are examples of polymers. Different monomers are used to make different plastics.

Question

a) Explain what is meant by

i) a monomer

ii) a polymer

b) Name the process which takes place when a polymer is made from a monomer.

Answer

a)

i) Monomers are the small units used to make plastics.

ii) Polymers are very big molecules with long chains of carbon atoms.

b) Polymerisation is the process which takes place when a polymer is made from a monomer.

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Watch

Fireman

Class Clips

Video clip about the uses of polymers, and how polymer technology is used in fire fighting

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Tombstone Timeout

Test out your knowledge of chemistry with Mia Cadaver's chemistry game - it's serious fun!

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