Polymer testing focuses on the testing, analysis, and characterization of polymeric materials, including synthetic and natural or bio-based polymers. New methods of testing and testing of bulk polymeric materials, new solutions and dispersions will be discussed. Examples of synthetic polymers include nylon, polyethylene, polyester, teflon, and epoxy. It is possible to extract natural polymers from nature. They are often water based. Examples of natural polymers are silk, wool, DNA, cellulose and protein. Polymer analysis and testing uses physical and analytical methods to verify the chemical, mechanical, and thermal properties of polymeric materials. These properties play an important role in ensuring that the polymer part performs as required by the end user.
Why is polymer testing important?
Physical and mechanical testing of polymers is an important part of product development and manufacturing processes. Mechanical, thermal, optical, rheological, behavioral and climatic testing allows developers to better understand their products and perform more stringent quality controls.
How to test a polymer?
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Mechanical testing includes tensile, flexural, shear and compressive properties. Physical tests include density, hardness and scratch resistance. Thermal tests include softening points of DSC, DMTA, TMA, TGA, HDT and Vicat. Rheological tests include capillary, rotation, melting index and DSV.
Different Types of Polymer
There are several types of polymers. The main ones include: natural, synthetic, addition, condensation and rearrangement. See the descriptions below for more specific information about each!
Only natural polymers occur in nature. Key examples include rubber, polysaccharides, starch, glycogen, and protein.
Synthetic or artificial polymers are made in a laboratory and usually contain ingredients derived from petroleum. The most famous examples of this option are: polystyrene, methyl polymethacrylate (acrylic), polypropylene, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
From this classification of polymers it becomes possible to manufacture various products such as: hydraulic pipes, plastic bags, building materials, tires, plastic packaging, etc.
These compounds are obtained by sequential addition of monomers. As an example of this polymer we have polysaccharides formed from monosaccharide monomers and proteins formed from amino acid monomers.
Condensation polymers are made by adding two different monomers by removing acid, alcohol or water molecules during the polymerization process.
Rearrangement polymers result from reactions between the rearranged monomers and their chemical structures during polymerization. An example is polyurethane.
Finally, biodegradable polymers break down into biomass, water, and carbon dioxide through the action of enzymes or living organisms. Under favorable conditions, they can decompose in a few weeks.
Synthetic or natural compounds can be used for these compounds. The properties of biodegradable polymers come from the following sources:
Renewable energy sources derived from plants such as cellulose, corn and sugarcane;
synthesized by bacteria;
fossil resources such as oil,
It comes from animal sources such as protein, chitin and chitosan.
Applications of these compounds are in the manufacture of bags, food packaging, consumer products and agricultural options. Due to the biodegradation process, these polymers help prevent waste accumulation and pollution.