A polymer is a large molecule, or macromolecule, composed of many repeated subunits, known as monomers. Because of their broad range of properties, both synthetic and natural polymers play an essential and ubiquitous role in everyday life. Polymers range from familiar synthetic plastics such as polystyrene to natural biopolymers such as DNA and proteins that are fundamental to biological structure and function. Polymers, both natural and synthetic, are created via polymerization of many monomers.
Their consequently large molecular mass relative to small molecule compounds produces unique physical properties, including toughness, viscoelasticity, and a tendency to form glasses and semicrystalline structures rather than crystals.
Polyethylene terephthalate (sometimes written poly(ethylene terephthalate)), commonly abbreviated PET, PETE, or the obsolete PETP or PET-P is a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used in synthetic fibers; beverage, food and other liquid containers; thermoforming applications; and engineering resins often in combination with glass fiber. It may also be referred to by the brand name Dacron; in Britain, Terylene; or, in Russia and former Soviet Union, lavsan. The majority of the world’s PET production is for synthetic fibers (in excess of 60%), with bottle production accounting for around 30% of global demand. In the context of textile applications, PET is referred to by its common name, “polyester,” whereas the acronym “PET” is generally used in relation to packaging. Polyester makes up about 18% of world polymer production and is the third-most-produced polymer; polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) are first and second, respectively.
Lexan is a registered trademark for SABIC Innovative Plastics’ (formerly General Electric Plastics) brand of a thermoplastic polycarbonate. Polycarbonate polymer is produced by reacting bisphenol A with phosgene. Lexan is the brand name for polycarbonate sheet and resin in a wide range of grades. Lexan is mainly used in three domains: building (glazing and domes), industry (machine protection and fabricated parts) and communication and signage. Common usages include space and sports helmets, clear high-performance windshields and aircraft canopies, motor vehicle headlight lenses, and bullet-resistant windows. It is also used in Textiles Machinery for High temperature and High Strength Polymer application.
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