A polymer is a type of large molecule. It has repeating structural units & is held together with covalent bonds. There are many natural and synthetic substances that are considered polymers. Natural polymers include shellac, amber, and natural rubber. Synthetic polymers include synthetic rubber, Bakelite, neoprene, nylon, PVC, polystyrene, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyacrylonitrile, PVB, and silicone.
A polymer is a long string of small molecules, or monomers, stuck to each other. How they behave as a whole (whether they are rubbery, stiff, sticky, etc.) depends on the molecules and the manner in which they bond. The strings of monomers can be linear, branched, or folded in on themselves in manny patterns. Some polymers are naturally occuring, like starch and proteins, while others are manufactured, like rubber. Man-made polymers tend to last a long time, which is good for storing products and making furniture, but not so good in terms of biodegradability.
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