What are the types of polymers?
There are basically two types of polymers that are formed as the result of addition and condensation polymerization. They are homopolymer and copolymer, the copolymer is further categorized as alternating, block, graft, and random types of polymer. Let us discuss each one in detail.
When the reactive monomers are identical, the polymer formed is called a homopolymer. Thus, such polymers are polymerized by the same or only one kind of monomer.
Some fibers that are composed of homopolymers are nylon 6, polypropylene, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride.
When the reactive monomers are different from each other, the resultant polymer is called a copolymer.
• Alternating Copolymer: The polymer which is composed of two monomers that are arranged in an alternating manner. Some fibers which possess alternating polymers are nylon 6,6 and polyester.
• Block Copolymer: When two or more different monomers arrange or polymerize into block or segment, it results in the formation of a block copolymer. Block polymers have not yet been found in any practical application.
• Graft Copolymer: These copolymers are composed of either alternating or random arrangement as their base. Graft copolymers further consist of one or more reactive monomers which may be attached in the form of a side chain or form a branched-chain polymer. fiber that constitutes of graft copolymer possesses certain softening spots that are too weak to be employed for apparel and household textiles.
For example, acrylic.
• Random Copolymer: The polymers that are polymerized from two different monomers in a random or no order.
Example: acrylic and modacrylic.