Polymers are a class of organic compounds that contain many repeating structural units. These units can either be carbon-based (such as polyethylene) or ionic (such as polyvinyl chloride). The role of a polymer supplier is to combine single molecules called monomers, into long chains. The final product is in the form of pellets. These pellets have the ability to be shaped and molded. This allows them to be formed into products like construction fittings, medical equipment, clothing, car parts, etc.
To start your journey as a polymer supplier, you’ll need to have at least two different types of monomers present in your base solution. For example: if you wanted to make polyvinyl chloride out of ethylene and chlorine gas (an example). These would be your starting materials. You will also need another type of monomer called an initiator which acts as an activator for curing reactions. A polymer supplier can use peroxides and aliphatic azo compounds. It is vital to generate the required free radicals for the reaction. These processes are all important to the creation and maintenance of our world as we know it today.
The different manufacturing processes for polymers are:
A type of high-pressure, high-temperature method that produces long chains with short side branches. When two molecules combine to form a larger molecule, the process is called a condensation reaction. This process usually occurs spontaneously. It does not require any outside influence to occur. In this case, the two molecules come together at room temperature and pressure (usually 0°C and 1 atmosphere). Finally, they will condense into one single molecule called a polymer.
A low-temperature method that produces small molecules and linear structures. These structures form rings on the growing chain. A polymer supplier uses this method to polymerize low molecular weight compounds. In this method, a high-molecular-weight oligomer is formed by condensation reactions. Such reactions occur between monomers and initiators under conditions where the catalyst has a high concentration. A catalyst can be any metal, but usually, it is present as an oxide or hydroxide in a solution. These catalysts react with each other at temperatures above their respective melting points. Ultimately, a new substance is achieved that has a higher melting point than either of them (i.e., platinum and cobalt).
A high-pressure method that forms long chains with fewer branches than in condensation polymerization. Bulk polymerization is the process of polymerizing low molecular-weight compounds. In this method, a high-molecular-weight oligomer is formed by condensation reactions between monomers and initiators under conditions where the catalyst has a high concentration. A catalyst can be any metal. Usually, it is present as an oxide or hydroxide in a solution. These catalysts react with each other at temperatures above their respective melting points. A polymer supplier can use this method to form a new substance that has a higher melting point than either of the constituents (i.e., platinum and cobalt).
Step-growth polymerization is a type of polymerization that occurs when a monomer adds to the growing chain. A polymer supplier can conduct this in two ways:
- One molecule at a time, using either intramolecular or intermolecular reactions.
- Two or more molecules at once through an intramolecular reaction (addition). An intermolecular reaction (condensation) follows this.
Once a polymer supplier has the raw product, it can further be softened and mixed. Different additives achieve desired properties for a particular application. It is then shaped into the desired form through either cooling or carrying out a crosslinking chemical process. Some common properties which can be tweaked are:
- Melting Points
- Flame Retardance
- Loading Capacity
- Chemical Inertness
Polymer manufacturing is an important part of many industries. OfBusiness maintains a range of polymers to suit all your requirements. Polymers are used in a variety of applications and industries, including:
- Textiles and apparel
- Automotive parts
We source the best quality material at the lowest market prices. We source directly from reputed polymer suppliers.