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Polymers – Synthesis and Properties
For Student Groups

Plastic has become an indispensable part of our modern world. Nevertheless, not all plastics are the same. What exactly is plastic and how is it produced?

Book Polymers

Age
16 to 20 years
Duration
1 day
Maximum number of participants
20

Experiments

  • Polymerization of methacrylic acid methyl ester and styrene to yield plexiglas and polystyrene
  • Synthesis of bakelite and nylon
  • Production of moltoprene® foam
  • Polymerisation and depolymerisation of acetalldehyde
  • Synthesis of different polyester
  • Synthesis of a bouncy ball
  • Superabsorbent polymers
  • From polystyrene to styrofoam
  • Synthesis of different polymers based on renewable sources

Many objects in our modern world are made of plastic: smartphones and shoes as well as a yoghurt pot. The term plastic in general stands for artificially produced polymers. In this course, radical polymerisations, polycondensations and polyadditions for the synthesis of different polymers are carried out. The most important properties of thermoplastics, thermosets, elastomers and superabsorbent polymers are investigated experimentally. In addition, examples for further processing (foaming of styrene) and recycling are shown. Since the raw materials for producing the building blocks rely on fossil resources, alternatives based on renewable sources are also presented.