The word Polymer is greek and constructed from the two words poly and mer. Poly means "many" and mer means "part" i.e. "many parts". A polymer is built from monomers ("one part") of the same or different types and can be likened with a pearl chain.
What is a polymer?
As already said, polymers are present all around us as well as inside us.
- Our genome, the DNA spiral, is a double polymer string built from different small parts to create the unique genetic code identifying each individual person
- Potato, rice, corn, wheat - our most common carbohydrate sources - are all polymers built from a large number of glucose units
- Paint is polymers dissolved in water or solvents
- Rubber is an elastic polymer, a so called elastomer
- Textiles are polymers which are made into thin fibres and then woven or knitted