Last updated  May 6, 2016
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Polymers: Quiz

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Nylon is a versatile polymer. There's even a magazine named after it. I assume it's because of all the clothes and accessories made with nylon. It's only right that nylon was named after the two cities of fashion where it was invented, New York and London.

#1: Below is an animation that shows two compounds coming together to form a chain of nylon. As they come together a molecule is given off. What is that molecule?

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#2: In the tutorial, we talked a lot about ethylene. The Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS) for ethylene states that ethylene can undergo "Hazardous Polymerization." We know it forms a polymer, but how can it be hazardous? This Web page has a glossary.
Go down to definition of #6 for polymerization. You will find the meaning for "Hazardous Polymerization." What is the meaning?

#3: In the tutorial I didn't cover what can start the chain reaction of ethylene turning into polyethylene. On the web page below, the second section "What is vigorous polymerization," explains how polymerization can happen.

Report on how the polymerization might start.

The polymer, polyester, got popular in the 70's when people wanted to dress cool but didn't want to spend time ironing and fussing with their clothes. Clothes made from polyester fibers were just the thing.
There was even a movie called "Polyester," because polyester fabrics were "drip-dry" also called wash and wear meaning they were quick to wash, quick to dry, and no ironing needed. This freed you to have fun rather than doing household chores.
When you see the word, "polyester," you should think "Many" "Esters." Below you see the parts of the polyester polymer that gives it its name. Esters are compounds that have an carbon bonded to two oxygens and one of those oxygens is connected to another carbon.
Below we see how polyester is made. It is made by a chain reaction of two compounds.
Question #4: What molecule is released as these two molecules connect?
Question #5: One of the two compounds to make polyester is "ethylene glycol." It a common compound- poisonous, too. But you find it in automobiles. Do a search and tell me what is the common name for this compound? (hint: add "automotive" to the search)
Another polymer, which is almost the same as polyethylene, is PolyVinyl Chloride or PVC. The difference is that every other hydrogen is replaced with a chlorine atom.
PVC pipes are used in our homes and they are even handy for making a table or chair. PVC is also used as insulation around electric wires in the home and the automobile. PVC is quite safe until it burns. The chlorines in the PVC combine with the hydrogens in the PVC to form hydrogen chloride gas (HCl). When this contacts water in lungs or mouth, it turns to hydrochloric acid.
Question #6: To the right is a chemical equation that shows the combustion of PVC. Name the four products (compounds to the right of the arrow) and identify which two are safe and which two are toxic.
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