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20 Cards in this Set

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A large, complex molecule built from smaller molecules joined together in a repeating pattern.


One of the smaller molecules from which polymers are built.

Natural Polymer

A polymer created in nature like the protein in meats, eggs, and starches in pancakes, cellulose, snake venom, spider's silk, etc. that rely on carbon for their fundamental structures.

Manufactured or Synthetic Polymers

A polymer that is man made like polyester and nylon clothing, plastics which rely on carbon for their fundamental structures.

How do polymers form?

when chemical bonds link large numbers of monomers in a repeating pattern.

What do all polymers have in common?

All are made of carbon compounds

What properties allows carbon's unique ability to form so many compounds?

A carbon atom can form 4 bonds and and it can bond to other carbon atoms in a straight, branched chains and ring groups

How many bonds can a carbon atom form?


What is cellulose?

A flexible but strong natural polymer found in the cell walls of fruits and vegetables. (Humans cannot digest it)

How is cellulose made?

it is made in plants when sugar molecules are joined into long strands.

Examples of polymers in the human body

Fingernails and muscles are made of polymers called proteins.

Examples of monomers in the human body

Amino Acids

Amino Acids

A monomer that can form different body parts (polymer= proteins) depending on which ones are used and in what order.


are synthetic polymers that can be molded or shaped, are the most common products.


combines two or more substances in a new material with different properties.

What are composites made of ?

Made of one or more polymer. Putting two different materials together to get the advantages of both.

Examples of synthetic composites


Examples of natural composites

Wood (is made of cellulose which is flexible and lignin which is brittle to form a stronger substance) Bone in our body.

Benefits of synthetic polymers

are inexpensive to make, strong, and last a long time.

Problems that relate to using synthetic polymers

It is often cheaper to throw plastics away and make new ones than it is to reuse them. As a result, plastics increase the volume of trash. They don't break down or degrade.