|9.2 Consider This: Sporty Polymers
Choose a favorite outdoor activity - on the land, in the sea or even in the air. Do a web search to bring up a company that manufactures or sells equipment for this activity. Which polymers can you find mentioned in this web site? Make a table of their names, the equipment they are used in, and any desirable properties cited as advertising points. Hint: many polymer names start with "poly", such as polyester or polypropylene. Other polymers have trade names, such as Gore-Tex, Orlon or Styrofoam. Still other polymers are coatings and resins, and may be mentioned as epoxides or acrylics.
|9.4 Consider This: Personal Polymers
A Teflon ear bone, fallopian tube, or heart valve? A Gore-Tex facial implant? hernia repair? Some polymers are bio-compatible and are now used to replace or repair body parts. List four properties that would be desirable for polymers used within the human body.
Other polymers may be used outside your body - but in close contact. For example, no surgeon is needed for you to use your contact lenses - you can insert, remove, clean, and store them yourself. From which plastics are contact lenses made? What properties are desirable in these plastics? Either a call to your ophthalmologist or a search on the worldwide web will net you some answers. For the latter, a search using "contact lenses" and "plastics" will provide a useful start.
|9.12 Consider This: Polypropylene - A Tough Plastic
Polypropylene, one of the "Big Six," is used to construct a number of items in which toughness counts. It may not be as familiar to you as polyethylene and PET, because many polypropylene items are not marked with a recycling symbol (and are not collected at curbside). Figure 9.11 shows that polypropylene has numerous uses, but does not provide many specifics. Find these out for yourself. Search for "polypropylene" on the web to identify half a dozen specific items manufactured from polypropylene.
|9.23 Consider This: Landfill Liners
A search on the worldwide web for "landfills" can bring up high quality
information about garbage. If you browse through these sites, you will see that
there is a fair amount of controversy about the plastic materials that can
be used to construct the liner. Search for "landfill liners" and check out
the plastics involved.
|9.24 Consider This: Plastic Cars
A considerable number of different polymers used in automobiles are noted in Table 9.2. Pick one of the polymers in the table that is not discussed in this chapter and find out what the polymer is made of and how its properties relate to its use.
|9.26 Consider This: Polymers in Your Computer
Twenty years ago, recycling personal computers was not a concern because there weren't enough of them around to matter. These days, given
the number of monitors, keyboards and mouses in circulation, there is good
reason to keep these out of the landfill.
| Return to:
Chemistry in Context Home Page