1. Polymer is a large molecule that is in the form of a long chain with a high relative molecular mass (RMM).
  2. It is made up of many smaller units called monomers, which are joined together through a process called polymerisation. Thus the monomer is actually the repetitive unit of a long polymer chain.
  3. There are two types of polymers:
    1. Natural polymers
    2. Synthetic polymers

Natural Polymers

  1. These occur naturally in living things. Some examples of natural polymers are:
    1. Natural rubber
    2. Protein in meat, leather, silk, hair and fur
    3. Carbohydrates in cellulose, starch and sugar
  2. Natural polymers are made up of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen.

Synthetic Polymers

  1. Synthetic polymer is a polymer that is manufactured in industry from chemical substances through the polymerisation process.
  2. Examples of synthetic polymers are:
    1. plastics
    2. synthetic fibres
    3. elastomers 
  3. The two types of polymerisation are:
    1. polymerisation by addition
    2. polymerisation by condensation