Polymers are materials made of long, repeating chains ofmolecules. The term polymer is often used to describe plastics, which aresynthetic polymers. Some examples of polymers include silicone, silk, wool,nylon, synthetic rubber, polypropylene, and polyethylene, among others.Polymers exhibit both chemical and physical properties such as viscoelasticity,toughness, and tendency to form semi-crystalline structures. Polymers are oftwo types, such as natural and synthetic. Natural polymers are made of naturalsubstances such as gum, resins, and rubber, and synthetic polymers are formedby polymerization of monomers. Examples of synthetic polymers include nylon,epoxy, Teflon, polyester, and polyethylene.
Thermoforming is a general term that refers to the processof transforming a plastic sheet into a 3-dimensional shape by using heat,vacuum, and pressure. The polymer is not a new material, but its developmentinto plastics has been relatively recent. There are a number of different polymers, but each of them isunique because of how the molecules of polymer are constructed. The reason thatpolymers are so unique is because of the way the molecular bonds between themolecules change when the polymer is exposed to heat and/or pressure. This iswhat gives polymers the ability to be shaped into all kinds of unique andinteresting objects. Polymer is one of the most interesting and importantsubstances known to mankind.
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