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Synthetic Polymers: Discover their impact on everyday life Virtual Lab

Learn how monomers assemble to form synthetic polymers with different chemical and physical structures. Use the property of synthetic polymers to connect them with everyday applications and discover how they impact our environment.

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Synthetic Polymers: Discover their impact on everyday life

About this Simulation

Did you know that synthetic polymers are essential for our everyday lives? In this simulation, you will learn about a wide range of synthetic polymer applications, from plastic sandwich bags and furniture to textiles and lightweight armor. You’ll link the chemical and physical structures of synthetic polymers to their properties and understand why those properties are ideal for some applications while bad for others.

Build synthetic polymers from monomers

Visualize how synthetic polymers form by assembling monomers into chains and branches. Get it right, and you will get a real-life object as a prize! Add cross-links to your polymer and realize how these links restrict the relative movement between chains. As a result, these cross-links affect properties like thermoplasticity, rigidity, and even the ability to withstand incoming bullets!

Use the properties of synthetic polymers to link them to applications

Dr. One is challenging you to a matching game that tests your memory! Here, you will need to link polymer structures to their respective applications. But don’t you worry, your knowledge of synthetic polymer properties is an ace up your sleeve!

Fast-forward time to investigate the longevity of polymers

Have you ever wondered if synthetic polymer bags are the best type of wrapping for food? With the power of a virtual lab, you will test the longevity of a synthetic polymer bag by putting it in a time machine. How do you think the synthetic polymer’s longevity compares to a piece of food? As a bonus, you’ll learn that food consists of natural polymers which decompose in weeks.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Describe how synthetic polymers form and how that leads to different structures.

  • Predict the properties of a synthetic polymer from its structure and therefore its application.

  • Link the properties of polymers (natural vs. synthetic) with their environmental impact.

Techniques in Lab

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

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