Yr 11 Chemistry

Research task

Nylon 6:6, Polypropylene


Due Date:  13/11/03

1.0           Introduction

Tiny molecules strung in long repeating chains form polymers. Polymers are every where even, the human body is made of them. DNA, the genetic blueprint that defines people and other living things, is a polymer. So are the proteins and starches in the foods we eat, the wheels on skateboards and in-line skates, and the tires on our bikes and cars. Polymers are also the basic make up of many artificial formed substances. Polymers are used in modern technology vastly and are a part of every day life from plastic bottles some of the most advance substances that are used in space shuttles.

2.0           Polymers

This section will outline the production of two polymers that were chosen to be investigated.

2.1           Nylon 6:6

Nylons are one of the most common polymers used as a fiber. Nylon is found in clothing all the time, but also in other places, in the form of a thermoplastic.

2.1.1   Reactants

Nylon made in a nylon plant, is usually made by reacted adpic acid                                    with Hexamethylene diamine.

2.1.2   Catalyst

To make nylon 6:6, it does not require a catalyst, but acids do catalyze the reaction for the process to work.

2.1.3   Production process

Nylon is made by a reaction which is a step-growth polymerization, and a condensation polymerization. Nylons are made from diacids and diamines.

Step 1: An adipic acid molecule prtonates the carbonyl oxygen of another adpic acid molecule.

Step 2: The ammine attacks the carbonyl carbon creating an ammonium intermediate.

Step 3: An Oxygen steals a hydrogen from the nitrogen and a amide dimmer is formed, while H2O is expelled.

Step 4: The dimmer can react with another molecule of the diacid or it can react with another molecule of the diamine.

2.1.4   Issues at hand

2.2           Polypropylene

Polypropylene is a versatile and multi purpose polymer with various attributes. It serves both as a plastic and as a fiber. As a fiber, polypropylene is used to make indoor-outdoor carpeting, the variety that will always be found around swimming pools and miniature golf courses. It works well for outdoor carpet because it is easy to make colored polypropylene, and because polypropylene doesn't absorb water, like nylon does. As a plastic it is used to make objects such as dishwasher-safe food containers. It can do this because it doesn't melt below 160 oC, or 320 oF. Polyethylene, a more common plastic, will anneal at around 100 oC, which means that polyethylene dishes will warp in the dishwasher.

2.2.1    Reactants

2.2.2   Catalyst

2.2.3   Production process

2.2.4   Issues at Hand