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Polymer chemistry (carraher)


Sixth Edition
Revised and Expanded

Charles E. Carraher, Jr.
College of Science
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, and
Florida Center for Environmental Studies
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, U.S.A.

Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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ISBN: 0–8247–0806–7
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A Series of Textbooks

Edited by
Department of Chemistry
The University of Texas at Austin

1. Modern Inorganic Chemistry, J. J. Lagowski
2. Modern Chemical Analysis and Instrumentation, Harold F. Walton and Jorge

3. Problems in Chemistry, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded, Henry O. Daley,
Jr., and Robert F. O'Malley

4 Principles of Colloid and Surface Chemistry, Paul C. Hiemenz

5. Principles of Solution and Solubility, Kozo Shinoda, translated in collaboration with
Paul Becher
6. Physical Chemistry: A Step-by-Step Approach, M. K. Kemp

7. Numerical Methods in Chemistry, K. Jeffrey Johnson
8. Polymer Chemistry An Introduction, Raymond B. Seymour and Charles E.
Carraher, Jr
9. Principles of Colloid and Surface Chemistry, Second Edition, Revised and
Expanded, Paul C. Hiemenz
10. Problems in Chemistry, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded, Henry O. Daley,
Jr, and Robert F. O'Malley
11. Polymer Chemistry: An Introduction, Second Edition, Raymond B. Seymour and
Charles E. Carraher, Jr

12. Polymer Chemistry. An Introduction, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded,
Raymond B. Seymour and Charles E. Carraher, Jr.
13. Seymour/Carraher's Polymer Chemistry: An Introduction, Fourth Edition, Revised
and Expanded, Charles E. Carraher, Jr.
14. Seymour/Carraher's Polymer Chemistry: Fifth Edition, Revised and Expanded,

Charles E. Carraher, Jr.
15. Principles of Thermodynamics, Myron Kaufman

16. Seymour/Carraher's Polymer Chemistry: Sixth Edition, Revised and Expanded,
Charles E Carraher, Jr.
Additional Volumes in Preparation
Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

To Raymond Seymour—educator, scientist,
pioneer, prophet, historian, family man,
and friend—we miss you

Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Polymer science and technology has developed tremendously over the last few decades,
and the production of polymers and plastics products has increased at a remarkable pace.
By the end of 2000, nearly 200 million tons per year of plastic materials were produced
worldwide (about 2% of the wood used, and nearly 5% of the oil harvested) to fulfill the
ever-growing needs of the plastic age; in the industrialized world plastic materials are
used at a rate of nearly 100 kg per person per year. Plastic materials with over $250 billion
dollars per year contribute about 4% to the gross domestic product in the United States.
Plastics have no counterpart in other materials in terms of weight, ease of fabrication,
efficient utilization, and economics.
It is no wonder that the demand and the need for teaching in polymer science and
technology have increased rapidly. To teach polymer science, a readable and up-to-date
introductory textbook is required that covers the entire field of polymer science, engineering, technology, and the commercial aspect of the field. This goal has been achieved in
Carraher’s textbook. It is eminently useful for teaching polymer science in departments
of chemistry, chemical engineering, and material science, and also for teaching polymer
science and technology in polymer science institutes, which concentrate entirely on the
science and technologies of polymers.
This sixth edition addresses the important subject of polymer science and technology,
with emphasis on making it understandable to students. The book is ideally suited not
only for graduate courses but also for an undergraduate curriculum. It has not become
more voluminous simply by the addition of information—in each edition less important
subjects have been removed and more important issues introduced.
Polymer science and technology is not only a fundamental science but also important
from the industrial and commercial point of view. The author has interwoven discussion
of these subjects with the basics in polymer science and technology. Testimony to the
high acceptance of this book is that early demand required reprinting and updating of each
Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

of the previous editions. We see the result in this new significantly changed and improved
Otto Vogl
Herman F. Mark Professor Emeritus
Department of Polymer Science and Engineering
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, Massachusetts

Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


An explosive scientific and technological revolution is underway and at its center are
polymers. This revolution is the result of a number of factors that complement one another.
These factors include a better understanding of the science of materials and availability
of new and refined materials, synthetic techniques, and analytical tools. Much of this
revolution is of a fundamental nature and it is explored in the latest edition of this text.
These advances are often based on new and extended understanding and application of
basic principles initially presented in the core chemistry courses (organic, physical, inorganic, analytical, and biological).
Polymer Chemistry complies with the advanced course definition given by the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training, building on the foundations
laid in general, organic, physical, analytical/instrumentation, and inorganic chemistry. It
also includes all the major and optional topics recommended in the syllabus adopted by
the joint polymer education committee of the American Chemical Society (Appendix D:
Syllabus). The text integrates and interweaves the important core topic areas. The core
topics are interrelated with information that focuses on polymer topics. This assists students
in integrating their chemical knowledge and illustrates the connection between theoretical
and applied chemical information. Also, industrial practices and testing procedures and
results are integrated with the theoretical treatment of the various topics, allowing the
reader to bridge the gap between industrial practice and the classroom. It is written so
that chapters can be taken out of order and not all the chapters need to be covered to gain
an adequate appreciation of the science of polymers. Many of the chapters begin with
theory, followed by application. Some readers will elect to read the more descriptive
chapters dealing with polymer types before looking at the analytical/analysis/properties
This book is user friendly—it is appropriate as an advanced undergraduate text or
an introductory-level graduate-level course text. It can serve as the text for the initial
Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

course in a series taken by a student, or it can be the lone polymer text read by a student
in the study of polymers. Students of chemistry, materials, engineering, medicine, biochemistry, physics, and geology will benefit from an understanding of the material found in
this text.
The application and theory of polymers continues to expand. This new edition reflects this growth and the continually expanding role of polymers. There is an increased
emphasis on pictorializing, reinforcing, integrating, and interweaving the basic concepts.
The first chapter is shorter in order to allow time for student orientation. However,
the other chapters should not require more than a week’s time each. Each chapter is
essentially self-contained, but each relates to the other chapters. Whenever possible, difficult concepts are distributed and reinforced over several chapters. A glossary, biography,
suggested questions (and answers), and learning objectives/summary are included at the
end of each chapter.
Application and theory are integrated so that they reinforce one another. This is true
for all the various important and critical types of polymers including synthetic, biological,
organometallic, and inorganic polymers. The principle that the basic concepts that apply
to one grouping of polymers apply to all the other types of polymers is emphasized.
The updating of analytical, physical, and spectral characterization techniques continues, including expanded coverage of the theory and results arising from atomic force
microscopy and scanning probe microscopy. Special sections dealing with industrially
important polymers are included, and the section dealing with soluble stereoregulating
catalysis has been expanded.
There is still an emphasis on naturally occurring polymers, and discussions of
supercoiling, replication, and compacting are included. As before, the interplay between
natural and synthetic polymers is emphasized.
A number of miscellaneous topics have been drawn together in one chapter, which
includes sections on conductive polymers, smart materials, protomics, human genome,
optical fibers, material selection charts, carbon nanotubes, and liquid crystals.
Emphasis on nanotechnology and nanomaterials remains with added or expanded
sections dealing with zeolites, nanotubes, nanocomposites, molecular wires, dendrites, and
self assembly. The chapter on polymer technology and processing has been rewritten and
expanded. The section listing Web sites has been updated.
The nomenclature section has been enlarged, and a new appendix on the stereogeometry of polymers has been added.
Additional aids and appendixes are included: how to study, nomenclature, over 1500
trade names, about 400 citations to appropriate Journal of Chemical Education and Polymer News articles, Web sites dealing with polymer topics, and over 100 structures of
common polymers.
Charles E. Carraher, Jr.

Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


I gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Herman Mark of the Polytechnic Institute
of New York; Charles L. McCormick, University of Southern Mississippi; William Feld,
Wright State University; Eli Pearce, Polytechnic Institute of New York; Fredinard Rodriguez, Cornell University; and Otto Vogl, University of Massachusetts, for their reviewing,
advising, and counseling efforts; and Charles Carraher III and Shawn Carraher for their
help in proofing and indexing.
I also thank the following for their special contributions to the book: Charles Gebelein, Les Sperling, Anglo Volpe, Stam Israel, Carl Wooten, Rita Blumstein, Eckhard Hellmuth, Frank Millich, Norman Miller, Rudy Deanin, Guy Donaruma, Leo Mandelkem, R.
V. Subramanian, Charles Pittman, Brian Currell, C. Bamford, Roger Epton, Paul Flory,
Charles Overberger, William Bailey, Jim O’Donnell, Rob Burford, Edgar Hardy, John H.
Coates, Don Napper, Frank Harris, G. Allan Stahl, John Westerman, William A. Field,
Nan-Loh Yang, Sheldon Clare, E. N. Ipiotis, D. H. Richards, G. Kirshenbaum, A. M.
Sarquis, Lon Mathias, Sukumar Maiti, S. Temin, Yoshinobu Naoshima, Eberhard Neuse,
John Sheats, George Hess, David Emerson, Kenneth Bixgorin, Thomas Miranda, M. B.
Hocking, Marsha Colbert, Joseph Lagowski, Dorothy Sterling, Amanda Murphy, John
Kloss, Qingmao Zhang, Bhoomin Pandya, Ernest Randolph, Alberto Rivalta, and Fengchen
This book could not have been written without the long-time efforts of Professor
Herman Mark, who was one of the fathers of polymer science.
For the fourth edition, a special thanks for the assistance of Colleen Carraher.
I acknowledge the kind permission of Gerry Kirshenbaum and Polymer News for
allowing us to use portions of articles that have appeared in Polymer News.
Finally, I thank Edward S. Wilks for his help with the section on “Chemical Abstracts–Based Polymer Nomenclature.”

Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Polymer Nomenclature

As with most areas of science, names associated with reactions, particular chemical and
physical tests, etc., were historically derived with few overall guiding principles. Further,
the wide diversity of polymer science permitted a wide diversity in naming polymers.
Even though the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has a
long-standing commission associated with the nomenclature of polymers [reports include
“Report on nomenclature in the field of macromolecules,” Journal of Polymer Science,
8, 257 (1952); “Report on nomenclature dealing with steric regularity in high polymers,”
Pure and Applied Chemistry, 12, 645 (1966); “Basic definitions of terms relating to polymers,” IUPAC Information Bull. App., 13, 1 (1971); and “Nomenclature of regular singlestrand organic polymers,” Macromolecules, 6(2), 149 (1973)], most of these suggestions
for naming of simple polymers have not yet been accepted by many in the polymer science
Although there is wide diversity in the practice of naming polymers, we will concentrate on the most utilized systems.
Little rhyme or reason is associated with the common names of polymers. Some names
are derived from the place of origin of the material, such as Hevea brasiliensis—literally
“rubber from Brazil”—for natural rubber. Other polymers are named after their discoverer,
as is Bakelite, the three-dimensional polymer produced by condensation of phenol and
formaldehyde, which was commercialized by Leo Baekeland in 1905.
Portions adapted from C. Carraher, G. Hess, and L. Sperling, J. Chem. Ed., 64(1), 36 (1987) and L. H. Sperling
W. V. Metanomski, and C. Carraher, Appl Polym Science (C. Craver and C. Carraher, eds.), Elsevier, New
York, 2000.

Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

For some important groups of polymers, special names and systems of nomenclature
were invented. For example, the nylons were named according to the number of carbons
in the diamine and carboxylic acid reactants (monomers) used in their syntheses. The
nylon produced by the condensation of 1,6-hexanediamine (6 carbons) and sebacic acid
(10 carbons) is called nylon-6,10.

Similarly, the polymer from 1,6-hexanediamine and adipic acid (each with 6 carbons)
is called nylon-6,6 or nylon-66, and the nylon from the single reactant caprolactam (6
carbons) is called nylon-6.
Most polymer names used by polymer scientists are source-based; i.e., they are based on
the common name of the reactant monomer, preceded by the prefix “poly.” For example,
polystyrene is the most frequently used name for the polymer derived from the monomer
1-phenylethene, which has the common name styrene.

The vast majority of polymers based on the vinyl group (CH2BCHX) or the vinylidene group (CH2BCX2) as the repeat unit are known by their source-based names. For
example, polyethylene is derived from the monomer ethylene, poly(vinyl chloride) from
the monomer vinyl chloride, and poly(methyl methacrylate) from methyl methacrylate:

Many condensation polymers are also named in this manner. In the case of poly(ethylene terephthalate), the glycol portion of the name of the monomer, ethylene glycol, is
used in constructing the polymer name, so that the name is actually a hybrid of a sourcebased and a structure-based name.

Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This polymer is well known by trade names, such as Dacron, or its common grouping,
Although it is often suggested that parentheses be used in naming polymers of more
than one word [like poly(vinylidene chloride)] but not for single-word polymers (like
polyethylene), many authors omit entirely the use of parentheses for either case (like
polyvinylidene chloride). Thus there exists a variety of practices with respect to even
source-based names.
Copolymers are composed of two or more monomer units. Source-based names are
conveniently used to describe copolymers by using an appropriate term between the names
of the monomers. Any of a half dozen or so connecting terms may be used, depending
on what is known about the structure of the copolymer. When no information is specified
about the sequence of monomer units in the copolymer, the connective term co is used
in the general format poly(A-co-B), where A and B are the names of the two monomers.
An unspecified copolymer of styrene and methyl methacrylate would be called poly[styrene-co-(methyl methacrylate)].
Kraton, the yellow rubber-like material on the bottom of many running shoes, is an
example of a copolymer about which structural information is available. It is formed from
a group of styrene units, i.e., a “block” of polystyrene, attached to a group of butadiene
units, or a block of polybutadiene, which is attached to another block of polystyrene
forming a triblock copolymer. The general representation of such a block copolymer is
—AAAAABBBBBAAAAA—, where each A or B represents an individual monomer
unit. The proper source-based name for Kraton is polystyrene-block-polybutadiene-blockpolystyrene, with the prefix “poly” being retained for each block.
Although source-based names are generally employed for simple polymers, the international body responsible for systematic nomenclature of chemicals, IUPAC, has published
a number of reports for the naming of polymers, now being accepted for more complex
polymers. The IUPAC system names the components of the repeat unit, arranged in a
prescribed order. The rules for selecting the order of the components to be used as the
repeat unit are found elsewhere [Macromolecules, 6(2), 149 (1973); Pure and Applied
Chemistry, 48, 373 (1976), 57, 149 (1985), and 57, 1427 (1985)]. However, once the order
is selected, the naming is straightforward for simple linear molecules, as indicated in the
following examples:

A listing of source- and structure-based names for some common polymers is given
in Table 1.
Many polymer “families” are referred to by the name of the particular linkage that connects
the polymers (Table 2). The family name is “poly” followed by the linkage name. Thus,
Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Table 1 Source- and Structure-Based Names

Table 2 Linkage-Based Names

Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

those polymers that contain the carbonate linkage are known as polycarbonates; those
containing the ether linkage are called polyethers, etc.
The most complete indexing of any scientific discipline is done in chemistry and is provided by Chemical Abstracts (CA). Almost all of the modern searching tools for chemicals
and chemical information depend on CA for at least some of their information base. It is
critical for polymer chemists to have some grasp of how CA names chemical compounds.
The full description of the guidelines governing the naming of chemical compounds and
related properties is given in Appendix IV at the end of the CA Index Guide. This description is about 200 pages. While small changes are made with each new edition, the main
part has remained largely unchanged since 1972.
CA organizes the naming of materials into twelve major arrangements that tie together about 200 subtopics. These main topic headings are

Nomenclature systems and general principles
Molecular skeletons
Principal chemical groups
Compound classes
Stereochemistry and stereoparents
Specialized substances
Chemical substance names for retrospective searches
Illustrative list of substituent prefixes
Selective bibliography of nomenclature of chemical substances
Chemical prefixes
Chemical structural diagrams from CA Index Names

The section dealing with polymers is subtopic 222: Polymers. The subsection on
polymers builds on the foundations given before. Some of the guidelines appear to be
confusing and counterproductive to the naming of polymers, but the rules were developed
for the naming of small molecules. Following is a description of the guidelines that are
most important to polymer chemists. Additional descriptions are found in the CA Appendix
IV itself and in articles listed in the readings. Appendix IV concentrates on linear polymers.
A discussion of other more complex polymeric materials is also found in articles cited in
the readings section.
General Rules
In the chemical literature—in particular, systems based on Chemical Abstracts—searches
for particular polymers can be conducted using the Chemical Abstracts Service number,
(CAS ࠻) (where known) or the repeat unit. The International Union of Pure and Applied
Chemistry (IUPAC) and CAS have agreed on a set of guidelines for the identification,
orientation, and naming of polymers based on the structural repeat unit (SRU). IUPAC
refers to polymers as “poly(constitutional repeat unit)” while CAS utilizes a “poly(structural repeating unit).” These two approaches typically give similar results.
Here we will practice using the sequence “identification, orientation, and naming,”
first by giving some general principles and finally by using specific examples.
Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In the identification step, the structure is drawn, usually employing at least two
repeat units. Next, in the orientation step, the guidelines are applied. Here we concentrate
on basic guidelines. Within these guidelines are subsets of guidelines that are beyond our
Structures will generally be drawn in the order, from left to right, in which they are
to be named.
The starting point for the naming of a polymer unit involves determining seniority among
the subunits.
A. This order is
Heterocyclic ringsϾ
Greatest number of most preferred acyclic heteroatomsϾ
Carbocyclic ringsϾ
Greatest number of multiple bondsϾ
Shortest path or route (or lowest locant) to these substituents
Chains containing only carbon atoms.
with the symbol “Ͼ” indicating “is senior to.”
This is illustrated below.
Heterocyclic ring

Ͼ Acyclic hetero atoms

Ͼ Carbocyclic rings

Ͼ Multiple bonds
Ͼ Lowest locant
Ͼ Only carbon chains
This order is partially derived from guidelines found in other sections such as Section
133, Compound Radicals, where the ordering is given as
Greatest number of acyclic hetero atomsϾ
Greatest number of skeletal atomsϾ
Greatest number of most preferred acyclic hetero atomsϾ
Greatest number of multiple bondsϾ
Lowest locants or shortest distance to nonsaturated carbons.
The lowest locant or shortest distance refers to the number of atoms from one senior
subunit to the next most senior subunit when there is only one occurrence of the senior
This order refers to the backbone and not substitutions. Thus, polystyrene and poly(vinyl chloride) are contained within the “chains containing only carbon atoms” grouping.
B. For ring systems the overall seniority is
but within the rings there is also an ordering (Section 138) that is
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Nitrogenous heterocyclicϾ
Largest number of ringsϾ
Cyclic system occurring earliest in the following list of systems
spiro, bridged fused,
bridges nonfused, fusedϾ
Largest individual ring (applies to fused carbocyclic systems)Ͼ
Greatest number of ring atoms
For example,



C. For hetero-atomed linear chains or cyclic rings, the order of seniority is O Ͼ S Ͼ
Se Ͼ Te Ͼ N Ͼ P Ͼ As Ͼ Sb Ͼ Bi Ͼ Si Ͼ Ge Ͼ Sn Ͼ Pb Ͼ B Ͼ Hg.
Thus, because MOM CH2 —is senior to MSMCH2M, it would be named first in a
polymer that contained both MOMCH2M and MSMCH2 Msegments. Further, a polymer
containing these alternating units would not be poly(thiomethyleneoxymethylene) but
would be named poly(oxymethylenethiomethylene).
Another example,

is named poly[oxy(1-oxy-1,2-ethanediyl)] or less preferred poly[oxy(1-oxoethylene)] but
not poly[(2-oxo-1,2-ethanediyl)oxy] or poly[(2-oxoethylene)oxy].
D. In rings, unsaturation is senior to saturation. The more unsaturated, the more senior
with all other items being equal. Thus 1,4-phenylene is senior to 2,5-cyclohexadiene-1,4diyl, which in turn is senior to 2-cyclohexene-1,4-diyl, which is senior to 1,4-cyclohexanedCopyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

iyl. For linear chains MCHBCHMCHBCHM is senior to MCHBCHMCH2MCH2M,
which is in turn senior to the totally saturated chain segment.
A. From the senior subunit determined from “Seniority” take the shortest path (smallest
number of atoms) to another like or identical unit or to the next most preferred subunit.
Thus for the homopolymer poly(oxymethylene) it is simply going from one oxygen to the
next oxygen and recognizing that this is the repeat unit. For a more complex ether this
means going until the chain begins to repeat itself going in the shortest direction from the
senior unit or atom to the next most senior unit or atom. Thus, MOMCMCMOMCMCMCM is named “oxy-1,2-ethanediyloxy-1,3-propanediyl” rather than “oxy1,3-propanediyloxy-1,2-ethanediyl.
B. Where path lengths are equal, such as in some nylons, the repeat unit is named so
that the heteroatom “N” is first named and then the more highly substituted (carbonyl)
unit appears next. Thus, nylon 3,3, with the structure

is named poly[imino(1,3-dioxo-1,3-propanediyl)imino-1,3-propanediyl].
C. In otherwise identical subunits, there are three items to be considered in decreasing
order of importance:
1. Maximum substitution: thus, 2,3,5-trichloro-p-phenylene is senior to 2,5-dichloro-p-phenylene which in turn is senior to 2-chloro-p-phenylene,
2. Lowest locants: thus, 2,3-dichloro-p-phenylene is senior to 2,5-dichloro-p-phenylene,
3. Earliest alphabetical order: thus, 2-bromo-p-phenylene is senior to 2-chloro-pphenylene that is senior to 2-iodo-p-phenylene.
D. Where there is no conflict with other guidelines, multiple bonds should be assigned
the lowest locants; in rings, double bonds are senior to single bonds; in acyclic carbon
chains, double bonds are senior to triple bonds, which are in turn senior to single bonds.
Thus, the polymer from 1,3-butanediene polymerized in the so-called “1,4M” mode is
usually drawn as M(MCMCBCMCM)M but it is named as drawn as
M(MCBCMCMCM)M and named poly(1-butene-1,4-diyl) with the appropriate “cis-”
or “trans-” designation. Polyisoprene, typically drawn as
is frequently named poly(2-methyl-1,3-butadiene) but it is named as though its structure
with the name poly(1-methyl-1-butene-1,4-diyl).
Substituents are named as one of several classes. The most important ones are dealt with
here. For monoatomic radicals from borane, methane, silane (and other Group IVA elements) they are named by replacing the “ane” ending with “yl,” “ylene,” and “ylidyne”
to denote the loss of one, two, or three hydrogen atoms, respectively.
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H2BM boryl H3CM methyl H2CB methylene HCϵ methylidyne
Acyclic hydrocarbon radicals are named from the skeletons by replacing “ane,” “ene,”
and “yne” suffixes by “yl,” “enyl,” and “ynyl,” respectively.
CH3MCH2M ethyl CH3MCH2MCH2M propyl MCH2MCH2M 1,2-ethanediyl
MCHBCHM 1,2-ethenediyl H2CBCHMCHB2-propenylidene

MCH2MCMCH2M 1,3-propanediyl-2-ylidene
MCH2MCHMCH2M 1,2,3-propanetriyl
Table 3 contains the names of selected bivalent radicals that may be of use to polymer
Polymers from a single monomer are indexed at the monomer name with the term “homopolymer” cited in the modification. Thus, polymers of 1-pentene are listed under the
Polymers formed from two or more monomers such as condensation polymers and copolymers, and homopolymers are indexed at each inverted monomer name with the modifying
term “polymer with” followed by the other monomer names in uninverted alphabetical
order. The preferential listing for identical heading parents is in the order: (a) maximum
number of substituents, (b) lowest locants for substituents, (c) maximum number of occurrences of index heading parent, and (d) earliest index position of the index heading.
Examples are
polymer with 1-hexene
polymer with 1,4-butanedisulfonic acid
Silane, dichlorodiethylpolymer with dichlorodiphenylsilane
Although the percentage composition of copolymers (i.e., the ratio of comonomers)
is not given, copolymers with architecture other than random or statistical are identified
as “alternating, block, graft, etc.” Random or statistical copolymer are not so identified
in the CA index. Oligomers with definite structure are noted as dimer, trimer, tetramer, . . .
Often, similar information is found at several sites. For instance, for copolymers of
1-butene and 1-hexene, information will be listed under both 1-butene and 1-hexene, but
because the listings are not necessarily complementary both entries should be consulted
for completeness.
CA’s policy for naming acetylenic, acrylic, methacrylic, ethylenic, and vinyl polymers is to use the source-based method, and source-based representation is used to depict
the polymers graphically; thus, a synonym for polyethene is polyethylene and not poly(1,2Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Table 3 Names of Selected Bivalent Radicals
“Common” or
“trivial” name
Adipyl, adipoyl
Methene, methylene



CAS name
Oxybis (1-oxo-2,1-ethanediyl)









Sulfonyl, sulfuryl










In this text we typically employ the more “common” (semisystematic or trivial) names of polymers, but it is important in searching the literature using any CA-driven search engine that you be familiar with CA naming for
both monomers and polymers.

Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

ethanediyl); a synonym for poly-1-propylene is polypropylene, and poly(vinyl alcohol) is
named ethenol, homopolymer although ethenol does not exist. Thus, these polymers are
named and represented structurally by the source-based method, not the structure-based

Following are examples that illustrate CAS guidelines for naming.

Poly(methylene) (to locate poly(methylene) in
the Registry file by name, search for
“Ethane, homopolymer”)


Poly(ethylene) (to search for poly(ethylene)
search for “Ethane, homopolymer”)



࿣ ࿣













Poly(1-fluoro-1,2ethanediyl) search for under
“Ethene, fluoro-homopolymer”)









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Trade (and/or brand) names and abbreviations are often used to describe materials. They
may be used to identify the product of a manufacturer, processor or fabricator and may
be associated with a particular product or with a material or modified material. Trade
names are used to describe specific groups of materials that are produced by a specific
company or under licence of that company. Bakelite is the trade name given for the phenolformaldehyde condensation polymer developed by Baekeland. A sweater whose contents
are described as containing Orlon contains polyacrylonitrile fibers that are “protected”
under the Orlon trademark and produced or licenced to be produced by the holder of the
Orlon trademark. Also, Carina, Cobex, Dacovin, Darvic, Elvic, Geon, Koroseal, Marvinol,
Mipolam, Opalon, Plioflex, Rucon, Solvic, Trulon, Velon, Vinoflex, Vygen, and Vyram
are all trade names for poly(vinyl chlorides) manufactured by different companies. Some
polymers are better known by their trade name than their generic name. For instance,
polytetrafluoroethylene is better known as Teflon, the trade name held by DuPont. An
extensive listing of trade names is given in Appendix B of this text.
Abbreviations, generally initials in capital letters, are also employed to describe
materials. Table 4 contains a listing of some of the more widely employed abbreviations
and the polymer associated with the abbreviation.
Generally, copolymers are defined as polymeric materials containing two or more kinds
of mers. It is important to distinguish between two kinds of copolymers—those with
statistical distributions of mers or at most short sequences of mers (Table 5), and those
containing long sequences of mers connected in some fashion (Table 6).
The author thanks William Work, Les Sperling, and W. V. (Val) Metanomski for their
assistance with polymer nomenclature. The author also acknowledges the assistance of
Edward S. Wilks for his help in preparing the section on ‘‘Chemical Abstracts Based
Polymer Nomenclature.’’
Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Table 4 Abbreviations for Selected Polymeric Materials

Table 5 Short Sequence Copolymer Nomenclature

Table 6 Long Sequence Copolymer Nomenclature

Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

While there are several important approaches to the naming of polymers, in this book we
utilize common and source-based names because these are the names that are most commonly utilized by polymer chemists and the general public and these names, in particular
the source-based names, allow a better understanding of the basics of polymers as a
function of polymer—structure relationships based on starting materials. Even so, those
wishing to do further work in polymers must become proficient in the use of the guidelines
used by Chemical Abstracts and IUPAC.

Compendium of Macromolecular Nomenclature, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 1991.
Polymer nomenclature, Polymer Preprints, 33(1), 6–11 (1992).
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Graphic representations (chemical formulae) of macromolecules, Pure Appl. Chem., 66:2469–2482
Structure-based nomenclature for irregular single-strand organic polymers, Pure Appl. Chem., 66:
873–889 (1994).
Nomenclature of regular double-strand (ladder and spiro) organic polymers, Pure Appl. Chem., 65:
1561–1580 (1993).
A. D. Jenkins and K. L. Loening, Nomenclature, in Comprehensive Polymer Science (G. Allen, J.
Bevington, C. Booth, and C. Price, eds.), Vol. 1, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1989, pp. 13–54.
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F. Mark, N. M. Bikales, C. G. Overberger, and G. Menges, eds.), Vol. 10, Wiley, New York,
1987, pp. 191–204.
Definitions of terms relating to crystalline polymers, Pure Appl. Chem., 61:769–785 (1989).
A classification of linear single-strand polymers, Pure Appl. Chem., 61:243–254 (1989).
Definitions of terms relating to individual macromolecules, their assemblies, and dilute polymer
solutions, Pure Appl. Chem., 61:211–241 (1989).
Use of abbreviations for names of polymeric substances, Pure Appl. Chem., 59:691–693 (1987).
Source-based nomenclature for copolymers, Pure Appl. Chem., 57:1427–1440 (1985).
Nomenclature for regular single-strand and quasi single-strand inorganic and coordination polymers,
Pure Appl. Chem., 57:149–168 (1985).
Notes on terminology for molar masses in polymer science: makromol. chem., 185, Appendix to
No. 1 (1984). J. Polym. Sci., Polym. Lett. Ed., 22, 57 (1984). J. Macromol. Sci. Chem., A21,
903 (1984). J. Colloid Interface Science, 101, 227 (1984). Br. Polym. J., 17, 92 (1985).
Stereochemical definitions and notations relating to polymers, Pure Appl. Chem., 53:733–752
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Basic definitions of terms relating to polymers, Pure Appl. Chem., 40:479–491 (1974).

Carraher, C.(2001) J. Polym. Materials, 17(4):9–14.
Carraher, C., Hess, G., Sperling, L. (1987) J. Chem. Ed., 64:36–38.
Chemical Abstract Service, Appendix IV; Chemical Abstracts Service, 2540 Olentangy River Rd.,
PO Box 3012, Columbus, OH 43210.
IUPAC (1952) Report on Nomenclature in the Field of Macromolecules, J. Poly. Sci., 8:257–277.

Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

IUPAC (1966) Report on Nomenclature Dealing with Steric Regularity in High Polymers, Pure
Appl Chem, 12:645–656; previously published as M. L. Huggins, G. Natta, V. Desreus, and
H. Mark (1962) J. Poly Sci., 56:153–161.
IUPAC (1969) Recommendations for Abbreviations of Terms Relating to Plastics and Elastomers.
Pure Appl. Chem., 18:583–589.
IUPAC (1991) Compendium of Macromolecular Nomenclature, Blackwell Scientific Pubs., Oxford,
UK, 171 pp. (Collection of summaries)
IUPAC (1976) Nomenclature of Regular Single-Strand Organic Polymers. Pure Appl. Chem., 48:
IUPAC (1981) Stereochemical Definitions and Notations Relating to Polymers. Pure Appl. Chem.,
IUPAC (1985) Source-Based Nomenclature for Copolymers. Pure Appl. Chem., 57:1427–1440.
IUPAC (1987) Use of Abbreviations for Names of Polymeric Substances. Pure Appl. Chem., 59:
IUPAC (1989) A Classification of Linear Single-Strand Polymers. Pure Appl. Chem., 61:243–254.
IUPAC (1989) Definitions of Terms Relating to Individual Macromolecules, Their Assemblies, and
Dilute Polymer Solutions. (1989) Pure Applied Chemistry 61:211–241.
IUPAC (1989) Definition of Terms Relating to Crystalline Polymers. Pure Appl. Chem., 61:769–785.
IUPAC (1993) Nomenclature of Regular Double-Strand (Ladder or Spiro) Organic Polymers. Pure
Appl. Chem., 65:1561–1580.
IUPAC (1994) Graphic Representations (Chemical Formulae) of Macromolecules. Pure Appl.
Chem., 66:2469–2482.
IUPAC (1994) Structure-Based Nomenclature for Irregular Single-Strand Organic Polymers. Pure
Appl. Chem., 66:873–889.
IUPAC (1985) Nomenclature for Regular Single-Strand and Quasi-Single Strand Inorganic and
Coordination Polymers. Pure Appl. Chem., 57:149–168.
Polymer Preprints 32(1) (1991) 655; 33(2) (1992) 6; 34(1) (1993) 6; 34(2) (1993) 6; 35(1) (194)
6; 36(1) (1995) 6; 36(2) (1995) 6; 37(1) (1996) 6; 39(1) (1998)9; 39(2) (1998) 6; 40(1) (1999)
6; 41(1) (2000) 6a.
Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering, 68 (1993) 341; 69 (1993) 575; 72 (1995) 612; 74
(1996) 445; 78 (1998), Back Page; 79 (1998) Back Page; 80 (1999), Back Page; 81 (1999)

Copyright © 2003 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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