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How do monomers combine to form polymers?

Monomers combine through a process called polymerisation to form polymers.

Polymerisation is the process in which monomers combine to form polymers. This process involves the formation of covalent bonds between monomers, resulting in the creation of long chains of repeating units. There are two types of polymerisation: addition polymerisation and condensation polymerisation.

Addition polymerisation occurs when monomers with unsaturated bonds, such as alkenes, combine to form a polymer. This process involves the breaking of the double bond in the monomer and the formation of a new bond with another monomer. This process continues until a long chain polymer is formed.

Condensation polymerisation occurs when two different monomers combine, resulting in the formation of a polymer and a small molecule, such as water. This process involves the removal of a functional group from each monomer, which then combine to form the small molecule. The remaining functional groups then react to form a covalent bond, resulting in the formation of a polymer.

Polymers can have a variety of properties, depending on the monomers used and the type of polymerisation process. For example, addition polymerisation can result in polymers with high tensile strength, while condensation polymerisation can result in polymers with high elasticity. Understanding the process of polymerisation is important in the development of new materials with specific properties for various applications.

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