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Designer Polymer:

Properties of gortex:
* Tough
* Light-weight
* Waterproof

Teflon is the trade name for a polymer called polytetrafluoroethene, or PTFE. It is very slippery, so is used to make non-stick coatings for pans. It is also used in Gore-Tex Gore-Tex contains layers of nylon, PTFE and polyurethane. The PTFE contains a lot of tiny holes called pores - there are around 14 million per square millimeter. Each one is too small for water droplets to pass through, but big enough to let water molecules from sweat go through. Without the nylon, the layers would be too fragile to be useful.

Use| Traditional Polymer | Designer Polymer|
Outdoor clothing| Nylon-Waterproof and Flexible.| Nylon-Waterproof and Flexible.| Contact lenses| PMMA-Solid polymer used in plexiglass.Rigid, uncomfortable, doesn’t allow Oxygen to pass to the cornea of eye| Rigid Gas Permeable Polymer.Soft, comfortable, and breathable which is better for eye health.| Fillings| Not a polymer but silver amalgam metal. As well as looking false this substance traditionally contained Mercury which is toxic.| Composite polymer resin. Can be matched to the natural colour of teeth and contains no dangerous substances.| Use| Traditional Polymer| Designer Polymer|

Dressings for injuries| Cotton-soft, flexible. Not very absorbent and not at all waterproof.| Oasis-Polymer that chemically promotes healing. Dressing also has a hydrophobic outer layer making it waterproof.|

A lot of everyday items are made from polymers. Many of these polymers are not biodegradable - microbes cannot digest them and they take a long time to break down. Polymers are usually disposed of by burying them in landfill sites or burning them in incinerators. These methods of disposal cause environmental problems, and waste valuable resources. The properties of polymers depend on the structure and bonding found in their molecules. Smart materials such as Gore-Tex® have more useful...

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