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What are polymers

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A polymers is a molecule (or large molecules) that can be used by manufacturers in order to fine-tune a product, or even to add certain properties to it. A polymer can be natural or synthetic. The synthetic group are also called: silicones.

Contents

Why the need for polymers

Polymers have a wide range of certain characteristics. These can be used in a certain product to get a certain effect. For example, a shampoo can be made more soluble by using the right polymer. Another example woud be the use of a polymer to enhance the bonding properties of a protective product. Polymers are no magical addition that can give any product, any type of property, but when used correctly, scientists can achieve remarkable improvement with polymers.

The use of a polymer

Polymers are all around us. They are used in the screen you are looking at, they are the main ingredient for plastic objects, and are even used in the soap you use to wash your dishes in. Natural polymers are very common, examples of common polymers are: silk, wool, natural rubber, amber and even cellulose. An example of a synthetic polymer would be: synthetic rubber, nylon, PVC, polystyrene and neoprene.
Polymers play an essential part in the world around us.

Polymers and the world of detailing

Polymers can be used for many different reasons. Polymers can help to dissolve the ingredients used to make wax, or enhance the gloss from a sealant and even to clean glass more effectively. The bottles that hold the shampoo, QD and polish are actually made of polymers. Clay is a very good example of polymers in action.
When these polymers are synthesized they are referred to as silicones.
The science behind polymers is extensive. The amount of research done on this is very impressive. Just think of all the things the world of science had to discover before being able to create everything around us in the way/form it exists today. However, it takes a lot of knowledge and experience to understand the field of polymers thoroughly, which is one of the reasons why manufacturers use skilled chemists to develop their products. Homebrewers often struggle with this part and/or its fine-tuning.

Polymer and its bad reputation

Although the use of polymers is very old, and the knowledge of their existence as well, polymers still have a bit of a bad reputation. Some people mistake polymers with silicones and believe that these should be avoided at all cost. Other aren’t fully aware of what polymers do and just think that adding certain particles to achieve certain goals, is bad. The truth is that the world around us is full of polymers, and in many cases, the use of polymers in detailing products is not only expected, some products wouldn’t exist without them.
A few popular misconceptions on polymers are:

  • They can ruin a re-spray
  • They are man-made
  • You can’t call a product “natural” when they are used
  • They always have the same effect
  • They only do one thing, and nothing more
  • They need to be removed before polishing
  • They should be removed before applying a coating
  • They are pollutant
  • Only things that start with “poly-” is a polymer

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