Plastics materials are composed of very large moleculescalled
. Polymers are constructed from relativelysmall molecular fragments known as
that are joined together Synthetic polymers, which includes thelarge group known as plastics, came into prominence in theearly twentieth century. Chemists' ability to engineer themto yield a desired set of properties (strength, stiffness,density, heat resistance, electrical conductivity) has greatlyexpanded the many roles they play in the modern industrialeconomy.