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Book Review

Polymer Handbook
Edited by J. BR^NDRUP and E. H. IMMERGtrr with the collaboration of H. G. ELIAS.
Interscience: New York; Wiley : London, 1966. 147s

T i n s book is primarily intended for polymer chemists and physicists in research and
development laboratories. Its principal sections are concerned with polymerization by
free-radical processes only, solid state properties, solution properties and physical
data relating to polymers, oligomers, monomers and solvents. Included also, but in
less detail, are data relevant to the thermal degradation of polymers, permeability,
nuclear magnetic resonance etc. No attempt has been made to impart information
of interest to polymer engineers or fabricators although a properties and price chart
of some common thermoplastic materials has been included.
The various sections of the book have been compiled by known authorities. In
some cases the tables have been taken from journals for publication as they are,
without any modification or revision, example the section on copolymerization
reactivity ratios is a reprint from Copolymerization by G. E. HAM (Interscience : New
York, 1964).
The chapters on polymerization and solution properties of polymers are the most
detailed and comprehensive and contain some very useful information. In addition
to the basic kinetic and thermodynamic parameters, tables are included which are
useful for emulsion polymerization and polymer fractionation studies. A serious
criticism of this book is the total lack of reference to cationic, anionic and Ziegler
type polymerization systems. A considerable amount of this information has been
assembled in reviews and articles and it would have been worthwhile to have included
some of this.
Solid state properties are treated reasonably well, and included in this chapter
is an interesting table on the rates of crystallization of some common polymers at
different temperatures and different molecular weights.
The chapter on the physical constants of important polymers is confined to cellu-
losive materials, polyethylene, polybutadiene, rubbers, polyacrylonitrile, polystyrene,
polyhexamethylene adipamide and polyethylene terephthalate. Within the limits
set by this chapter, it is very well done, but one would have liked to have seen more
polymers included and such topics as the physical properties of monomers and
solvents omitted; this information is readily available in organic chemistry texts.
The printing is inclined to be variable and there are errors, for example, the glass
transition temperature for isotactic polystyrene is given as 100°C and that for atactic
omitted; obviously this is a printing error. There is also a lack of information on
polyvinyl chloride, Nylon 6, the higher Nylons and some of the newer materials such
as polypyromellitimides. On balance, however, this is a reference book which is
worth having and the price is not unreasonable.