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Toughness is defined as the ability to absorb energy up to fracture, which is

equivalent to the area under the strain-stress curve up to fracture point. In this case,
polymer B is lower toughness than polymer A. Polymer A has bigger area under the
curve than polymer B. Hence, polymer A is more ductile while polymer B is more
brittle in comparison. In terms of strength, polymer A is stronger. Polymer A is
thermoplastic, while polymer B is thermoset.
2. Thermoset and thermoplastic are two classes of polymer which are differentiated
based on their behaviour in the presence of heat.
Thermoplastic can be easily melted or softened by providing heat in order to recycle
the material. Thermoplastics have covalent interactions between monomer molecules
and secondary weak van der Waal interactions between polymer chains. This weak
bonds can be broken by heat, and change its molecular structure. When it cools
significantly below its glass transition temperature (Tg), weak Van der Waal bonds in
between monomer chains will form reversibly to make the material rigid and usable
as a formed article. Examples of thermoplastic polymers are Acrylic, Acrylonitrile
Butadiene Styrene, Nylon, Polybenzimidazole, Polycarbonate, Polypropylene,
Polystyrene, Teflon and PVC.

Thermosetting plastics have superior properties like high thermal stability, high
rigidity and high dimensional stability. This is simply because thermosetting plastics
are highly cross-linked polymers that have a 3D network of covalently bonded atoms.
The strong cross-linked structure shows resistance to higher temperatures which
provides greater thermal stability than thermoplastics. Therefore, these materials
cannot be recycled, remoulded, or reformed upon heating.

3. Polymers offer many advantages over conventional materials including lightness,
resilience to corrosion and ease of processing. They can be combined with fibres to

form composites which have enhanced properties, enabling them to be used as

structural members and units. Polymer composites can be used in many different
forms ranging from structural composites in the construction industry to the high
technology composites of the aerospace and space satellite industries. Few examples
of polymers used in civil engineering with their respective advantages are stated


1. Strength



vary with



Thermal coefficient greater than concrete
Brittle behavior (more brittle than concrete)
Excellent adhesion - tenacious bond
High tensile and compressive strength
Highly resistant to chemical attack and wear
Exceptional chemical resistance
Cold joints preventable
Rapid Strength gain (80%@ 2 h; 100%@ 24 h)
High strength (7000 psi)
Will set below freezing


excellent insulator
diverse applications
chemical resistance
long-term stability
flame resistant
weather resistant
Adhesion to glass
resistance to oil


4. The properties that determine the degree of crystallinity of a polymer are such as
rate of cooling, chain configuration, linear/branched polymers, stereo isomers, bulky
side-groups and co-polymers.
Examples of instrument are differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray diffraction
(XRD), infrared spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)
5. Crystallization imparts a denser packing of chains, thereby increasing the
intermolecular forces of attraction, so higher and sharper softening point, greater
rigidity and strength, and greater density of the crystalline polymer. It will increase
the tensile strength and stiffness of polymer but brittleness also will increase. The
density of the polymer also will increase due to crystallization. The glass transition
temperature will also increase due to crystallization of polymer, however, the elastic
modulus will decrease.

6. The suitable of example use is seal where seal is a component that prevents the
leakage of fluids or gas from the machine and contamination entering the machine.
Acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR), which is a synthetic rubber of copolymerized
acrylonitrile (ACN) and butadiene, has excellent resistance to petroleum products,
over a wide temperature range. It is the most widely used rubber in industry as a
sealant and especially for seals due to its moderate cost, good process ability, and
excellent resistance to swelling for aliphatic hydrocarbons. These characteristics are
strongly dependent on the microstructure of NBR polymer and ACN unit is one of the
most important microstructures for defining NBR grade. From the result, crosslinking density of the composite are raised as decreasing the acrylonitrile, the present
of higher amount of ACN microstructure in NBR will increase the mechanical
strength where also indicate that the change of mechanical properties is less.
7. Raw natural rubber tends to be sticky when warm and brittle when cold.
Vulcanization, in common with the curing of other thermosetting polymers, is
generally irreversible is carry out to make the rubber become more elastic. During
vulcanization the eight-membered ring of sulfur breaks down in smaller parts with
one to eight sulfur atoms. These small sulfur chains are quite reactive. At each cure
site on the rubber molecule, such short sulfur chain can attach itself, and eventually
reacts with a cure site of another rubber molecule, and so forming a bond between two
chains. Through vulcanization, the disulfide cross-links is create between the
molecule chain of rubber and prevent the polyisoprene chains in rubber from sliding
over each other. The degree of cross-linking can be controlled to produce a rubber
having the desired elasticity and hardness.