What Are Cross Linking Polymers?
Last Updated on February 10, 2021 by Ephraim Iyodo
Cross-linking is the bonding that connects one polymer chain to another.
Therefore, cross-linking polymers are polymers obtained by cross-linking the bonds formed between monomeric units.
Cross Linking Polymers
Cross-linking polymers are a type of polymer whose molecular chains are cross-linked to each other.
This bond can be either chemical or physical, but usually when we talk about a crosslinked polymer we mean chemical bonds.
Cross-linked polymers are polymers in which monomer units are cross-linked together to form a three-dimensional polymer network.
These polymers are hard, rigid, and brittle because of the network structure.
Important examples are bakelite, melamine-formaldehyde, etc.
Properties Of Cross-Linking Polymers
Cross-linked polymers are insoluble in all solvents because the polymer chains are linked by strong covalent bonds.
Chemical covalent cross-links are mechanically and thermally stable, so once formed cross-links are difficult to break.
Cross-linking is a characteristic property of thermosetting plastics. Especially in the case of commercially used plastics, once cross-linked, the product is very difficult or impossible to process.
They are relatively inflexible when it comes to their processing properties because they are insoluble and impervious.
High-performance polymer composites are becoming increasingly important for many applications because of their advantages in weight reduction and energy savings.
Thermosetting polymers are the preferred matrix for such composites because of their high stiffness, strength, creep resistance and heat resistance compared to thermoplastic polymers.
These desirable properties derive from the three-dimensional (3D) cross-linked structures of these polymers.
Due to their useful properties, these materials are certainly attractive for a wide range of applications in the automotive, aviation, wind energy, construction or oil and gas markets.
A cross-linked polymer used to enhance thermal and physical properties.
Synthetic rubber used for tires is made by cross-linking rubber through a vulcanization process This cross-linking makes them more elastic.
Crosslinked polymer Ethylene-vinyl acetate is used in the production of solar panels.
Crosslinked polymers are used in the manufacture of many materials because they are mechanically strong and resistant to heat, wear and deterioration to solvents.