Friday, 27 April 2012

Condensation Polymerisation-Nylon

Note: This is for SINGLE SCIENCE.

How to make nylon: (he uses a diamine which is one of the monomers, but doesn't use a dicarboxylic acid so just beware of that. the video's just essentially to show you what it looks like to make nylon, stuff about the monomers are below)

Reviewing addition polymerisation vs. condensation polymerisation. This is a really good video to show you the difference and to explain it. It may not be about nylon, but the concept is essentially the same and it also loses a water molecule in the process, which is the same as when nylon is produced. 

5.17 recall that nylon is a condensation polymer
5.18 understand that the formation of a condensation polymer is accompanied by the release of a small molecule such as water or hydrogen chloride

Condensation polymers are basically polymers formed through a condensation reaction, where the monomers react and a polymer is produced, and a small molecule such as water is also produced as a by-product of the reaction. With condensation polymers the monomers can be different.
(As opposed to addition polymers which are produced by the reaction of unsaturated monomers. See polymerization post…)

5.19 recall the types of monomers used in the manufacture of nylon

Nylon is made by condensation polymerization from the monomers dicarboxylic acid and diamine.

NHis the amine group. So a diamine has two of these, one at each end: 

COOH is the carboxyl group. So a dicarboxylic acid has two of these, one at each end:
Furan 2-5 Dicarboxylic Acid  
I believe there are loads of types of nylon and different monomers to make them but this is what I've learned: 

The polymer made from these two six-carbon monomers is known as nylon 6,6. (Nylon products include parachutes and ropes.)
The diamine to form nylon here is 1,6-diaminohexane. Hexane=6, it has 6 carbons as you can see in the diagram below. The adipic acid is basically 1,6 hexane dicarboxylic acid. It also has 6 carbons if you count the carbons from the COOH groups. 

Instead of having to draw out all the carbons, you can replace them with 'R' and just show the functional groups that are reacting: 

So you see that the 'OH' on one end of the COOH group forms water with the 'H' from one of the amine groups. --> H2
And the 'CO' left bonds with the 'NH'. 
This keeps happening at both ends so they form a long chain polymer. So you see in the above diagram it says 'carboxyl group for further reaction'? The 'OH' there will react with the 'H' from another amine group, remember they are diamines so there are amine groups on both sides. And the CO left will bond with the 'NH' left, and it'll just continue until there are no more reactants left. 

5.20 draw the structure of nylon in block diagram format.
You can replace the carbons in the middle with blocks like this, it would be good if the blocks were different shapes unlike below, just so it's clearer for you, but it's up to you: 


  1. It's helpful, thanks.

  2. Thanks for the clear notes! You really helped.

  3. You are a saint

  4. So glad I stumbled across this, helped me for my test today, because the chemistry book I ordered didn't come in time. Saved by the blog ! :D

  5. hannah's boob

  6. Interesting post which covers more than I could have hoped for! Thanks

  7. I am not an english student but i'm doing the edexcel exams and this site was beyond helpful


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Note: This blog will no longer be updated as I finished IGCSEs in 2012. Sorry! :( If you are interested in buying IB notes though, please contact me. :)