Are there other strong polymers? How are they similar to Kevlar? How are they chemically different?

  The table below provides information about a variety of both natural and synthetic polymers. Look carefully at each item and compare each polymer to Kevlar. Which of these polymers is the strongest? How do the chemical formulas of the stronger polymers compare to Kevlar?

You can see that there are many similarities and differences between polymers. One of the similarities that seems related to strength is the presence of aromatic amides. Aromatic refers to carbon atoms attached in a ring that often looks like this:


Amides are a group of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen atoms arranged like this:


Look at the table of polymers again. Which polymers contain aromatic groups? Which contain amides? Which contain both?

CLUE #3: Kevlar is a polyaromatic amide. Other polymers with a high breaking strength often contain one or both of these molecular groups.

Kevlar Introduction

Clue #1

Clue #2

Clue #4

Clue #5

Putting the Pieces Together


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