section%205.2%20-%20Polymer%20Molecular%20Weight

# section%205.2%20-%20Polymer%20Molecular%20Weight - 5.2...

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5.2 Molecular Weight of Polymers Objectives Calculate polymer molecular weight and polydispersity index. Predict the effect of MW and MW distribution on properties. In the last activity you saw how to calculate the molecular weight of a polymer by knowing the molecular weight of the repeat unit and the degree of polymerization. However, in reality a piece of plastic contains a mixture of polymer molecules with different molecular weights. Therefore, it is necessary to be able to calculate an average molecular weight for a mixture of polymer chains. GI 5.2.1 You have a sample of plastic which you know contains 10 moles of chains that have a molecular weight of 5,000 g/mol and 5 moles of chains with a molecular weight of 50,000 g/mol. What is the average molecular weight of this mixture? Figure 5.2.1: Elephant with a bird on its back.

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Before we talk any further about molecular weight, let’s take a side excursion to an African safari. Imagine yourself out on the plains of Africa, on the adventure of a lifetime. You have seen all kinds of wildlife: antelope, zebra, even a few lions. But you have not yet seen the one animal you came to see, an elephant. As you sit quietly in the grass, you suddenly hear a trumpeting behind you. Turning, you see it, a full grown bull elephant! Transfixed, you watch it come towards you. You face a dilemma – move to safety, or stay and watch it. You notice that there are three canaries on the elephant’s back, so you do a
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