As mentioned in the classification of types of polymers, the copolymer is a polymer that is made of 2 types of monomers or more. The process by which a copolymer is formed is also called copolymerization. The copolymer is made to modify some properties of special plastic and is opposed to the homopolymer, which consists of only one type of monomer. In the figure below, you can see the difference between homopolymer and copolymer. In the continuation of this PETROPROVIDERS article, join us to show you the types of copolymers and their applications.

An introduction of types of copolymers:

Copolymers are classified according to their structure and are available in both linear and branched shapes. The most important types of copolymers are linear, periodic, batch, random, and bonded.

Block copolymer:

When repeating units of more than one type of homopolymer are joined together by covalent bonds, they form a batch or block copolymer. You can see the structure of this type of copolymers below.

Copolymers VS Homopolymers

Copolymers VS Homopolymers

The most important batch copolymer is ABS. Recently, the use of live cationic polymerization and live radical polymerization methods for the preparation of batch copolymers has been developed. Batch copolymers are commercially important.

These polymers are used in drug delivery systems, thermoplastic elastomers, pressure-sensitive hot melt adhesives, and more recently in nanotechnology. Therefore, the use of copolymers in many fields is considered.

Random copolymer:

If the monomers are randomly arranged in the structure of the polymer chains, they form a random copolymer. These polymers are mostly produced by the free radical method. The most important example is the styrene-butadiene copolymer of SBR rubber.

Alternative periodic copolymer:

When the monomers that make up a polymer chain are repeated one at a time, they form a periodic copolymer. Nylon 66 is an example of this type of copolymer.

Unlike previous copolymers, which are all linear, branched copolymers have branches of monomers. The most important types are the star, hybrid, and shoulder, which you can see in the pictures below:

The important examples of copolymers

In different industries, there are a variety of copolymers that are used for a variety of uses. The production methods of these materials are almost the same but the final products are different. In the following, we will introduce some famous copolymer materials in the world:

PP Copolymer or Polypropylene Copolymer:

When a monomer other than propylene monomer (usually ethane) is used in the polypropylene structure, we have a polypropylene copolymer. Propylene copolymer itself is divided into two categories. Polypropylene Random Copolymer PP-R and Polypropylene Block Copolymer PP-B

PP-R or Polypropylene Random Copolymer:

Produced from the polymerization of ethene and propene, and the amount of ethene is usually used up to a maximum of 6% by mass. The reason for naming the random copolymer is that the arrangement of propene and ethene is random and irregular.

This type of polypropylene copolymer is more flexible and more transparent in terms of optical properties, and for this reason, this PP-R is used in products that require an excellent appearance. One of the most important applications of polypropylene copolymer is in water supply pipes and fittings.

PP-B or Polypropylene Block copolymer:

In this type of copolymer, ethene is also used and usually, its amount is more than the ethene in PP-R and about 5 to 15% of it is used. The monomers are grouped in the main chain.

This arrangement makes the resulting polypropylene harder and less brittle than PP-R, so it is used in industries that require high strength. This type of polypropylene copolymer is also used in smaller quantities in water supply pipes and fittings.

Interesting differences between polypropylene homopolymer and polypropylene copolymer

In the following, we see the important differences in the structure and application of polypropylene homopolymer and polypropylene copolymer:

Properties of polypropylene homopolymer

  • High strength, harder and stronger
  • Good chemical resistance
  • Good weldability
  • Good impact resistance
  • Good rigidity
  • Ability to contact food

Properties of polypropylene copolymer

  • Slightly softer but better impact resistance
  • More durability
  • Better crack resistance to growth
  • Better processability
  • Higher roughness
  • Not recommended for food contact applications

Polymers have gradually gained a special place in our daily lives due to their many benefits. One of the most important applications of polymers is their use in the textile industry. Polymers are used in various stages of the production process, including fiber production, dyeing, and product finishing, to achieve a specific property.

For example, in the textile and carpet industry, emulsion polymers are used to improve the performance and elasticity of a product. Other PETROPROVIDERS articles provide comprehensive descriptions of different types of polymers in different industries.

A summary of the types of copolymers

Copolymers uses

Copolymers uses

In this article, we examine the types of copolymers. These materials are one of the most important polymers used in global industries. The two most important materials are polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), which have different applications in different industries.

Copolymers can be classified into several categories based on structure. Copolymers that have only one main chain are called linear copolymers, and if they have side chains, they are called branch copolymers.

In addition, there are other polymers such as polystyrene and polyethylene that have very interesting applications in global industries. These polymers are easily produced and recycled and pose little risk to human health and the environment.

What do you think about copolymers and their types? Is this material useful for mass use? Is the use of this substance dangerous for human health and the environment? In the comments section, you can ask us your questions about these widely used materials. You can also contact our experts for more information about polymers.

What are the most important types of copolymers?

It is one of the most important polymers in the world. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyethylene-vinyl acetate (PEVA), and nitrile rubber are the most important examples of this material.

What are the most important applications of copolymers?

This material is used to adjust the properties of plastics for greater efficiency. In addition, it is used to increase the solubility of materials, control moisture absorption and the melting point of materials.

What are the most important differences between polymers and copolymers?

These two substances are both composed of the bonding of monomers. In polymers, the same monomers are bonded together. For example, in polystyrene, there are styrene monomers. But in copolymers, monomers are diverse.

Is PVC a copolymer?

No! This material, which is composed of vinyl chloride monomers, has the same monomers. To form a copolymer, various monomers must be used.