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Condensation Polymerisation

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Condensation Polymerisation - Lesson Summary

In condensation polymerisation, the molecules of a monomer combine with the elimination of simple molecules such as water, alcohol and ammonia to form a polymer.

Condensation polymers are the result of repeated condensation reactions between two different bi-functional monomers.

Polyamides, polyesters, phenol-formaldehyde polymers and melamine-formaldehyde polymers are all important condensation polymers.

Polyamides are polymers that have amide linkages. Polyamides may be naturally occurring, such as proteins (or) synthetic such as nylons.

The general reaction to obtain polyamides can be described as the reaction of diamines with dicarboxylic acids (or) dibasic acid.

Nylons contain amide bonds. Nylon 6, 6 is made from two different monomers, while nylon 6 is made from a cyclic monomer.

The general reaction to obtain polyester is a condensation reaction between a dicarboxylic acid and a diol.

Dacron is the trade name for polyethylene terephthalate (or) PET, common polyester.

Phenol-formaldehyde polymers are another important group of condensation polymers formed by the condensation reaction of phenol with formaldehyde in the presence of an acid (or) a base catalyst results in the formation of ortho (or) para hydroxymethylphenol. The hydroxy-methylphenol derivatives react further with phenols to form polymers with rings joined by -CH2 groups.

Bakelite is a phenol-formaldehyde polymer with many cross-links.

Melamine is a melamine-formaldehyde polymer formed by the reaction between melamine and formaldehyde, which results in the formation of a resin intermediate. The resin intermediate undergoes condensation polymerisation to form melamine polymer.

Bakelite and melamine are both thermosetting polymers.

Melamine is used to make unbreakable crockery and also used to make fire-proof jackets.


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