Difference Between Addition Polymerisation and Condensation Polymerisation

Main Difference

The main difference between addition polymerisation and condensation polymerisation is that the addition polymerisation refers to the production of addition polymers by the addition of olefinic monomers without the production of any kind of by-product, whereas the condensation polymerisation refers to the production of condensation polymers by the intermolecular condensation of two different kinds of monomers with the production of by-products.

Addition Polymerisation vs. Condensation Polymerisation

In addition polymerisation, monomers have multiple bonds such as double or triple bonds, whereas, in condensation polymerisation, monomers have two functional groups that may or may not be the same. Addition polymerisation results in the formation of addition polymers, whereas condensation polymerisation results in the formation of condensed polymers. Addition polymers do not produce by-products, whereas the condensation polymerisation produces by-products. Addition polymerisation produces polymers whose molecular weight is an integral multiple of the molecular weight of monomers, whereas the condensation polymerisation produces the polymer whose molecular weight is not an integral multiple of molecular weight of monomers. Addition polymerisation produces polymers of high molecular weight at once, whereas the condensation polymerisation produces polymers whose molecular weight increases readily. Addition polymerisation always produces thermoplastics, whereas the condensation polymerisation always produces thermosets. Addition polymerisation produces homo-chain polymers, whereas the condensation polymerisation produces hetero- chain polymers. In addition polymerization, Lewis bases or acids, or Radical initiators act as catalyst, whereas condensation polymerisation, mineral bases or acids act as a catalyst. Addition polymerisation produces the addition polymers by the addition of olefinic monomers, whereas the condensation produces the condensed polymers by the condensation of two different monomers.

Comparison Chart

Addition PolymerisationCondensation Polymerisation
Addition polymerisation refers to the production of addition polymers by the addition of olefinic monomers without the production of any kind of by-product.Condensation polymerisation refers to the production of condensation polymers by the intermolecular condensation of two different kinds of monomers with the production of by-products.
By-Products
Do not produce by-productsProduces by-products
Kind of Polymers
Addition polymersCondensed polymers
Molecular Weight
The molecular weight of the product is equal to the integral multiple of molecular weight of monomersThe molecular weight of the product is not equal to the integral multiple of molecular weight of monomers
Functional Groups
Multiple bonds such as double or triple bondsAt least two same or different kinds of functional groups in monomers
Kind of Chain
Produces homo-chainProduces hetero-chain
Catalysts
Lewis bases or acids, Radical initiators, etc.Mineral bases or acids
Another Name
Chain growth processStep growth process

What is Addition Polymerisation?

Addition polymerisation is the chain growth process in which monomers of the same kinds undergo the addition of olefinic monomers. It is the process in which there is not the production of by-products. In addition polymerisation, monomers have multiple bonds such as double bond and triple bonds. The polymers have a molecular weight whose integral multiple of molecular weight of monomers. Addition polymerisation also produces homo-chain. In addition polymerisation, Lewis bases or acids, Radical initiators act as a catalyst. In addition polymerisation, products have a high molecular weight at once. It also produces the addition polymers. In this process, multiple bonds such as double bond or triple bond first break and the process move forward. There are many processes involve in addition polymerisation such as free radicle mechanism, ionic mechanism, and coordination mechanism. In these reactions, monomers must have the unsaturation. In this process, longer the reaction time it will produce the higher yields. Addition polymerisation always produces the thermoplastics. In this process, monomers add to one another to form longer chains. In this process, the multiple bonds break off and form covalent bonds with the adjacent monomers. In addition polymerisation, it always involves alkenes and alkynes monomers. This process requires two same kinds of molecules. It is a fast process.

Example

PVC, Polyethene, Polyvinyl acetate, etc.

What is Condensation Polymerisation?

Condensation polymerisation is the step-growth process in which monomers of a different kind undergo condensation and produces the condensed polymers. It is a type of reaction of formation of by-polymers. In a condensed polymerisation at least two same or different kinds of functional groups are essentially present in monomers. The polymers have the molecular product which is the integral multiple of molecular weight of monomers. Condensation polymerisation also produces the hetero-chain. In condensation polymerisation, mineral bases or acids act as a catalyst. In condensation polymerisation, the products have a molecular weight which is increased readily. In this process, there are also many other processes that are involved such as polyamide formation, etc. in this process, functional undergo the condensation reaction with the release of smaller molecules as a by-product such as water, HCl, etc. The presence of a functional group is essential for the condensation process. The longer time of reaction in condensation polymerisation is very crucial for the production of high yields. It produces condensed polymers. Condensation polymerisation produces the thermosets. In this process, adjacent makes covalent bonds with each other. This process also requires two different kinds of monomers. It is a very slow process.

Example

Proteins, Carbohydrates, Epoxy Resins, etc.

Key Differences

  1. Addition polymerisation always produces the addition polymers, whereas the condensation polymerisation always produces the condensed polymers.
  2. Addition polymerisation always produces the thermoplastic, whereas the condensed polymerisation always produces the thermosets.
  3. Addition polymerisation is the process in which the unsaturation in monomers is essential, whereas the condensation polymerisation is the process in which the presence of the functional group is essential.
  4. Addition polymerisation is a very fast process, whereas the condensation process is a very slow process.
  5. In addition polymerisation, monomers have multiple bonds, whereas, in condensation polymerisation, monomers do not have multiple bonds.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that the addition of polymerisation and condensation polymerisation are types of processes involve in the formation of polymers. Addition polymerisation involves in the formation of addition polymers, whereas the condensation polymerisation involves in the formation of condensed polymers.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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